Tag Archives: Oysters

Wines to Pair with Braises, Roasts & Stews

They’re the mainstay cooking methods in winter kitchens, and the backbone of virtually all of the comfort foods we are genetically inclined to crave when the mercury dips below 32. Here are our picks for the wines that will match the rich, warming flavors these techniques will bring to your table.

2010 Chateau Magneau Rouge
Graves, Bordeaux, France
A particularly dry wine with only hints of fruit and a pronounced minerality that goes especially well with the flavor of roasted lamb.

2010 Domaine Bessa Valley
‘Petit Enira’
Ognianovo, Bulgaria
A sturdy red with a judicious amount of boastful red fruit that stands up just fine to the richest of roast beef dishes. It’s 100% merlot and it’s from Bulgaria (Bulgaria? Bulgaria!). Trust us, it’s a perfect match!

2014 Il Casolare (Verdicchio)
Marche, Italy
A white wine that is more savory than fruity with loads of flavor like roasted almonds, fresh herbs and sweet hay.  Great with herb-rubbed roasted chicken as the wine and chicken share many of the same flavors.

2014 Gia (Barbera/Dolcetta/Nebbiolo)
Langhe, Italy
Intense and highly appealing aromas and flavors that are a perfect match to the rich personality and creamy texture of Osso Bucco.

2012 Pujol Izard
Minervois (Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah)
Languedoc, France
A serious dish like short ribs requires a serious wine like this one.  Studded with intense flavors of dark red fruit with hints of black pepper, this full bodied beauty can stand up to the richest of ribs.

2014 Penya
(Grenache, Carignan, Syrah)
Cotes Catalanes/Roussillon, France
Silky and not too heavy, this blend from the South of France is a perfect match to your favorite Coq au Vin dish.  Perfect to cook with and great to drink!

2014 Terre Nere
Etna Bianco D.O.C.
Sicily, Italy
An interesting and rich white wine to go with a rich seafood, such as an oyster stew.
Definitely floral on the nose with a fresh and salty flavor profile that has hints of minerals, just like oysters!

2013 L’Argentier
Languedoc, France
A deliciously rustic wine that’s an ideal partner for cassoulet. Highly aromatic and medium bodied, this wine is perfectly at home with whatever your cassoulet recipe calls for.

2014 Astoria ‘Caranto’
(Pinot Noir)
Veneto, Italy
For a traditional Boeuf Bourguignon recipe, we’re shaking things up with a pinot noir from Italy. Perfectly balanced between light and heavy, the Caranto’s flavors make the beef sing while being heavy enough to not get lost.

Cheers and Bon Appetit!

Walrus and Carpenter Oysters – Farm Feast 2014

Over my many years, we’ve been a part of many special dinners and events, but nothing has compared to the experience we had at the Walrus and Carpenter Dinner Series.

DSC_2127Things started off at Lavin’s Landing Marina right on Ninigret Pond – a brackish pond that opens up to the Atlantic Ocean via the Charlestown Breachway.  As people arrived at the marina they were greeted by a beer or “Docktail” as we waited to board the boats.  Once everyone was loaded and secured on the skiff and pontoon we headed slowly to the Oyster Farm, a 3 acre plot, all underwater, leased by Walrus & Carpenter from the State of Rhode Island.

At the farm, owner of Walrus & Carpenter, Jules Opton-Himmel, showed us oysters growing in their bags and taught us everything there is to know about oyster farming.  Once we had learned about all about the process and history of the oyster cultivating industry, we made our way to the raw bar, set up a few meters away from the dining area. We all enjoyed the raw, hand-shucked oysters with lemon slices, a lemon-honey relish, and more than enough sparkling wine to go around!



Once all the oysters were gone, we took a short walk to East Beach – the part of the beach that’s way down at the end, and part of the State Park system. DSC_2001
We had the whole span of pristine beaches to ourselves. Once we had amply documented and soaked in the scenic vista (even some taking a quick swim!) we head back on our trek through the sandy paths to dinner.


As we approach the sandbar, we saw that dinner would be served on a long table top placed oyster baskets and crates (mermaid chic), complete with tablecloths, cloth napkins, stemware and silverware – and our own little private bar stocked with a great selection of wine selected to pair with the night’s cuisines, set a few feet into the water, right next to our docked skiff from the ride in. Certainly the fanciest beach picnic you’ve ever seen!


The entire dinner was cooked on a grill set over a wood fire, from the broccoli and heirlooms, squid and corn, to the beautiful bluefish, caught right off of Point Judith, to the beautiful currant clad desert.

DSC_2136aDSC_2218Chef Ben Sukle, Ed Davis and the team from birch prepared and cooked the wonderful selection of the locally sourced meal – it was more than fantastic and perfect for this very special setting.  A truly memorable experience, and one that we’ll never forget.


Eric Taylor
Bottles General Manager