We’re home from a fantastic vacation to Mexico, feeling recharged, relaxed and excited for a fast and furious spring full of events and lots of wine. When your job is wine, the best part of a vacation to Mexico (besides body surfing with those handsome boys!) is the LACK of wine.
A picture can be worth a thousand words, but this one only needs to be worth three: WINTER IS OVER.
Rosés will be on the shelf at UG starting today at noon. Just in time for your lunch hour!
We have old favorites like Jean-Luc Colombo, Herni Bonnaud “Terre Promis,” Triennes, Txomin, and Underwood, as well as new additions like High Hook and Toad Hollow “Eye of the Toad.” New selections will be added every week as they come into the state. Over the course of the spring and summer we will stock close to 200 different labels!
Here’s to all of us – we survived another dreary New England winter, and are being rewarded with pretty pink wine!
We’ve got a great weekend of events lined up for the weekend, starting tonight with a visit from Round Pond Estates. Makers of exceptional Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Round Pond also makes gourmet olive oil. Everyone who purchases a bottle of Round Pond tonight will also receive a bottle of their olive oil for free. Pretty awesome, right?! The tasting is from 5-8.
Tomorrow night we’re delving into the confusing world of sake. The number one thing we hear at UG is that our customers are consistently intimidated by sake. So on Friday night from 5-8 we’re opening some bottles and helping you learn the different designations of sake, as well as what food to pair it with. The best way to learn about sake is to try sake, so make sure you stop by on Friday!
Saturday is an exciting day at UG, when we present our Brown Spirits Grand Tasting from 3-6. We’ll have 10+ bottles of spirits open to try, including all sorts of whisk(e)ys. They’ll be rum and aged tequila as well! This is a great chance to learn more about brown spirits and see why all of us at UG are so in love with them!
And don’t forget that we start stocking rosé on Monday, March 14th!
Yoko’s monthly sparkling wine tastings have become the hit of the South End. For those of you that can’t make the tastings, she’s on the blog today sharing some information about her passion – Grower Champagne.
“Champagne – Grower POWER!” is what Aurelien of Champagne Laherte wrote on his Instagram post and also on the store’s kitchen door when he visited us last week. He is the 6th generation of the Laherte family and considered to be one of the rising stars of the Champagne region. Although the label indicates NM (or Negociant-Manipulant, producers who use purchased grapes as well as their own grapes to make Champagne), the majority of grapes for Champagne Laherte come from their own 10-hectare-vineyard. In order to respect and treasure the special terroir (or where the wine come from), the philosophy is to work in the most traditional and natural way as possible in both vineyard and cellar. I absolutely loved how each one of his wines expressed personality and identity, and here are 2 very unique wines newly joined in our Champagne collection.
Traditional Champagne grapes are 3 varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier but also permitted are 4 varieties of Fromenteau, Albanne, Pinot Blanc, and Petit Meslier. And you get all 7 varieties in this Les 7! Aurelien’s father found these lost varieties in their old vineyard site and it was re-established in 2003. Chosen as 2nd top from a tasting of 100 grower Champagnes from Decanter magazine, here is your chance to taste what Champagne tasted like back 250 years ago. Made from a blend of vintages from 2005 to 2012, this rare and energetic Champagne’s got fresh stone and exotic fruits, warm toasty and nutty notes, great minerality, hints of spring flowers, smokiness, and the list goes on… It is one of those wines, which make you want to keep coming back to the glass because it is so complex and intriguing.
Rose de Saignee “Les Beaudiers”
Another exceptional cuvee made from 100% Pinot Meunier from old vines. While the majority of rose Champagnes are made from blending red wine to white wine to achieve its pink color, this wine is made from Saignee method (maceration of grape skins) Beautiful garnet ruby color of this wine is attractive to the eyes, followed by delicious scent of juicy ripe red fruits and red flowers, along with hints of warm spices and outstanding texture on the palate, which reminds me of elegant Burgundy. I became speechless for a second because it was just stunning…
Today the market share of grower Champagne here in the US is 5%, which is still not a large number but I have noticed an increased interest and demand in the recent years. I believe wines like these two I wrote here demonstrate how interesting and diverse Champagne can be, and also the potential and power of grower Champagne. During the visit, Aurelien said to me “You know 20 years ago, it was not like this (meaning Champagne growers did not get a kind of attention they started to get today) but maybe 20 years from now, it might change…” I replied, “I think it will. I know it will.”
Spring is Springing. We know this because we’re making room for rosés on the wine wall, and we’re gearing up for a busy season by adding floor staff positions! If you want to work at UG, please read our job listing below and email a cover letter and resume to the attention of Hadley Douglas as soon as possible!
Living in New England, we almost always get a March snowstorm or two, but regardless I breathe a sigh of relief when we hit the end of February. The threat has essentially passed. We all survived the worst part of another New England winter.
TJ and I see food and wine as an accent to every moment in our lives. It’s a way for us to share experiences with each other in a way that feeds us both physically and emotionally. He always remembers what wine we drank, I always remember what meal we had. We’re the Douglases. In good times and bad, we break bread. It’s how we do.
We are thrilled to announce the return of Trillium Brewing to the shelves of The Urban Grape! It’s been almost a year since we last offered beer from Boston’s hottest brewery, but now that their Canton facility is up to speed, we’ve restocked, and will continue to restock every Tuesday.
If you’ve had Trillium’s beer before, I imagine you’re already on your way to the shop. If you haven’t had Trillium’s beer, you should fix that immediately! Every brew is a work of art; balanced, flavorful, and always incredibly fresh. And while they’re (justifiably) best known for their hoppy offerings, don’t sleep on their farmhouse ales or darker styles, all of which perfectly express their traditional roots while adding a distinct flair.
We’re kicking off Trillium’s return to the shelves with an exclusive offer – a four-pack including favorites like their flagship farmhouse ale, Citra-Hopped Free Rise Saison, Pot & Kettle Oatmeal Porter, and Big Sprang Hoppy Kolsh. They should be hitting our shelves around noon, and as always supplies are limited. Can’t get to the store? Email Sophie to place your order. Limit one four-pack per customer, no substitutions.
If you miss out on the four pack, don’t worry, we’ll have even more Trillium hitting the shelves every week from now on! Keep an eye out on the @urbanhops Twitter and Instagram feeds for weekly updates each Tuesday on the beers we have in stock. Remember, from now on Tuesday is Trillium Day at UG!
My grandmother had a kitchen to remember. Frighteningly cluttered, but as I child I loved it. She had a big window that looked out over her flower garden, a blue and white cat shaped cookie jar that was always filled with treats, and a piece of artwork on the wall that said, “A good hostess is like a duck. Calm on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath!” I remember staring at that duck every time I visited, wondering, “What does this even mean?” I inherited my grandmother’s love for entertaining, and now I understand that picture all too well.
The door of her refrigerator was cluttered too – everything her grandchildren sent her was saved here, in increasingly thick layers over the years. It was there that she hung the stories that I used to write for her, no matter how many pages they were. I’m going to be an author, I would tell her. She made me feel like I already was.
When I turned 40 I told TJ that I thought wine pairing books were, in general, intimidating and unhelpful; we should write our own book I reasoned. His knowledge paired with my voice had already produced a successful blog, admired social media platform, and well-read weekly newsletter. How hard could it it be to make the jump to a book??? TJ? How hard??? Not hard I bet! TJ?? (Can you picture me in bed, up on my elbow, asking him this at 11:30 at night? Because that’s pretty much how it happened.) With a dogged agent at our side, the proposal for Drink Progressively started landing on desks, and the waiting game began.
The answer to the how hard question is this: pretty hard. When decades of wine pairing books have not sold well, it’s hard to convince publishers that yours will do better. But all it takes is one, and one we have – a new publishing house out of Nashville called Spring House Press. We have an editor, Erin Byers Murray, whom I not only adore, but who has believed in our vision all along and has brought her own successful books to life. Lastly, we have a chef contributor, Gabriel Frasca of Straight Wharf and Ventuno restaurants on Nantucket, whose food I love and who often collaborates with TJ for spectacular food and wine pairings. The four of us are a formidable team, and we’re a team that is determined to change wine pairing books for the better.
Drink Progressively will cover a lot of bases – general wine education based on our Progressive Scale, recipes and wine pairings, winery spotlights, and tips for picking the right bottle every time you walk into a store. Through it all, our story – of how we met, how we came to open UG, our personal relationship to food and wine and each other – will be interwoven. Part reference book, part cookbook, part look into our lives, if all goes well it will be ready for you to read next spring. You’ll be able to bring a piece of The Urban Grape into your homes, and for once it won’t be in liquid form.
From stories about mice on a refrigerator door to writing a book on wine – this is one twist to my life’s journey I never saw coming, but have somehow have been waiting for all along!