Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Frances grip on wine exports loosening

You know its getting serious when a French Magazine talks about it. Still, I dont find the wine sections of other countries finding nearly the diversity as France’s in my local wine stores. French wine producers/importers/distributers merely need more information on the back label or shelf talkers to keep the consumer informed and interested in more. France has a lot to offer in their multiple appellations and grapes, but is doing little to woo the wine nerds abroad.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Repeal Day

Today marks the Anniversary of the ratification of the 21st amendment to the US Constitution, the effective repeal of the 18th Amendment, and the end of prohibition. The effects of prohibition can not be understated. It not only crippled large swaths of industry from farmers to brewers, but resulted in serious changes throughout American culture. Notable disastrous effects can still be felt today, from the popularity and power of soft drink manufacturers, to the rise and funding of organized crime, to the advent and growth of NASCAR. The nation is forever scarred. It produced a few good things however, namely the growth of Jazz and the popularity of the cocktail. Now, after more than 70 years since repeal, we are finally seeing a new renaissance in wines, beers, and spirits, with the market full of grower wines, craft brews, and small batch whiskeys. Americans are finally viewing alcohol, not as a drug, but as a fine product of American agriculture, part of the meal, an art.

The Bo Brothers wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy Repeal Day. Remember to drink responsibly, but remember you’re free to drink.

QOTD: What drink will you be enjoying this Repeal Day?

Our repeal day selections:
Dinner: Pillar Box White paired with --- Pasta in lavender, caper, and ricotta
Digestif: Maison Surrenne (small batch Petite Champagne) Cognac

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Wines 1: Last Years Old World Picks

Since Turkey Day is right around the corner, I felt obliged to send something out. This is the first in a series of articles I wrote last year for a local wine shop. I left the links in, but I don't know if they are still available. I can vouch for this list since many of the wines below made it to my family's feast (the remainder of the wines were Pinot Noirs which will be in the next article). I highly suggest the Dolcettos (we will talk more about this later via video). As for now just enjoy the sick level of verbosity the Bo Brothers can provide when cash is on the line...

It’s Time to Talk Turkey: Old World Wine Meets The All American Bird - Luke Bohanan

This time of year makes for a lot of stress for the home chef. Saturated with a deluge of recipe ideas for turkey, stuffing, squash, and the rest of the holiday fair, the brave cook toils under the constant scrutiny of hungry friends and family. Don’t worry, we at Tewksbury Fine Wine won’t add to the sea of “How to cook your turkey” suggestions, but we do have just the pairings that will bring out the sweet and savory flavors of your well orchestrated meal in this three part “Time to Talk Turkey” series, starting with some great old world wines.

White Wine Lovers
Riesling is well known for its spice, fruit, good acid, and distinct minerality that will cut right through the fat in rich gravy and juicy roasted turkey, refreshing the pallet for that next bite of drumstick. Germans and Austrians enjoy their Rieslings with sausages, gravy laden Jaeger Schnitzel, and even roasted turkey or goose breast. In France, the Alsatians drink their prized Rieslings with roast duck, pork, and foie gras. These dry wines are time tested favorites for roasted meats, and are perfect for old world wine fans, and white wine lovers alike.

Reichsgraf Von Kesselstatt Riesling 2004 - $24.99
“The 2004 Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett represents a single 2,000-case bottling. Smelling enticingly of white grapefruit, lime, and black currant, in the mouth it is like the alter-ego of the Josephshofer: all brisk and luscious fruit acidity and citrus. For a wine, this clear and invigorating one is willing to sacrifice cuddly creaminess. The finish positively shimmers, with abundant grapefruit and black fruits, in a dynamic exchange with salts and slate.” 90 Points - Robert Parker

Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Riesling 2005 - $22.99
"A mix of smoke, mineral and apple aromas and flavors in a dry, racy profile. This may be a bit lean for some tastes, so make sure you pair it with food. The citrus and mineral aftertaste begs for oysters or shellfish. Drink now with some decanting or cellar through 2017." Only 1,000 cases made. 89 points - Wine Spectator

Trimbach Riesling 2004 - $20.99
Beautiful in color with a hint of green on the edge, this wine needs a few more months to reveal its potential and will age gracefully another few years. The nose is developed and shows a hint of mineral flavor associated with good ripeness and acidity and a lingering clean and dry finish. It is ready to drink now but will improve with age over the next five years. Vintage not yet rated

Old World Red Lovers
As for old world red lovers I have a one word answer, Dolcetto. This much overlooked varietal from Italy’s Piedmonte region, of Barolo and Barbaresco fame, literally means “little sweet one.” Don’t be fooled by the name, however, these are wonderfully styled dry reds, that bring plenty of rich fruit and that classic Italian acid back bone, without the high tannins found in most old world reds. These wines are made to be enjoyed young, and are incredibly well priced, as they live under the constant shadow of their Barolo and Barbaresco big brothers. This makes a great holiday wine to stock up on for Italiophiles, as it will also match well with more delicate pasta and risotto dishes.

Mascarello Dolcetto d' Alba Bricco 2004 - $18.99
Perfect for those who love earthy reds. “Medium violet, Mascarello’s 2004 Dolcetto offers the typical varietal notes of blue/black fruit, wet earth, and minerals in a somewhat clenched, lean, and austere style.” Drink now through 2008. 87 points - Wine Advocate

Roagna Dolcetto 2005 - $14.99
“The Dolcetto d’Alba is a terrific introduction to the wines of this producer. Made from a blend of fruit sourced from the family’s holdings in Castiglione Falletto and Barbaresco, it typically sees fermentation and maceration lasting 15-20 days, unheard of for Dolcetto. The 2005, a deeply-colored violet, is a gorgeous effort bursting with plum blueberry and licorice nuances. It offers outstanding length in a slightly riper, more generous style than the 2004, with a characteristic, slightly bitter note on the finish,. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2012. Roagna’s entry-level wines are every bit as representative of this producer’s unique style as are the higher priced Barolo and Barbaresco bottlings. Old vines, very late harvests and extended macerations are the rule.” 90 Points – Wine Advocate

Palmina Dolcetto 2005 - $22.99
A woderfull old world styled wine from the golden state (hey we had to get America in here somewhere). “The elegant 2005 Dolcetto possesses an authentic chocolate/mocha character as well as loads of fruit, no noticeable tannin, and a satisfying, fruity personality. Enjoy it over the next several years. If you haven’t yet discovered Palmina, these are very impressive Italian-inspired wines from one of California’s most brilliant winemakers.” 87 Points – Robert Parker

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cooking Coarse VBLOG: Perfect Instruction in Fundamental Cooking Techniques

While considering a format for the up coming video portion of this blog, I spend quite a bit of time checking out the competition. I have sifted through hundreds of home made cooking shows, a vast majority of which emulate the Food TV likes of Rachael Ray and Paula Dean. Honest efforts in sharing their food knowledge, but mostly as uninformative as they are uninteresting. Finally I stumbled on a show that is entertaining, educational, and fun to watch. Now I no longer need to worry about going over basics cooking on my blog, I will just send you to a real chef.

In Cooking Coarse Chef Todd Mohr preaches the gospel of self reliance in the kitchen by matching the French technical grounding of Jacques Pepin and the food nerd fact finding of Alton Brown, with the high energy kick of Gary Vaynerchuk. The Chef tells us to burn our recipes and cook like a painter paints, aiming for the result we envision and not focusing on the individual steps. He gives us excellent tools for the job, from selecting the right knives, to making classic French sauces. These 5 to 10 minute clips are perfect for beginners, but even a seasoned cook will learn a new way to sharpen their skills in each episode. Chef Mohr, who runs a small cooking school and catering company outside of Raleigh, NC plays both host and camera man with posts nearly every day, even grilling fish while on vacation in the outer banks. The chef makes it clear that big studios, test kitchens, and PR crews are no match quality content. He may not sell Ritz Crackers like Ray Ray, but you will actually be able to feed yourself from what you learn on this show.

With the market the way it is, it may be time to roll your portfolio into an investment in roasted peppers. Chef Todd Mohr shows you how.

I have already added the web site to my video blog list to the left, now making the Bo Brothers THE one stop shop for the most useful, informative, and complete food and wine video link collection on the entire Internet. Watch, learn, cook and show your support. Bloggers survive on comments!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tito's Handmade Vodka offers craftmanship, quality, and value

I have been eyeballing Tito's vodka for quite some time. Its front label claims of being "Handmade" "Distilled 6 Times" and "Crafted in old fashioned pot still by Texas' first and only distillery" peeked my curiosity, while its questionably low price tag raised my suspicions. Can a spirit be hand crafted and priced at $18. This must have been a ploy by a massive liquor firm to push cheep vodka on unsuspecting Texans. Then there’s Texas. What do Texans know about vodka? Still, for 18 bones I figured it’s worth a shot. Soon after cracking open the bottle, I realized I just stumbled on the best QPR in the liquor store, and maybe the industry.

This vodka is the smoothest I have ever had, easily beating out industry sweetheart Grey Goose ($32) and our previous favorite Reyka ($27) from Iceland. In many ways though, smooth is a total cop out on a tasting note. With Tito's, however, it really allows the nuanced flavors to be pronounced without being masked by vodka’s trade mark rubbing alcohol nose.

Tito's Handmade Vodka - Tasting Notes
100% corn vodka; distilled 6 times in pot still; 80 proof.

"Nose is soft and reminiscent of citrus peel pith. Medium mouth feel with gentle peppery burn and slight sweetness. The finish is long, peppery, and pleasant. This vodka is better at room temperature, so keep it out of the icebox. Drink neat or on the rocks with a squeeze of lime." – LB

The story of Tito and his vodka is the kind of thing we don’t see enough, a true craftsman and his art. No fancy ads or endorsements, just hard work and a fine product. It all started in the 90s when Bert Butler “Tito” Beveridge (his real last name, seriously) quit his office job to start the first legal distillery in Texas. After failing to get interest from investors, Tito spent his savings and maxed out his credit cards to build a single pot still in an old barn outside of Austin. Starting with just one employee and a marketing strategy based completely on word of mouth, the distillery grew from 1,000 cases and one still in 1997 to 160,000 cases from ten stills today. Tito’s vodka is highly regarded and has won several spirits competitions. For more information, including videos, press, history, and even country music written and recorded by Tito (who needs to stick to his day job at the distillery) check out the official website:

You may have trouble finding Tito’s at your local liquor store or bar, since production is still relatively small. As always, talk to the manager and see if they can start carrying it. You may need to be armed with the name of your local Tito’s distributor which you can find on the web site. If all else fails, hit the internet. This vodka really is worth the seeking out. It is, afterall, the Bo Brothers house vodka.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eastern North Carolina BBQ

Since my original post was completely lost, I will make this one brief and let ESPNs Todd Blackledge do the talking for me. I love the Eastern North Carolina school of pulled pork BBQ, and few do it better than B's. The spice and acid of the vinegar based sauce is the perfect enhancer to the fatty, smokey pork. If your in the Greenville area, check it out. Be advised, those eight slow cooking hogs usually disappear by 1PM, so dinner is never an option at the popular BBQ shrine.