In any boutique wine shop, including the Formaggio Wine Corner, our shop-within-a-shop, you will frequently hear the sales staff speak of “family-owned” vineyards. While this term serves most obviously as a counterpoint to “corporate” viticulture and industrial-scale wine making, the implication is also one of tradition, continuity, and the repeated transmission of know-how from one Continue Reading »
The cave complex at Areni, Armenia houses the world’s oldest known winery. ARENI, ARMENIA. As caves go it isn’t the sort to attract attention. There are no souvenir shops on the approach and no dramatic lighting within intended to highlight the kind of fantastic calcified structures that are so beloved of spelunker-wannabe tourists. There is Continue Reading »
There’s something out there called the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory. It’s run by the University of Pennsylvania Museum and one of the things that keeps its inmates occupied is the examination of some of the oldest containers known for signs they once may have held alcoholic beverages. The idea is to determine when and where controlled fermentations Continue Reading »
Previously, the Cambridge Formaggio Kitchen wine department took care to identify the wines on its shelves that were made from organically or biodynamically farmed grapes and with no — or minimal — applications of sulfur. Remember those little ladybug icons? It was a reasonable step to take, since a significant subset of our clientele expresses a Continue Reading »
There are a just handful of really hot topics in the world of wine right now and one of them concerns an approach to growing grapes that’s known as biodynamics. One way to describe it is as a set of farming practices that takes organic agriculture to another level and adds a metaphysical twist. But what does Continue Reading »
“What kind of wine is this?” is a question heard frequently in the Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge wine corner. Wine is categorized and merchandised so many different ways today that it’s not surprising that consumers are confused by our attempts to simplify it. One way to answer the question is to just look at how shelves in Continue Reading »
This week we’re featuring one of our new favorite wines made by our friend Johannes Leitz in Germany’s Rheingau region. You may already be familiar with Leitz’s delicious Dragonstone Riesling or his perky Eins Zwei Dry, both bright, refreshing, and easy to love. We’ve recently started carrying Leitz’s lovely Rheingau Spätburgunder Weissherbst Sekt Brut. Simply Continue Reading »
The hip, cozy watering hole known as Backbar occupies a back room of Journeyman restaurant in Somerville’s Union Square. With its usual team of cocktail jockeys off at a trade event a couple of years ago, then GM Meg Grady-Troia filled the void with a few somms-for-a-day. I was pleased to be asked in. My topic: Continue Reading »
Vieilles vignes is a phrase you frequently see on French wine labels. These are somewhat mysterious words since, though it’s obvious they refer to vines of some advanced age (it literally means old vines), it isn’t immediately clear (a) how old ‘old’ is and (b) why we should care. The conventional wisdom has it that Continue Reading »
Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Sangiovese. The names of these grapes inspire images of red hues ranging from autumn auburn to vibrant vermilion; tastes of smoke, berries, cherries, and chocolate; textures ranging from tongue gripping to smooth satin. Yet we owe these sensory impressions largely to the skin of these grapes, and the Continue Reading »
Just last week we were lucky enough to host Marina Fogarty, of the Alto Piemontese Vallana Winery, for a wine tasting and primer on her family’s illustrious winemaking history.
With the approach of the holiday dedicated to love and lovers, this wine from the northernmost Beaujolais Cru, Saint-Amour, gets all the attention it deserves!