Feb 25 Newsletter
Feb 25, 2013
Dear Friend of Farmstead:
Cheese of the Week: Montasio I've been thinking about Montasio lately, for several reasons: the recipe below, and some vacation research I've been doing for the summer.
We've brought in a wheel of medium-aged Montasio (e.g. the one in the center of the photo above) , a raw cow's milk cheese from NE Italy. Montasio is the only DOP cheese of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, specifically Carnia, the northern portion of the province of Udine where the Alps meet the Adriatic. The cheese originated about 300 years ago in and around Tolmezzo, supposedly the invention of a lonely Alpine monk with a herd of cows to milk and some free time on his hands. Today the official production zone also extends to portions of the Veneto, but Friulians justly claim Montasio as their own.
Montasio producers will tell you that its unique characteristics are the result of three basic ingredients: the sweet grasses and hay of the land, the crisp air of the mountains, and the milk that results from this happy combination. The consortium that governs the production of Montasio monitors the cheese making process with a watchful eye; only milk from dairy farms within the DOP production area may be used. The cheeses are shaped into large, flat wheels, each bearing the official consortium stamp and numbered to identify the producer and the date of production. Montasio is classified and sold according to its age. At 2 months the interior is ivory-white, soft, dotted with holes and considered “fresco,” or fresh, with a tangy, grassy flavor. After 5 months it transitions to “mezzano” or semi-aged; the color turns slightly golden, the texture becomes firmer, and the flavor begins to deepen. After 10 months or more, Montasio becomes “stagionato,” or aged, with a deeper, nuttier flavor, straw-like color and firm texture.
Wine Picks Newsletter
Single vineyard Barolo for $33.30 per bottle.
We love Barolo at Farmstead, but sometimes Nebbiolo newbies
find it difficult to try one for the first time because of their high cost.
(An average entry level Barolo starts at $50 and up!).
Aged in 3000 liter botti, this is a classic Barolo - w/ patented dried rose nose, clean tannins, and persistent but not overwhelming fruit.
Boroli's 2007 is a pretty, seamless wine that captures the personality of the year in its ripe, juicy cherries, spices and crushed flower notes. Tobacco, leather and licorice develop in the glass, adding further complexity and nuance.
I fell in love with Boroli wine's when I visited the winery in 2010 - they make exquisite wines at very attractive prices, and their entry level Barolo is a single vineyard wine, estate grown from a site adjacent to the Villero Grand Cru in Castiglione Falletto.
Weekly Wine Picks #2
A Wonderful Red Wine from Spain - Losada Bierzo!
Was $22.50/bottle, now $16!
$15.20/bottle for six, or only$14.40 per bottle in a 12 pack!!
Shipping? Pick it up in the shop for free, or we can ship for no more than $17.50/case anywhere in CA!
Wine Picks #3
How about a great Côtes du Rhône Villages for
$13.50 per bottle??
We sold out our first offering from Michel Gassier in a flash (Nostre Pais) but we have a bit of his CerciusCôtes du Rhône Villages on hand!
This is a well built wine, with up-front fruit, great length, and a long, long finish!
Wine Picks Newsletter #1
Are you looking for a great Châteauneuf du Pâpe Wanna Be for $16.20 per bottle??
As if designed for fall, Michel Gassier's Nostre Pais not only looks autumnal, it is packed full of flavors very much in tune with this time of year. By that I mean big, rich and bold flavors, masses of ripe damson plum, brambly fruit and a myriad of sweet spices.
This is a wine that if you didn't know any better, you'd swear was a Gigondas or Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe, especially in its long, savory finish!