Dinner 14: Didriks & Friends, Wine & Beer

Beer ‘n’ Cheese, Oh Pretty Please!

No Comments 14 September 2011

By Hairee Lee

Pretty Things Jack D'Or & St. Bardolph's Town

Pretty Things Beer & Ugly (But Tasty) Cheeses

For this trip to Central Bottle, we talked to Tiana DAmico to help us select the beers for our company BBQ dinner. Later at the check out counter, I ask Tiana when she started working at Central Bottle (a year ago) and how she got this job, that is, did she need to have a degree or certification to be a wine and beer consultant?

Tiana DAmico of Central Bottle

She says no. She’s self taught, she explains with a totally un-ironic smile. She’s just been doing it for over 20 years, by which I assume she means she’s been enjoying wines and beers and fine foods as a discipline for a while. Or: she knows what she’s talking about.

* * *

I’d been curious about Pretty Things beers for several weeks partly for their funky hand designed labels and partly for being a Somerville brewery. Dinner Series is always interested in local businesses. This one is founded by Dann and Martha Paquette: the husband brews the beers and the wife creates all the art work on the bottles and their brand spanking and totally funky website.

[Pretty Things] Jack D’Or was the winner to enjoy for pretty (haha) much any meal, any time.

Tiana suggested the Pretty Things Jack D’Or, a golden colored beer as the name would suggest, and St. Bardolph’s Town. Central Bottle carries 4 of the 15 different kinds of Pretty Things. But Tiana felt that the rich flavors of a BBQ would be best matched with those two beers.

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Dinner 11: French Garden Dinner, Wine & Beer

The Wines: Burgundies (and last minute Californians)

No Comments 25 July 2011

By Hairee Lee

The wines for this event are suggestions from Daniel Comerford, owner of The Wine and Cheese Cask.

For those of you not in the know, The Wine and Cheese Cask is located on the north west corner of Beacon and Washington Street in Somerville, has the best selection of French wines I know of in this city, and a cheese1 fridge that yanks mercilessly at your olfactory organ the moment you walk into the store. I am delighted and not surprised by the two wines Daniel recommended: a red rully by Domaine Anne et Jean-François Delorme (2009) and a chardonnay by Theirry & Pascal Matrot (2009), both from the Burgundy Region. I makes me think of my favorite wine, a red burgundy from Saint Etienne. I don’t know the vintage because by the time I realized maybe I should take note of it, I was too drunk.

We drank both of these wines from the brand new Schott Zwiesel (pronounced “shots veesle”) Diva Claret Burgundy glasses a volume capacity2 that exceeds a bottle of wine. It’s enormous, great for full bodied reds like rully from Burgundy, because it lets the wine breath. And plus you can fit the entire lower half of your face inside the rim for the full olfactory experience before sipping.

But the four bottles Jonathan purchased from Daniel weren’t enough between the six of us. So Jim and Page opened up a couple of bottles from their own wine rack: one was Goldeneye Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2006, Jim’s favorite, and the other Dominus Estate Napanook Red Wine Napa Valley 2007.

I tried both. Of course. It’s my job, after all. And they were a nice counterpoint to the French red. How to describe it? Truth is, I hate talking about wine. Bold, oaky, berry, round, full, firm, tight, gains velocity and depth, rich, fine, lush, molten density–what the hell are they talking about when they use adjectives like this? It’s either tasty or not tasty to me. I can go so far as to say sweet or dry, light or heavy. So I will say that the reds from California were heavier and dry and very very tasty.

  1. A great selection of the non-pasteurized cheeses that I discovered and came to love while I was in France many years ago and ate cheese every single day. []
  2. 28.4 ounces, to be exact, equivalent to 840mL. []

Dinner 10: Seaside Supper, Wine & Beer

The Wines for Seafood Supper

No Comments 06 July 2011

By Hairee Lee

In our latest dinner, seafood was the featured protein. When Rodrigo Lenzi, the wine consultant at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, was shown the menu, he made these suggestions and gave Melissa and I quick education on these summer wines.

This was the first time I’ve ever talked to a wine consultant. I highly recommend visiting the Cambridge Wine & Spirits and talking to Rod (or another wine consultant if he’s not around although he was very informative and patient) when trying to choose the best wine for your meals. Based on your taste and budget, you’ll get some excellent suggestions.

It’s quicker than hemming and hawing over the enormous selection of wines in the store and floundering over the labels for some clue as to what would be good when a clue is what you haven’t got.

Plus you walk out with great wines and a little more know-how.

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