Life in a Northern Town

Three Of My Favorite Food Groups

2010 Domaine du Grand Montmirail Gigondas Cuvée Vieilles Vignes

I think I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again— Gigondas (jhee gohn dahs) is one of my favorite wine words to say, second only to  Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (mon tae pul chee AH noh dah BRUTE so). Throw in a little Vielles Vignes and you might just feel un peu français, at the very least you'll be drinking a nice glass of wine. The Southern Rhone region is known for rich, warm and spicy blends of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre— it's my favorite region in France. According to the Rhone Report, the 2010 Montmirail Gigondas is 'loaded with classical aromas of wild herbs, pepper, spice, and leather, as well as copious amounts of licorice drenched bing cherry and blackberry styled fruits, this hits the palate with a full-bodied, decadent, and layered texture that coats the mouth. Despite all of the fruit, it has solid underlying structure and plenty of freshness. While no doubt superb now, it will be even better with a handful of years in the cellar, and shine for 10-12 years. 93 points'.

This 15-year-old cheddar was my first introduction to Fromagination in Madison. Bob and Kelly brought a hunk of this crystalline, smooth cheddar to Bayfield and I was hooked. I knew I had a seriously good reason to drive 6 hours south (Jack's going to school down there) but the idea of an entire store devoted to cheese sealed the deal. 15-year-old cheese and a 19-year-old freshman— I'm going to be spending some time in Madison.

I don't have much of sweet tooth, more of a cheese tooth, but these little chocolates gave that 15-year-old cheddar a serious run for its money. They are from a shop in Madison called Candinas (another reason to make the journey) and they were little nuggets of smooth, chocolatey goodness wrapped up in the most beautiful packaging I've seen.