6/21/16

Domaine Robert Chevillon Bourgogne Rouge 2013


Hard to argue with red Burgundy, especially something imported by Berkeley's finest, Kermit Lynch.  Kermit owns a wine shop and importing business that focuses on natural wines, wines that come from grapes that are raised in a simple, rustic manner, and minimally processed to become wine.  He works with smaller, family producers and his wines focus on terroir.  I highly recommend his book Adventures on the Wine Route. This contrasts sharply with the vast majority of wines which are produced in industrial facilities, from grapes that are produced in larger factories.  There is plenty of manipulation, largely from chemicals and machinery that really obfuscates the terroir of the wine.  

This wine is a red Burgundy made of 100% Pinot Noir.  It is a "village" level, which is not from a named parcel of land.  The producer is Domaine Robert Chevillon.  The winemakers or vignerons are Denis & Bertrand Chevillon and they are based in Nuits-Saint-Georges, Burgundy, France.  The wine is not mindblowing in any sense of the word, but it is excellent.  Compared to a generic Pinot Noir from California that you may have tried before, this has an intensity and depth to the flavors and smells that just can't compare.  2013 vintage was nothing spectacular, although arguably better than 2011 and 2012.  The wine is lighter in color, which is typical of red Burgundy and its opacity is low.  About 30 minutes after opening, the aromas have improved substantially.  The smell is dominated by spices and red fruits, more fruit than spice.  The smell is more mercurial and interesting than a run of the mill wine, continued swirling brings out more and more perfume. The taste is more of the same, more spice than fruit to my novice palette.  The finish is medium length and extremely enjoyable.  

This is a great wine, retail price should be $30-$37 depending on which store you go to!




3/11/16

Worcester, MA Street Art - Caleb Neelon

I was in downtown Worcester for brunch at Armsby Abbey, which is the best brunch in New England for my money.  They serve numerous Hill Farmstead drafts alongside world class other beers and interesting food that is focused on local, high quality ingredients.  As usual there was a bit of a wait, so my wife and I took a stroll down Main St and came upon this mural. Turns out it was put up by Caleb Neelon, a known graffiti artist, based in Cambridge, MA.


Learn more here:

http://www.worcesterma.gov/development/cultural-development/public-art/denholm-building 

3/10/16

WVRST Toronto - Queens West - Visit with Family

As previously chronicled, I had a very tough week of travel a few weeks back.  I was in NYC over the weekend, then went to Minneapolis and Toronto during the week on business.  The flights for each of these trips was delayed, between 5 hours and an hour each.  Talk about bad luck.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their young child recently moved to Toronto and we had been up to visit them just 3 weeks before.  Since I knew I would be arriving early enough to catch a meal we decided to check out WVRST in Queens West.  It was featured on Layover by Anthony Bourdain and well reviewed on Yelp.  Since my sister-in-law had to work that evening, it turned out to be just the boys.


My nephew is quite a handful, but he is cute as a button, and generally a good kid.  He was very interested with the food.  My brother-in-law and I can both eat and drink, and we did a good amount of that.  We each had two sausages, I had elk and a traditional bratwurst, he had a rabbit and german sausage as well.  My nephew had himself a chicken sausage, unfortunately there was a bit of spice to it, which he abhored.  We shared an order of fries cooked in duck fat that were divine.  We both washed that down with 2-3 beers each and had a great time.  I had a Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel and a couple of local IPAs.


The tables are set up communal, beer hall style and the place was packed for a Wednesday night.  We quickly found a table and were fine though.  I highly recommend checking this place out if you are from Toronto or find yourself there with a hankering for sausage and beer.  Americans, take advantage now as the CAD is quite weak versus the USD.  Prost!


Me and him.

3/9/16

Surly Blakkr @ Mill City Tavern, Minneapolis Airport

I was in the midst of flight delay on the way home from Minneapolis and stopped in at the Mill City Tavern in Terminal G.  Really nice restaurant with solid options for food and tons of great local beer.

Blakkr is a Double Black IPA, a style I haven't really seen around.  Black IPAs awfully similar to hoppy porters and generally a style that I quite like.  I wasn't totally sold on a 10% Double Black IPA, but like I said, there was a flight delay, and I wasn't getting home until midnight.  Not to mention that I had been delayed and only arrived in Minneapolis at 2am in advance of an 8am meeting.  And I was staring down the barrel of a board meeting at 8am the next morning, then a flight to Toronto the next evening for another 8am meeting.  A pretty trying week!

I liked the beer quite a bit.


3/8/16

Boston Beer Haul: Trillium Artaic + Others, Night Shift Santilli, Singlecut plus Oysters

Growing up in the suburbs of Boston, the city is what I consider my "home town" and its one of the best culinary city in the country, by all regards.  Two things Boston does really well are beer and oysters.  Trillium Brewery is doing amazing things in Boston's rapidly gentrifying Fort Point neighborhood in the South Boston Seaport.  Very easy access to the financial district and lots of open space are a recipe for surging real estate prices.  Trillium focuses on hoppy beers and they are one of the most coveted breweries on the beer trading forums around.  Artaic is a Double IPA brewed with honey, very clear and transparent in contrast to many of Trillium's other brews.

Trillium recently opened a secondary location in suburban Canton, MA and are now offering limited distribution through the state.  I was in a prominent liquor store south of the city and picked up a couple bottles including their flagship Fort Point Pale Ale and Scaled IPA.  I also grabbed a Singlecut beer that was quite nice, although I can't remember the name of it, nor can I make it out from the picture.  It used NZ hops though and was surprisingly good!  Finally, I grabbed a 4 pack of 16 oz cans from Night Shift Brewery, out of Everett, MA.  Their Santilli IPA is one of the handful of beers they distribute and is a good every day value, although definitely inferior to Trillium or Tree House out of Western Mass.

A visit with my parents meant that I was grabbing a dozen oysters to enjoy with my dad and cracking a beer or two.  These oysters are from Duxbury, MA's Island Creek Oysters.  Lucky to have such easy access.