I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently. **********************************************************
1) Celebrate National Cheese Month in October. In celebration of this month and 45 years of successful retailing, The Cheese Shop of Concord will offer more than a dozen custom-cut cheeses at 1967 prices on Saturday, October 6 from 12pm-5pm.
--In 1967, there were not 1,000-plus cheeses being exported to the United States. In fact, domestic cheese was produced in just a handful of states (NY, Wisconsin, Vermont, CA).
--In 1967, most Americans cheese consumption was limited to processed cheese, or to mass-produced cheddars and Colby Longhorn.
--In 1967, fancy imported cheeses were Jarlsberg, Havarti, Danish Blue, Provolone and Brie, although a few others began arriving in the 70s.
--In 1967, these cheeses were available at specialty cheese shops only, not supermarkets. Savvy epicures who could find them, purchased these imported cheeses for an exorbitant $2 to $5/lb., although authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano sold for as much as to $10/lb. even then.
--In 1967, The Cheese Shop of Concord was considered a culinary pioneer when it opened in this historic suburb 10 miles northwest of Boston.
On Saturday, October 6, the shop will be selling Brie and Jarlsberg for $2.49/lb., along with other 1967-era favorites, all sold at 1967 prices on this day, i.e. St Andre, Stilton, Danish Blue, Locatelli Romano, plain and flavored Havarti, Chaumes and Roquefort. Also, a selection of wines will be sold at the unheard-of price of $3 to $3.50 per bottle. I am sure it is going to get crowded there very quickly with those prices.
2) At Grill 23 & Bar, Wine Director Brahm Callahan is giving you 23 reasons to come in and experience Grill 23 with his '23 under $23' Wine List. Callahan has chosen a wide ranging selection of sparkling, white and red options for diners to experience new wines or revisit old favorites. This special, and surprising, list is available in both the bar and the dining room on Sunday and Monday evenings.
Callahan explains why he is offering these 23 wines at $23/bottle, "This gives us an opportunity to feature some obscure wines as well as some mainstream wines at a great price. I hope our guests will select a wine that they might not normally try. It is also a way for us to feature wines that people might not necessarily associate with a steakhouse like Picpoul de Pinet or Primativo. These are varietals that are absolutely stunning when done well and they really complement our cuisine. In addition, it changes more frequently than the normal list so it is fresh and new for our Sunday and Monday guests who come regularly."
For only $23, sounds like there could be some excellent value wines available.
3) Bergamot, my Overall Favorite Restaurant of 2011, used to offer a Blackboard Special each evening, three courses for only $39. That is being eliminated, yet the replacement is even better. Instead of a single daily special, you will be able to create your own Three Course Prix Fixe Menu for $39 at any time. You get to choose any appetizer, entrée and dessert from their entire menu. That sounds like a fantastic deal and I highly recommend you take advantage of it.