Category Archives: PlumpJack Wine & Spirits – Noe

Thanksgiving Weekend Itinerary in San Francisco

Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and copious amounts of food and drink. If you find yourself dodging holiday travel to stay local, we have some great ideas on ways to rediscover your town, and if you do it on foot, you’ll be able to burn off some of those Thanksgiving calories.

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Pedal Push

Explore the roads of San Francisco and beyond. Try an urban bike path through San Francisco called The Wiggle, it’s undoubtedly one of the most well-known routes in the city. And if you’re looking for some reflection time, a great solo-ride option is Hawk Hill just over the Bridge into the Marin Headlands.

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Flower Power in Golden Gate Park

San Francisco’s Botanical Garden offers 55-acres with 8,000 different kinds of plants and flowers. Typically, there’s an $8 fee; however, on Thanksgiving admission is FREE, so make sure to take advantage of the lack of crowds and take your time exploring and taking in the sites and scents! Fun fact: The garden’s famous magnolias have just started blooming.

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Soothing Sound of the Waves

Built in 1986, The Wave Organ has become a San Francisco landmark. The wave-activated acoustic sculpture is made up of 25 organ pipes built at various elevations, allowing for the rise and fall of the tide. The musical sound is created by the impact of waves against the pipes. Pro-tip: head to the Wave Organ during sunset, before dinner, for some of the most magical views in the city.

1512-balboa-cafe-sf-165-copyCocktail Warm-Up
Take a leisurely stroll from the Wave Organ to Balboa Cafe in the Marina for a warming cocktail. Balboa’s famous holiday cocktails launch Thanksgiving and run through January 1st. Classics include Hot Buttered Rum, an Egg Nog Cocktail, Hot Toddy, Mulled Wine, and the Hot Nutty Irishman.

Get Cultured
Remember all those times you told yourself you really need to check out the new SFMOMA or wouldn’t it be great to hike Lands End and then top it off with a visit to the Legion of Honor?? San Francisco has so many great museums and what better weekend to visit than Thanksgiving when the city has emptied out or is concentrated in Union Square for Black Friday. Here are some of our favorites: SFMOMA, Legion of https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/acheter-du-viagra/ Honor, de Young, Asian Art Museum and for the kid in all of us, The Walt Disney Museum in the Presidio (check website for hours).

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Clean Food Inspiration

Let’s be honest, the days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are filled with rich food and lots of it, plus many celebratory cocktails. There are holiday parties, office parties, gift-exchange brunches, happy hours and more. Get yourself to one of the many Farmer’s Markets San Francisco on the weekend after Thanksgiving and indulge in all of the cleansing winter fruits and vegetables to help give your body a rest before the marathon eating season begins in December.

Shop Local
The Bay Area is filled with so many holiday shopping options outside of the mainstream malls and busy Union Square. Support Small Business Saturday and do your holiday shopping at the many small shops and boutiques that are the backbone of our city’s neighborhoods. May we suggest skipping the big wine and spirits retailers, as well, for the smaller shops like PlumpJack Wine & Spirits in the Marina and Noe Valley?
paulbirmanGet out there and take advantage of your city, and if you’re visiting the Bay Area over Thanksgiving weekend, you’re smart, it’s one of the best times to visit. Cheers!

Deck the Halls with Wine & Spirits

Looking for the perfect wine for your holiday meal? Looking to stock your bar for your upcoming holiday party? Needing that perfect gift to send with no hassle? Our wineries in Napa, and our two wine and spirits retail locations will make this holiday season a breeze – purchase on-site or online.

cabs-w-wooden-box_1600x24001PlumpJack Collection of Wines
Purchase PlumpJack wines from Odette Estate, PlumpJack Winery, and CADE Estate Winery online, direct from the wineries, or at PlumpJack https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/achat-viagra/ Wine & Spirits in San Francisco.

PlumpJack Wine & Spirits
Holiday gifting, corporate gifting, wine and spirits for holiday parties, and more. Purchase online at PlumpJackWines.com or purchase in store at our Fillmore or Noe Valley location. Delivery availabe in San Francisco and shipping to all states that accept alcohol deliveries.
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PlumpJack Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Throughout the month of October, PlumpJack businesses are joining the cause to help raise awareness and raise funds for Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC). CPIC’s mission is to prevent cancer and viagrasansordonnancefr.com to reduce its burden where it cannot yet be prevented. For the past 18 years, PlumpJack has raised more than $3.5 million on behalf of CPIC, primarily through the annual PlumpJack/LINK Golf Classic.

Approximately one in eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. We’re proud to list our businesses that are making a difference and supporting the fight against cancer. See list of businesses below and their offering:

  • Participate in #RoséAllDay at Balboa Cafe San Francisco, BCMV and Wildhawk. A portion of Rosé sales will be donated throughout the month of October.
  • PlumpJack Wine & Spirits Noe Valley and Marina locations will feature Tessa’s Cuvée with 100% of the sale of this wine going to CPIC.
  • PlumpJack Cafe at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn features Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose for $10 a glass and $40 per bottle. Plus, a featured specialty cocktail for October – La Pantera Rosada, a blood orange margarita with Herradura Silver, blood orange puree, fresh lime juice, and Solerno blood orange liqueur for $12.
  • Odette Estate, PlumpJack Estate and CADE Estate Winery will donate a portion of their pink merchandise sales, including proceeds from pink Swell bottles sold in the tasting rooms. These amazing water bottles are a must have, keeping your water (or wine) cold for hours!
  • The Hideaway in Carmel will donate sales from homemade cookies and pink retail items.
  • Enjoy a Pink Negroni at Forgery – $2 of each Pink Negroni, made from Gin, Luxardo Bitter Blanco, and topped with a Rose Miraval Floater, will be donated to CPIC.
  • Dance the night away at MatrixFillmore, a portion of the door will be donated.

Every cent counts, so get shopping, sipping and dancing.

About CPIC
CPIC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working solely to prevent cancer. Our research and education programs work in tandem to address the causes of cancer and provide resources to support cancer survivors. For more information visit cpic.org

September Is California Wine Month

September marks season’s change. Crisp air, crunchy leaves and, best of all, California Wine Month. For the twelfth year, we celebrate California’s vintners and growers while sampling the finest wines and culinary pleasures. Napa Valley is recognized for its world-famous wines, producing 4% of California’s wine and serving as home to over 600 wineries. We will be dedicating the month to some of our favorite vineyards across the northern region of California.

Odette Winery

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Tasting Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm,

daily

Address: 5998 Silverado Trail, Napa Valley CA

This is where a vineyard becomes a fairytale. Experience the magic of California at Odette Winery, classic wines have a modern twist – they’re bold, unique and flavorful. Begin the month on a magical journey, with sprawling mountains and luxurious vineyards, Odette Winery is one with the land. Sample Chardonnay, Petite Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon to understand the purest expression of Napa Valley wines.

PlumpJack Winery

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Tasting Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, daily

Address: 620 Oakville Cross Rd, Oakville CA

Kick off your celebration of CA Wine Month with some cheap levitra bayer do of the finest quality Cabernet Sauvignon. The key to developing a quality Cabernet is perfecting the delicate balance between science and art. PlumpJack Winery’s head winemaker, Aaron Miller, prides the vineyard on its ability to produce a wine that “is strong enough to stand on its own, yet elegant enough to be enjoyed with food.” Placed in the heart and soul of wine country, our 42-acre estate in Oakville has been the site of wine production since the 1800s.

CADE

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Tasting Hours: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, daily

Address: 360 Howell Mountain South, Angwin CA

California is all about healthy living and here at CADE our motto is, “think green, drink green.” Healthier soil develops a more natural wine. Founded in 2005 and inspired by Shakespeare’s reference to wine cades, CADE crafts powerful yet approachable flavors. Our winery is the first LEED Gold Certified estate winery within Napa Valley. Our renowned architecture is not only aesthetically pleasing but ecologically sound. The panoramic views and intriguing architecture make us the ultimate destination during your time in Napa. Throughout your celebration of wine month, make sure to sample our estate’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Honoring winemakers, tasters and creators, visit some of our favorite vineyards to get a taste – and sip – of all that Northern California has to offer. Hop in your car and explore, from lush viagra en madrid fields to sprawling mountaintops – every vineyard offers something unique.

Marina PlumpJack Wine & Spirits

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Store Hours: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm Monday-Saturday, 11:00am-6:00pm Sunday

Address: 3201 Fillmore Street, San Francisco CA

In 1992 PlumpJack’s first business, Marina PlumpJack Wine & Spirits, was officially opened providing San Francisco locals with an unique wine buying experience. Now twenty-four years later the shop continues to offer its patrons with a welcoming, educational and overall fun experience.

Stop in and discover a diverse collection of wines from around the world, carefully chosen by wine and spirits buyer, Paul Birman. The Fillmore location sells an enticing collection of very rare library wines for the discerning buyer and collector.

Noe Valley PlumpJack Wine & Spirits

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Store Hours: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm Monday-Saturday, 11:00am-6:00pm Sunday

Address: 4011 24th Street, San Francisco CA

Recognized as one of Noe Valley’s neighborhood institutions, locals are invited to Noe Valley PlumpJack Wine & Spirts for their wine, spirits and craft beer purchases.

General Manager and buyer Josh Thinnes has created a place of unique value and you’re sure to find something special in our shop. From vintage Ports and Madeiras dating back to the early 1900s to unusual small production bottles our team can help in selecting no matter the occasion.

A Taste of Agave in the Sierra Mountains

Tequila TastingA Weekend Celebrating Tequila & Regional Mexican Inspired Cuisine
PlumpJack Cafe in Squaw Valley Inn has put together a weekend fit for Tequila and Mezcal lovers featuring Herradura, Del Maguey, Partida and more. Tequila ambassadors, chefs, barmen/women and guests all come together for three spirited events, kicking off with a Margarita Happy Hour in the PlumpJack Bar on Friday, October 13th-15th. From there the weekend only gets sweeter with a four-course culinary pairing on Saturday and then a Libation Creation with a little dash of history and more, on Sunday (see below for more info). For those who want to stay at PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn to really get to experience the activities and scenery, plus the comfort of the Inn, you can book our package with rates starting at $810 (25% off for a three-night stay, plus all the great perks).

Package includes:

  • Breakfast daily
  • Welcome amenity
  • Two drink tickets for our Happy Hour and Margarita Match Up (October 13th from 4pm to close)
  • Dinner for two for a four-course culinary pairing menu (October 14th, 6pm in the PlumpJack Cafe)
  • Essene of Agave tasting for two  – History & Modern Influence, Libation Creation (October 15th, 2-4pm in the PlumpJack Cafe)

*pricing excludes all taxes and gratuity. Package must be reserved for all three nights, October 13th-15th . Please call 1.800.323.ROOM now to reserve your package

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About Chef Jack Connell, Executive Chef, PlumpJack Cafe

In his role as Executive Chef at PlumpJack Cafe, Jack Connell focuses on a seasonal, New American culinary approach utilizing modern techniques. Jack started his culinary journey in Ocean City, Maryland where he worked in a kitchen the summer before graduating from Xavier University in Ohio. From there, his passion for food brought him to several notable restaurants over a span of seven years including some time in Chicago working under Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand at Tru and Paul Kahan at Blackbird who mentored him and made him realize he wanted to take his culinary skills to the next level. His wanderlust took him to Lake Tahoe where he had his first stint at PlumpJack Cafe as sous chef for three years and then he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park where he excelled among his peers and graduated with the highest cumulative GPA in his accelerated class. After the CIA, Jack went to Philadelphia where he worked with Certified Master Chef Oliver Andreini at the Merion Cricket Club.

The outdoors and the pull of Lake Tahoe kept calling to him and he decided to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the big cities to pursue his culinary roots back in Tahoe to work as Chef de Cuisine at Bistro 22 in the Village at Squaw and then for the newly opened Ritz-Carlton at North Star, before making his way back to PlumpJack Cafe as sous chef under Executive Chef Wyatt Dufresne. In the Spring of 2015, Jack was promoted to Executive Chef at PlumpJack Cafe where he and Chef de Cuisine Shawn Arney lead a strong team of talented chefs and cooks. Together they turn out some of the best food in all of North Lake Tahoe. Jack takes pride in working closely with several local farms in the Sierra foothills and in nearby Reno to source ingredients and also adheres to the Monterey Bay Aquariums seafood watch program. He is passionate about the outdoors and has several hobbies that fit into the Tahoe lifestyle including skiing, sailing, hiking, biking, and camping. He also enjoys music, lasers, thrift store shopping, antique bicycles, and his expansive cookbook collection.

Two Spots Left for Our Scotland Excursion

GlenMorangie House

GlenMorangie House

Do you love whisky? Are you looking for an experience of a lifetime? Then join us for a behind the scenes visit to the mecca of the whisky world, Scotland! Enjoy a private chauffeur, VIP access to distilleries and five star accommodations for six nights in Speyside, Scotland. Participants will also help select a private barrel of Scotch whisky for our PlumpJack Wine & Spirits Scotch Club.
ONLY TWO SPOTS left! Email jthinnes@plumpjack.com or call 415.282.3841 to book a spot.

When:  Saturday May 28th, 2016 – Friday June 3rd, 2016
What:  Our Scotland Excursion will include visiting 4 distilleries with 6 nights of accommodations, transportation to the Speyside region from Edinburgh and back to Edinburgh
Price: $3,400
Agenda:
6 night stay in Scotland’s Speyside Region
2 nights stay at the GlenDronach Guest House
– Visit and tasting at GlenDronach Distillery
– Dinner at GlenDronach Distillery
– Visit and tasting at GlenRothes Distillery
– Lunch at GlenRothes Distillery

2 nights stay at the GlenMorangie House
– Visit and tasting at GlenMorangie distillery
– Breakfast and dinner provided at the GlenMorangie house

2 nights stay at Craigellachie Hotel in Aberlour
– Breakfast provided at Craigellachie Hotel
– Visit to BenRomach Distillery

Transportation will be provided by Tenon Tours, from Edinburgh to the Speyside region, between hotel and distillery visits and then back to Edingburgh

  • Includes all distillery visits and tastings
  • Includes 6 nights lodging in the Speyside
  • Includes transportation to/from and throughout the Speyside region during 6 days
  • Includes 4 breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • This cost does NOT include airfare, hotel stays in Edinburgh

    upon arrival or departure

  • This cost does NOT include any souvenirs or discretionary purchases

24 hours of New Year’s Eve in SF

Follow our blueprint for our ideal New Year’s Eve and you’ll be guaranteed that 2016 will welcome you with open arms and a warm hug.
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Attire – more importantly, the dress. Choose from a comfortable, clubby ensemble from Amour Vert, a classic lace get-up from DVF that says I am serious about this holiday, or something fun and flashy that you can layer with a jacket when getting around on the city streets. All these dresses and styles available at PlumpJackSport.
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Are you in the mood to party on New Year’s Eve? 
Are you the popping bottles and noshing on caviar partier or are you the laying low-type that likes intimate conversations over some good bubbles and hearty fare. Ditch the grocery store party platter and whip up some delightful finger food, but first, the main character, the bubbles.
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Go to PlumpJack Wine & Spirits and ask for Paul, or just take his word for it and buy his top picks.
1. Comtes De Champagne Taittinger, 2005: “100% Chardonnay, in my mind this is one of the greatest Champagnes around. It is probably the only champagne i would flat.
2. Pol Roger Brut Réserve Champagne: “This is an equal blend of the three main varietals. This champagne has a toasty and fruity balance to it.
3.Champagne Gratiot Gerad: “100% Pinot Meunier. This champagne has a little more of a floral note to it and a nice creamy mousse.”
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Diversify your libations and add a celebratory signature cocktail to liven up your soiree.
We enlisted our favorite bartenders at Forgery for a cocktail recipe, and guess what, they know what their doing, so take notice. If you don’t know what some of these items are, there is always Google.
And then there are snacks – very important if you want to continue the party til midnight.
We have lots of inspiration on our Pinterest board, we literally spent many hours searching, pinning and procrastinating, because that is what Pinterest is for, let’s be honest. When it’s time to usher your guests out of your place, because things are starting to get messy and the bubbles are all gone, get yourself to a club. We have two choices for you. For a smaller venue with great jams and lots of dancing, plus champagne and really great cocktails, and even a beer for those who just want to quench their thirst, get to MatrixFillmore. New Year’s Eve features DJ Amy Robbins, spinning the best Top 40 and House beats. Purchase tickers here
If you’re looking to go out and dance your face off to some serious DJs and want to splurge on ultra-exclusive table service, featuring batched craft cocktails, light fare, and more, you need to add Verso to your NYE agenda. Or you can just purchase a ticket to dance and drink, and it will still be the best New Year’s EVER! Purchase tickets here.
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Aftermath of New Year’s can be bitter, but you know what makes it sweet? Brunch!
Get yourself to Balboa Cafe San Francisco, STAT, and order the following: a Balburrito (trust us), an order of Eggs Benedict, or Huevos Rancheros and then wash it down with the city’s best Bloody Mary. Okay, feel better now, we thought so. And, maybe you had a big night and are still up at 9am, in which case, you’re in luck, the Balboa opens bright and early and if you slept in until 1pm, you’re still doing great. And if you are unable to leave the confines of your living room/bedroom, Balboa delivers with partner Caviar. MENU
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When it comes to getting away for New Year’s, Squaw Valley is the place to be! PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn is a cozy, lodge-like resort located at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in North Lake Tahoe California. With amazing snowfall kicking off this season, you wont want to miss the chance to get up to the mountain with amazing conditions this season. Enjoy a great apres ski at the PlumpJack Bar (view menu), the perfect place to wind down from a day of skiing with friends! We are also offering a special Prix Fixe menu for New Years (view menu).

Last Minute Thanksgiving Wine and Beer Guide

With Thanksgiving just days away find out what our Noe Valley team at PlumpJack Wine & Spirits will be drinking with their turkey feast in this last minute Thanksgiving wine and beer guide.


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Molly’s Thanksgiving Beer Recommendations:

Almanac’s Dogpatch Grand Cru
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A bold, robust sour aged in red wine barrels for over a year with a blend Zinfandel, Syrah, Tannat, Petite Sirah, and Tempranillo grapes to create an intricately vinous, tannic, and exceptionally original brew. This elegant beer brings tannic red wine notes with tart, sour yeast components. Perfect with cranberry sauce.

Almanac’s Farmers Reserve Grand Cru
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Almanac’s Farmers Reserve was brewed as an ode to delicate and aromatic white wines. California-grown Muscat Blanc grapes were added to an imperial version of their sour blonde ale then aged in white wine barrels for over a year. Try this for a celebratory toast or a before dinner treat.

Firestone Walkers Velvet Merlin

Velvet Merlin oatmeal stout is the perfect beer to go with your Thanksgiving dessert. Rich chocolate and roasted coffee notes will complement the end of a delicious meal!

Stephanie’s Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations:
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Broc Cellars Love Red 2014

A light bodied red blend of Carignan, Valdigui, and Syrah this loveable red is perfect for the Thanksgiving dinner table. With notes of bright red fruits, wild flowers, and hints of earth and dried herbs this is sure to become a new favorite for the Thanksgiving dinner table. vc
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Robert Sinskey Pinot Gris 2012

With aromas and flavors of melon, ginger-spiced pear, almond and apple blossom this vibrant wine is a worthy dinner companion. Weighty on the mid-palate it is more than capable of holding its own amongst all the flavors a thanksgiving meal has to offer.

Elio’s Thanksgiving Wine Recommendations:
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Nusserhof Lagrien Riserva 2009
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I love this producer and the job that he does with Lagrein, an indigenous grape varietal from Alto Adige. Elegance, light tannins, a gentle spiciness and fresh acidity makes a perfect match for a turkey dinner and the works. Earthy stuffing with mushrooms and chestnuts, cranberry sauce and gravy will heavenly sing with this wine!
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San Fereolo, Coste di Riavolo, Langhe Bianco, 2011
This white wine comes from Piedmont. A blend of two varietals not very usual for this region, Riesling and Gewürztraminer, makes for a wine with kaleidoscopic aromatic nuances and a rich fruit palette. Apricot, lychee and passion fruits mixed with mineral notes making this wine an excellent companion for pumpkin dishes from soups to pies, as well as with crab (sorry no Dungeness this year!) and lobster biscuits.

BOM Club Tasting Notes: October 2015

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PlumpJack Wine & Spirits brings you the beer club tasting notes for October. This month, we’re taking a quick break from beer to feature two apple ciders. Dupont’s is a traditional Norman cider (as in Normandy, France) with protected designation of origin status. The second bottle, West County’s Redfield, is a rose-hued varietal cider from the New World (Western Mass., on the Vermont border, to be exact). Each is a delicious sip of the orchard and a great partner at the autumn dinner table.nike free run sale

Cheers!

Rich Higgins, Master Cicerone


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Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie 2014 Domaine Dupont, Victot-Pontfol, Normandy, France 5.5% ABV
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The Norman countryside is filled with dairy cows, rolling pasture, and orchards full of apple and pear trees. For centuries, farmers have been making ciders and perries from the fruit and pairing it with dishes full of cheese and cream. Calvados and Pays d’Auge are two sub-regions of central Normandy, and both are famous also for their apple and pear brandies, known collectively as Calvados, distilled from cider and perry. The French government has recognized the cider from this green, fertile region of France as having tradition, terroir, and quality, and has protected its heritage and future with an AOC — appellation d’origine controllee — to regulate its production and promote its uniqueness. Etienne Dupont was one of the principal boosters of the AOC designation
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has been producing ciders and Calvados under the guidance of a Dupont family member since 1887. They grow 13 varieties of apples, categorizing each as either bitter, bittersweet, sweet, or acid. They celebrate Pays d’Auge terroir, describing the area’s soil as nutrient-poor and full of chalk, clay, and marl, which produces small, intense fruit. (More generous soil would yield bigger, less-concentrated fruit filled with water.) Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie is the producer’s entry-level cider, a tasty, quaffable, sparkling cider. They also produce cider aged in oak, fortified sweet ciders, and Calvados. For the Brut de Normandie, they harvest and press estate-grown apples, then make a blend that is 80% juice from “bittersweet” apples and 20% juice from “acid” (sour) apples. In another nod to terroir, they ferment the juice with indigenous yeasts; that is, the yeast or “bloom” that naturally resides on the apple skins. After fermentation, they bottle-condition the cider, bottling it with live yeast that will produce the carbonation and more fermentation flavors directly inside the bottle. In French, bouchon means “cork,” and cidre bouché refers to this cider that is “corked” or “under cork.” The combination of live yeast in the bottle, the cork packaging, and single-vintage dating (2014, in our case), allows for the cider to age, mellow, and cellar, attaining a slightly damp, musty, leathery note that is complex and très français. (French farmhouse beers, or bières de garde, are known for this character, as well.) The cider drinks with complexity but accessibility. It has residual sweetness — about 5% apple fructose by weight — which the Duponts liken to the apple-y, caramelly flavors of another local specialty: the baked apple dessert called tarte tatin.
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Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie pours a rich honey yellow beneath a tempest of frothy white foam. The initial foam subsides, but a persistent stream of perlage continues to bubble forth. Scents of fruit, flowers, and bread rise from the glass: a Norman bouquet of baked apple, anise, meyer lemon, and bready, yeasty sparkling wine. The palate is off-dry, offering a pleasant nectar sweetness that softens the apples’ acidity and slight bitterness as well as the carbonation’s tingle. The French prize the flavor of noyaux, the meaty nut at the center of an apricot pit; this cider exhibits flavors of noyaux and bread dough from the wisps of spent yeast and apple lees residing at the bottom of the bottle. Slight dampness and mustiness show a bit of this cider’s age. Rather than showing bracing, vibrant apple freshness, this bottle has mellowed and gained complexity with age. Subtle tannins linger on the tongue, offering a structure and astringency that beg for another sip of this enjoyable cider. Pair it at the start of a meal with charcuterie and cheese — the more French and Norman the better, to appreciate the terroir: rabbit rillettes, pâte de campagne, good Camembert, Pont l’Evêque, etc. The Normans cook with cider, too, enjoying it in cidery cream sauces to accompany chicken or seafood. Sautéing some skin-on chicken in butter and shallots, then deglazing the pan with cider and simmering with some cream and fresh thyme would be a simple, delicious partner for a glass of Dupont cidre.
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Redfield Cider West County Cider, Colrain, Massachusetts, United States 6.6% ABV  
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Move a family of Northern California winemakers to the Berkshire mountains, and you get a family with a love of the land and a passion for flavor, along with a thirst for grapes that can’t be quenched. Missing their vineyard, the Terry and Judith Maloney, along with their son, Field, got some tips from their rural neighbors and tried their hand at fermenting apples into cider. From their first harvest in 1972, they were hooked, and by 1984, they made their first commercial sales. Legally registered as a winery, these cider revivalists claim to be the first US winery to specialize in hard cider.
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Their orchards have expanded in the ensuing years, and now with 1400 apple trees, they produce a handful of varietal ciders that they ferment and bottle in their farmhouse cellar. A varietal cider, just like a varietal wine, is a cider made from a single apple variety, showcasing all the nuances of that apple. Most cideries make blends, using the juice of several different apples to get tannic structure from one, fermentable sugars from another, bright acidity from yet another, and a variety of flavors from all of them. Most cider apples, as opposed to table apples that you eat out-of-hand, are too tannic and sour to be enjoyable when eaten. They can make for great cider, when allowed to ferment and age properly, which shows the cider maker’s skill. Redfield is an apple variety that is known in the cider world for its crimson-colored flesh, searing acidity, and bold tannins — pretty to look at it, terrible to eat, and a challenge to turn into a varietal cider. Developed in New York state in 1938, the apple is a cross between a Wolf River Apple and a Niedzwetzskayana Red Crabapple. (Obviously.)

The Maloneys make two different Redfield ciders: a Redfield varietal and a Redfield/Golden Delicious blend that’s 75% Redfield with 25% Golden Delicious; evidently, some drinkers find the Redfield to be too intense an apple to be fully tamed on its own in a bottle of cider. Your bottle of Redfield is the pure varietal, and so the Redfield’s personality (red hue, bright malic acid, firm tannins, and sweet-savory flavor) is powerfully on display in this cider. Furthermore, the Maloneys ferment it with neutral commercial yeast, rather than an indigenous yeast that might muddy the waters with its own flavors. (To taste some more of West County’s terroir, their Kingston Black varietal cider is fermented with wild yeast.) It’s not just the Redfield apple’s character that’s on display, here, but also the Maloneys’ impressive cider making skills, in order to make this Redfield so a smooth and elegant a cider, certainly not as sour and austere as some ciders can be, nor as tannic and coarse as others.
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Redfield pours an elegant salmon rose color, topped with a hint of bubbly pink lace. The delicate nose shows cut apple, persimmon, grass, and chamomile, along with sweet-savory hints of roasted carrots and winter squash. It tastes clean and pure, a perfectly apple-y, refreshing juice at first. Then more intriguing flavors of chestnut, cucumber, and blood orange chime in, intermingling with the smooth acidity and firm tannins. With its restrained carbonation and savory flavors, it has less in common with most bright, zesty ciders and instead recalls an Italian rosato wine — a negroamaro rosato, perhaps. It’s delicious, complex, and shows an alluring, romantic side of cider. Pair this with grains, mushrooms, and dairy products, allowing the cider to provide savory harmony and fruity counterpoint to the pairing. Tagliatelle with creamy-mushroom sauce and truffle (either truffle oil or the real thing — November is white truffle season, after all); squash ravioli with chestnuts and brown butter; a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough; pizza with mozzarella, tomatoes, and good salame; or even a quesadilla with queso fresco, chicken, and cilantro would all be great partners with this cider.

 

Champagne Club Tasting Notes: October 2015

Champgane Blog Post BannerPlumpJack Wine & Spirits brings you the Champagne club tasting notes for October. This month we are showcasing two wines with very different pasts. The Lilbert-Fils domain has a centuries long history cultivating vines and making wine in Champagne, while the J-M Sélèque domain is relatively young, starting in just 1964. Lilbert-Fils is a classic Côte des Blancs champagne, while J-M Sélèque has become a leader in the organic and biodynamic movement amongst vintners in Champagne. We bring you theses two very different but very delicious wines just in time to celebrate the arrival of fall and the bounty of the season it brings with it.new balance 1

                                          A Votre Santé,
Your Friends at PlumpJack Wine & Spirits
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Champagne Lilbert-Fils Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc Brut NV

Champagne J-M Sélèque Cuvee Tradition Brut NVcurry 1

            Lilbert-Fils is a tiny Champagne house, but a very old one. The Lilbert family is another family of Champagne that has been cultivating vines in the region for centuries. Records show the family has been at it since at least 1746 and possibly longer (the oldest part of the family cellar dates back to 1712). They have been bottling their own wine for commercial sale since as early as 1907. With only 8.6 acres of vines the Lilbert’s are able to produce 30,000 bottles a year making this a difficult wine to come by.
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Bertard Lilbert and his father, Georges, currently run the estate. They make all of their wine from their own vineyards, which break down into 15 parcels all from Grand Cru villages in the Côte des Blancs. Wine-producing villages in Champagne are classified as grand cru, premier cru, or simply cru. If a producer makes a wine using only grand cru or premier cru fruit, he may use these terms on the bottle’s label, and the Lilberts’ do just that. Unlike Burgundy, where the vineyards are rated according to their quality, the quality classification in Champagne is rated according to villages. Established at the end of the 19th century, the Échelle des Crus (ladder of growth) ratings are expressed from 80% to 100%, taking into account the quality of the soil, the nature of the sub-soils and the microclimate. The 100% wines are considered to offer the highest qualitative potential and are given the status of Grand Cru. There are 17 Grand Cru villages in all of Champagne, six alone in the Côte des Blancs. The Lilberts’ own holdings in three out of those six – 10% of their vines are in Oiry, 30% in Chouilly, and 60% in Cramant.
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All Lilbert-Fils Champagnes are 100% Chardonnay and 100% Grand Cru. They produce a non-vintage blanc de blanc, made from grapes farmed from all three Grand Cru villages and comprised of two or three consecutive vintages. It is then aged on its lees for a minimum of three years and dosed with 6-8 g/l of sugar. Along with the non-vintage ‘Perle’, the house’s rarest and most sought-after wine produced from old vines sourced from all three communes, they relase a vintage wine that is only produced in the best of years. All of the wines are made in steel vats and all undergo malolactic fermentation. The bottles are riddled by hand in a deep, hand-dug chalk cellar, and the wine is disgorged the old-fashioned way (without freezing). The end result is a true connoisseurs champagne.
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The Champagne Lilbert-Fils Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc Brut is a classic Côte des Blancs with great purity and finesse and the unmistakably chalky perfume of the region. This is not a fruit forward wine. Though fruit is present (on the palate more than the nose), it is reminiscent more of a fruit tart than that of a fresh apples or pears. Aromas of flaky pastry become noticeable first, followed by baked orchard fruit. What you find in this wine is an elegant combination of chalky, silky minerals, a delicate creaminess similar to an éclair (without the chocolate), and the buttery flakiness of the best croissant you’ve ever had. This is a wine with true staying power and longevity. Enjoy it with a spread of fine aged French cheeses, accompanied by various nuts and dried fruits. It also pairs well with roasted pork tenderloin glazed in stewed apples and onions.
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Compared to the long history of the Lilbert Family, the Sélèque Family are relative newcomers to growing and producing Champagne. Henri Sélèque planted his first plots of vines in 1965 with the help of his father-in-law, Jean Bagnost. Bagnost was the president of the Pierry wine cooperative at the time. In 1974 Henri’s son Richard, joined the domain and began making Champagne after earning a degree in enology. He helped to update the winery facilities as well as expand its vineyard holdings. The third generation in the family to join the domain was Richard’s son Jean-Marc, after returning to Pierry in 2008 after internships at Chandon’s facilities in Napa Valley and in Australia’s Yarra Valley.

After spending time at larger production operations Jean-Marc had a definite idea of what he wanted to bring back to his small family domain. In 2008 he steered the estate towards organic viticulture and in 2010 he began farming biodynamically. Today 10 of the 19 acres are farmed accordingly. Jean-Marc’s goal in going organic and biodynamic has been to encourage better vine and soil health and limit the amount of ‘corrections’ needed to be made in the cellar. The goal is to let the vineyards speak for themselves. Today the grapes are in much better health and are harvested with higher acidities allowing Jean-Marc to stop the practice of introducing malolactic fermentation in barrel (low pH inhibits malo). Some wines undergo no ML, while some spontaneously undergo partial or full ML.
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What started in 1964 has today expanded to include vines growing in 36 parcels across 7 different villages producing around 5,400 cases of Champagne a year. Most of the Sélèque vines grow in the communes of Pierry and then Moussy, followed by Epernay, Mardeuil, Dizy, Vertus, and Boursault. About 60% of the vines are Chardonnay, 30% Meunier and about 10% are Pinot Noir. Jean-Marc’s unwavering dedication to quality and natural approach in the vineyards guarantee that J-M Sélèque will have just as much staying power as Lilbert-Fils.
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What the Lilbert-Fils shows in elegance and finesse, the Champagne J-M Sélèque Cuvee
Tradition Brut
shows in vitality and playfulness. The chalky minerals, while present, are secondary here to the more spirited fruit characteristics. The Sélèque has a texture similar to the fluffiness of a cream cheese Danish and the richness to match. The nose smells like a lively mixture of lemon curd on top of piecrust, hazelnuts, almonds, and the chalky minerality coming into play to keep everything in balance. On the palate the fruit has more of a candied characteristic with a hazelnut and almond finish. A great pairing would be table full of fresh cracked Dungeness crab.