Tag Archives: white wine

Learn About Chardonnay – Video Guide

Learn about chardonnay wines

Chardonnay is also one of the most widely planted grape varietals in the world. It is also a wine with a wide range of flavors, aromas, and styles. Eric Taylor, Bottles manager and wine expert, talks about the range of Chardonnays out there, from warm climate to cool climate Chardonnays and oaked to un-oaked Chardonnay. Watch the video below to learn more and to find out Eric’s favorites available in the store.

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Fiddleheads: The Most Highly Sought-After Spring Vegetable

Fiddleheads wine pairing

It is officially Spring! What better way to celebrate than with Fiddleheads, a vegetable that is only harvested for about two weeks. Fiddleheads have a flavor profile similar to asparagus and spinach, and we suggest pairing these short lived vegetables with a light, dry, and refreshing wine, Grüner Veltliner.


Named fiddleheads because they resemble the scroll of a stringed instrument, they are the furled fronds of a young fern. Though wild and technically a fern, they are picked young for use as a vegetable. A regional delicacy in New England, Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes, fiddleheads are rich in iron and potassium with antioxidant properties. Fiddlehead patches are found in forests along the flood plains of rivers, and their locations are a closely guarded secret because of their limited harvest.

– Check out Farm Fresh for where to get these vegetables during the two weeks they are harvested.

– Fiddleheads in Rhode Island are in season from mid-April to mid-May.

– For some more information on Fiddlehead Ferns and other Edible plants in New England check out Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens

Durnberg Gruner Veltliner

Dürnberg L&T Grüner Veltliner

Located in the heart of the Austrian wine quarter (Weinviertel), the ancient wine village of Falkenstein is home to the Weingut Durnberg and their L&T Grüner Veltliner. Weingut Durnberg is at the forefront of a “new Weinviertel style,” with an emphasis on freshness and cool acidity. Winemaker Christoph Körner knows how to bring out the beautiful natural spiciness of the vines in the wine with a clear power of fruit and attractive harmony. Light and dry, this Grüner Veltliner is the perfect wine to pair with Fiddleheads. Its refreshing and easy to drink palate of grapefruit and green apple balances well with the fresh, grassy taste of the vegetables. Grüner Veltliner also pairs very well with Asparagus and other bitter vegetables.

Lemon Risotto with Asparagus and Fiddlehead Ferns

Servings: 4 to 6
Source: The Kitchn

1½ cups fiddlehead ferns
1½ cups asparagus tips
3 tbsp butter
1½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, no dark green parts, diced
2 scallions, white parts only, minced
1 clove garlic minced
2 cups arborio or risotto rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
approximately 5½ cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Method of Preparation:
1. Prep the vegetables, ready a large bowl of ice water and bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil.

2. Wash the fiddlehead ferns thoroughly and then rub them with a kitchen towel to remove any of the brown paper-like chaff. Cut off all brown tips and blemishes and then rinse again.

3. Blanch both the asparagus and fiddlehead ferns for about 2 minutes by placing them in the boiling water and then once they are bright green, transfer them to the ice water to stop them from cooking.

4. Heat the broth to a simmer and then cover and keep warm over medium-low heat.

5. Heat the oil and 1½ tbsp of butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the diced leeks, scallions and garlic and sauté about 5 minutes, until almost translucent.

6. Add rice to the pot and stir continuously until the grains are translucent at the edges but opaque in the center.

7. Add the wine, and stir until it is almost completely absorbed.

8. Add the warm stock cup by cup, stirring until the rice has absorbed nearly each cup before adding the next cup.

9. When the rice is almost done, about 15 minutes, stir in the blanched and drained vegetables and the lemon zest. Stir in the last 1/2 cup of stock, cheese and remaining butter.

10. Serve immediately.

*Fiddlehead ferns have a toxin that can cause stomach distress when eaten raw. The health department recommends cooking them for 10 to 15 minutes you may wish to add the fiddleheads to the risotto earlier than the asparagus to give it some extra cooking time.

Kimberly Vroegindewey

Our Top 9 Spring Wines

Top Spring Wines

For us, spring is the real beginning of the year.  So many exciting wines start to arrive, the most notable being rosé from all over the world. When thinking about springtime foods, they mirror the season very well – fresh, light and with vibrant flavors and colors.  To make a comparison, we think of Grüner Veltliner, Albariño and Cabernet Franc to be the Ramps, Fiddlehead Ferns and Asparagus of the wine world.



Spring Wines

Look for our in-store display of spring wines, hand-selected to be perfect with almost any fresh and vibrantly flavored springtime dish.

Braised Lamb Shanks recipe // Wine Pairing Ideas

Stout-Braised Lamb Recipe >

2012 Château D’Oupia ‘Les Hérétiques’, Languedoc, France, $11.99 
2010 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône, Rhone Valley, France, $14.99
2009 Frederic Mabileau ‘Les Rouilleres’, Loire Valley, France, $17.99

Roasted Chicken Wine Pairing ideas

Herb-Roasted Spring Chicken Recipe >

2012 Matua Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand, $12.99
2012 William Hill Chardonnay, North Coast, California, $14.99
2012 K Vintners Viognier, Columbia Valley, Washington, $24.99

Garlic, Ramp, and Mushroom Flatbread recipe

Veggie Flatbread Recipe >

2011 Burgáns Albariño, Galicia, Spain, $12.99
2012 Château Les Valentines ‘La Caprice de Clementine’, Provence, France, $14.99
2013 Anton Bauer ‘Gmörk’ Grüner Veltliner, Wagram, Austria, $15.99

Eric Taylor
Bottles General Manager


Welcome Springtime with Local Scallops and a Bottle of Muscadet

Scallop and Wine Pairing

Winter is coming to an end and Spring is just around the corner. What better way to transition to the next season than with seared, fresh Sea Scallops gathered from Narragansett Bay? To enhance the mild flavor of the scallops, we recommend a bottle of Muscadet, a dry, bright, and minerally white wine. Down with the reds! Bring on the whites and rosés!

Scallops and Wine Pairing 

Sea Scallops

Found in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean, sea scallops are harvested anywhere from Newfoundland down to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Generally shiny and creamy white in color, scallops have a sweet, rich taste that is mild or briny. Don’t worry about a slight orange or pinkish tint when raw; it’s natural and won’t affect the flavor. High quality scallops have an ivory translucence to them and should keep their oval shaped structure.

  • The Local Catch provides fresh, available seafood at the Wintertime Farmers Market. Sea Scallops are there now!
  • For a list of wholesalers and local seafood farms check out this list at Farm Fresh.
  • For some of the best scallop recipes in New England, interviews from Nantucket scallop fishermen, shuckers, world-renowned chefs and history check out Scallops: A New England Coastal Cookbook.

Muscadet Wine

Domaine de la Pepière
Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur Lie

Located in the far western portion of the Loire Valley, in France, wine grower Marc Ollivier makes some of the top Muscadets from the AOC Muscadet Sevre et Maine appellation. Hand-picked by Ollivier himself, this Muscadet is unique because of the use of natural yeasts. Taking longer to ferment, the wine is bottled later, but it is well worth it.

The Muscadet vines are grown in terroir that is thick with granite stones and debris, giving the wines a particularly lemon-tinged, mineral edge that makes it perfect for seafood. His Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur Lie has beautiful, bright and energetic aromatics that are fruit forward and floral. The palate displays similar characteristics, with lots of pleasing texture and substance.

This Muscadet is a fantastic complement to this simple seared scallop recipe that only takes 10 minutes to prepare. We recommend enjoying this pairing on your veranda on a fresh spring day.

Sea Scallops Recipe

Sautéed Scallops with Garlic & Parsley 

1 lb Sea Scallops
2-3 tsp grapeseed oil or olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
A handful of Parsley, chopped
1 tsp unsalted butter
Fresh ground pepper
Juice from half a lemon
Sea Salt

Method of Preparation
1. In a bowl gently toss the scallops with the oil, garlic and parsley. For increased flavor, store in the refrigerator for some minutes before cooking.
2. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a sauté pan.
3. Once the butter starts to bubble, add the scallops, season with ground pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
4. Very carefully, turn over the scallops. After about 1 minute squeeze the lemon juice over top and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Once they have become opaque, stop cooking them!
5. Serve over salad greens and sprinkle with sea salt. Yields 4 servings. *Recipe by Savoring the Thyme


Looking for other spring food and wine pairings? Try Asparagus with Grüner Veltliner or Arugula with Sauvignon Blanc.

by Kim Vroegindewey

A Guide to Choosing Thanksgiving Wines

Hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner is a big deal and picking the wines to be served can be a nerve-racking challenge. To take some of the difficulty out of it, we’ve come up with this handy guide to help navigate the choppy seas of choosing wine for Turkey Day.
  • Serve wines that you like. Thanksgiving Dinner isn’t the best time to serve wines that you’re not familiar with. We recommend serving wines or at least varietals that are tried and true. For example, though Beaujolais and Gewürztraminer are widely considered to be perfect Thanksgiving pairings, it’s best not to serve them unless you know that you and your guests will like them. Also, if there’s wine left over from your dinner, you want to make sure that you like the wines because you’ll be the one drinking them the days following your Feast. Remember: if you’re a rewards member, we can look in your purchase history and tell you exactly when and what that bottle of wine was that you loved.
Every day I’m hustlin’!
  • Do some research a few weeks before your dinner. So it’s been decided that you’re hosting – Great! Hopefully you’ve been given a few weeks notice so you have some time to try out potential wines for your Thanksgiving Dinner. You will see special orange tags all around the store with wines that we have chosen especially for the big dinner and we have a giant wine display that features wines that we feel are perfect pairings for Thanksgiving. Lastly, if you have any questions, ask any of us, we are really good at making wine and food pairing recommendations.
  • How much wine will you need? The short answer is more than you think. Let’s break it down: One bottle = four glasses — Each guest will have at least two glasses of wine (even if there will be cocktails and/or beer available), so at a bare minimum you will need one bottle for every two people attending. So for example, if you’re having 10 people over you’ll need 5 bottles of wine. Remember, this is a feast and while Aunt Mary insists that she’ll only have one glass, chances are high that this is the one time of the year that she’ll get crazy and have two.
  • How many different wines should you get? At the bare minimum two: one white and one red. However, there is a world of wine out there and this is the time to enjoy all of your favorites. We are big fans of starting with Sparkling, even an inexpensive one is great to share while you’re watching the game, standing around the kitchen or with pre-dinner snacks. When you finally sit down to dinner, we like recommend having a couple of different styles of whites and reds open – wines that are of contrasting styles, for example a light Pinot Grigio and a rich Chardonnay or an elegant Pinot Noir and a robust Rhone.
  • What pairs with Turkey? The best answer is “What ever you like to drink!” We think Turkey is pretty easy to pair wine with because the flavors are not super strong or pronounced. However, pressed to choose wines to pair with just Turkey, we’d recommend (in no particular order): Beaujolais Nouveau, White Burgundies, Pinot Noir from Oregon, Gewürztraminer, Red Rhones (Cote du Rhone, Chateauneuf du Pape, etc.)
Feel free to visit us, call, or email us for help with wine for Thanksgiving. We’re all here to help!
General Manager
Bottles Fine Wine, 141 Pitman Street, Providence, RI
(401) 372-2030


Cast Iron Pork Chops & Apples Recipe with a White Wine Pairing

Pork Chop & Apples Recipe and Food & Wine Pairing
It’s our favorite time year again…apple season!!! When you think of autumn in New England, one of the classic activities that should top your list is apple picking. Juicy, sweet, and tart, these fruits are a major staple and form of income for many Rhode Island farms during the fall. Not only does an apple a day keep the doctor away, but there are a delightful variety of options when it comes to enjoying them. We asked Matt Jennings of Farmstead in Providence for his favorite apple recipe, and so he sent us this delicious Cast Iron Pork Chops with Apples recipe.
Ferraton Pere & Fils Cotes du Rhone Samores White


The Côtes du Rhône appellation is in the eastern region of France in the Rhone Valley. Though you might be more familiar with red Côtes du Rhône wines, the region does produce some stunning white wines.
Our favorite is Ferraton Père & Fils Samorëns Côtes du Rhône White, a full bodied, mellow and balanced wine. Made of 60% White Grenache & 40% Clairette, we just love the aromas of white flowers and white fruit. Crisp, full-bodied, and fruity, this wine balances the saltiness of the back, the tartness of the apples, and overall richness of this Cast Iron Pork Chops with Apples recipe.
Cast Iron Pork Chops with Apples
Serves 6
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 5 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 6 pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup Calvados or other apple-flavored brandy
  • 1 1/4 cups apple cider, preferably fresh
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tart, firm apples (such as Pink Lady or Honeycrisp), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Chopped fresh chives
  • Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°. Heat oil in a large heavy cast iron pan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, until browned and crisp, 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
  • Increase heat to medium-high. Add butter to pot with drippings. Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. Working in batches if needed, cook pork shoulder, reducing heat as needed to prevent overbrowning, until brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Transfer pork shoulder to a plate.
  • Add shallots to pot and cook, stirring often, until shallots begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat; add Calvados and stir, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Return to heat and simmer for 1 minute. Add apple cider and 2 tablespoons vinegar. Bring to a simmer, then return pork shoulder to pot, placing in a single layer on bottom of pot (the meat should not be completely covered).
  • Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise pork shoulder, turning after 1 hour, until fork-tender, about 2 hours. Stir in reserved bacon. DO AHEAD: Bacon and pork shoulder can be cooked 2 days ahead. Let cool in braising liquid, uncovered. Chill, uncovered, until cold; cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.
  • Using tongs, transfer pork to a deep platter. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Place pot over medium heat and bring liquid to a simmer. Add apples and cook until apples are just tender and sauce is slightly reduced, 8-10 minutes.
  • Stir Dijon mustard into sauce; season with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired. Pour sauce with apples over pork on platter. Sprinkle with chives.

“Chef & owner of Farmstead, Matt Jennings is a skilled butcher, forager, preserver & cooker of all things delicious. He is a two-time finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Northeast” award, is named one of America’s “Most Sustainable Chefs” and was selected as one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Big thinkers, changing the way Americans eat.” Together with his wife, the Jennings’ influence on regional New England cuisine is reflected in the menus, care of the dishes & support of local growers.” www.farmstead.com

Stop by Farmstead in Providence for
fresh, seasonal, and handmade foods.

Visit Bottles Fine Wine to get this wine.
Browse more food & wine pairing ideas >

Fava Beans Pair with Chablis (Chianti if you want, too…)

Have you eaten fresh fava beans recently? No? Well, you are missing out on a wonderfully sweet, tender, and versatile legume. Only the perfect bottle of wine can make a fava bean dish even better. In this case, we’re pairing Chablis with this newly in-season vegetable. Discover more food and wine pairings on our seasonal recipes page.

In Season Now: Fava Beans
June – September

While common sense tells us to avoid the culinary recommendations of cannibals, fava beans are actually a great summer ingredient! Fresh, earthy, creamy in texture, and sweet like peas, you can make a delicious risotto, sauce, or pilaf with fava beans. Split the pod, remove the beans, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes, and cool immediately in an ice bath. Drain, and now they’re ready for a killer salad. A simple way to serve fava beans is tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, salted to taste, and topped with pecorino cheese.

Wine Pairing

Chablis from Chablis, France are some of the best Chardonnays there are. The term ‘Chablis’ has been  misused to refer to generic white wine, which is not what we’re talking about in this case. You should give real Chablis a try! Dry, steely, fruity, and super refreshing, Chablis is not your grandma’s buttery Chardonnay. Enjoyed with your favorite fava bean dish!

Or, just grab a bottle of nice Chianti…

Recommended Wine:
  • Domaine d’Elise Chablis is a white burgundy (100% Chardonnay grapes).
  • Wine has been made in the village of Chablis in Burgundy, France since the ninth century!
  • The limestone soils of Chablis give this wine a great minerality that matches the flavor of fava beans.

Wine Pairings for Striped Bass Season in Rhode Island

food and wine pairing idea striped bass albarino

It’s striper season in Rhode Island! You might have read our previous posts featuring food and wine pairings as they come into season in little Rhody. This week, we’re all about this mouth-watering combination: Striped Bass paired with Albariño, a white wine from Spain.

In Season Now
June – September

Striped Bass is a classic Ocean State food, and the Rhode Island state fish! Now is the season for catching your striper in the Narragansett Bay. Not a fisherman, or just unlucky? Pick up a few filets from local  fishermen such as The Local Catch at your farmer’s market. The Local Catch also has a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) program, sign up today!

Mild and sweet, light and flaky, Striped Bass tastes great cooked right on the grill, or pan-seared (in filet form!). Just add your favorite fresh herbs, lemon, olive oil or butter, and season to taste for the perfect Rhody summertime dish.

Read Edible Rhody Magazine’s simple Grilled Striped Bass recipe or Striped Bass with Tomato Basil Relish and Sweet Corn Purée recipe.

Wine Pairing

Albariño is a native grape of the Ríaz Baixas (pronounced “ree-ass by-shuss”) region on the Galician Coast of Spain. White wines from this region are delicate, lively, and aromatic. Ríaz Baixas is also a region with an ancient, pre-Columbian history of fishing and seafood. If it grows together, it goes together, so enjoy this fantastic wine with striped bass this summer!

Recommended Wine: Santiago Ruiz

Photo: Santiago Ruiz
  • History of the label: Santiago Ruiz’s daughter, Isabel, was celebrating her wedding at the winery house, and drew a little map to help guests find their way. Santiago saw it, added his handwritten text, and chose it to be the label for his wine.
  • Upon retiring at the age of 70, Santiago Ruiz dedicated himself to his true vocation and followed in the winemaking tradition of his ancestors. His maternal grandfather was one of the first to produce and bottle wines in Galicia in 1898.
  • Read more about Santiago Ruiz at www.bodegasantiagoruiz.com
Visit our store to get this wine

Radishes & Wine: Seasonal Rhode Island Food Pairings

food wine pairing radish white wine "pinot gris"

Radishes are here in Rhode Island! As part of our series of blog posts featuring in-season foods paired with wine, this week we’re having Foris Pinot Gris with farm-fresh radishes. For more pairing ideas, visit our seasonal recipe page.

The other week, Darius Salko invited Nick, the Bottles Wine Director, to Allens Farms and The March Hare in nearby Westport, MA. Darius showed us around and gave us super-fresh greens to enjoy. Take a look at photos from our visit, here!

  • Allens Farms grows certified organic herbs, greens, vegetables and flowers in nearby Westport.

In Season Now
May – Mid-December

Radishes are a spicy root vegetable that grows best either in spring or early fall. Whether you prefer French Breakfast radishes or the familiar Cherry Belle radish (or both!), radishes are easy-to-grow and can be enjoyed fresh or cooked. Make an easy appetizer with a baguette, soft cheese, and chives, serve  them with artisanal butter and sea salt, or even braise them with shallots. A great way to enjoy the local harvest!

Wine Pairing

Pinot Gris is medium bodied white wine with notes of pears, apples, and stone fruit. Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris happen to be the same grape, but the former is grown in the northeastern region of Italy, and is generally paler and lighter in style. Foris Pinot Gris is delicious example of Pinot Gris from Oregon, with aromas of melon, pear, citrus blosson, and a hint of vanilla. A great summertime wine!

Recommended Wine: Foris Pinot Gris

  • Foris is a family owned and operated vineyard in southern Oregon’s remote Rogue Valley.
  • Pinot Gris grows well in cooler climates such as Oregon, Washington, Alsace, and Northern Italy.
  • Read more about Foris Pinot Gris at www.foriswine.com
Visit our store to get this wine

Pairing Seasonal Rhode Island Foods with Wine: Arugula & Sauvignon Blanc

arugula "sauvignon blanc" food wine pairing idea

We love pairing farm-fresh foods with wines, as the ingredient comes into season here in Rhode Island. The other week we had asparagus and Grüner Veltliner (so good!), and this week we’re enjoying arugula with Sauvignon Blanc.

Nick, the Bottles Wine Director, was invited to Allens Farm and The March Hare, to meet with Darius Salko. Darius gave us a fun-filled tour of the Westport, MA farm, and we were lucky enough to taste super-fresh pea greens, mustard leaves, and more. Read this special post devoted to our visit to the farm!

  • Allens Farm grows certified organic herbs, greens, vegetables and flowers in nearby Westport.

In Season Now
May – November

Arugula is a flavor-packed leafy green that is comes into season in Rhode Island during spring. Its spicy, peppery qualities make it a tasty addition or main component in salads, or even tossed with warm pasta, crispy pancetta, cream, and parmesan! Our favorite arugula salad is with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.

Wine Pairing

Sauvignon Blanc is crisp, tart, mineral-driven, zippy, and herbaceous. Because Babich Sauvignon Blanc is from New Zealand, it has a bright, citrus component that soothes the pepper of the arugula. Sauvignon Blanc is ideal summer wine; serve it nice and chilled!

Recommended Wine: Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

  • New Zealand winemaking began in the late 1800s with Croatian immigrants.
  • New Zealand wineries like Babich began making a name for themselves in the 1980s with Sauvignon Blanc.
  • More about Babich Sauvignon Blanc at www.babichwines.co.nz
  • Learn about New Zealand wine at this great website: www.nzwine.com
Watch Nick’s video about New Zealand wine!
Visit our store to get this wine