Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

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) With the best Spanish wine list in the Boston area, Taberna de Haro now carries 325 wines, including 45 Sherries. And now they are holding the "The Quintessential Wine Tasting" on Wednesday, September 18, at 7pm. Kerin Auth of Olé Imports will come and lead a tasting of seven different wines.

Kerin has made over 30 trips to Spain and even lived in Sevilla for a year. During the last seven years of her career, she owned and operated Tinto Fino, a wine shop in Manhattan dedicated to selling Spanish wines exclusively. Now shuttered, I was a big fan of that wine shop. Kerin represents a portfolio within the company called "Península" which has a highly allocated selection of wines. That simply means "rare and special." Only 52 establishments around the country are allowed to buy wine from this unique collection, and Taberna de Haro is one of them.

Chef Hansen calls this "Quintessential" because you will experience some of Spain's most important grapes - in their very purest form. All the winemakers in this portfolio are crazily committed to a clarity of expression, and they see no boundaries in attaining this. The infamous Raul Perez is represented here, as is Antonio Barbadillo of Sanlucar de Barrameda (Jerez) fame. Here is the list of wines we'll taste and there will likely be an extra surprise wine or two.

Manzanilla AB Sacristía (palomino from Sanlucar de Barrameda)
Totus Tuus Reserve Brut Cava (xarel-lo, macabeu, parellada chardonnay, pinot noir from Penedés)
Leirana Albariño 2011 (albariño from Rias Baixas)
Tampesta Finca de los Vientos 2010 (prieto picudo from Tierra de Leon)
La Vizcarra 2010 (tempranillo or tinto fino from Ribera del Duero)
La Vitoriana (mencia from Bierzo)
Elo (monastrell from Yecla

The cost is $50 per person (plus tax & gratuity) and Chef Hansen is working on the menu, It will include food pairings both classic and innovative. For Reservations, email or call 617-277-8272.

2) Tavolo, in Dorchester, is hosting its next Cheap Flights to Italy on Monday, September 9, for only $25 per person. You will receive 3 wines paired with 3 regional tastings, and this installment's country is Sardinia,

The Menu is:
First Glass: 2011 Botromagno, Gravina Greco/Malvasia Blend
Paired with Seafood First Bite: Artisan Bread & tomato stuffed Squid
Second Glass: 2010 Argiolas, Cannonau Di Sardegna, which has great body
Paired with Lamb Second Bite: Braised Lamb with Fettuccine & Sheep's Milk Ricotta
Last Glass: 2011 Vallebelbo, Moscato d' Asti, a sweet indulgent treat to finish.
Last Bite: Traditional Sardinian Almond Cookie

3) On Thursday, September 19, The Beehive gets undressed during Diamonds and Pearls, a sultry burlesque performance in partnership with Moët & Chandon and Domaine Chandon. From 9pm-1am, one of New York City’s busiest burlesque performers Calamity Chang, also known as “The Asian Sexsation,” will be joined by the “Go-Go Pussycat,” Lil’ Steph and quintessential pin-up queen Bettina May for a mid-week break proving that you don’t have to be dressed to impress.

The tantalizing beauties will take the stage at 9pm as DEFTrio, a groovin’ jazz trio heats up The Beehive for a night of classic burlesque. Guests are encouraged to make it “dinner and a show” as Executive Chef Rebecca Newell serves her eclectic fare and delicious dishes from The Beehive’s menu from 5pm-2am. All evening show-goers can sip on bubbly from sponsors Moët & Chandon and Domaine Chandon, and toast the night out with a special champagne cocktail!

To make reservations for dinner and a show, please call (617) 423-0069

4) It is time for the 8th annual Heirloom Tomato Festival at Bistro 5 in Medford. From September 10-28, you can enjoy a Special 3 or 5 Course Tasting Menu, with or without wine pairings, which features a variety of heirloom tomatoes. I attended last year's Tomato dinner and it was certainly a delicious and compelling event. I hope to attend again this year and strongly urge my readers to go as well.

--Pappa al Pomodoro (Bread-Tomato soup and Lardo Crostini)
2012 Le Salse, Verdicchio, Metalica
--Fried Green Tomatoes (Green Zebra, Burrata and Black Olive "Soil")
2011 Cantina Santa Maria La Palma, Vermentino Aragosta, Sardegna
--Black Cavatelli (Pineapple Tomato and Lobster)
2011 Domaine Brazilier, Coteaux du Vendomois
--Rohan Duck (Smoked Speckled Roman Tomato and Thai Basil Creme Brulee, Sweet and Sour Butternut Squash and Pickled Ginger
2010 Gran Sasso, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
--Tomatina (Organic Peach Tomato Mousse, Basil Yogurt Gelato, Vanilla Bean Crème Anglaise and Sweet Pistachio Pesto)
2010 Elio Perrone 'Bigarò', Brachetto d'Aqui

Tasting Menu: Five Course: $75 per person; Three Course: $49 per person
Wine Pairing: Five Course: $25 per person; Three Course: $20 per person

Reservations available online or by phone 781-395-7464

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