We are big fans of Ostertag around here, and this punchy riesling is no exception. Volcanic sediment and pink sandstone make up the soil in the Muenchberg parcel, imparting a steep minerality that cuts nicely through the slight sweetness in this bottle. Try with roast pork or meaty fish for a treat.
You simply cannot get a better bottle of Burgundy for under a hundred bucks than the Guillemot’s family best cuvèe from the Serpentières vineyard. Young or old, it always delivers everything we love about Burgundy, no more, no less. It’s fresh and youthful today, but will live for decades in the cellar.
Cabarès lies just outside the medieval walled city of Carcassonne at the ends of the Massif Central. With influences from the Atlantic in the east and the Mediterranean to the west it’s been given the motto, “Vent d’Est, Vent d’Ouest”. Despite its southern location, the wines are surprisingly invigorating.
Agnès and René Mosse, along with their sons Joseph and Sylvestre, live and work in the village of St-Lambert-du-Lattay, in Anjou, making this wine out of the grapes Grolleau and Pineau d’Aunis. Although this wine is technically a Pet Nat, it is disgorged by hand and then resealed with a traditional Champagne cork.
Knowing a product’s full story fundamentally alters our relationship with it. This gift set is for people who love making those connections: a collection of goods from northern Italy that is intrinsically linked to their origins. The Pecorino Gessato comes from Fattoria Lischetto, a farm in Volterra that produces this young, bright, unpasteurized sheep milk cheese. Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano has been made by the same family of affineurs for five generations — it comes from mountain farms and is aged in their Piedmont cheese cave. The end result is a parm so delicious it has to be eaten alone, not shaved over food. The organic fruit mostarda is a classic companion to Northern Italian cheeses. It comes from the Melloni Farm, a family-run operation in Emilia-Romagna, and is equal parts sweet, tart, and spicy. Because the delicious is in the details.
This set is all about connecting to the land, restoring ancient traditions, and finding new ways to appreciate the history of a place. The owners of il Censo, the Spato family, have been farming their corner of the Mediterranean island of Sicily for centuries. They produce exceptional olive oil, pasta, and wine from ingredients exclusively grown on their land. Il Censo’s olive oil, produced from restored 100-year-old trees, is lush and buttery with notes of tart red fruit and summer grass. They stone-grind the ancient grain Timilia to make their heirloom pasta, which has a texture unlike any other. And il Censo’s Njuro Rosso Perricone, made with the little-known indigenous grape variety Perricone, cuts through rich olive oil-laden pasta and speaks to the storied history of this Sicilian family. This set is destined for people who want to be transported to a new place, to deep dive into tradition. It even includes a personal gift card from the family.
Some people look to faraway places for inspiration. Others look to their neighbors, their community, the people making and doing incredible things right next to them. This gift set is for them. Cheeses that you just can’t find anywhere except Vermont, made by people who are shaping regional traditions as we speak (or eat.) There is a sheep milk cheese from Vermont Shepherd, from animals grazed on sweet summer clover, grasses, and wild herbs; an earthy, a brand new crystalline treasure that only just made its debut at our counters; and a new generation’s interpretation of Vermont’s iconic Orb Weaver, one of the oldest farmstead cheeses in the state. To tie it all together, we’ve picked a unique jam from V Smiley made with local honey and produce. Give this to someone whose spirit of discovery includes home, who sees their own backyard and community as a place where new things are possible every day.