Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

Rhubarb Wine

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

The Press Herald reports that a company called Eighteen Twenty will begin selling a locally produced rhubarb wine later this year.

Pete Dubuc and Amanda O’Brien are out to change that. Co-founders of eighteen twenty, they’ve been experimenting with their unconventional product for a few years now, “bootleg style,” as Dubuc told me, but they’re planning to go live and legal later in 2016. As we eagerly await the first burst of rhubarb growth, one of spring’s first and most welcome signs that a bright, bounteous new food season is upon us, it’s a good time to look at how a wine from this plant comes to be.

Masa Miyake, Natural Wine

Friday, February 19th, 2016

This week’s Portland Phoenix includes an interview with Masa Miyake,

LO: What would you say is your most popular dish on the menu, and what’s your personal favorite?
MM: The hamayaki (which the menu describes as “lobster, crab and scallop over sushi rice with truffle oil and spicy kewpie”) is very popular. I like Sashimi. I’m excited about local fish and [prepping] it. People also really like the daily Bento Box, which is chef’s choice. (The Bento Box consists of “six different small tastes, from sashimi to meat and vegetables,” according to the menu, and it’s served with miso soup.)

and an article about the emerging interest in natural wine in Portland.

“There’s definitely something afoot,” says Peter [Hale]. Though it gets a lot of attention from high-end publications, natural wine is mostly only popular in “tiny pockets within larger markets” like New York City or the Bay Area. That means Portland, “proportionally, is way ahead of the game” with its single dedicated shop, and Maine is even home to a cutting edge producer in Oyster River Winegrowers, based in Warren.

Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Unsure of what wine to serve with your Thanksgiving dinner? Wine writer Joe Appel has it covered. For his weekly article he gathered recommendations from eight local wine experts, learning what they plan to serve their family next week.

Erica Archer, sommelier at Wine Wise, a wine education program featuring wine walks, sails and cruises, and private and corporate events: “The 2008 Mount Langi Ghiran ‘Cliff Edge’ Riesling ($19), from Grampians, Australia, is a gorgeous and developed riesling that is drinking absolutely beautifully right now. It’s loaded with aromatic developed fruits: tropical – mango, pineapple, papaya; citrus – lemon, lime; and ripe orchard fruits – apple, pear, juicy peach. It has this bold minerality that shines through, and zesty acidity that balances out the fruitiness and alcohol. There’s a lot going on in this wine, just as there’s a lot going on on a traditional Thanksgiving plate.

Scott Tyree

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Congratulations to Scott Tyree who recently passed the Theory Exam as part of his efforts to complete his certification as a Master Sommelier. Of the 120 Advanced Sommeliers who took the exam a scant 20 passed this very demanding exam.

Tyree and the others will be in Aspen this May for the final step in the process, the blind tasting and services tests. For the blind tasting candidates will need to successfully identify the “grape varieties, country of origin, district and appellation of origin, and vintages” of 6 different wines within 25 minutes.

There are currently 140 Master Sommeliers in all of North America.

5-star Easy-Bake Oven Pastry Chefs

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

For today’s edition of the Press Herald, columnist Meredith Goad handed out Easy-Bake Ovens to the pastry chefs at Hugo’s, Five Fifty-Five and Fore Street. Chefs Kim Rodgers, Addie Davis and Brant Dadaleares were challenged to create a great dessert using the purple toy from Hasbro instead of their usual professional grade equipment.

“That’s perfect for custard,” Dadaleares said. So the chef made six custards, topped them with some turbinado sugar and torched them. (It took 15 to 20 minutes for each custard to bake.) He chose the three best, and layered them with vanilla rice pudding, caramelized Rice Krispies, candied pecans, port-poached pears and cherries. He topped his Easy-Bake napoleon with sweetened whipped cream.

Dadaleares also made a persimmon pudding with the oven. It worked, he said, “but I liked the flavor combinations of this (the napoleon) a little bit more.”

Today’s Food & Wine section also includes a column by local wine expert Joe Appel on Champagne and sparkling wine.

If you want to drink a truly expressive nonvintage Champagne, one to make your eyes widen and your heart race, you need to work for it. And it will cost you (though not much more than generic big-house Champagne will). Some of the best available in Maine are Gimmonet, Egly-Ouriet, Aubry, Beaudoin, Vilmart & Cie, and Maillart.

Wine Request List for 2014 & MOFGA Field Guide Poetry

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

libby_bookThe Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about a book of poetry by Russell Libby the deceased former director of MOFGA entitled What You Should Know: A Field Guide to Three Sisters Farm,

The poems are about the future of Libby’s land at Three Sisters Farm in Mount Vernon, and the role his family will play in taking care of that land. The underlying theme is mortality. The last in the collection, “Things You Should Know,” begins with the lines: “If I could, I would walk with you long enough that you, too, might find your way about without a map or guide, but I am certain it will take a while to share what I have learned these past three decades, and the time to start is now.”

and columnist Joe Appel shares a wish list for changes he’d like to see in wine consumers, servers and producers,

Drinkers, Again
Hold feet to fire. You ask your grocer where the broccoli came from; you ask your clothier the age of the Bangladeshi child who knit your socks. Wine is a consumable, and ought to be held to the same standards we apply to other aspects of our lives.

Harvest on the Harbor & Portland’s Wine Culture

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an overview of Harvest on the Harbor (HotH website) and some observations on how it could be improved,

Once again, there’s much to love about this year’s Harvest on the Harbor food and wine festival.

There’s also a little to be annoyed about, and some things that make you go hmmmm.

So, before I dive into the delicious details, here’s what I think they get right this year, and areas I think could be improved upon in the future…

and in his column this week Joe Appel calls for Portland to take a step forward in its appreciation, knowledge and love of wine.

There are two plausible reasons for this passivity: chefs, servers and critics don’t know anything, and/or they don’t care. The new program being offered in Portland by American Sommelier, a New York-based wine-education institute that hosts seminars and course series, is a terrific step toward addressing the former problem. The latter challenge has a more complicated but not insurmountable set of solutions, and more on that below.

Joe Appel in Saveur

Saturday, April 20th, 2013


Rosemont manager and Press Herald wine columnist Joe Appel has authored an article for the new issue of Saveur. The article is entitled Urban Grapes, and in it Appel writes about the urban wineries of Vienna that produce field blended wines.

It’s a tradition that dates back at least to Roman times, when grapevines grew together on family farms. Whereas other cities gradually lost vineyards as they urbanized, an 18th-century decree stipulated that Vienna’s crazy-quilt winemaking districts were to remain in perpetuity.

The article isn’t yet available online but you can pick-up a copy of Saveur at Longfellow Books.

For more of Appel’s writing visit his website, Soul of Wine.

Freedom from Wine Censorship

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Joe Appel pleads his case against Maine’s wine importing and distribution system in his column today in the Press Herald.

…why should we change the laws to bring in a Jura Poulsard?

Because it’s beautiful. Because it’s unique. Because it exists. That’s enough.

We don’t deny this country’s residents the right to read, view or listen to the literature and art they desire just because a particular work doesn’t fit some program of maximal business efficiency or satisfy the morals police. We don’t say, “Ah, no need for y’all to read the novels of Roberto Bolano; just read Haruki Murakami or Jonathan Franzen instead.”

Censorship of wine, or disregard for the importance of its diversity, is just as absurd.

Vino Portland

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Near the end of Natalie Ladd’s column in today’s Portland Daily Sun are details on a new wine education and travel program called Vino Portland.

The Down Low: Speaking of wine, be on the lookout for Vino Portland, the brain child of Kevin Profenna-Hutchins…[the] project will be based out of the Merry Table on Wharf Street and will combine education, tastings, pairings, and, of course, travel. The website will be up soon with a detailed calendar of events, but in the meantime, contact Kevin at 400-0030 for more information or to purchase a holiday gift certificate for that special swirlier in your life.

According to the article, Profenna-Hutchins also operates Tennis Italia.

Zev Rovine Natural Wine Tasting

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Wine 24/7 has published tasting notes from a recent private tasting with natural wine expert Zev Rovine at Rosemont.

I recently had the opportunity to taste some exciting, unique and cutting edge wines, alive with character and multiplicity.  These are the Wines of Zev Rovine. Based in Brooklyn, NY but also spending an equal amount of time in Paris, he is committed to representing wines that express a strong sense of place or terroir, created by winemakers who practice a completely hands-on approach in the vineyard, far from any sort of industrialization and with usually very small production/low yields. He represents wines that are produced in France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Argentina, and the US.

Appel in Art of Eating

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

The latest issue of Art of Eating includes an article by Press Herald wine writer and Rosemont store manager, Joe Appel on Kabaj Rebula from Slovenia. Art of Eating is one of the nations leading food journals.

Chef on Thanksgiving, Vegan Conversion, Thanksgiving Wine

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

The Press Herald checked in with 10 Southern Maine chefs about what they typically do on their Thanksgiving day off,

Do they hang up their pots at work only to have to take them down again at home? Does their family expect them to create some spectacular spread every year like the ones you see in the Thanksgiving issues of glossy food magazines?

Or are they allowed to chill on the sofa, for once, and watch football while someone else does all the work?

The Food & Dining section also includes an article about WGME news anchor Jeff Peterson’s conversion to a vegan diet,

The change to an all plant-based diet literally happened overnight. He and his wife, Laura, watched the 2011 documentary “Forks Over Knives” in February of this year and it opened their eyes to the health consequences of the standard American diet and the healing powers of vegan food.

“I remember looking at my wife and I thought that would make a good story for News 13,” Peterson recalled.

and Joe Appel’s wine column makes recommendations for your Thanksgiving meal.

You get a twofer today. I want to introduce more people to an importer of exceptional French wines, Cynthia Hurley, and it’s time to think of wines for Thanksgiving. Happily, several of Hurley’s wines I’ve recently drunk are not only remarkable in their own right, they also will make a splendid show at a Thanksgiving table.

Laurent Bonnois @ LFK

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Wine 24/7 has posted a report on the Laurent Bonnois wine event held last week at LFK.

Laurent hails from the Loire Region of France and thanks to Devenish Wines (Ned Swain & Brendon Pringle – local afficionados), we are now able to experience his wines directly.  He is truly at the forefront of the Natural wine movement, representing natural, organic, sustainably farmed and biodynamic wines.

Food Sciences, Wine Storage and MOO Milk Documentary

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Today’s Press Herald includes a front page article on the Food Science program at the University of Maine,

At a time when enrollment at UMaine is down overall, a record number of students is enrolling in the university’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

advice on how to best  store your growing home wine collection,

How should you store the wine you keep at home for dinner parties or your own drinking pleasure? Do you really need one of those wine refrigerators that are so popular these days? And when should you take the leap to a real wine cellar?

and an article about a documentary on MOO Milk.

In a film that is at turns humorous, heart-wrenching and very humane, Pingree and Mann follow three farm families in Aroostook County and Downeast Maine as they and seven other farms strike out on their own to create Maine’s Own Organic Milk Co., better known as MOO Milk.