Greetings Wine and Cheese lovers,

This weekend is something of a double whammy at Bread Garden, as we have our usual wine & cheese sampling on Friday, but then we are participating in the Downtown District’s Open House event from 10:00 -5:00 on Saturday. So here’s the skinny on both days….

FRIDAY:

Mark’s 3-day-Cheese-Sale selection this week is a cheese from the south of France called Cantal. This is one of the truly ancient cheeses of the world, as it has been made in generally the same fashion for over 2,000 years. I would put this roughly in the same category as a medium-aged Gouda. Deliciously round, creamy notes with a slight herbaceousness. It’s quite yummy. Do come try it.

Southern French cheese wants southern French wine, so that’s what we’ll offer up.

Our white this week is the new vintage of Chateau l’Ermitage’s Auzun Blanc, a deliciously tropical and floral white with a soft minerally finish. $12.99/bottle

Also from the Rhône is Brotte’s ‘Esprit Barville’ Côtes du Rhône, a darn fine little bottle that over-delivers for it’s price point. Stewed plum and dark berries lead the way in this wine, followed by traditional Rhone notes of black pepper and savory herbs. A steal at $11.99. This is the kind of wine to buy by the case and keep around at home!

For the third wine, we’ll stick with a southern Frnech grape, but get the Aussie take on it with a new vintage of d’Arenberg’s ‘Lovegrass’ Shiraz. Intense aromas of mulberry, plum, and graphite lead the way on this one. The palate follows the nose, and finished with a spicy lift. Regularly 17.99/bottle, on sale for $14.99.

Back to France for the last bottle: we’ll finish with some bubbles for dessert (or bubbles just for fun, who cares??!!), and pop open Antech’s Esprit de Bulles. We sampled this when it first arrived last May, but it’s nice to revisit old friends. Laser-like green apple notes, with an uplifting sweetness make this an intensely HAPPY wine. If you think you don’t like sweet wines, think again! This bottle just might change your mind. And at only $18.99/bottle, you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to pop the bubbly!

Friday’s tasting runs from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, as usual.

SATURDAY:

So, on Saturday, we’ll be doing things all day, but the wine tasting will be held from 12:00 to 2:00 PM. After 2:00 PM, our catering department will be featuring items from our catering offerings; so if you’re planning a party soon, make sure to get some samples and see what Bread Garden can do to make you look like a spectacular host!

In the Wine Department on Saturday, we’ll also feature the Auzun Blanc and the Esprit de Bulles as on Friday. However, we will substitute two other reds. I’m still working with the distributor to figure out which ones, so it will have to remain a surprise.

HOWEVER, the BIG event on Saturday is that Cheesemonger Mark will be sampling a few of the items which he is about to start serving from our Cheese & Charcuterie Bar. He’s not entirely certain yet what magic he will perform, but rest assured, as one of Mark’s guinea pigs, I can attest to the fact that Mark has some pretty delicious tricks up his sleeve. (That metaphor is just as mixed as the toppings on Mark’s bruschetta!)

Now, a word about Cheesemonger Mark. I like to think of him as Bread Garden Market’s very own Stinky Cheese Man. Mark, however, takes umbrage at this nomme de fromage. I want to clarify that I am NOT saying that Mark is a Cheese Man who is Stinky. Rather, Mark is a man who loves Stinky Cheese. And there is NOTHING WRONG with that! So, you people who come into the store and hold your noses as you pass by the Cheese Bar, STOP IT! (You know who you are!)

OK, one last note, which is that there are still a few spots open in our Wine & Cheese Pairing class focusing on Sparkling Wines on December 19. This is a great class to attend if on every New Year’s Eve you find yourself in the wine shop (ahem, Bread Garden’s Wine Shop!) staring vapidly at the huge amount of options available to you and finding yourself frozen with indecision. Don’t be that way this year! Come to our class! It’s only $20. It just might save your life!

OK, folks, that’s all for this week.

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