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Best Local Cheeses from a REAL Farmer?

agreed. If you need a day to relax, I recommend taking the trip up to the farm and hang out by the pond for lunch.

Best Local Cheeses from a REAL Farmer?

I'm starting to hear that name more and more. They must being doing pretty well. Is it worth a trip up there?

Cheese Shops in Connecticut

Haven't been there in a long time. She does have a beautiful store.

Cheese Shops in Connecticut

One of the best memories of Lou is the time he threw an arrogant sales guy out. I believe the guy was from Beaver Brook Farms and on his way out the door his last words were, "We don't need you to sell our cheese." Lou could sell ice to eskimos. Great guy to talk to about everything and anything.

Cheese Shops in Connecticut

Good to hear. I would still rather make the trip to Darien. Teaching someone 2 days a week doesn't amount to 25 years of knowledge.

Cheese Shops in Connecticut

of course..it's the holiday. Why would you not bring in your "A" team at the biggest time of the year. And it wasn't a shot at the family. They've built a business literally from their own sweat and blood that is unmatched by anyone else in this state although others seem to try and duplicate it. The father, uncle and now the sons put every once of energy into that cheese. The finished product, no matter which one you get, is easy to say one of the best on the east coast and far superior than the operation in the midwest who is considered to be the best in this country. You get a newby on the block like Caseus that some pitch as the "Temple of New Haven cheese". I mean, come on. What I am commenting on is that one person is not responsible for the entire operation. They surrounded themselves with very talented and passionate people. Louie would have to be the top one and Leo, although he is not there anymore, would have to be another one. That is what I am speaking of.

Cheese Shops in Connecticut

Went to Darien Cheese for my Turkey day cheeses. Again, I can not say enough about this place. Some of the BEST cheeses I've ever had. I was there literally over an hour tasting and talking and tasting. The owners, Ken and Tori, are truely professionals along with the rest of their staff. Great time. It's probably the only place I feel great when I leave spending $150 because I know what I have in the bag will be a center piece of conversation and enjoyment.

Paradise on earth found in Umbria

Thanks for bringing back memories of my trip to Spoletto RicRios. I was there with a college art group back in 2001, before they switched over to the Euro. Beautiful area...crossing that aquaduct to get into town. Simply beautiful. You are 100% true on that comment about Italy being more than just Rome, etc. If I had the opportunity to go again, I would def go back to Umbria. I stayed in Todi, Spolleto, Spello, etc. and loved the fact that it was off the tourist path. Very few people spoke English which gave me a chance to use my Italian that I had studied for almost 12 years. Great food, great wine, great memories. Oh....my funniest memory in Spoletto was getting clipped by one of those tiny cars, I think it was called a Punto. Good times!

Nov 23, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

Top 100 from Wine Spectator

The list does spark interest in certain varietals. But going along with what zin1953 touched on, not wanting a past vintage versuses one that was on the list....2 years ago, when 2001 Brunellos were all over the list, people were scrambling around to get what ever they could. I listened to conversation between a clerk who was trying to explain to a customer that the 2001 were not even ready to drink yet and that a 97 would be the better choice. Same goes today with some of the CDP's that appear on the list. Gotta have them vs being able to drink them. If you are one of those consumers that just buys to impress your friends, you miss out on the intent the wine maker had for that wine, unless you have plans to cellar something like that. I am happy that a wine like the Quinta da Crasto was so high on the list because it will bring attention to Portuguese wine and the tremendous values in that category.

Nov 23, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

Top 100 from Wine Spectator

Every state is different. CT did not get there distribution of Seghesio until last month. Also, there prices are regulated by the state. I agree with the "customer for life" philosophy...that's why I shop where I go. I'm getting a fair price and helping my local guy out.

Nov 19, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

New Haven, CT - Any "must eats"?

After that experience, it will be my last...serving an entree at 10:30PM while the two owners sit on their fat arses is disgusting. The best dish was the past with buternut squash/mascapone cream sauce. I wish they served more of it.

New Haven, CT - Any "must eats"?

All restaurants are hurting from this economy, especially in New Haven. They should have been dropping prices way before restaurant week. Why should that week be a test of their mettle? I went to Bespoke on Tuesday and I was hungry going in, I was still hungry coming out. It doesn't take a genius to understamd that if they load you up on pasta, they will make their money back. I went to a private wine dinner at Basta Wednesday night and again mediocre food from an instituion that should have shined especially with a captive audience. The owners sitting on their behinds while the staff struggled to get the food out in a timely manner. It baffles me that one would wait for a high profile week such as that. I walked by Scoozi's a few nights and they were packed! I did not see them on the list and you generally do not hear a lot from them anymore, but packed. They must be doing something right.

Top 100 from Wine Spectator

Here in CT, as I'm am sure it is in other states, you have a few big box store that dry up the CT market by buying up everything else on the list. They in turn escalate the prices way above what they normally should be. Supply and demand? I try to stick with my local guy who keeps his prices steady all year. The one problem he told me was that on the Bordeauxs the price to buy now vs. at the beginning year has gone up drastically. Ex: to buy the #7 wine now costs him well over the suggested price by the WS. But if you want it, you will pay like most everything else on that list. I've seen prices go up to $30 a bottle for the Seghesio in CT from big box guys.

Nov 19, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

New Haven, CT - Any "must eats"?

Whoooa...watch out what you say about L' Orcio. Seems to be a sore subject with some of the Ch members in here.

Cheese Shops in Connecticut

First off...it's the staff that does a great job, not Domenic. Domenic and his family make absolutely the greatest domestic fresh mozz and ricotta. Second, they don't sell the top end cheese any more because the Lou and Chris are not there any more. You can't have people with no passion or knowledge selling a blue chees that cost $30/lb. Brooklyn Vinny can't do it and neither can anyone else in that place. When you lose key people in your business, don't blame the economy, look at what's going on within.

Cheese Shops in Connecticut

How true you are. I love supporting my local cheese makers..without mentioning names, but the fresh chevre up in Lebanon is one of the best around. MArk does a great line of cheeses in Colchester. My friend is a cheese maker and often helps out down at the farmer's markets. Occassionally he gives me something that he wasn't too happy with, but the end result was a crowd pleaser for me.

Top 100 from Wine Spectator

Agreed...I grabbed a bottle of Grand Reserve Malbec from my wine guy last week for $14. No ratings to speak of, just good Malbec at a great price. I constantly remind my friends that it is all about what you like. You can't convince me that a $100 taste better than anything under $50. Have you ever heard another comsumer "bragging" that they share the exact same palate as Robert Parker? That's great...because I want to drink a wine that taste like pencil lead and saddle bag leather seats. Not to mention that Parker is a huge chain smoker. You know what that does to your taste buds.

Nov 16, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

Eli's in Branford, Ct. any reports?

I happened to drive by around 1:00AM last Friday and it was busy.

Top 100 from Wine Spectator

My guy is still at $20...I think it will be better in a year. I agree with what you're saying about insecurities. It is the funniest thing to hear from people.
"This taste like ass...#10?? I'll take 2 cases!"

Nov 15, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

Top 100 from Wine Spectator

As you probably already know, the Wine Spectator magazine just released their "Top 10 wines of 2008" this past week. Answer me this because I find it rather amusing...How come a wine sounds so much more enticing when it pops up on this chart? I was just at a wine tasting event and people were sampling the Seghesio 2007 Zin which was just ranked #10 on the list. Most people trying it did not like it, but when the sales person noted that it was #10, it suddenly became likable. People ordered cases! There was also, a Portuguese wine that came in at #3. I've actually had this wine way back in January and thought it was spectacular. People thought I was crazy. Now my local wine guy is sold out completely. Here's another example of a wine tha nobody wanted, but now it's the hardest thing to find. Any comments?

Nov 15, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

Best Wine Book for Novice

You know what was actually a good one besides "Windows to the World"...if you live near a Total Wines, they have these great wine books that are free. Great info with recs and what not.

Nov 15, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

Torgiano Rubesco question

I've actually been to Lungarotti and sat through a whole tasting with lunch. Their wines are excellent! There Nocini is delicious. I was there in the summer of 2001. Make sure to try the San Giorgio when you are there. I remember paying something like $20 back then...now if I had to buy it in CT...it's $60. Another rec..their olive oils. Have fun...I am jealous!

Nov 15, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

LOVED Mirassou Pinot Noir !! HEAVENLY !

I was just talking to someone about this very same wine tonight and how smooth and balanced it was. Great value under $10.

Nov 15, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

Are these wines easy to find?

Those wines are all over CT. Someone had mentioned wine searcher, which is what I use. I know Costco had Root 1 a while ago...if you have a Costco Liquors near you, try that

Nov 10, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

Iberico ham in CT? (spec. Hartford?)

Call Darien Cheese and ask if they have any. Or Fromage in Old Saybrook. They would be the only two places that I know of that would be able to recoup after such an investment. The wholesale price alone is around $80/lb. I know that Ibiza in New haven is slicing it up. Terrific stuff.

Looking for review of DB Prime Foxwoods

I went 2 weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon....Alta Strada was packed so we went to Prime. Beautiful, spacious, not stuffy. Service was impeccable. Sunday was not too busy so the waiters actually had time to talk with us. Wine list is off the charts with many great selections under $50 depending on your taste. Cheese was well thought out with some great selections and not too many "generic" items. Food was good...not great, not bad, but just good. My pumpkin risotto was tough...but the flavor was good so I woofed it down anyways. Can't say that I would rush back there for a meal again, but had a pleasant time and would recommend it to anyone to try at least once.

Beaujolais paired with cheese(s)??

Ok so we got Roblechon and maybe a taleggio...any other ideas??

Oct 21, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

Pumpkin Beer

I did not care for the Smuttynose either. Thought the hops vs. the pumpkin spice was just too much. At least for me though.

Oct 20, 2008
spork5150 in Beer

Beaujolais paired with cheese(s)??

I said Taleggio...someone else suggested the Roblechon....just working off that. But see where you going.

Oct 20, 2008
spork5150 in Wine

Beaujolais paired with cheese(s)??

I agree...I've had some really good Cru's last year that I picked up around $15. Unfortunately I have no say in picking the wines out.

Oct 20, 2008
spork5150 in Wine