The BSFW blog offers a periodic airing of our staff's observations and musings about things we find in our market and, frankly, can't live without. This is not a dispensing of erudite information from high on the mount; this is us sharing with you the aspects of the fine wine, craft brew and gourmet worlds that pique our interest.
This congenial approach is something we take seriously - so please feel free to comment! Afterall,it's our customers that inspire us to do what we love to do - and do it even better than before at every opportunity.
Have you heard the rumor that Pinot Noir is the grape that pairs best with Thanksgiving dinner? All of those lovely earth tones, savory cranberry and cherry fruit flavors that Pinot Noir is best known for certainly make sense when paired with the earthy greens, yams and cranberry sauce that adorn your table top. And then there's the lighter body (which mitigate the heavy, filling meal) and terrific, food-loving acidity that lifts you through the hours of consumption.
Yes, I'll likely have a bottle of Pinot in my own trajectory of wine enjoyment this Thanksgiving. But it will be one of a few options. Because the REAL fun about Thanksgiving wine selection is that the world is your oyster!
This particular American holiday is something we at Ball Square Fine Wines (with our "discover the vine less traveled" motto) embrace. The eclectic nature of the culinary beast means you can pair a wine with a particular side dish (sure, it's ok to ignore the turkey if you prefer as, let's face it, more often than not it comes out a bit one note compared to all of the other options on the menu). Or, you can 'travel' to a wine region you just enjoy sampling from; or you can choose another high acid, lighter bodied red wine (like French Gamay (e.g. Beaujolais) or Italian Sciava or Montepulciano or Nebbiolo or Austrian Zweigelt...) to keep things from getting too heavy. Or you can choose a white (Pinot Gris, Riesling, Mueller Thurgau, anyone?) or a rose or sparkling wine to celebrate (I'll have at least one in each of those categories on offer, myself)!
Bottom line: It'll be hard to mess it up.
If you're worried anyway or if you want help narrowing the playing field, stop on in! Chat with us about what makes you or your host tick and we'll set you on your way with something to slake your thirst.
Need accoutrements? Joe's bringing the thunder in the Gourmet Department. And it's a safe bet our resident Beer Geeks have something for the Game in the coooler....
Cheers to a safe, fulfilling, Happy Thanksgiving!
The Craft Beer Rennaisance has spawned many things. Two notable creations are critics, and what they deem as trends. I love when these style trends stick around and prove many wrong, especially when the style challenges the Craft Beer enthusiast. Heavily hopped beers were supposed to be a phase, barrel aged beers were supposed to be a phase, sour beers were supposed to be a phase, and the session movement is supposedly a phase. We here at Ball Square Fine Wines respectfully disagree.
Session beers prove that the true lovers of Craft Beer are in it for the taste. Though the definition is loose, session beers are meant to be enjoyed in quantity, and should thusly be lower than 5% in alcohol. Many breweries have created a session beer or two, but Chris Lohring of Notch Brewing in Ipswich has created an entire brand based on them.
Both Notch six packs (Ale & Pils) are solid, and a great selection for a local six pack, but Lohring's 22oz releases are truly spectacular. BSA Harvest is the latest release, and is unfortunately available for a limited time only. BSA refers to Brewers Supporting Agriculture; a movement to drive the sustainability and locality of brewing beer. Through Valley Malt in Hadley, MA, BSA Harvest was brewed with Massachusetts grown grain only.
From a staggering amalgamation of barley, wheat, rye, three types of distinctly American hops, and a Belgian Saison yeast strain, BSA has gobs of complexity. An intriguing duality between two spicy components plays well on the tongue; seems like rye and saison get along quite well. Despite the high Alpha and Beta Acid content in the hops used, this beer is anything but bitter. That aids BSA to achieve a delicate dryness in the finish, rounding out the light-to-medium body of the beer.
Yellow fruit and cedar combine with a malt character unlike any other. This pronounced cereal grain flavor is almost unrefined, rustic and seems to achieve an effortless "from the earth" type of taste compound. I feel like I am experiencing the beginning of Massachusetts Beer Terroir, and it's delicious.
All things considered, BSA is an overall focused and singular beer. Without any conflicting or dueling components, you are able to experience all its character at once. Normally these qualities are only achieved with dense, rich high alcohol beers. BSA clocks in at a glorious 4.4%abv, and at a surprisingly low cost.