Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year's Eve is approaching.....

...how about inviting Montaudon, Pommery, Veuve, PJ, Dom, Gosset or Billecart to celebrate with you?

We've got all that and more -- including sparkling wines from all over the country if champagne proper isn't your "cup of tea".

Fresh bread in Melrose on New Years Eve for your dinner -- and your New Year's Day brunches!

Speaking of which - we are open in both stores on New Year's Day for you to be able to get bubbles for your morning Mimosa's, should you run out from the night before.

New Year's Eve -- Boston is open until 11; Melrose is open until 9.
New Year's Day, both locations are open regular hours.

As always, we appreciate your business and support this past year -- and we encourage you to enjoy your celebrations -- but please drink responsibly. Don't drink and drive; life isn't worth the gamble.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Tastings, Hours, and more!

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday evening, we will be celebrating the wrapping up of the holiday shopping season with a Chandon Sparkling Wine tasting. Come on down and indulge in bubbles while you shop!

Thursday, Christmas Eve -- fresh bread will be arriving for your holiday dinner tables... delicious.

And finally, the Melrose location will be closing at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Hope to see you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great gift giving tasting for Thursday!

Don't miss out!
Thursday night in the Melrose store, we'll be tasting the following presented by Ruby Wine:

Graham Beck Brut (I love this sparkler from South Africa!)
Gossett Champagne
Lucien Crochet Sancerre
Trimbach Pinot Gris (fabulous holiday dinner wine... perfect for turkey or ham!)
Pine Ridge Chardonnay
Brandini Barbera
Groth Cab (Delicious!!!)
Chateau Clairfont Margaux (You don't want to miss this one. Trust me....)

It starts at 5 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m. and these are fantastic holiday gift wines -- and even better if it's a gift for yourself.

See you there!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's a big tasting week....

Mark your calendars -- Thursday, Friday AND Saturday -- tastings in the Melrose store.

Thursday evening is going to be a great gift giving tasting.... the list of 8 wines, will be posted tomorrow. Stay tuned....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

End your week with a tasting.....

Tomorrow, 12/11 in the Melrose store -- join us as we taste out the following:
La Crema Chardonnay, Carmel Road Pinot Noir, and Pepi Sauvignon Blanc.

Wrap up your work week with something delicious for your glass....

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Oganic, green, vegan, and sustainable.

So, today there are very many products that are organic -- however, very few will put it on a label because the producers don't want to be pigeon holed into being thought of as just organic. Also, if we're being honest - right now, at this time -- there are very few truly organic wines that are very good. We have a few on the shelves right now that are outstanding -- however, as I mentioned, there's nothing to note it on the label.

Due to the incredible amount of requests I'd received, I made a concerted effort to find some solid representations of organic and vegan wines for those who are interested. There are two Chileans, one is a Chardonnay - the other a Syrah. In my opinion the Chardonnay is quite nice; the Syrah....well, I'll honestly say it's not something that I would drink. However, if one is vegan and is looking for a completely vegan wine - this will do the trick. I'm sorry but the names are escaping me at the moment -- and I am home as I write this. There also is another lovely Chilean blend of Cabernet and Carmenere that is really delicious. It's called Paragua II and I was pleasantly surprised with it. The final product is an Australian Chardonnay called Spring Seeds and in my personal opinion it falls short of what a Chardonnay from Australia should taste like; but again -- for those living the vegan and organic lifestyle, it will allow for you to enjoy wine that you can feel good about.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Getting married? Buying a new home? Celebrating a Silver or Golden Anniversary?

Did you know that we offer a Rack Registry?

Perfect for soon to be newlyweds who are registering for their big day....or for someone who's buying a new home and plans on throwing a housewarming party! If someone you know loves wine and you are suprising them with an anniversary party, why not register their wine rack? It's a great way to pick out gifts you know they'll love - and duplicates are always welcome.

It's easy - we set up a web page that only your group can view, complete with the products and price ranges. Either you pick out the wine in store from our inventory - or leave it up to us to choose the perfect selection! It's a great way to start your wine collection - or add to your existing one.

Email or call the Melrose shop Monday through Friday for details.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, a slice of cheese, some olives...

And some great olive oil and seasonings to enjoy it all with.
Does it get much better than that?

The bread has arrived.
While supplies last!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Change of seasons.....

So yesterday and today was the transformation from Harvest to Winter at Beacon Hill Wine & Gourmet. That means new merchandise...new decor -- and new foods.

Coming Friday: the long awaited bread!!

Baguettes, Focaccias, Multigrain baguettes and more...

New cheeses this week too (assuming they aren't backordered...... ).

Our wine selection, which is always evolving -- will be adding some new Zinfandels tomorrow, as well as 3-4 new Sake selections this week, which is an area I'm excited to be expanding upon.

Come on down and check it out!

We are still restocking our beer from Thanksgiving -- so while the cooler is scarce at the moment -- it will be better come tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Web logging it....

So, I'm thinking about launching a weekly wine tip via video log here on the Beacon Hill blog.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching....

Still not sure what to serve in the glass on Thanksgiving?
Visit either our Boston or Melrose location -- and we'll help you figure it out.

Thanksgiving eve -- we'll be having a tasting in Melrose starting at 4:30, sampling out some delicious Italian wines, so while you're shopping -- feel free to have a taste.

Whether you prefer Beaujolais Nouveau, or Chilean Sauvignon Blanc - whatever the choice for your glass is, what makes it taste best is not just the food you're having with it; it's the people you surround yourself with.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with laughter, love, health and happiness.
And may your glass be filled with something that tastes delicious.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Beaujolais update, Tasting info - and more!

So, as I sit here sipping on Pinotage -- eating fabulous Kalmatta olives and 2 yr. aged cheddar -- I'm also snacking on the most delicious bread. I have to confess, this is the bread I'll be bringing into the store after Thanksgiving -- and I do not think it will disappoint. Baguette, Multigrain, Focaccia and this particular loaf that is chewy, but soft, and seasoned so that it's delicious plain or dipped in EVOO that has been seasoned to your liking. I'm beyond excited about this.....

Tomorrow evening, please join us for a Chandon tasting! Rose, Brut and my personal favorite - Blanc de Noir -- are on the agenda and I guarantee it will not disappoint. Sparklers are perfect for Thanksgiving, and if you've never tried Chandon -- I highly recommend that you give it a taste. Dare I quote the 70's cereal commercial and say that it's "magically delicious".... ?

Speaking of tasting good -- this year's vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau, in my opinion - is a thumbs up. For a young beaujolais it's got decent body, and there's nothing sour or bitter about it which is great. Previous vintages have dissapointed, so I was happy to taste it being rather balanced and just the right amount of sweet.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner -- we've got everything from the wine for your glass, to the appetizers for you table, to the cheese for your dessert plate -- to the gifts you're bringing to your host's house.

Let us put something something special in your glass....on your plate.....into your home this holiday season.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Beaujolais Noveau is here....

The much anticipated arrival of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Noveau for 2009 is coming in off the truck as I type this.

I've only got 10 cases, and it's guaranteed to move quick -- so come in when you can and get yourself some!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Saturday night sparkler...

Mark your calendars for this Saturday, 5-7 pm -- and join us for a Chandon tasting!

If you've never had Chandon then you are in for a treat as we sample out the Brut, the Rose and my personal favorite - the Blanc de Noir. All three are perfect for Thanksgiving - and sparkling wine is fun to drink on any day, especially a holiday.

Come by and sip with us!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cheese, glorious cheese....

So incase anyone hasn't heard yet - our cheese case opened this week.
Right now, we're proudly offering the following cheese available freshly cut - and cut to order:

Humboldt Fog, Brenta, Parmiagianno Reggiano, Huntsman (double gloucester layered w/ stilton), Stilton w/ Cranberry, Cotswald with Chive, Vintage Aged Gouda, Manchego (6. mos). -- and many more.

I'm always looking for suggestions on fun cheese to add and rotate in - so feel free to let me know some of your favorites!

Truffled cheese is on my list -- for the record!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tastings, tastings and more tastings!

Mark your calendars for this Thursday and Friday as we're having tastings by Ruby Wines and Martignetti Wines respectively.

Check back as I may have a list of what is being sampled, in addition to the times!

We just restocked after the weekend (for the most part!) and brought some new and interesting wine in. Michael Pozzan Knights Valley Cab is a delicious addition to the Napa Cab selection - I love it and highly recommend trying it. We also brought in a new Dolcetto to the Italian section which I think people should try for Thanksgiving as opposed to Beaujolais. It's perfect for the bird, whether you cook it savory or sweet.

We're always looking to improve and keep our inventory fresh, and we welcome suggestions! We can't always meet the requests due to the sheer volume of them - but I assure you we keep them in mind and do our best to rotate in new product as the opportunity arises.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nothing says decadence like bubbly...

Join us tonight in the Melrose store from 4-6 as we celebrate "Yelloween" - a grown up version of All Hallow's Eve, courtesy of Veuve Clicquot!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Better than Phantom of the Opera....

It's Bogle Vineyards Phantom!
Only available once a year - and we're tasting it out tomorrow evening at 5:30 p.m. -- after the Halloween Trick or Treat in Melrose Center.

It's delicious, and perfect for your Halloween festivities!
Come on by and try it yourself!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Boston's seeking EXPERIENCED WINE RETAIL sales staff....

Our Boston store is crazy busy and short staffed.
We're looking for experienced retail wine sales for three nights a week, 5-11pm. You must be savvy and not needing training in any areas. If you've got that background and interested - please let us know!

We're thinking about bringing in fresh bread one day a week in the Melrose store.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tie a yellow ribbon round the ol'.....

Okay, so it's a wine shop - not an oak tree.
But you know where I'm going with this.

Tomorrow is our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony!
This is really exciting! It's the first one for the city - and we are beyond thrilled that we are able to have that honor bestowed upon us. I never dreamed when we opened our second location that something like this would happen; sure, it's truly just a welcome to the community - but at the same time, businesses come and go - how many actually get the warm welcome of a Ribbon Cutting? Not many, and I'm proud to be a part of it.

More food is coming to Melrose tomorrow....lots more cheese for the pre-packaged case, lobster raviolis, pitzalles, soups and much more. Along with our fabulous selections of wine, and of course more craft beer! We're trying to fill as many suggestions as possible.

Tomorrow -- a tasting recommendation, and updates on instore tastings!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sometimes you feel like a nut....sometimes you don't!

But just incase you do.....

I just started bringing out today some fabulous (and I do mean fabulous) nuts at the Melrose store.

Smoked almonds, roasted almonds, pistachios, roasted peanuts, oriental mix, Wasabi peas, and amazingly good chocolate covered pretzels. A small selection is out right now as I await my floor spinner to properly merchandise them - but at 4.99 and 5.99 respectively - they're a steal for the quality.

As always, I try to use local vendors - always good to promote small and local business -- and this is a Boston based company who freshly smokes and roasts the product 24 hours before delivery, ensuring the most delicious and fresh tasting product in town.

Have some Wasabi peas with your favorite beer.... or some smoked almonds with a good red wine (maybe a fabulous Chardonnay from Napa...?) and enjoy!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


We finally opened up this past Monday, with little fan fare or announcement -- I wanted to try to have a softer opening, to work out the kinks prior to word getting out and us being overwhelmed with a very gracious and generous reception. We did have a few quieter days, but by the weeks end - we received our aforementioned reception, and fortunately while we still had some new staff being trained - for the most part, we had the basic concept of how we were going to run things.

If anyone is interested -- we received some fabulous feedback from the Passionate Foodie -- who in my opinion is rather like the Phantom Gourmet of the Wine & Cheese world. Check out his blog for his take on our second location...

We have a tasting coming up in our Melrose shop this coming Friday -- Bogle Phantom Zinfandel. And on Halloween night - it's Veuve Cliquot for all! A special "Yelloween" tasting for those who are jaunting out and about on All Hallows Eve...

Incase you don't already know - we are on Twitter, @beaconhillwine.

And finally, if you're looking for suggestions to add to your wine glass -- let me leave you with this one - tonight would be a really nice Montepulciano evening. Try Masciarelli's Montepulciano D'Abruzzo....it's dry, yet soft and fruity -- and for a rainy night such as this -- it would be perfect for relaxing in front of the fire and watching a movie.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Almost the end of the summer...!

So it's been quite some time since I've posted here -- it's amazing how quickly time goes by without realizing.

The store in Melrose is coming along nicely; it was a little scary the last few weeks because it felt like it was never going to come together, but now..... it does. I can't wait to get in there and sharing all the fabulous wine and of course - my passion for food and cheese with the rest of the world.

Today I met with my primary cheese distributor and all I can say is "oh. my."

For wine recommendations, I can tell you to try something different and fun for what might be our last burst of warm weather this summer: Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc.

If you love champagne (or sparkling wine) and Sauvignon Blanc - then how could you not love the two mixed together? Sort of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of the wine world? Okay, maybe I wouldn't go quite that far, because I'd say the effervesence takes away a bit of the herbaceousness that a typical SB would have -- but on a hot summer night, it's definitely decadence in a glass.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Boston is brimming with excitement this weekend, and hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate with all of us who are having a "staycation" in town to watch the extravaganza -- as well as those who have travelled to the best place in the world to celebrate the 4th of July.

We have icy cold beer available, as well as an abundance of fantastic wine and spirits ready for all of your festive celebrations this weekend. Gene has been busy loading the store up for you so that all that you could want and/or need is available.

Playing bartender, or want to add a little color to your glasses this weekend?
Feeling festive?

Try these fun red, white & blue cocktail recipes -- and let us know what you think!

Red Fizz
Makes 2 servings

1 cup passion fruit vodka
1 cup cranberry juice
Fresh cranberries

Shake vodka and cranberry juice together with ice until chilled. Strain mixture into a champagne glass about 3/4 of the way full. Top with a splash of Champagne and a few berries.
Red, White & Blue

1/2 oz. Framboise
1/2 oz. Half-Half
1/2 oz. Blue Curacao

Build in a pony tall shot glass. Beginning with the Framboise, layer each successive ingredient on top using the back of a spoon

Friday, June 19, 2009

2006 Chateau de Cazeneuve Pic Saint Loup

So, the official tasting notes are: "Deeply-coloured , with an intensly savoury nose with dominant aromas of roasted meat, dried herbs and crushed peppercorns. The palate is elegant, yet sufficiently rich, with a smooth fruity (cassis and blackberries) mouthfeel and flinty tannins. Excellent on its own or for pairing with red-sauce Italian dishes. "

I have to say, I agree. It's a very easy drinking, fruity and not overly big bodied Languedoc wine. If you enjoy Chateneuf du Pape, this is a lighter but similar style.

We had it tonight with a relatively over cooked steak (oops, it happens sometimes) and a spring penne, which is just tossed with olive oil, garlic, green onions and blueberries. The wine worked -- and truly, was fabulous by itself.

This will not disappoint!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A work in progress....

I'm thinking of starting a separate blog for the buildout of the new Melrose shop. That will be coming soon... You'll be able to link to that blog from here, and of course from our regular website which will host both stores' individual presences.

The process is a new one for us. We bought the Beacon Hill location as an existing business -- this time, we're going from the ground up and so there's much new territory to cover and things to learn. Construction alone, though minor is the biggest part of the deal, next to the administrative "stuff". Then, probably refrigeration - and after that, racking and inventory.

Stay tuned, and come along for the ride....

Friday, May 29, 2009

Finally..... it's official!

As many of you know, we have been looking for the last two years to find the right location to open a second instance of our store -- one that is larger, and more expansive, to offer cheeses and gourmet foods and services -- to truly be an entertainment shop.

We have officially been awarded a liquor license in the once previously community of Melrose. The downtown area of Melrose is very similar to Beacon Hill; not only is it a walking neighborhood, it is a lovely mix of residential homes and small businesses -- and the businesses are the unique "Mom & Pop" small businesses that carry the same type of charm and personal involvement into the community as we like to do.

The building we will be in is beautiful -- truly a labor of love by the owner who painstakingly refurbished this corner building into being brand new, yet true to the charm and antique feel of the downtown area. We are going to be located on the corner of Main & Essex - just as we are on the corner of Charles & Mt. Vernon in Boston. I think I can comfortably and truthfully say that we are fortunate to be situated on two of the best possible locations in each area.

Finding the perfect spot has been challenging, but well worth the reward -- we hope that Melrose will be as happy to have us, as we are to join them.

Beacon Hill Wine & Gourmet is proud to be looking forward to calling Melrose home.

More details to follow.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Update on second location....

Last night was the public hearing regarding the competitive process for the liquor license in Melrose.

It is very difficult to gauge what the determining factors are for the board to make a decision. I am a little biased of course, regarding our business model and presentation. But we just don't know; and we will have to wait until the 28th of May when the continuance of the hearing takes place.

But we will keep you posted -- and if you live, work or play in the Melrose area -- please feel free to show your support for Beacon Hill Wine & Gourmet.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Turkey & Unoaked Chardonnay....

This morning, before we started our day - I knew I had to use the remainder of the turkey I had roasted Friday night. And what's one of the quickest ways to utilize turkey leftovers? Use it to make soup!

So, I put the soup together and slow simmered it for a few hours, so that when we wanted it for an early dinner tonight, all I'd need to do is pick a wine to enjoy with it.

I selected Lioco, a Sonoma County Chardonnay. I often refer to Sonoma as Napa's "softer" sister; wine from Sonoma is typically less "oaky" - and this particular one is entirely unoaked, which means it's steel casked.

It tastes fabulous - a little bit of residual sugar on the finish like you might expect from a Reisling, but it's got a fabulous honey-like flavor that you would expect from a Chardonnay from this area, that hasn't been oak aged. And no acidity -- which, while I personally love acidity in my Sauvignon Blancs, I don't care for it so much in my unoaked Chards.

And the pairing with the soup...was nothing short of spectacular.
If you're looking for an Unoaked Chardonnay that will pick you a bit -- give this one a try.

Friday, May 01, 2009

It's official....

As many of you know - we have been actively pursuing the opportunity to open a second location for some time now. To find the right location takes time and patience. We'd been close a time or two, but we believe timing is everything -- and the location we'd always hoped would become available, finally has.

We are officially in the competition for a wine & beer license in the previously dry community of Melrose.

We will be going before the board on May 12th, to discuss our business concept and hopefully have the community be as excited about having us be a part of their neighborhood - as much as we're excited to be hopefully joining them. Downtown Melrose is very similar to Beacon Hill in many aspects, as it's a beautiful walking neighborhood - mixed with residential homes and lovely small businesses.

This particular location will be larger than our Beacon Hill store -- and will also be offering cheeses, gourmet appetizers, menu planning and a variety of other services that our Boston customers will be able to capitalize on as well. We're hoping to not only embrace the community of Melrose - but also be able to offer our existing customers items and services that we aren't able to do now, that fully encapsulate all entertaining needs.

These are exciting times.....stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What to drink tonight...?

Okay, so tonight I'm making plain old steak -- not on the grill or in the broiler - but grilled on the stove. I love making it that way, it's a great way to keep the meat flavorful and tender if cooked properly. Anyway - pairing it with some baby spinach sauteed with garlic and tomatoes and some brown rice with butter and rosemary -- so we thought pairing it with the following would be fantastic : The 2005 La Nerthe Chateauneuf du Pape.

Given 90 points on the Parker scale, it's a perfect pairing for our dinner. Lots of flavor with cassis, black cherries, smoke, roasted herbs, and licorice.

It is soft, round, full-bodied, opulent, and accessible, which is somewhat out of character for this virile/masculine and tannic vintage.

And...we have it in stock if you want to try it too!