Sunday, July 23, 2017
Learn about and enjoy a different not-so-common wine, cheese, and beer every Sunday at incredibly low prices. School was never this delicious. Limit one each per guest at the Sunday School price, and please, no returns: if you try it, you buy it (and we think you’ll like it!)
WINE Pipeño “Aupa,” Viña Maitia, ’16
How appropriate: this Sunday School, we’re taking communion. Well, not literally, but this heritage Chilean red does have a religious backstory. Its name, “Pipeño,” refers to the traditional Chilean way to make wine, dating back to the late 16th century. Back then, Catholic missionaries from Spain’s Canary Islands settled in Chile and brought with them their austere ways of farming, along with the sacramental grape used to make communion wine on their islands, Listàn Negro. (Fun fact: it was the first non-indigenous varietal to be planted in a New World vineyard.) In Chile, it came to be known as Pais, and preserving its humble heritage was a point of pride passed down over the generations. Keeping vines like these alive and producing for so long takes work, and tenacious Chilean winemakers David Marcel and his wife, Loreto Garau, are up to the task. In the tradition of Pipeño, they work their vines much the same way the monks did: without intervention, dry-farming them with care. The result is this summery red, with a little Carignan blended with the Pais (f.k.a. Listàn Negro) for bright notes of red fruits, such as raspberries and strawberries, balanced by funky herbal hints of mint, thyme and fennel.
$9½ glass · $5
CHEESE Gorgonzola Mountain
Lombardy, Italy · Cow-P
Ah, siblings. Similar in so many ways, but invariably, each will have their own distinctive characteristics. Such is the case of Gorgonzola, which holds a privileged place in the trio of the world’s great blue cheeses with England’s Stilton and France’s Roquefort. Gorgonzola’s two “sister” varieties, Dolce and Piccante, share a common lineage but differ in important ways. Creamy Dolce is, as the name suggests, sweeter, while Piccante is zippier and typically more firm. Also known as Gorgonzola Montagne, or Gorgonzola Mountain, it’s a more rustic, traditional version of the famed blue, easier to cut than its beloved sibling, but with a little more punch. Hand-crafted in Lombardy, today’s Gorg the result of curds from both morning and evening milkings, layered together into each wheel and aged for several months to lock the spicy, earthy flavors of the valley where the cows graze. Thanks to artful affinage (that’s human-manipulated cheese aging), the paste is shot through with impressive, boldly flavored blue veins. While mild-mannered Dolce tends towards creamy, spreadable texture, Gorgonzola Mountain has a bit more fortitude, which makes it ideal for baking, sauce making, crumbling – or simply snacking, ideally with a glass of wine. (Psst: try it with some Sauternes!)
$7½ · $4
BEER Cigar City White Oak Jai Alai
Tampa, Florida · 7.5%
Jai Alai (“HI uh-LIE”) is the original extreme sport, developed in Spain’s Basque region. Mad Men fans will recall that even Sterling Cooper couldn’t endear it to American audiences of the 1960s, but it enjoys popularity today in Florida, rivaling spring training baseball in Cigar City’s hometown of Tampa. To play, competitors attempt to catch the ball using a curved mitt that allows them to launch it up and down the field at speeds of up to 188 MPH (take that, Aroldis Chapman!). The brewery gave the name to their flagship IPA, and have since tweaked the recipe into today’s incarnation, as well: White Oak Jai Alai, aged on white oak spirals to impart notes of vanilla, coconut, and even a touch of dill. The oak also tempers the bitterness of the aggressively hopped ale, and oak tannins elegantly dry the beer’s body without diminishing the citrus and caramel notes that made the OG Jai Alai so beloved. In this case, the student has become the master: Jai Alai IPA is probably better known throughout the United States than the sport from which it takes its name.
$8 / 16 oz DRAFT · $4 / 16 oz DRAFT