The humble mushroom is a cook’s best friend, given its amazing flavor and texture, versatility and nearly year-around availability in local farmer’s markets. It’s also beloved in the wine world as it has a natural affinity for so many different wine grapes and styles.
When pairing wine with mushrooms, consider their power: delicate varieties (the chanterelle, the oyster, for example) play best with light to medium bodied wines. Meaty ‘shrooms (portobello) love big, bold styles.
For the following dish of blue oyster mushrooms roasted with grape tomatoes and tarragon (from the Winter 2015 edition of Edible Rhody), we zeroed in on the texture of the mushrooms: roasting adds a richness to their delicate nature, calling for a medium-bodied wine. We also wanted to complement the dish’s other ingredients and aromatics: tomatoes and tarragon. And for this we turned to Italy for a white and a red that work well with acid and herbs.
2014 Cantine Colosi, Nero d’Avola, Sicily There’s a supple cherry fruitiness in this medium-bodied bottle that is a lovely balance to the oyster mushroom’s delicate earthiness, and its menthol finish is just delicious with the dish’s tarragon notes. The nero d’avola grape – the superstar of Sicily – is a natural match for tomatoes.
2013 Argillae Orvieto, Umbria This blend is a beautiful example of the savory white wines Italy is known for. It has floral and tropical notes that add a brightness to the roasted dish, but it is its savory, almond notes that we prize with the mushroom’s earthy flavor and the warm licorice aromas from the tarragon.
ROASTED BLUE OYSTER MUSHROOMS WITH GRAPE TOMATOES AND FRESH HERBS
Co-owner Bob DiPietro, RI Mushroom Co., South Kingstown
Just about any type of fresh herbs can be used in this recipe—just be careful they don’t overwhelm the dish. Use less of stronger herbs like rosemary or sage than you would basil or tarragon. You can also substitute different mushrooms or opt for a mix. (Total cooking time may vary.) Bottles’ Note: we like to use tarragon in this dish, and think it’s sublime served over pasta.
¾–1 pound (5–6 cups) blue oyster mushrooms
1 cup (½ pint) grape tomatoes, washed and halved
2–3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1–2 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar*
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons mix of chopped fresh tarragon, thyme or Italian flat leaf parsley, divided
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or brush with olive oil.
Trim off woody stems of the mushrooms and reserve for another use (a terrific addition to homemade stock). Shred the remaining mushrooms lengthwise into a large bowl.
Add tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, garlic and 1 tablespoon herbs. Toss well.
Arrange the mixture in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through to ensure even browning.
Remove from oven, add remaining herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste. (I always add salt at the very end whenever cooking mushrooms, otherwise they will exude their natural juices.)
May be served as a side dish, tossed with pasta or as a topping for steak or burgers. Serves 4.
* Instead of vinegar you can use pickle brine. I highly recommend the pickle brines from Rhode Island’s own Fox Point Pickling Co.
Cheers and Bon Appetit!
Looking for the perfect cocktail to make this season?
Here are 3 tasty recipes that you and your guests will love for the fall, Thanksgiving, and beyond.
This whiskey is dry-hopped like a beer! Woah. It makes for an idea tonic for a beer lover.
2 oz Hop Flavored Whiskey
5 oz Tonic Water
Serve whiskey and tonic water over ice. Stir & garnish with lemon wedge.
Sons of Liberty’s Pumpkin Spice Whiskey has won best flavored whiskey in the world. Now that’s a Manhattan.
2 oz Pumpkin Spice Whiskey
1 oz Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Stir ingredients in mixing glass with ice. Strain into chilled glass. Garnish with cherry.
No comment necessary.
2 oz Loyal 9 Dark Chocolate Vanilla Vodka
1 oz coffee liqueur
1 oz heavy cream or half-and-half, lightly whipped
Dust with grated nutmeg
Shake vodka and coffee liqueur with ice. Strain into ice-filled glass. Float lightly whipped cream on top of drink. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
It was a warm, early Autumn day a few years back, and some of the staff at Bottles were on their way to Peacedale. We had been speaking with Mike Repucci, founder of the fledgling Sons of Liberty distillery, and he had invited us down to fire up the still and make some whiskey. How could we say no?
Mike explained the Sons of Liberty philosophy to us. If all whiskey starts as beer (true), then why not make great beer and turn it into fantastic single malt whiskey? As he spoke, he let us taste the creamy, cocoa-laced flavors of the raw spirit coming out of the still, and we were hooked.
Mike has continued to innovate since those early days, and has produced an authentic line of Whiskeys, Vodkas, & Gin that have received accolades from all around the globe. We’re so proud to have this kind of home-grown spirit here in Rhode Island, and we’re excited to share Sons of Liberty with you.
– Liam Maloney
The first Sons of Liberty spirit we tasted on that autumn morning. It starts life as a creamy & decadent chocolate stout, and you can taste it in the finished product. Look for light notes of vanilla and caramel, complemented by toasty spice flavors from American & French oak. This is a Scotch drinker’s whiskey.
A Bourbon drinker’s whiskey, Battle Cry starts off as a Belgian ale. Utilizing both rye and honey malts, to achieve a balance of dry spiciness & sweet grain flavors, Battle Cry is aged in new American oak before bottling. They also use a strain of Trappist ale yeast to ferment, which adds notes of dark fruits and anise to the dry finish.
Brewers have long used a method called ‘dry-hopping’ to add aroma and flavor to their beers. The same method is used here, when Sons of Liberty distills an IPA and ages the finished spirit in oak with whole flower Citra & Sorachi Ace hops. Herbal & aromatic when young (and the perfect choice for a whiskey & tonic), it mellows with age, becoming more minty & oaky. A whiskey for the cocktail enthusiast, that is as good in a gin cocktail as it is in a whiskey-based one.
When you think about it, what would make more sense than turning a warming, spice-laced pumpkin beer into whiskey? This is a craft beer & spirit drinker’s whiskey, as the roasted flavors of pumpkin, clove, & allspice are subtle, and secondary to the flavors of the whiskey. Sons of Liberty uses tons of locally grown pumpkins each year, scooping & roasting them all by hand, and carefully aging the finish whiskey on the pumpkin & spice until just the right amount of flavor is achieved. This is a true New England original that we can all be proud of.
Loyal 9 is exceptionally smooth vodka, made from corn, and distilled 99 times to achieve a sterling clarity. You’ll often find it in our home bars, where we like it on the rocks with a splash of bitters, or in any number of cocktails.
Sons of Liberty doesn’t do anything if they’re not going to do it right. So when they say mint & cucumber, they mean it. The base spirit of Loyal 9 is blended with subtle, cooling cucumber, and a fresh blast of mint. It’s very refreshing in a vodka tonic, or when blended with lemon juice & simple syrup.
Rather than being a fudgy, milk chocolate kind of vodka, Sons of Liberty continues their style of reserved, appropriately flavored spirits with this expression. Flavors of dry cocoa and a strong undercurrent of real vanilla beans make this vodka the perfect choice for chocolate martinis and white russians.
True Born is a new staff favorite here at Bottles. Sons of Liberty starts by making truly excellent Belgian Wheat ale, brewed with lemongrass & coriander. It’s a beer that could stand on its own as is. When distilled, however, and seasoned with a touch of juniper, citrus, & other botanicals, it completely shines in the glass. We like to shake it on ice & strain it into a chilled cocktail glass, where the lemony flavors really shine. It also makes a memorable Negroni, and a very refreshing gin & tonic.
At the end of summer, there is a sudden and abrupt change in season, at least in the beer world.
Though we may not be ready for it, we are inundated with mountains of pumpkin, harvest, and fest beers, even though it’s still warm outside. Each year, the familiar arrivals are joined by a growing roster of newbies, and it can be easy to overlook some unfamiliar gems.
So here are some of our favorites for your perusal. We hope that, when you’re ready, you’ll be able to find a new favorite from the mix. Cheers! – Liam, Bottles Beer Manager
1. Grey Sail Autumn Winds
What’s better than Grey Sail’s award winning Captain’s Daughter? A Grey Sail beer you can actually find! This rich & bready brew is a great way to usher in another New England fall, especially with the sausages you barbecue before packing up the grill for another season.
2. Mayflower Autumn Wheat
Mayflower’s perennial favorite among the Bottles’ staff. A dark wheat ale, it has the richness & complexity of a robust ale, but with the lightness of a wheat beer. It’s the perfect brew for those in-between days, when it’s not quite summer & not quite fall yet.
3. Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen
When in doubt, go for a classic. Ayinger makes a benchmark Oktoberfest beer. Deep amber in color, with a crisp, clean, & refreshing maltiness. Drink like a German!
4. Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale
Smutty pumpkin makes the list because it’s one of the driest, purest pumpkin beers out there. It tastes like a real beer, with just a smattering of spice & toasty pumpkin. With a dry, lightly hoppy finish, it accentuates the best flavors of the season without a cloying finish.
5. Two Roads Roadsmary’s Baby
On the other end of the pumpkin spectrum is this surprisingly quaffable rum barrel-aged beast of a beer. We think everything Two Roads makes is liquid gold, and this beer is no exception, striking a very tasty balance of spice, oak, & malt.
Not ready for summer to be over? Can’t find your favorite summer ale in midst of the pumpkin conflagration? Try one of our favorite Saisons as an alternative to the autumnal madness. Allagash Saison is available year round, and tastes like sunshine in a glass. Cheers!
With the fall High Holidays coming up, you’re most likely looking for new and exciting Kosher wines, in addition to the already extensive selection at Bottles.
This year, a must-try is this trio of delicious wines from the Lazio region of Italy (the area around Rome). They’ll surprise you with their quality and price!
Really, these wines fall into the category of ‘great wines that just happen to be Kosher’.
Victor Chardonnay – Not a big oak/butter bomb, like from California, but much more subtle and true to the flavors of Chardonnay: ripe red apple and pear. A dry white that would be great with appetizers and lighter first courses.
Victor Merlot – This has everything that is great about Merlot: soft and smooth without any sharpness or bite and big delicious flavors of dark plums and cherries. Great as a party wine as it doesn’t need food to be enjoyed, but would love to paired with roast lamb or chicken.
Victor Cabernet Sauvignon – A great example of Cabernet, with big flavors of black currants and blackberries with plenty of stuffing to stand up to the most decadent of Holiday meals.
The best part of these wines is that they’re only $9.99 each – one of the best values in the store!
Shop one of the best selection of Kosher wines in the area at Bottles. Plus, these qualify for the Bottles case discounting (6% off 6 bottles, 12% off 12, 15% off 18 or more).
Happy Holidays and we hope to see you in the shop!
– Eric Taylor, Bottles General Manager
Have you ever had trouble deciding which rosé wine to get when shopping at a wine store?
Well, to help you out, we’ve created this handy infographic on rosé wine colors, pairings, and flavors. Looking at the color of a rosé tells you a lot about its general flavors and potential food pairings.
Most of the rosés we have on our shelves are dry, and they’re definitely not the sweet blush or white zinfandel wines you might be thinking of. Learn more about the particulars on rosé wine in our video.
The color of rosé wine ranges from a light salmon pink, all the way to a deeper ruby-pink tone. Actually made of the same grapes used in red wines, the longer a wine sits on its skins, the darker it is, and the richer and fuller it tastes.
Stop by Bottles for the best selection of rosé wines in town!
Champagne brunch? Why not! If you’re a maple syrup fan, the beginning of spring also signals the start of maple sugaring season. It’s also the perfect excuse to have a brunch party featuring Rhode Island maple syrup drizzled over your favorite pancakes, waffles, or french toast. Make it a celebration and serve delicious bubbly or some fresh juice mimosas to complete the party! We’ve selected a great sparkling wine (ok, so technically not Champagne, but a Spanish Cava) to balance all that sweet, maple syrup goodness.
Bucket Brewery is one of Rhode Island’s newest craft breweries. Watch Liam’s visit to their new Pawtucket brewery, learn how they got started and what beers they’re currently brewing. You’ll also be happy to find Bucket Brewery Growlers in our beer coolers!
Tastings Saturdays 10-5
Tours Saturdays 2, 3, and 4