St Louis Kriek
Tuesday, May 25Th 2010
More often than not, when a "fruity" beer is on the line there tends to be a common following: a fizzy, medicinal, sugar-packed spritzer that is as easy to drink as microwaved 7-up. On the other end of the spectrum there are again "fruity" beers that are heavily dossed with too much of one certain flavor with no overall balance that makes the beer almost as refreshing as drinking Vermont's finest maple syrup on a hot day. So where can you find the "in-between?" A beer that is brewed with fruits, but not jammed with sugar? Well if cherries are the fruit you're looking for then look no further than St Louis Kriek from Van Honsebrouck in Belgium.
Being a traditional Kriek, St Louis' base is a Iambic: a unique beer made by using spontaneous fermentation involving airborne yeasts and bacteria native to the Senne Valley. The Iambic is then fermented with sour cherries mainly from Brussels. Although the original type of Morello cherry is still used, it is difficult to find in such amounts thus breweries are also using other types of sour cherries to complete the brew. The end result is a well balance beer that offers unique tart cherry notes on the nose and a distinctive "liquid cherry pie" drink, one sip of this beer and you'll be looking for the cherry pits at the bottom of the bottle(don't bother I tried looking, they're not in there). With all the flavor and body that this beer has it still has a great overall drink experience: not overly dry or sweet, great on it's own or with some medium dishes, and with a great price, St Louis Kriek is a brew that as the summer days hit you'll be reaching for it again and again.
Posted by Mark Fetter on May 27th, 2010 | Permalink
Great Red Wine For A Great Price
Juan Gil Monastrell
Wednesday, May 12th 2010
As per red wine there are a ton of great buys and exceptional values from all over the world. Spanish wines in particular offer a wide variety of flavors and style unique and true to "Old World" wines without breaking the bank. When looking for an approachable red with a full body and an easy palate, Monastrell is your grape. Mainly coming from the Jumilla region and when un-oaked, there are bright expressive fruits with lively acidity and an elegant finish to the wine. When oaked, the varietal marries beautifully with vanilla and spice imparted from the wood to create a flavor not overran by oak tones far too common with $10-$15 domestic reds.
Juan Gil Monastrell is a great example of this particular grape and it's compatibility with oak aging while retaining bright, lush fruits making it an extremely enjoyable and pair-able wine. A beautiful, bright magenta pour leads into notes of black cherry, pear, and fig on the nose. After resting for 12 months in French Oak, the wine develops solid vanillin notes and crisp tannins without overbearing the fresh strawberry/raspberry fruits that linger long onto the next sip. Perfect on it's own but also great for pairing with sharp cheeses/light entrees, all encompassed in a $14.99 bottle, this red wine from Jumilla is one you'll easily fall in love with. So the next time you're in, mention this blog and get a bottle of Juan Gil Monastrell for only $11.99 and see for yourself!
Posted by Mark Fetter on May 13th, 2010 | Permalink