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Wine Bar @ Central Bottle

15 Feb

A crew from Island Creek Oysters

Wine, something to snack on and a beautiful space make Thursday “Wine Bar” events at Central Bottle a must on your to do list.   What better way to start off your week end than be stopping by Central Bottle, in Cambridge, just a short walk from the Central Square MBTA stop, and share a glass of wine with a friend or meet some new ones?  Last night, Valentine’s in case you missed it, Central Bottle kicked off the lovers holiday with a special treat of “Buck a Shuck” Oysters from Island Creek, and four different wines.

Six and one equals a bit more than a Hamilton

I tried a glass of the Valentina Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Rosato 2009 and six oysters, straight off the boat, so to speak. The wine was clean and fresh with a bit of flower to it, and it complemented the oysters well.   Six oysters and the glass of wine ran me just a bit over a Hamilton, and when you include the lively atmosphere, it comes out to a very good deal.

Lots of folks starting Valentine's Day at Central Bottle

I’d never been to Central Bottle – it’s been open for a year or so – and it was nice to have a moment to look around.   While I was there I ran into partner Nick, and he showed me around the place despite the crowd of folks hanging out.   Nick explained that in addition to wine they also carried beer as well as provisions for a perfect evening.   The space is well stocked with various wines from around the world, and they are slowly moving more American offerings to the shelves as well.

Close to the door, right were you need them

One of the nice features, if you are looking for a quick bottle that isn’t going to empty your pocket, is that they keep a table close to the door stocked with $ 15 and under bottles, which can be handy for last minute purchase.

For the moment it seems Wine Bar is every Thursday (check their web site for specifics) and I’m going to make sure I get a chance to get down there again soon.

Remember, Food is Love!

Cheers,

Justin

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Mise En Place

2 Feb

Glasses of wine on display at Menton prior to opening

A Cocktail being poured in Providence, RI at Hemmingways

I missed my Mise En Place on Monday, so here are two photos for your viewing pleasure.

Remember, Food is Love!

Cheers,

Justin

 

Red, White and Boston

6 Jan

A sample of the evenings selection for us to taste

Whew, what a great event!

I will admit here, as I did to anyone who would listen to me tonight, that I am a neofite when it comes to this blogging about food and wine.  That said, if tonight is any kind of an indication of the world I am dipping my toes into, I can tell you now that I am straight up ready to jump in with two feet!

The wine tasting this evening, coordinated by the talented folks at Red White Boston, was held at the Enormous Room in Central Square, Cambridge.  Easy access by the MBTA put me on the door step this cold night way too early for the start of the event, so I slipped down stairs into the Central Kitchen and had a few oysters from Duxbury before making my way up to the event.  I’ve never been to Central Kitchen, but the wine offerings were nice, and the oysters fresh, so I’m sure I’ll be back there soon.

Once upstairs I was greeted, along with various others, by Cathy Huyghe the founder of 365daysofwine.com, and of Red White Boston.  Cathy encouraged us to put our jackets down and move into – yes – THE enormous room, and share some Gloria Ferrer, Blanc de Noirs, NV, which was just being poured.   The exposed brick walls, and dark muted colors of the room were classic, and there was ample seating, with small glass tables for everyone.

Cathy Huyghe, founder of Red White Boston introducing a wine

The Gloria Ferrer has a light pink hue to it, and was refreshingly light, with a fruity citrus taste.  It was a perfect way to start the evening, a kind of aperitif for our adventure.  By the time we reached the third of six or seven wines we were sampling this evening, the crowed had settled out to a comfortable 30 or so people, and there was an amazing energy in the room.  Although this was my first event like this, it was welcoming, informative, friendly and I not only learned quite a bit, but met some amazing people.

Cathy Huyghe, right, texting and tweeting as glasses stand ready to be filled

One of the “off the list” wines we tasted this evening was from a brand new distributer, Panther Distributing, located in Wilbraham, MA.  Daniel, from Panther, was there with a couple of wines out of Australia, and we were able to try among others the K1 Chardonnay.  I’m not a white wine person for the most part, but this Chardonnay was very nice, not too overpowering, and quite refreshing for me, and I enjoyed it very much.

Cathy Huyghe showing off some other wine

 

Chateau Nozieres, Ambroise de l'Her, 2006 (Malbec, Cahors, France)

One of the surprises for me was the Chateau Nozieres, Ambroise de l’Her Malbec from France.  We normally think of Malbec as a from Argentina, but this is a French Malbec, was tasty and with just the right amount of tannins and spicy fruit flavor, for a Hamilton it is a great wine and one I am sure to purchase soon.

We finished up the evening with a number of other wines … a couple of different Syrah from France, as well as another Malbec, but the one we were building up to was a 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon from Nicolette Christopher in Napa Valley.

Having this wine tonight reminds me of a scene in a movie with Sean Connery, that came out when I was actually living in France.  In The Untouchables, Sean Connery plays an Irish cop in Chicago trying to bring down Al Capone, played by Robert De Niro, and in one scene he is up against one of Capone’s henchmen, and the bad guy turns on Sean Connery with a knife, and Malone, Connery’s character says “Isn’t that just like a wop? Brings a knife to a gun fight.”

The Nicolette Christopher Cabernet was .45 tonight in the midst of a pocket knife convention.

Nicolette Christopher is a small wine maker located in the heart of Napa, California.   The name comes from the wine makers themselves, Nicolette and Christopher, and it is clear from the wine that the small scale, personal attention they give to their product is what makes it outstanding.   It was by far the most expensive wine we tasted this evening, at around a Grant, but well worth it in my book.

Nicolette Christopher, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003

James McGowan

We also got a chance to hear from a local wine maker, James McGowan, who hails from Ayer, MA, and he explained to us a bit about the wine making process, and how he does it right here in the Bay State, but that my friends will be another post for the future.

Thanks again to everyone involved, and in addition to all this wine tasting and wonderfulness, I was also introduced to a number of wine and food bloggers including Lindsay Morriss and Ali Horeanopoulos, from Second Glass, and I encourage you to check out their blogs and see what they are up to in the near future.  There is a lot of good stuff going on our there!

Remember, Food is Love!

Cheers,

Justin