My grandma would’ve dug this place.
Sure, she enjoyed a good drink as much as the next person — especially if the next person was my grandpa. But her appreciation for The Citizen in Worcester would really come from the fact that she was a true Old School grandma.
Pillsbury didn’t own an inch of space in her kitchen. She could make her own (and far superior) crescent rolls from scratch, thank you very much. Potato salad from the deli? Please. She had her own homemade recipe — one that made all other versions of the dish seem pretty weak.
There’s a similar philosophy at Citizen.
“People want to drink the way they eat.” said bar manager and bartender Dave Delaney. “In short, that means people are looking for something fresh, local and in season,” he said.
Behind the bar, that translates into making homemade syrups and using simple, pure ingredients. Delaney said it’s part of a cocktail renaissance as people are rediscovering some of the classic drinks — some of them over 100 years old — being made true to their roots.
This involves breaking a drink down to its basic parts, making quality choices for the ingredients, and then mixing them so the flavors can interact as they were intended, he said. It’s a contrast to the world of pre-made mixes that are designed primarily to cover the taste of bad spirits, he added.
For example, in Delaney’s quest to create drinks like Millionaire of Havana and Ticket to Paradise, he saw he needed Swedish Punsch. Rather than ordering someone else’s off-the-shelf version, he kept experimenting until he had concocted his own Swedish Punsch formula. His recipe is a process that takes six hours, and it’s all to make just one of the ingredients used in his cocktails.
And for people packing their own cocktail recipes, Citizen has the tools to accommodate: eyedroppers, metal jiggers, spirits approved by the barâ€™s tasting panel and even a leather bound book for customers to document the specifics of their individual drinks.
Dubbed the Citizen’s Assembly, the book is a throwback to recipe books kept in the bars of yesteryear. Kevin Ludy, the beverage director for Niche Hospitality, Citizen’s parent company, started the book when Citizen opened nearly two years ago.
Of course, people can and do write anything in the book besides recipes, Ludy noted. A given page is as likely to contain a recipe as it is a proclamation of love Travis, referring to Citizen’s mixologist Travis Doyle. But Ludy wouldn’t have it any other way. The book is getting used exactly the way he wanted.
For those customers not quite sure what they want to drink, Ludy, Doyle and Delaney bring plenty of creativity to the table to mix up something appropriate.
“I like to ask, “What kind of day did you have?” or ˜What kind of mood are you in?” Delaney said. “The drink from yesterday might not work today.”
The key is balance — not too bitter, not too sweet, he said.
One of his creations, Bitter in Brazil, won Delaney a trip to New Orleans last summer to Tales of the Cocktail, an international cocktail industry celebration. Delaney’s drink is a variation of Caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink, he said, adding he wanted “put a little spice in it.”
This was the drink I had to try.
Delaney carefully mixed Cacha, Cointreau and Punt e Mes, setting each bottle on the bar for me to see. He also added ice, bitters and an orange peel that he first carefully wiped around the rim of the glass before placing it the drink.
The orange’s subtle smell and taste got a boost from the Cointreau. Then the punch of the Cacha and Punt e Mes kicked in. I’m not sure, but I thought I got a very faint flavor of whiskey, which Delaney said could have come from the bitters. Or he may have been politely humoring my inability to isolate all the distinct tastes in the drink.
Bitter in Brazil definitely achieves his goal of balancing and blending the worlds of bitter and sweet, with a succession of flavors competing for the taste buds attention.
When mixing a cocktail, “I try to make it as multi-dimensional as possible,” Delaney said.
I suddenly had a craving for my grandma’s crescent rolls. Wherever she is, I’m pretty sure she approves of Delaney’s work.
Written by Jeff Haynes
Jeff has been writing and photographing for a variety of publications since 1995. His work has covered a wide range of topics such as art, sports, politics, real estate, human interest, business and the environment. In addition, his photography includes portraiture, promotional work for various artists, and fine art imagery seen in shows around New England.
He is also a fan of all good things to eat and drink. It’s a habit — addiction, perhaps — that he attempts to feed daily.
By Elaine Pusateri Cowan
Elaine strives to create beauty everyday. Whether she’s designing web pages or interiors, preparing appetizers or entrees and even refinishing furniture or making art, she always looks to satiate her appetite for all things artistic.
As an artist, foodie, interior designer and amateur photographer, Elaine believes in the quality of a sustainable life, not just living well. Her strong sense of duty to integrate such sustainability into every aspect of domestic life begins with perhaps the most basic of all elements: diet. She believes eating well to be fundamental to well being and with a stocked pantry filled with local produce, anyone can whip up quick, fresh and delicious meals every night.
Elaine holds a B.S. in Sociology from Worcester State University. From there, she worked as a social worker until the birth of her second child when she also became involved in creating Elaine’s Epicurean Enterprises, a catering and in-home meal service. At that time, she also acted as a substitute teacher in the culinary arts department for Worcester Technical High School. Currently, Elaine is enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design where she studies interior design a passion born from the major renovations of her home. She has also been the registration administrator at the Worcester Art Museum for the last ten years, managing their education department database and online registration system.
Elaine lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband Chuck, son Chad, daughter Antonia, dog Buster and, throughout the summer months, with her snow-bird mother Betty.
Instructions for Salmon Paradiso
|1. In a food processor, pulse a bag of baby spinach-set aside.2. Pulse an 8oz block of cream cheese with one teaspoon of dry dill.
3. Add the spinach back into the cream cheese & dill mixture and pulse just until blended.
*it should be the consistency of oatmeal.
|4. Preheat oven to 350.|
|5. Begin with a flat piece of salmon-you may fillet further with a knife or mallet.|
|6. Lightly oil a cookie sheet and place sheet of parchment|
|7. Place two sheets of phyllo on parchment and brush with butter and repeat once.|
|8. Spread filling onto fillet leaving a 1/2 inch boarder -I aways roll the smallest end first.|
|9. Place the salmon onto the phyllo and roll-use the parchment to lift the phyllo without breaking it.|
|10. Wrap once more in this time tucking in outside edges.|
|11. Brush with a little more butter and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350.|
|12. Slice into pieces an inch and a half thick. Serve with Dill Honey Butter drizzled over top.|
Instructions for Grilled Romaine Salad with Crimson Crystals and Parmesan Chips
|RED WINE CRYSTALS|
|1. Pour 1/4 cup of red vinegar and freeze until hard.|
|GRILLED ROMAINE HEARTS|
|1. Half 2 romaine hearts.|
|2. Brush with olive oil.|
|3. Sprinkle with kosher salt.|
|4. Place romaine cut side down on grill.|
|5. Flip and shut heat down.|
|6. Set aside.|
|PARMIGIANO REGGIANO CRISP|
|1. Mound 2-3 tablespoons of PR cheese onto hot griddle.|
|2. Cook until bubbly.|
|3. Lift gently around the edges.|
|4. Flip-over mounds, then shut down heat.|
|Assemble: chop grilled romaine, break PR crisps over romaine and finish by scraping the red wine crystals on top of everything.|
Instructions for Dill Honey Butter
| . Combine 1 table spoon of dry dill, 1/2 lb butter, 1/4 cup of honey in a food processor.. Process until blended.
. Prepare at least 8 hours or 1 day in advance and refrigerate.
Here is a link to the second issue of Foodies of New England. Clicking this link should open the entire magazine in a new browser window for you. Enjoy: http://tinyurl.com/7uqzc3x
The past few months exploded with culinary creativity and interesting goings-on, particularly in Central New England.
With so much culinary talent and such an array of interesting epicurean happenings in the central Massachusetts marketplace, we were forced to dedicate much of this issue to that sprouting region and I’m told every bit of research was delicious.
Take, for example, organic farming at Berberian Farms in Northboro (p. 11); there, you’ll find the freshest, most high quality produce available. Wondering which of your favorite local chefs use that local produce in their entres? Just check out The People’s Kitchen on Exchange Street in Worcester. (p.28) Chefs Nemeroff and Champagne are fresh-food focused and experiment with all kinds of terrific ingredients. The only rule: everything comes from local farmers. Supporting the local economy through best practices in farm-to-table is the perfect way to give New England diners the freshest, most innovative cuisine, such as Nemeroff’s 21-day-aged beef from the Double J Farm. An entre that goes perfectly with a Sallis Castrum wine, one of our picks featured in Wines of Distinction (p. 29). Low in sulfites and 100 percent Italian, you can’t go wrong with this exceptional bottle.
Let’s not forget dessert. Alina Eisenhauer, of Worcester’s stylish and delightful dessert bar Sweet, divulges her recipe for Bananas Foster (p. 18). Along with recipe, she indulges our curiosity, revealing the reasoning behind her methods. Itâ€™s clear why sheâ€™s been chosen as a featured chef on Food Network twice.
Oh yes, of course there’s always that drink before dinner, an aperitif of sorts. Why does the award-winning mixologist Dave Delaney ask, “What kind of day did you have?” Writer Jeff Haynes finds out first-hand in Something to Drink (p. 31).
Not in the mood to go out but still want something truly fabulous, colorful and unique? Award-winning Sushi Master ÂÂWilson Wang of Baba Sushi will teach you everything you need to know in A New Way to Eat Sushi (p. 15). First-rate sushi right in the comfort of your own home; it’s simple, fast and beyond delightful.
Still have hankering for something a little on rich side that won’t ruin your beach body? You came to the right place. Healthy at Home by Elaine Pusateri Cowan (p. 23) is the place for inspiring and delectable dishes. I dare you to get through the Salmon Paradiso piece without salivating all over these glossy pages. Consider it a challenge.
Bon Appetit “Buon Appetito Buen Provecho Guten Appetit
Domenic Mercurio, Jr.
Sweet’s Bananas Foster
makes 1 serving
Alina opened Sweet Pastry Shop and Dessert Bar in the summer of 2008 and has been winning awards and critical acclaim ever since, including the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Worcester Living Magazine Best Dessert, the 2008 City Living Magazine Best Bakery and the 2010 Worcester Magazine Best Dessert.
Sweet was also featured on TV Diner and Phantom Gourmet and Alina has appeared on season one of Food Network’s Chopped and will be featured on season two of the network’s Cupcake Wars. Her recipes have even been featured in The National Culinary Review.
By Domenic Mercurio
Where can you go to sample menus that include barbecued calf’s tongue or house-dried beef cheek sausage? What about getting a first-hand viewing of your meal being made? And then having a Q&A with the chef?
Only at The People’s Kitchen.
Located at The Citizen in Worcester, TPK is the ultimate foodie playground; eat, inquire and learn. Food aficionados can head into the kitchen and grill the chef on his methods; they can sample haute cuisine, keep it simple with some good old-fashioned comfort food or even try something a bit more exotic. Whatever the craving, TPK can satisfy just about any insatiable appetite.
Guests are welcomed to sit, eat, drink, be merry, and interact with Executive Chef Bill Nemeroff. Whether you have questions about sourcing meat or seasoning, inquiring minds are always encouraged.
In keeping with TPK’s honest and open policy, Foodies interviewed Bill as well as Chef Steve Champagne, all in the name of good, honest food.
Foodies: What’s the concept behind the name The People’s Kitchen’?
Bill Nemeroff: The idea for the restaurant was born out of the want to combine the culinary styles of Block 5 and Cedar Street Restaurant. We offer our guests menu honesty, a concept that many restaurants don’t adhere to. Simply speaking, The People’s Kitchen is a restaurant for the people.
Steve Champagne: The name also reflects a certain honesty in our product. We offer a tremendous value in high-quality food. Our steak prices are better than most steak houses or fine dining establishments, and the quality is superb. Our guests truly get an honest meal for an honest dollar.
BN: We allow our guests to come into the kitchen and ask questions and see the quality we present at the table. It’s their kitchen. Of course, at 7:30 on a Saturday night, it’s not the wisest idea to have a group of guests walking through the kitchen, but if they want a tour and are interested in seeing our 21-day dry aging process, we’d love to have them.
Foodies: How did you decide that 21 is the magic number?
BN: In order to properly dry age beef, the product has to be stored in a cooler at a particular temperature for an extended time. We tested different time periods: 7 days, 14 days and 21 days. By the end of our experiment, we determined that 21 days resulted in more tender meat; the enzymes break down the tissue in the meat, thereby naturally tenderizing it without the need for pounding, which can sometimes bruise the meat.
Foodies: Do you locally source your ingredients?
BN: We actually use a farm-to-table approach; we buy our meat from local farms that we’re familiar with. It’s important for a dining establishment to be able to source the best, freshest meat available from reliable and like-minded farmers.
SC: Buying directly from local farmers also allows us to see what’s available and in season. That way, we’re able to rotate our menu every day, offering diners what’s timely and fresh, something new and different each time they visit us. By buying local and buying fresh, we’re really able to take the handcuffs off so that we can experiment with new items that we, as chefs, want to try. (Steak Portuguese: New York Strip topped with pickled peppers, garlic butter and a fried egg). Offering our guests something new and different is what we love doing. After all, it is their Kitchen.
Foodies: Is everything local?
SC: At TPK, we source some great international cheeses. We’ve procured some delicious Cacciocavallo, a semi-hard cheese from Italy, and Red Dragon, a grain mustard-laced cow cheese from Great Britain. And there are always local favorites like the Smith Gouda from Semi Farm in Massachusetts and the Grafton Aged Cheddar from Vermont.
Foodies: Do you ever put your own spin on an international favorite?
SC: We create a sweet sopressata, in true Italian fashion with our own dry aged pork, and an offal sausage that is very unique and tasty. The charcuterie is really where the distinction lies for us. It’s such an investment; creating quality in this respect requires so much time.
BN: It really is; watching the meat cure, ensuring it ages properly, constantly checking the curing temperature and observing how the meat responds to the process. It’s completely worth it for me, though.
Foodies: Bill, what’s your favorite TPK creation to date?
BN: Our fried chicken. I’m a southern boy, and our recipe is the same recipe my grandmother used when she made it for me as a young boy. We use braised mustard greens, red eye gravy, and chicken that has soaked in buttermilk for three days.
Foodies: Three days?
BN: Oh, yes. It’s critical for the meat to absorb as much richness from the buttermilk as possible and it really increases the chicken’s ability to hold the batter, creating an intensely rewarding flavor.
Foodies: It’s clear that craft is important to you.
BN: The emphasis is really on simplicity and quality. TPK is a craft restaurant, from top to bottom and right down to our beverages we don’t carry big brands like Absolute vodka. We use small-batch, craft vodkas instead.
SC: One evening, I remember a guest asked for Southern Comfort. Obviously, we don’t carry it, but the guest was thrilled with what we did have an artisanal, craft beverage from a distinctive, unique brand. Because of that, our servers undergo extensive training and education, so they’re well versed in everything we offer, which inspires confidence in our guests.
Foodies: Do your guests ever get too confident? Have you ever had to compromise your philosophy, recipes or preparation methods at their request?
BN: We do our best in the kitchen to not say no. Sometimes, our ideals are confronted and we have to decide what we’re comfortable doing. We invest so much time and effort into everything we create, even in the sauce. So, the last thing we want is to see our creation getting covered in ketchup. In short, we do our best to select sauces and flavors that are intended to perfectly complement each other. We’re confident that our guests will agree when they taste it.
SC: But we do take requests and change our ingredients. After all, we are The People’s Kitchen!
BN: Absolutely. In fact, it’s quite common. We have guests who are vegan and request vegetarian versions of our intensely flavored meat dishes. By principle, we’ve created a protein-driven menu, but vegetarians are people, too. We accommodate them without any difficulty.
SC: But we are fairly eccentric in our approach to these dishes. Our chickpea, gluten-free burger is quite good and resembles the texture and tangy flavor of a traditional burger. It has a pasty, meaty quality that imitates beef, and it’s pureed for a tight consistency.
Foodies: What’s your culinary philosophy?
BN: Cook what you know. Don’t get influenced by trends and keep your integrity about what you’re cooking. Technically, know how to cook things. If you’re going to make steak, use salt and pepper, then add from there. With that said, I do like big and bold dishes and experimenting with world flavors. In that way, I’m kind of a sauce guy.
Foodies: Bill, last year you competed at the Worcester’s Best Chef and made it to the live, Iron Chef round. What dish got you there?
BN: I prepared a dessert in the image of a traditional savory, comfort-food favorite, a hamburger. In this case, it was a chocolate hamburger. For the hamburger patty, I used dense chocolate mousse; the buns were made of cream puffs; and the cheese was mango gel. I presented and plated the hamburger with a vanilla milkshake (insert photo here). that was comprised of almond milk.
Foodies: What was it like competing live, on stage in the final competition of Iron Chef?
BN: It was fun. I liked playing around with the crowd, but had to ask myself, Am I trying to win, or am I trying to do my best to represent the restaurant Cedar Street? In a competition like that, those are two very different things. It’s exciting and stressful; you open your mystery basket, look at the ingredients and wonder to yourself live in front of a thousand people. What in the world am I going to make with quail eggs and coco puffs? So, I just started to chop my ingredients, boil the water and halfway through, I knew what I was going to do. Sometimes it comes to you as you’re getting started.
Foodies: What are some of the differences between Cedar Street Restaurant, which you formerly owned and operated, and TPK?
BN: Cedar Street was a place where you’d dine once in awhile. TPK is a place where you can sit at the bar and have a croque madame about as often as you’d like.
Foodies: What’s next for TPK?
SC: I think we’ll be busy promoting some of the events we’re working on: Farmers’ Dinners, with tables of produce to educate the community, a pig roast with Bill’s southern recipes like frog stew, chicken soup, savage corn boiled outdoors. We’ll also have more wine dinners, whisky and game dinners and maybe a cooking series on the patio. We don’t want to move too fast. After all, we’re part of the Slow Food Movement, which is about eating with your friends and family, sitting down, re-connecting, and living again.
BN: There’s a reason why it’s called comfort food. Everyone can relate to it, regardless of economic or ethic persuasion. We believe in the concept of Vive La Food. This is how a restaurant should be, and how the food should be prepared for real people, by real people.
The People’s Kitchen at The Citizen Wine Bar is located at 1 Exchange Street, Worcester, Massachusetts. More information is available online at www.thecitizenwinebar.com/the-peoples-kitchen.php or by calling 508-459-9090.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2011
National Archives Opens “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” Food Exhibit June 10, 2011
Groundbreaking exhibit explores nation’s love affair with, fear of, and obsession with food
Suggested Tweet: National Archives to allow food in museum space? Only as theme of new exhibit, of course! “What’s Cooking Uncle Sam?” opens June 10, 2011.
Suggested Facebook Post: What’s Cooking at the National Archives? Tasty new exhibit on food opens June 10, 2011. Groundbreaking “What’s Cooking Uncle Sam?” exhibit explores nation’s love affair with, fear of, and obsession with food
Washington, DC. . . On Friday, June 10, 2011, the National Archives will unveil a delectable new exhibition, What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on the American Diet.
Unearth the stories and personalities behind the increasingly complex programs and legislation that affect what we eat. Learn about Federal government’s extraordinary efforts, successes, and failures to change our eating habits. From Revolutionary War rations to cold war cultural exchanges, discover the multiple ways that food has occupied the hearts and minds of Americans and their government.
Food-related holdings of the National Archives are surprisingly yet tastefully presented in this exploration of the government’s role in the American approach to food. What’s Cooking Uncle Sam? is free and open to the public, and will be on display in the Lawrence F. Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, through January 3, 2012. The exhibition was created by the exhibit staff of the National Archives Experience with support from the Foundation for the National Archives.
The Government’s efforts to inspire, influence, and control what Americans eat have led to unexpected consequences, dismal failures, and life-saving successes. Records in the National Archives trace the origins of the programs and legislation aimed at ensuring that the American food supply is ample, safe, and nutritious. The records also reflect the effects the government has had on our food choices and preferences. At turns comic (blindfolded turkey tasting experiments) and tragic (lab notes on toxic candy), these records reveal the evolution of our beliefs and feelings about food. They convey the desperate voices of depression-era farmers, and explain how the government got into the business of publishing recipes for ham shortcake and teaching housewives to can peaches.
Dig into “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?’ to learn the fascinating history behind the government’s involvement with food, and discover answers to the following:
What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? offers visitors the chance to examine letters, diaries, photos, maps, petitions, films, patents, and proclamations from the food-related collection of the National Archives. Instead of a traditional chronological approach, the exhibition explores four broad themes: Farm, Factory, Kitchen, and Table.
Farm -Government has had a profound effect on the way farms are run and what they produce.Â The Department of Agriculture scoured the globe for new plant varieties, researched hybrid crops, distributed seeds to farmers, and controlled the prices of farm commodities.Â Learn how programs and legislation transformed agriculture in America.
Section highlights include:
Factory – Government’s attempts to ensure the safety of an industrialized food supply have changed the nature of foods, production methods, labeling, and advertising. Public outcry over swill milk, rancid meat, and substandard tea led to the Pure Food and Drug Act and the FDA. Food producers quickly capitalized on new regulations, touting their products as pure,enriched, and unadulterated. See how the government embraced advances in food technologies, performed research on food production, and secured patents for some of their methods.
Section highlights include:
Kitchen – As scientists made discoveries about nutrition, the government sought to change the eating habits of Americans. Most efforts aimed to reform the homemaker through nutrition education and cooking classes.
Section highlights include:
Table – Although many of its overt attempts to change our diets were unsuccessful, the government did succeed in changing and homogenizing American tastes in other ways. Meals served to soldiers and school children instilled food habits and preferences that persist today. The diets and entertaining style of the Presidents and First Ladies were also influential, as many Americans wrote the White House for recipes and incorporated Presidential favorites into their family meals.
Section highlights include:
What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? -related products — including a special exhibition catalogue, recipe books, apparel, and dishware — will be featured in the Archives Shop. All Archives Shop proceeds support the National Archives Experience and educational programming at the National Archives.
The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Fall/winter Exhibit Hall hours are 10 AM â€“ 5:30 PM daily, except Thanksgiving and December 25 (through March 14).Â Spring/summer hours are 10 AM 7 PM (March 15-Labor Day).
For more information on What’s Cooking Uncle Sam? or to obtain images of items included in the exhibition, call the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.
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Vino, Arte dell Uomo
Translated as wine, the art of man, this is a proclamation of Marcello Zaccagnini wine lover, art enthusiast and impassioned, incorrigible philosopher of all things culture and all things good.
Marcello is the son of Ciccio Zaccagnini and together the two Abruzzesi viticulturists created Sallis Castrum Winery in 1977.
Before their oenological endeavor, Ciccio and Marcello sold grapes to wine makers throughout Italy’s Abruzzo region. As the grape vending business slowed in the late 70s, Marcello began to direct his efforts to the slow art of making wine. Thus Sallis Castrum Winery was born and since, they have crafted wines of remarkable quality and value.
Of course, we would have never known this were it not for Marcello’s urge in 1984 to begin exporting the nectars of Abruzzo. Sallis Castrum is nestled near the Italian National Park of Abruzzo and surrounded by the foothills of the Apennine Mountains. Its existence is a picturesque juxtaposition of the old and new, the ancient and modern, the romantic and commercial. In fact, much of the property sits on sloping hillsides, dotted with strategically with sculptures that are visible for miles, or kilometri, of course.
The art on the grounds is undoubtedly modern and holds a particular significance to Marcello for a multitude of reasons. One being his love of nature and respect for the Abruzzi region, however, his heart is especially belongs to those pieces created by his beloved son
The Cultivator’s Mindset
Marcello is not a winemaker, but rather a thinker and cultivator of goodness. His mindset was simple, but not very common: Give to that which you want to grow. Cultivate, and you will reap.
His desire was pure as the lands surrounding him: Create and provide wonderful and attainable wines of character, history, and lineage for those who may not be as fortunate as he, those who haven’t been blessed by Abruzzo, her crisp, clean air, her fertile ground, and her organic and unspoiled yield.
Many Italians feel a connection to their terrain; however, Abruzzians have a particularly strong attachment to the regions bountiful lands. This bond holds a level of comfort and oneness with the land that all nativi appear to possess. Sure, you’ve probably heard similar remarks about European life before, but to witness its existence in Abruzzo, where Italians find their livelihood in the land is another matter.
Were he to attempt wine making himself, Marcello knew he could not do the grapes growing about him any justice despite his passion and determination as a farmer. Instead, he sought out the natural abilities of his cousin Concezio, who helped Marcello and his father refine their talents as oenologists through education and practice.
Eventually, the respect and diligence that Ciccio, Marcello and Concezio showed madre terra began to pay off. Not only were the grapes coming to fruition, but the winemaking process was also yielding reasonable wines. Young Marcello, however, refused to settle. He wanted to ensure that the greatness coming forth from the vines translated into the bottle. Unafraid, he invested greatly into the equipment necessary to guaranty his homage to the montepulciano and trebbiano grapes for which Abruzzo is known.
That was over 30 years ago and with Concezio at his right hand, Marcello has consistently been producing wines of dignity and distinction and, as he likes to say, they get better and more affordable all the time.
Wines of Distinction
Together, Marcello and Concezio have created a mark of oenological greatness in virtually every price category, particularly among $10 to $15 wines. Imported by Massachusetts’s distributor Rudi & Son Wine Importers, Sallis Castrum wines are available in many cities and towns from Lenox to Boston.
2007 La Botte dell Abate
Looking back on many Zaccagnini creations, one of particular interest comes to mind. The 2007 La Botte dell Abate, a marvelous Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Riserva boasting the Papal seal of the Vatican, although what really matters is inside the bottle. It’s nothing short of liquid luxury and only sets you back $12.
At first taste, it shows an abundance of full, rich, dried cherry fruit, followed by leathery notes and nuances of smoky cured meat at the mid-palate. A subtly sweet herb quality lingers into the softly tannic finish, which is accented by more dried cherry and berry fruits. La Botte is a Riserva wine, which means it is barrel-aged for a little over a year in large oak casks, which give it that nice, spicy fragrance and softer tannic profile.
Its dryness may be typical of the regions other Montepulciano wines, but La Botte is most certainly in a class by itself. Perfect for any red wine lover.
If you’re after a pricier venture, try San Clemente, Zaccagnini’s flagship red. Concezio offers San Clemente in a Burgundy style bottle, which accurately reflects the wine’s French Rhone characteristicsâ€”spicier, brighter fruit, longer finish, crisper acidity and more food-friendly than many other big reds.
To its credit, San Clemente Riserva is a fabulous, jammy, focused, and balanced Italian red that rivals the likes of Piedmont’s Barolo and Tuscany’s Brunello di Montalcino . This make may not be for everyone, but if you like richness and complexity with ample fruit, San Clemente is for you. And at only $30, you can bowl everyone over without over spending.
Written by Domenic Mercurio, Jr.
Domenic Mercurio, AKA The Wine Guy, is a broadly experienced sommelier, having traveled far and wide for his experience. Known for being able to carefully craft a taste experience precisely to the taster, Domenic is a wine expert, and entertainer.
Major Beer Category: Ale
Major Style Category: Stout
Sub Style Category: Milk Stout
What Is A Stout? A direct descendant of the Porter style originally the mixture of three different beers and formally developed by Ralph Harwood who developed single beer that mimicked the flavor and Daniel Wheeler who created a unique kiln for creating black malt these beers are brewed with a select roasted barley rather than a black roasted malt. The name €œstout comes from the creamier, richer, roastier, stronger version of the original Porter described above. The addition of the word €œstout to Porter making it a Stout Porter has since dropped leaving us with the lone word to describe this beer.
What Is A Milk Stout? Using the brewing methods of the traditional Stout, this beer is distinct in that it is brewed with lactose which is unfermentable by beer yeast. The lactose helps to enrich the sweetness and creaminess of the beer.
Our Choice: Left Hand Milk Stout Longmont, Colorado (www.lefthandbrewing.com); 12 oz 6-pack
Why we chose this style: Have you ever had a chocolate covered banana? With hints of sweet chocolate and subtle nutty notes the beer adds a dimension to the bananas you won’t find in your local grocer. The creaminess, sweetness and silky characteristics of this beer delicately balance the texture and mouth feel of the bananas foster.
Where Can You Should Find It In A 6-pack: KJ Baarons, Mass Liquors, Austin Liquors, Julio’s Liquors
Where Can You Should Find It On Draft or In The Bottle: The Dive Bar, The Boynton, Peppercorns, The Horseshoe Pub, Loft 266 Bar & Lounge, Sweet
***Note: This beer may not always be available at the above locations at all times.***
Written by Matt Webster “ Supreme Chancellor of Beer”
Matt Webster is a craft beer enthusiast, educator, event goer, blogger, restaurant adviser, private dinner consultant, celebrity video show host and above all, proudly passionate about all things beer. With nearly a decade of professional beer experience, Matt is known as the Supreme Chancellor of Beer.