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Friday, February 17, 2017

Dedalus Wine Shop, Market & Bar Debuts on February 20

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 1:21 PM

A tasting feast at Dedalus Wine - DEDALUS / JESSICA SIPE
  • Dedalus / Jessica Sipe
  • A tasting feast at Dedalus Wine
Raise a glass! The new Dedalus Wine aims to open its doors at 388 Pine Street on Monday, February 20. The longtime Burlington wine store is leaving its current quarters at 180 Battery Street for an expanded spot promising much more than just wine.

Along with an enormous range of bottles, the warehouse-size space — formerly home to Burlington Furniture Company — will also house a curated stock of charcuterie, imported specialty goods, cheeses and breads, plus a full-menu wine bar open seven days a week.

Dedalus owner Jason Zuliani recently gave me a sneak peek inside. Spoiler alert: My tour ended with a tasting of the current menu, which turned into a two-hour feast sluiced with wine samples and enough cheese to make even pro Catherine Donnelly blush. But let’s begin with the tour.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Vin Bar & Shop Closes Its Doors

Posted By on Sat, Nov 26, 2016 at 9:51 PM

VIN BAR & SHOP
  • Vin Bar & Shop
Burlington’s Vin Bar & Shop quietly closed its doors last week. After more than three years of service, owners Kevin and Kathi Cleary —  proprietors of the late, great L’Amante — will no longer be pouring glasses, sampling bottles or pairing meat and cheese plates at their spot on College Street.

“Running a bar is much different than running a restaurant in Burlington,” wrote Kevin Cleary in an email. “I think some people expected [another] L’Amante [from Vin], and that could not happen, because we didn’t have the kitchen and we never planned on putting one in.”

Common customer feedback relayed the opinion that people wanted more food with their sips, he wrote.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lincoln Peak Vineyard's Take on the Nouveau Wine Tradition

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Lincoln Peak Marquette Nouveau - LINCOLN PEAK VINEYARD
  • Lincoln Peak Vineyard
  • Lincoln Peak Marquette Nouveau
Saturday, November 19, marks the release of Lincoln Peak Vineyard’s Marquette Nouveau — a dry, young and supremely fresh wine. Fittingly, says vineyard owner Chris Granstrom, it “goes great with a turkey dinner.”

“Nouveau wine is bottled the same year the grapes are harvested,” Granstrom continues. “Using an unusual fermentation technique called carbonic maceration, whole grape clusters are sealed in a tank, which is filled with carbon dioxide — no crushing, no yeast.”

The result is a low-acid, zesty wine with ripe-fruit flavor. The nouveau wine tradition is made famous by the Beaujolais region of France, which annually releases a crush of young Gamay reds, "Beaujolais Nouveau," in the third week of November. This year, Lincoln Peak brings the centuries-old custom to the Green Mountains.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Lunch at La Garagista Farm With Wine Writer Alice Feiring

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 7:55 AM

Table set for lunch at La Garagista Farm and Winery - JULIA CLANCY
  • Julia Clancy
  • Table set for lunch at La Garagista Farm and Winery
Caleb Barber greets me at my car window as I pull up to La Garagista's home vineyard in Barnard for lunch. It’s still early. By noon, the table will be decked in checkered tablecloth and strewn with vine leaves, Queen Anne’s lace and herbs from the garden. Long-necked bottles of field blend rosé and La Crescent whites will be tucked in an old washbasin with ice for chilling. Barber will slice thick tiles of homemade pancetta, and the guys from Shacksbury Cider and Fable Farm will arrive with bottles of cider in tow for tasting.

But for now, in the sleepy morning hour, Barber leads me to his porch overlooking the mountains for a glass of water and a piece of grape cake in the kitchen.

Alice Feiring, the lauded wine writer, emerges from Barber's guest room with a notepad and camera. To call Feiring a “lauded wine writer” is an understatement, and I’m momentarily tongue-tied (which I attribute to careful chewing of the grape cake).  An open advocate of natural wine, Feiring is a significant voice in the wine world as a writer for publications such as Time magazine, the New York Times, New York Magazine, Forbes Traveler, the LA Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has three of her own books and just finished a fourth, which she calls “a most unusual wine guide” that she’s “very glad to be rid of — it was grueling to write.”

There’s a James Beard Foundation Award in her history as well, but the laurel I like best comes from the San Francisco Bay Guardian, which has dubbed Feiring “the high priestess of natural wines.”

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Grazing: Last Bites

Posted By on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 5:04 PM

Today has been one of those glamorous workdays when I eat lunch at my desk — specifically, half of a day-old turkey wrap from the Pine Street Deli (which had been delicious when fresh) and some stale popchips. Such is the last day of production on 7Nights, our annual, 136-page dining guide, which shipped to the printer early this afternoon.

This is a momentous day for another reason, though: It's my last one at Seven Days. I joined the paper in January 2011, and over the past three-plus years have chalked up enough culinary and liquid adventures to fill a book (or at least generate hundreds of articles and blog posts). I've also gotten to know some incredible people (coworkers, chefs, farmers, brewers, distillers and others), eaten innumerable kale Caesar salads from Bluebird Coffee Stop at the Innovation Center, and gained a well-earned 12 pounds. (When I see my family or distant friends now, they say, "You look ... healthy."

My last week in and around Burlington hasn't been all desk lunches, though. In fact, it's been filled with some peak moments, and a reminder of how much I'll miss. To wit:

Citizen Cider
Earlier this week, Citizen Cider launched its new Pine Street tasting room with a series of soft openings; on Monday night, that meant I got to convene with a room full of food- and ag-world peeps while sipping a glass of crisp, wonderful Cidre Bourgeois. I'm bummed to leave Burlington just as this place opened. Le sigh.

Lunch at Lucky Next Door - CORIN HIRSCH
  • Corin Hirsch
  • Lunch at Lucky Next Door

Lucky Next Door
I sit in a portion of the 7D office known as "the nook," and the four of us who occupy it (or have occupied it) call ourselves "ladies of the nook." We convened for lunch early this week at Lucky Next Door, the sister eatery to Penny Cluse Café. I blissed out over a bowl of tender beef-and-pork meatballs and piles of broccoli rabe in garlic-heavy brown gravy. It was truly a perfect lunch — made even more so when the kitchen sent out a ramekin of silky caramel custard. Once you've tasted it, you may wake up in the middle of the night craving more (as I did).

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Grazing: Why Hatin' on Beaujolais Nouveau Is So Wrong

Posted By on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 5:46 PM

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Last night, I dropped in on what was probably one of Vermont's only Beaujolais Nouveau release parties. And though I planned to write about some raw-milk cheeses today, a bee has landed in my bonnet: The snark that many wine industry people (writers, retailers, distributors, etc.) reserve for this wine.

If you're unfamiliar with BN, it's a very young, Gamay-based wine that ferments only for only a few weeks before it's bottled. Released each year on the third Thursday of November, it's the first taste of the year's harvest; bars and wine shops in Paris and elsewhere will pop open bottles at midnight to jumpstart a wine-centric party. Yesterday, I received a late invite to a release party that the New England Culinary Institute was throwing at Chef's Table In Montpelier. 

Balloons marked the entrance and, on the inside, NECI students (some clad in berets) roamed the cozy red rooms pouring Joseph Drouhin's Beaujolais Nouveau and serving up French morsels such as coq au vin. About two dozen people sipped and discussed the wine —  some had never tried Beaujolais of any stripe before. They chatted about everything from its flavors (lots of red fruit, of course, but grippier than in past years), to the year's weather in France, to beer (this being Vermont). It was a mellow, low-key celebration of wine and food and fall and all things French.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

After 20 Years, Trattoria Delia Owners Open a Wine Bar

Posted By on Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 3:19 PM

sotto.jpg

For most of Trattoria Delia’s 20-year existence, its Italian-centric wine list has earned awards from the Wine Spectator. Yet would-be guests at the cozy Burlington spot may not always get to taste those wines, because the resto's popularity often means waiting for a table.

Tomorrow, Tratt owners Tom and Lori Delia will change that when they open Sotto Enoteca, a wine bar connected to the restaurant via a back hallway, and with an entrance a few feet north on Saint Paul Street.

"I've been working the concept in my mind for awhile," says Tom Delia. And when Mane Attraction vacated the space at 150 Saint Paul, he and Lori decided to lease it. "You have to challenge yourself and try new things."

Part wine bar and part overflow lounge, Sotto (“under” in Italian) will be open roughly in tandem with Trattoria's Tuesday through Sunday dinner hours, and will offer at least 17 Italian wines by the glass, including a Barolo and a Valpolicella Ripasso.

"We also wanted to represent some international varietals that are done well in Italy," says Delia, and so the glass list also includes some Italian-made Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, as well as a Merlot-Cabernet blend. Guests who snag one of the 25 seats (six of them at the bar) can sip them alongside a handful of dishes from Trattoria’s menu. Those include the house-cured duck confit, snails with Sambuca, fried calamari and a selection of salumi and cheese plates.

Those who prefer other beverages can have their glass filled with beers such as Heady Topper, Fantôme Saison and brews from Hill Farmstead Brewery and Grassroots Brewing. And there's still more to drink: Manager Matthew Marrier has put togther a craft cocktail list that includes a re-creation of Ernest Hemingway's favorite daiquri (which the writer supposedly drank with grapefruit juice) and an "eggnog-esque" classic flip made with oatmeal stout, Amaro and a whole egg. It's called Breakfast In Bed.

"The whole concept is a place for our customers to wait, but also to be a kind of neighborhood wine bar, the place away from home where people can talk and grab a light bite," says Delia.

Welcome to the ’hood, Sotto.

 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Grazing: The Summer Drink I'll Miss the Most — Orleans Bitter Spritzer

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 3:41 PM

orleans.jpg

Brrr. The heat kicked on last night, and the basil narrowly missed a date with frost-induced death. Though these are the best sleeping nights of the year, they're also kinda bittersweet, since we all know what lurks around the corner.

Summer is technically still here, though, and all this season I've indulged in in a coral-colored ritual in a glass, one based on the elegant Orleans Bitter. A version of this drink was first served to me early this summer by Orleans' co-creator Deirdre Heekin at her Woodstock restaurant osteria pane e salute. As a friend and I sat the bar, Heekin handed us a few wine glasses filled with ice, Orleans, sparkling water, and an orange wedge.

I haven't made wine spritzers very much, but this was another creature — dry but quenching, zesty, invigorating, graceful. It was almost like drinking liquid hyssop with a tropical edge. There may have been other flavorings lurking in there, but I didn't ask; I went home and replicated it in the simplest way possible.

I say simplest, but its key ingredient — Orleans Bitter — can be challenging to find. When I ran out of my first bottle, It took me a while to find another. Last week, I hit gold at the new Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center in Newport. Then my personal spritzer party picked up where it left off.

With its ease of preparation and bittersweet balance, this drink is a liquid mirror of late summer. Make it as strong or as weak as you like.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

Dishing With...Winemaker Kathleen Inman

Posted By on Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 2:39 PM

kathleen_72.jpg

Since yesterday, Burlington has been quietly filling with prominent winemakers who are in town for this weekend's waterfront Burlington Wine & Food Festival.

Among them is Kathleen Inman, the winemaker at Inman Family Wines in California's Sonoma County, who arrived in BTV yesterday for her first-ever visit, starting with a dinner at Pistou where her wines were featured.

Inman has been making wine since 2002, three years after she and her husband purchased a Russian River Valley farm and planted thousands of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vines. At her Olivet Grange Vineyards, she resolved to make the "lower-alcohol, higher-acid wines," that she grew fond of while living and traveling in Europe over the previous 15 years.

Even before that long spell across the pond, winemaking was perhaps always lurking in Inman's blood; she was born in Napa Valley, albeit to a teetotaling family of Seventh-Day Adventists. After college, she pursued a career in finance in Yorkshire, where she lived and raised a family with her British husband, Simon.

Inman was a passionate gardener with a long-smoldering dream to make food-friendly, terroir-driven wines. Since she and her family returned to northern California, she's gained a reputation as a solo winemaking force — she only hired her first employees recently — as well as a non-interventionist winemaker who relies on organic grapes and native yeasts for her line: two silky Pinot Noirs, a Pinot Gris, a taut, citrusy Chardonnay, a juicy (limited-release) rosé and a brut rosé sparkling wine.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Burlington's Uva Wine Bar Changes Name

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 9:05 AM

vin_logo.jpg

Less than two months after opening, the owners of Burlington's Uva Wine Bar have changed its name due to a trademark objection from a similarly named restaurant in New York City.

Starting this week, Uva — which means "grape" in Italian — will instead be known as Vin Bar & Shop

Kevin Cleary, who opened the bar with his wife, Kathi, says the brand change had stalled their initial marketing plans. "It was disappointing to have to change the name, as we had put a great deal into it before we had opened," wrote Cleary in an email. "That being said, it's better that this happened now as opposed to two years from now, when we would have had much more invested in the name and brand." 

Vin — which is steps away on College Street from L'Amante Ristorante, the couples' decade-old Italian eatery — is a combination wine bar, retail store and education center.

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