Porto, or “port” as it is known in English, is made in the Douro Valley of northern Portugal. There are many grapes port-makers are allowed to use, but the most common are Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo), Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cão, Touriga Francesca and Touriga Nacional.
Port was a byproduct of the ongoing wars between France and England. Without wines from France, the English were forced to look elsewhere to satisfy demand. Portugal provided a good alternative, but the long boat trip from Portugal often resulted in spoiled wine. To combat spoilage, winemakers began adding high-alcohol aguardente to their wines to stop fermentation, leaving a more sturdy, higher alcohol wine with some residual sugar. These new fortified wines could make the trip no problem! Continue Reading »
Sherry (“Xerez” in Spanish) is made in the region of the same name on the southern tip of Spain near Gibraltar. El Maestro Sierra is a small Sherry house, founded in 1832 by a master barrel-maker named Jose Antonio Sierra.
Nikolaihof makes stunning Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings but now is the time for a taste of their heavenly hollerblüten or elderflower syrup.
We just received in a shipment from Dammann Frères and asked Julia to share her top five picks with us. A lot of difficult decision-making was involved.
This week we’re highlighting one of our favorite French liqueurs, the inky black currant flavored Crème de Cassis de Dijon. These sweet little bottles of crème de cassis are made in Burgundy by Briottet, a company run by the Briottet family in the town of Dijon since 1836.
I recently visited Barrington Coffee at their roastery in Lee, MA, in the heart of the Berkshires. Roastmaster Brian Heck, along with fellow coffee alchemist Paul, guided me through Barrington’s process of coaxing the delicate aromas and fine flavors out of their unroasted, green coffee beans.