"The Best of the Best Wine Shop of NH 2011-2013" by The Hippo
"The Best Wine Store of Greater Nashua 2011-2012" by the Nashua Telegraph
"The Best Wines of Greater Nashua 2011" by the Nashua Telegraph
"The only A rated Wine Shop of NH" by the NH Better Business Bureau
Comments from our clients:
"Svetlana, The exposure to wines of various regions and countries was a marvelous expansion of my many years of work, travel and enjoyment of the people of these areas. FR, DE, NZ, AU and Argentina and a little further appreciation of the wines of PT/ES and Chile. You are the best grounded and non-snobbish, expert, Sommelier I have met."
"Svetlana, You have helped me so much in my appreciation and knowledge of wine. I have learned so much and developed my palate through your classes and tastings. Thank you."
"I learned more in one class than any book, tasting, or internet article I've ever come across. I'm 25 and I feel I am well set up for a life long journey of experiencing beautiful wines and being able to intelligently talk about wine. Thank you for giving me something so fun and engaging to look forward to on Friday nights."
"Svetlana, For six weeks we traveled the world tasting phenomenal wines with the delightful Svetlana as our tour guide and the most wonderful tasting companions. We look forward to our next excursion with WineNot."
-Jeanne & Tom
"Dear Svetlana, Words cannot describe how much we enjoyed your wine tasting class. You have opened a new world for us. We look forward to the next level!"
-Cliff & Laurie Kinghorn
"Svetlana exhibits an engaging blend of outstanding knowledge and humor- you learn but you are not intimidated. It's an amazing wine journey."
-Carl and Tina Andrade
"I thought I knew a lot about wine but learned so much more! Svetlana is a delight- I would just sit and listen to her all day!"
"I loved the class, wines, company, and especially Svetlana."
"Dear Svetlana, Thank you so much for your excellent instruction and incredible body of knowledge and lovely teaching style. We loved your course so much! Thanks to you, our palates are much more developed and we are savoring the taste of wines and all varieties of food and beverages so much more. We can't wait until the next class!"
"Svetlana has achieved a wonderful balance between educating her clients about the art of winemaking and the pleasure of socializing over a glass of wine. Salute!"
"I signed up in 2 classes only. After my first class I emailed Svetlana to "sign me up" for all 5 classes. What a great experience. The classes are informative and fun. I live 1 hr and 20 min. away in Dudley, MA. Well worth the trip."
"This class has been both fun and educational. Not very long ago, I knew that wine was red or white. Now I have expanded my view and learned why I like what I do. Thank you for providing a comfortable place for a beginner to learn about wine. You provide information that is accessible and enjoyable. Everyone should learn about wine at WineNot!"
"We just took our first class and it was fantastic. Svetlana is awesome! She is so fun, knowledgeable and loves to teach. We just signed up for the new series of classes. Very nice evening- informative and interesting."
"Outstanding! A celebration of the senses. Learning from Svetlana is not only informative, it's fun. I have learned to appreciate wines in a new way and have gained confidence in choosing an excellent wine."
"WineNot! Wine tasting classes are the perfect mix of casual gathering and lots of information. I highly recommend a single class or series to broaden your horizons and delight your palate! Thanks Svetlana!"
-LauraTashjan, student of 6-weeks wine course, Nashua
"I've come to this class as a real neophyte and have been so thrilled to be able to taste six different wines in each class and to experience the different smells and tastes with 7 or more other people, who have their own articulation of what they are tasting and smelling! I think I'll be able to feel much more confident when ordering wine for dinner, and I am sure I will be visiting Svetlana regularly to keep my taste buds current and add this wonderful celebration of the fruits of the earth with someone so knowledgeable as she is! What a delight......In great appreciation"
-Ginger Hedges, student of 6-weeks wine course, Nashua
"Svetlana! This was a really great experience. I am very glad you offered it, and so glad I choose to do it. Thank you very much. I won't tell everyone I know, but I will tell my favorite people."
-Tom Friel, student of 6-weeks wine course, Nashua
"Svetlana, thank you for educating me about European wines! I had always enjoyed Californian wines as a cocktail, or with a friend, and never liked the acid or tannin of Italian and French wines-- now I know why. They are designed to enjoy with food. You have opened up a new enjoyment for me!
-Vivien Green, client of 2-hours wine seminar, Nashua
"Svetlana, your wine tasting was so enjoyable and educational. Knowing about the grape and locale and all the varied characteristics of wine makes the tasting so much more interesting. Each wine I tasted became my favorite... until the next one was served. Thank you for sharing your talents!"
-Steve Hedges, client of a private wine tasting, Nashua
"Svetlana, what a wonderful, colorful, flavorful presentation. Each wine's unique background was brought to life for us. I really learned so much. Thank you!"
-Ellen McCormick, client of a private wine tasting, Nashua
Comments from Wine Industry Colleagues:
"Svetlana has an amazing ability to impart her love and passion for wine to others. She is a patient and excited teacher who never misses an opportunity to share what she knows. It's not often you meet someone with this level of wine education and experience who can easily talk to experts and novices alike."
-Angel Hogan, Manager of Penne Restaurant & Wine Bar, Philadelphia
"Svetlana, the room lights up when you appear. Your charm and enormous heart are immediately evident. You are a caring, kind and sincere person who touches all you meet. On a business level, your knowledge of the hospitality industry is huge. Customer service is everything in this field and you are superstar at making the guests and fellow employees feel right at home. Your love of wine and all of its nuances is amazing. You are a true scholar of the grape. I will really miss our in-depth tastings. I will miss you. Penne will miss you. Philadelphia will miss you!"
-Mitchell Skwer, The Wine Merchant Company, Philadelphia
"It has been extremely refreshing to find another individual to converse with about wines. Her passion not only to learn but also to teach others is shown every day through her work and wine classes. I know that if I were to ever have any kind of question especially about wines she is always willing and able to answer. It is hard to find people with this strong of a passion, and knowledgeable about their profession. I am glad and feel privileged to have worked so closely with her."
-Tara Jones, Employee of Penne Restaurant& Wine Bar, Philadelphia
"Svetlana, thank you for your support of our project and our vision of Southern Italian wine. Your attention and personal touch are invaluable assets that we very much appreciate. Please come and visit us sometime soon in Campania!"
-Enzo Percolino, winemaker of Feudi di San Gregorio Winery, Italy
"Svetlana, it was a pleasure to service you over the past year with the Laird wine portfolio. You are one of the friendliest and sincerest people I have come across in this business. You have a great palate and certainly know your wines!"
-Vincent Capitolo, Laird Wine Company, Philadelphia
"Svetlana completely redid The Wine List for our fine dining restaurant The Marker - one that was substantially different but much more successful in its focus for what we needed in the restaurant. Generated a substantial savings in Wine Cost by effectively utilizing all dead stock & consolidating phased-out product. She helped increase wine sales by 8% despite a 2% decrease in occupied guest rooms."
-Bill Mather, Director of Food and Beverage of Adam's Mark Hotel, Philadelphia
"During her tenure as a Wine Manager at Penne, Svetlana showed great knowledge in wine and the restaurant capitalized her knowledge and experience by improving the wine sales. Wines sales increased by 10% since she started to work in Penne. She implemented very creative seasonal promotions in our wine list and also organized very successful wine dinners every quarter. Her service and people skills are always above our standards."
-Sebastien Gressier, Food &Beverage Director, Hilton Inn at Penn, Philadelphia
Reviews and Articles
Union Leader- "When someone says why Nashua I say WineNot" August 24th, 2011
By Jim Beauregard
Life doesn't allow me to spend as much time in Nashua as I would like. So when I have the opportunity, I head for WineNot, Nashua's elegant and intriguing wine shop at 170 Main St.
Svetlana Yanushkevich has been presenting fine wines there for some time now, and she holds weekly tastings on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m. My wife and I stopped in with my 14-year-old daughter Kate, who was bribed with a burger trip to Martha's Exchange, to sample last Wednesday evening's tastings.
Dan Latham from R.P. Imports was on hand knowledgeably pouring:
2009 Anastasi Dry White, $15.99.
From Greece. A blend that contains the less familiar grape Rhoditis, a light bodied fruit-forward citrusy Greek grape. It's bright and clear in the glass, lemon-gold in color, medium-plus intensity on the nose that includes citrus fruit and hints of cured meat, dry on the palate, medium-plus acidity, medium alcohol, medium body that's contributed by Chardonnay, flavors of white apple, citrus, pear and hints of peach. Complex and interesting. 88 points.
2006 Anastasi Dry Red, $15.99.
Also from Greece. Ruby-colored, with red fruit, bramble, strawberry and black fruit, dry like the label says, both black and red fruit on the palate, medium alcohol and acidity, good balance of components. 88 points.
Domaine Pere Caboche Cote du Rhone, $17.99. Caboche is the mayor of Chateauneuf du Pape, and also the winemaker here for this French red that is still a dark purple color with a black core, youthful, but starting to develop, black and red fruit on the nose, a palate of very ripe raspberry, blackberry, dried fruit with medium- plus acidity, medium tannin, medium-plus flavor intensity. 89 points.
2007 Acorn Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, California, $38.99.
14.8 percent abv, which comes in fairly low compared to some of the bottle rockets that are being produced in long, hot California summers, Deep intensity hue, purple in color, pronounced nose of black fruit, a dry palate, medium-plus acidity, mediumplus tannin, medium-plus alcohol that's blended in well, flavors of black fruit, blackberry, graphite, and a long, flavorful finish. These guys know what they're doing. 91 points.
Svetlana regularly hosts special events at the shop, including these two upcoming events:
"He Said Chocolate She Said Wine." $50. Aug. 25. 6:30-8:30 p.m. WineNot and Dancing Lion Chocolate invite you to explore the world of Artisan cheese, International chocolate and fine wine.
Travel the globe with your palate from Italy to France to Australia.
"Once in a lifetime event" $50. Sept. 13. 7-8 p.m. WineNot will explore Bordeaux Blanc.
The crowning wine will be the coveted and rare Chateau Haut-Brion Blanc 2007, rated 96 points and retailing for $900 per bottle. Only 600 cases were produced.
The evening will commence with learning about Bordeaux Blanc and its regions and a tasting of Chateau de Bonhoste Bordeaux Blanc 2009, followed by the Haut-Brion Blanc 2007 from the Pessac-Leognan region. For reservations, call 204-5569 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for the above-mentioned burgers at Martha's Exchange, try pairing with their Golden Perch IPA, 6.3 percent abv, made with three hops, it has a spare head, amber color, medium malt nose, medium-plus hops, dry palate, with medium- plus bitterness from those three hops, medium acidity, low tannin low carbonation, well-integrated alcohol, medium-plus body to stand up to their bacon-cheese burgers, with flavors of bread, cookie, caramel, citrus, lemon, herbal/spicy and hints of resin on a medium-length finish.
Very good balance, length and intensity of flavor.
Hippo Press - "Food & Wine Pairing” March 17th, 2011
By Paulette Eschrich
The “rules” about food and wine pairing used to be white wine with fish and poultry, and red wine with red meats and tomato sauces. Others recommend that the sauce, marinade or method of preparation should drive the choice of wine. Some writers get quite technical about the chemistry of foods and their impact on wine selection.
Personally, I subscribe to the philosophy that if they grow together, they go together. There’s a reason that Chianti and wines made from Sangiovese pair well with an Italian red tomato sauce. Or that flinty, acidic wines like Muscadet from the mouth of the Loire River match with oysters and other shellfish. These classic pairings have evolved because the cuisine of a country or region was traditionally consumed with the beverages that were available locally. The whole “green” and go local movement has come full circle.
Keeping a few guidelines in mind will improve your enjoyment of wine with your meals. Wines with high acidity and lower alcohol tend to work best with food. Matching the intensity or richness of a dish, based on the totality of the recipe, with the weight and intensity of wine produces balance, enhancing the flavors of both. The last thing you want to do is have a wine completely overpower the subtle flavors of your food, or even worse, have the food make the wine taste bitter or metallic.
In her class about Food & Wine Pairing, Svetlana Yanushkevich of WineNot Boutique provides specific advice regarding salty, fatty and spicy dishes. Salt offsets the acidity in wine, so a wine with low acidity will taste bland and less refreshing when paired with even moderately salty recipes. Fat in red meats and cheeses enhances their flavors. The tannins in red wines are softened with these foods, and the palate is cleansed, preparing you for the next savory bite. Spicy dishes create a unique challenge because the higher the beverage’s alcohol content, the more the heat is reinforced. That’s why many people prefer beer with this type of cuisine. Wine writers recommend lower alcohol wines with some sweetness like Riesling or Gewurztraminer with spicy food.
There are some foods that rise to the level of “impossible” pairings. One website, Dr. Vino, periodically challenges readers to suggest wine pairings with foods like pancakes or guacamole. Charles Saunders of the Wine Society in Nashua teaches that some seasonings like cilantro are particularly difficult to match with wine; a grassy, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is one possibility. Asparagus and artichokes can cause wine to taste bitter; I have found that Austrian Gruner Veltliner matches well with these vegetables.
When I have a particularly perplexing recipe to pair with wine, Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page’s book, What to Drink with What You Eat, is my bible. The book has two sections, allowing the reader to start with a dish or ingredient and get beverage recommendations or start with the type of wine (or beer or cider or other libation) and find the preferred dishes. They consulted a wide range of experts to compile their food and wine pairings, distilling it into a very comprehensive, user-friendly format.
In Great Wine Made Simple, Andrea Immer Robinson, a Master Sommelier, outlines a tasting exercise that she uses to train servers in restaurants. She pairs fresh goat cheese with a Sancerre (French Sauvignon Blanc,) Parmigiano Reggiano with a tannic Cabernet Sauvignon, a dessert wine like Sauternes or Port with a blue cheese like Roquefort or English Stilton, and Moscato or Riesling with chips and salsa. Her notes include bad pairings to further reinforce the difference. She also describes “Matches Made in Heaven” like Champagne and Caviar, and Foie Gras and Sauternes.
Nowadays, with wines from around the globe on most supermarket shelves, the options have expanded exponentially, creating opportunities for more inventive choices. There’s nothing wrong with experimentation. If your budget and guest list can support it, try serving two or three wines side-by-side with one or more courses at a dinner party. Or mix it up even more by serving a beer and a wine together with a dish (He Said Beer, She Said Wine by Sam Calagione and Marnie Old provides a good starting point.)
Which brings me to March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, and the traditional fare of Corned Beef and Cabbage. As I consulted various resources, online and in my library, the most often mentioned choice is beer – especially Guinness or a similar stout. Corned Beef by itself carried a recommendation of Beaujolais or Beaujolais Villages. Cabbage-based dishes like Choucroute had dry Riesling as the best match. Personally, I gravitate towards Alsatian wines like Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer or an off-dry Riesling. I picked up a 2008 Two Princes Riesling from the Nahe region of Germany (NH Code 41633, $10.99 on sale, regularly $12.99) at the New Hampshire State Liquor store last week. At 10.5 percent alcohol, it worked really well with a dish featuring another member of the cabbage family, brussel sprouts. Perhaps I’ll snag another bottle to serve with my St. Patrick’s Day supper.
Paulette Eschrich is a dedicated oenophile and former wine retailer who runs a Wine Book Club and conducts custom in-home wine tastings.
Hippo Press - "Women in Wine: 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day March 3rd, 2011
By Paulette Eschrich
In the United States and the United Kingdom, March has been designated Women’s History Month. Furthermore, March 8th has been celebrated as International Women’s Day since 1911. Several downtown Nashua merchants will honor the day with special events and discounts. See www.downtownnashua.org for details. That got me thinking about the women who enrich the wine scene, locally, nationally and internationally.
New Hampshire has females in many different aspects of the wine business: winemakers, educators, distributors, authors and retailers. Amy LaBelle is co-owner and award-winning winemaker at LaBelle Winery in Amherst, crafting wines from New England fruit and grapes from New York’s Finger Lakes. On the western edge of New Hampshire, Virginia Carter is winemaker and viticulturalist (wine grape grower) at Walpole Mountain View Winery at Barnett Hill Vineyard where she tends hardy varietals like Frontenac, La Crosse and St. Croix.
On the retail side of the wine business, Maureen Adams is proprietor of the Wine Studio in Manchester, where she mounts regular art exhibits alongside her selection of wines, beers, gourmet foods and gifts. In Windham, Paula Doucette has created a welcoming wine shop, Bella Vino, offering fine wines, cheese and gift items. Nashua is home to WineNot Boutique, where owner Svetlana Yanushkevich offers wine education classes and tasting events to complement her selection of wines, cheese and gift baskets. Megan Sleeper co-founded Crush Distributors with her childhood friend, Tabitha Blake, to bring high quality, boutique wines to New Hampshire and Maine.
Author and Certified Specialist of Wine Carla Snow provides wine consulting services through her company, A Grape Affair (www.agrapeaffair.com,) as well as teaching wine classes at Southern New Hampshire University and other venues. Carla was recently recognized by the New Hampshire Winery Association for her contributions with the Industry Professional Support Award, in part for her book, Wine & Dine with New Hampshire. Regionally, Tilar J. Mazzeo is an associate professor of English at Maine’s Colby College and author of several wine books including the New York Times bestseller, The Widow Clicquot: the Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It.
I have met several exceptional women winemakers from around the country and the globe. Lane Tanner makes California Pinot Noirs in Santa Barbara County out of a wine co-op. In Once Upon a Vine: the Secret Stories of California’s Artisan Wineries, author Judy Reynolds describes Lane as Bette Midler in a Bottle while she herself has taken the sobriquet Pinot Czarina in tribute to her mentor Andre Tchelistcheff. French winemaker Veronique Drouhin actively participates in Oregon Pinot Camp, a three-day trade only event staged in the Willamette Valley every June. Veronique shuttles between Oregon where she crafts wines for Domaine Drouhin and Burgundy where she’s Head Winemaker for the family’s Joseph Drouhin label.
Argentine winemaker Susana Balbo calls her entry level wines Crios which means offspring. The label, designed by her daughter, features the outline of a large hand with two smaller hands inside, paying homage to her role as a mother. The story behind the name is that she was in California meeting with her importer when she received a call that her ex-husband was dying. Her first words were “crios” as she rushed to return to Argentina to be with her children. The importer suggested she use it as the name for her wines to reflect her dedication as a parent, not just her skill as a winemaker and astute businesswoman.
Some sources say that Annette Alvarez-Peters is second only to Robert Parker in her influence over American wine consumers. Never heard of her? She’s the Assistant General Merchandising Manager for beer, wine and spirits at Costco. According to The Wine Economist, Costco is the largest wine retailer in the United States. As corporate head of wine, she wields tremendous power over the brands represented in their stores, including the evolution of Kirkland’s proprietary wines.
What about women as consumers of wine? Divas Uncorked (www.divasuncorked.com) was founded in 1999 by a group of African-American women interested in learning more about wine, having fun, and creating a social network. Along the way they have developed their own line of wines, sponsored wine trips, and inspired countless wine clubs. Their website includes a guide for starting your own wine club.
No article about women and wine would be complete without a nod to Jancis Robinson and Andrea Immer Robinson. Jancis Robinson is author of The Oxford Companion to Wine and co-author of The World Atlas of Wine (two essential reference books for any oenophile.) Jancis has been writing about wine since 1975. She was the first non-trade person to achieve Master of Wine, writes the wine column for London’s Financial Times, and maintains a web presence at www.jancisrobinson.com. Her straightforward style and depth of experience shine through all of her writing.
Of all the books I read about wine when I was getting started, there are two I found most helpful: Kevin Zraly’s Windows on the World Complete Wine Course and Andrea Immer’s (before she got married!) Great Wine Made Simple. Of the two, the one I am most apt to consult now is Master Sommelier Andrea Immer Robinson’s book. What makes her book so valuable is that she teaches by setting up comparisons between types of wine, and she encourages the education of the palate alongside the accumulation of knowledge.
So lift a glass of wine and toast the extraordinary accomplishments of women in the wine business on March 8th.
Paulette Eschrich is a dedicated oenophile and former wine retailer who runs a Wine Book Club and conducts custom in-home wine tastings.
Hippo Press - "Patricio Julian Santos: An Argentine winemaking tradition” February 10th, 2011
By Paulette Eschrich
Growing up at Bodega Norton, an Argentine winery founded in 1895, Patricio Santos always knew he would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a winemaker. It appears that tradition may continue; his daughter who will be finishing high school this year has already expressed a desire to become a winemaker. In the early 1990s Patricio worked with his father, Ricardo Santos, to plan and nurture their family vineyard, La Madras, just south of Mendoza. In 2004, with his brother Pedro, he founded Tercos Winery to produce quality wines at moderate prices. Today Patricio is the winemaker for the Ricardo Santos wines and Tercos Winery, as well as a consultant to other Argentine wineries.
Patricio attended Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza to study viticulture and oenology, followed by a master’s degree from the University of California at Davis. Pursuing a career in the Argentine wine industry, especially winemaking, has become more popular as evidenced by the growth in educational opportunities in Mendoza as well as the number of aspiring winemakers who travel around the globe to learn traditional methods and emerging technologies. Patricio asserts that it is important to have a sound knowledge acquired from study, but that the real learning takes place in the vineyards and at the winery.
Every harvest presents new challenges, and a talented winemaker has many decisions to make. Just like an artist or a musician, a winemaker seeks but never achieves perfection. The winemaker strives to elicit the best wine possible while responding to the realities of grape yields and quality, market pressures and consumer preferences. The competition, whether it is a neighboring winery or wines from Portugal, Italy or Australia, is constantly improving its quality. How to achieve increased quality and keep prices competitive is the task facing Patricio. Tercos, the name of the winery, means “stubborn” in Spanish and the burro on the label reflects the tenacity and commitment of the Santos family.
Patricio travels to the United States several times a year as an ambassador for their wines. This year he timed his visit to participate in several New Hampshire Wine Week activities. I caught up with him before a lecture, food and wine tasting, and bottle signing at WineNot Boutique in Nashua and at the Easter Seals Winter Wine Spectacular in Manchester. Patricio’s passion for winemaking and Argentina is contagious. I asked him if he had ever been tempted to stay in California (he was born in Los Angeles) and make wine there. It was as if he had never even considered the possibility. He knew Argentina had the potential to create great wines and he wanted to be part of that quest.
2009 Tercos Torrontes, Salta (NH Code 15178) $15.99
2009 was the first vintage of this fragrant dry white for Tercos. The grapes were harvested, crushed and fermented at a local winery in Salta under the watchful eye of Patricio. The wine was transported to their winery in Mendoza for blending and bottling. Torrontes is considered an Argentine grape, and for many years it was mass-produced for the domestic market. Patricio believed that Torrontes had the potential to be better, and a key to its fresh, bright fruitiness is the cold fermentation and exclusive use of stainless steel. Too often served over-chilled, this wine has aromatics of peach and melon reminiscent of Muscat, but the palate reveals citrus and tropical fruits with a crisp, lively finish. Available at WineNot Boutique in Nashua, Wine Studio and UnWined in Manchester, and Zampa Restaurant in Epping.
2009 Ricardo Santos Semillon, Mendoza (NH Code 13252) $17.99
The completion of the railway from Buenos Aires to Mendoza and the arrival of a French viticulturalist in the late 1800s were a turning point for the Mendoza wine industry. The Frenchman brought new grape varieties, Semillon and Malbec among them. The railroad opened up new markets. This Semillon is made from 70-year-old vines tended by a neighbor,
Roberto Azzareto. Less aromatic than the Torrontes, this off-dry Semillon has more body, a deeper yellow color, and pure fruit untouched by oak (Patricio feels oak is overused to the detriment of many wines). Look for subtle tangerine and almonds with some floral notes on the finish. In stock at WineNot Boutique in Nashua, Wine Studio, UnWined in Manchester, and Zampa Restaurant in Epping.
2008 Tercos Sangiovese, Mendoza (NH Code 10729) $16.99
Although the Spanish were the first to explore the area we know as Argentina, Italy has sent more immigrants to this fertile land. Garnet-hued, this unoaked Sangiovese exhibits cassis and ripe strawberries mixed with an earthy smokiness like cured meats. The high acidity and medium tannins are in balance, providing a delightful pairing with an antipasto platter, hard sausages and traditional Italian fare. Available at Angela’s Pasta in Manchester, Cornucopia Wine and Cheese in Exeter, Bedford’s Harvest Market and the establishments listed above.
2008 Ricardo Santos Malbec, Mendoza (NH Code 42797) $20.99
Although not designated as single-vineyard on the label, this saturated, inky purple wine comes from the La Madras vineyard situated at 2,800 feet in the Andes Mountains. This Malbec is lightly oaked for six months in French and American barrels. Pungent with dark fruit — black cherries, blackberry jam, and black plums — this wine is restrained and explosive at the same time. The complexity and rich finish stand up to spicy, rich foods. In addition to most of the outlets listed above, you can find this at Dover Wine Company, Windham Country Store, and The Wine Steward in Hampstead. Also on wine lists at Firefly American Bistro, Upstairs at Piccola Italia and Gauchos Churrascaria in Manchester, and the Black Trumpet in Portsmouth.
Plan ahead — April 17 has been designated World Malbec Day. For more information check out www.winesofargentina.org.
Hippo Press - "Season of the pour: New Hampshire celebrates wine week” January 21st, 2011
New Hampshire celebrates wine week
While it’s only January in New Hampshire and we still have a couple months of winter to get through, it is time to quit your whining and start your wining.
From Monday, Jan. 20, through Sunday, Jan. 30, the Granite State will be abundant with wine celebration and education as it revels in the eighth annual New Hampshire Wine Week, put on by the state liquor commission. More than 40 events, featuring 20 winemakers from across the globe, are scheduled across the state. The Winter Wine Spectacular, a charity benefit for the Easter Seals of New Hampshire, is the week’s focal point.
The Winter Wine Spectacular will be held at the Radisson Hotel, 700 Elm St., Manchester, on Thursday, Jan. 27, from 6 to 9 p.m.
“The Easter Seals event is the Super Bowl of the week,” said Christine Hardy, Easter Seals director of events and corporate relations. “All of the other wine events are the playoffs.”
The Winter Wine Spectacular, she added, has become the largest wine event in the region, featuring an estimated 2,000 wines this year. After selling out every year, the event has expanded to the exposition side of the Radisson hotel to accommodate more guests and more distributors. The expansion has brought in 25 new wineries and eight more restaurants. It will also allow for several hundred more tickets to be sold.
“Addressing feedback from the community to make it bigger, we were able to make it even more spectacular,” Hardy said.
Despite the economic downturn, the Winter Wine Spectacular continues to sell out annually, though the sold-out sign gets posted closer and closer to the day of the event. “That is really the only impact we have seen,” Hardy said. “We still sell the same amount of tickets, it just takes longer to get to that point.”
In the event’s first year, the organization anticipated drawing in no more than 400 attendants but brought in 800.
“We’re very optimistic here,” she said. “We knew after seeing the first year of success that we found the cherry in the bowl, or the grape on the vine if you will.”
Wine began to become popular with a wider audience in 2002 when the first event was pulled together, so Hardy said the event got “on the map at a good time.”
“We kind of set the pace for other wine tastings that are coming about. … [New Hampshire] winery owners, restaurants and the liquor commission have pulled together as a committee to ensure a top-notch event,” she said.
Hardy said Easter Seals has no plan to relocate the event to the Verizon Wireless Arena, no matter how large it might grow: “I feel in doing that it would lose its intimacy,” she said.
Wine Week, Hardy said, was a brainchild of the state liquor commission.
“This is the one time when we have a large number of winemakers from all over the world … descend on our state for the week,” said New Hampshire Liquor Commission Chair Joe Mollica. “Even if you don’t have an interest in wine but think you might … this is a great opportunity to try a vast number of wines and speak with winemakers.”
“Everyone is timid about spending the money on wine and learning it wasn’t what they expected it to be, but here you get to try it and experience it so next time you go back into the store, you can obviously take that knowledge with you,” Mollica said.
There will be space on each program book where event attendants can take notes on the wines they’ve tasted and conversations they’ve had with winemakers, Hardy said.
Mollica noted that holding the event in January, when winemakers are not worried about the spring bud break, harvesting or crushing, was ideal so the winemakers themselves could visit the state.
“We work very hard with our suppliers and our brokers year-round to make sure we can provide the best deals for our clientele. In doing that, we can develop relationships with wineries and, in turn, they like to come out and see our stores,” Mollica said.
“It is very personal for them, it is their names on those wines, their lives’ work in the bottle,” he continued. “They like to come out and see where our stores are and experience how New Hampshire runs its businesses.”
New Hampshire winemakers also benefit from the event, and the entire week, as it gets their products in front of the buying public, Mollica added.
“They are a great asset to our state and they make some wonderful wines,” he said. “This week absolutely benefits them and gets them the recognition of having other successful winemakers around the world come and try their wines as well, and [they] get to kind of talk shop with those people.”
The more the state can educate its customers on wines, the greater the uplift in sales, Mollica added.
The Winter Wine Spectacular is one of the largest-grossing fundraising events for the Easter Seals of New Hampshire. Last year’s event brought in $135,000 for the organization.
“It is a non-traditional fundraiser,” Hardy said. “In the world of nonprofits everyone does similar events. That is why we embraced a wine event — we had to do something unique and different to cater to people’s interests.”
The money raised at this year’s Spectacular will go to the organization’s Family Center for Early Support and Services, a program for children up to three years old throughout the state with mental and physical disabilities.
“Every single dollar raised goes back to the people of New Hampshire that need it most,” Hardy said. “We are bringing a great event to the community, but it all comes down the reason why we’re doing it.”
The event will also feature an auction of 15 wine-centric art pieces created by students at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.
“We found their interpretation of wine fascinating. … Everyone’s different take on wine comes out in their artwork and it is a nice marriage of two nonprofits,” Hardy said.
First-timers and veterans
For some businesses, Wine Week serves as a new adventure and a way to showcase their selection and knowledge — and draw in new customers. And while Wine Week is old hat for others, one veteran is setting the (ice) bar high at this year’s event.
Innkeeper Mason Cobb will welcome Marc Dupin, export manager of Louis Jadot and Kobrand wines, to Colby Hill Inn in Henniker for a five-course wine dinner on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 6 p.m. It is the Inn’s first year participating in the Winter Wine Spectacular, as well as its first time hosting a Wine Week event.
“Having the opportunity to bring in Marc Dupin, we thought would be a good opportunity to present to our guests,” Cobb said. “It is the first time we have had an opportunity to bring in a dignitary of his stature.”
The Inn already features Louis Jadot wines, and Cobb hopes Dupin will be able to share with guests the French vineyard’s philosophy of wine-making.
“It is going to be really special,” Cobb said, adding that he will serve a menu of a duck confit tartlet, broiled chevre salad with a candy cane beet vinaigrette, butter poached Maine scallops, an intermezzo of black currant sorbet, an entree of filet mignon, and a lavender cream caramel for dessert.
Wine Week events, Cobb noted, can educate consumers on selecting wines.
“When you go to a store there are rows and rows of bottles, so people might not know which one to pick; they might just pick the one with a pretty label that appeals to them — they might like the flowers or sophisticated design,” Cobb said. “And for a sophisticated wine-drinker they will get to try some of the off-the-wall stuff that a lot of people don’t know much about, like Spanish wine, which has really come into its own recently, and Portuguese wines. They will be able to try things other than what they’re used to.”
“Wine can be a never-ending study…. Wine Week allows the average consumer to meet the principles of wineries and ask in-depth or simple questions to increase their wine knowledge without having to go to France,” he said.
As her shop opened after the 2010 Wine Week, Svetlana Yanushkevich, owner of WineNot Boutique in Nashua, looks forward to being a first-time participant in the 2011 event.
“This is a huge thing for everybody. It is great to share this excitement with our clients,” Yanushkevich said.
“They get to see the person behind the winery, see the story behind the label, learn about the vineyard where the wine is made.”
WineNot Boutique will host Patricio Julián Santos, winemaker for Ricardo Santos and founder and winemaker for Tercos, for a lecture, food and wine pairing and bottle signing on Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Yanushkevich said she looked forward to Santos’ bringing in Argentinian wines to help her customers veer from the domestic styles and traditional varieties they have become accustomed to. The event, she said, will also serve as a gateway to offering more exotic wines at her shop. Yanushkevich plans to bring in semillon, made with a French grape from the Bourdeaux region; torontas, made with a white Argentinian grape; sangiovese, a red Italian wine; malbec, and dessert wine from Uruguay.
“Uruguay is producing amazing wines…. They have produced a lot of nice full-bodied red wines and an amazing dessert wine whose quality can be compared to a tawny port from Portugal,” she said.
Wine Week is shaping up to be busy for the Bedford Village Inn, which will host events daily from Monday through Saturday.
“There is no better way to celebrate our wine knowledge and our extensive inventory than through a week where we can really strut our stuff for both food and wine,” said BVI owner Jack Carnevale.
While BVI guests will be welcome to enjoy wine dinners and wine deals at the Inn’s function rooms, tavern and Corks wine bar, the main attraction at BVI will be the 50-foot circular ice bar on its patio, to be carved out of 10,000 pounds of ice by the Inn’s executive chef and certified ice sculptor Earl Morse. The bar will be open Monday, Jan. 20, through Saturday, Jan. 29.
“It’s really going to be a hoot,” Carnevale said of the wintery watering hole. Morse will also carve bars for the Winter Wine Spectacular.
The bar, Carnevale said, will feature a martini ice luge that guests can hold their glasses under to wait for a cascade of cold spirits. Hot drinks and, of course, wine will also served at the ice bar.
And while there will be heaters surrounding the bar, Carnevale suggests for guests to bundle up.
“Hopefully the weather will be cooperating with us,” he said.
The Inn will host Kevin Zraly, author of Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, for a wine tasting and seminar on Tuesday, Jan. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. Alex Sokol Blosser, of Sokol Blosser Winery will serve as a guest bartender at Corks on Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. and winemaker Lionello Marchesi will visit the Inn on Friday, Jan. 28, at 6:30 p.m. for a wine dinner prepared by chef Matt Provencher of Richard’s Bistro in Manchester, as part of the area’s “Have Knife, Will Travel” series. The Inn will offer a special wine meals throughout the week including a three-course dinner menu, paired with wines, for $45 per person.
“Wine Week just seems to get bigger and more versatile and little more unique here at the Inn,” Carnevale said.
“We are just going to have a lot of fun that week … I’m hoping we don’t get a blizzard, but if we do I will just have to keep shoveling a path to the bar.”
The Telegraph – “Downtown shopping was a holiday delight “ December 31st, 2010
By Corey D. Genest
I would like to publicly thank and applaud our downtown merchants for the excellent work they did this Christmas Season. On an autobiographical note, I shop for about 10 people each year, purchasing multiple gifts for some. Each Christmas I am able to accomplish most of my shopping downtown and this year only two of my family members received gifts from elsewhere.
Many downtown merchants offer hot cider, hot cocoa, and cookies for customers. They do a wonderful job decorating their stores and really make it feel like Christmas.
Merchants such as Phil Scontsas and Eileen Beckhardt (Beckonings) go out of their way to ensure their customers find what they may (or may not in some cases) be looking for as well as genuinely care about the customer experience.
Additionally, shopkeepers extend their hours from Thanksgiving onward. I visited Winenot on Main Street while it was actually closed, but the owner saw me peering through the window and rushed to the front, turning on the lights and music and welcoming me in.
Minutes later, she was assembling a beautiful gift basket of wines, butters, and crackers I had selected. I was also able to find gifts at various merchants ranging in price from under $10 to pricier jewelry.
Parking is never an issue downtown. You will be hard pressed to find a parking spot directly in front of your destination, but I can assure you that you will easily find a parking spot well within 100 yards of your destination. Our city boasts two large parking garages, a large outdoor municipal lot, as well as smaller lots. The garages and the large lot are all within one block of Main Street (just look at a map).
As the Christmas Season closes, be sure to check out what the aforementioned stores, as well as others (such as Cooking Matters and 1 World Trading Company), offer throughout the year, as the storeowners take pride in the appearance of their shops and adjust for every holiday throughout the year.
Examiner.com –“Wine education: "Be Your Own Sommelier" course to be offered at WineNot Boutique” December 17th, 2010
By Jen Ramsay (www.examiner.com)
WineNot Boutique in Nashua, NH is kicking off the new year with an opportunity for you to boost your wine knowledge: A six-week intensive wine course called "Be Your Own Sommelier."
"It's a wine appreciation course, great for a person who wants to enjoy wine and feel more comfortable describing wine," says WineNot Boutique owner and course instructor Svetlana Yanushkevich. "The main goal is education of the palate through tasting practice, which is a wine education far superior than can be found in any book. For the average person, reading and trying to memorize wine facts is very boring, and provides no sensory understanding. Our course will take them beyond the books into the full sensory experiences of the wines themselves."
Yanushkevich offers the "Be Your Own Sommelier" course mainly because she loves sharing her knowledge about wine and has a passion for teaching. Having worked as both an Associate Professor of Viticulture at the Crimean Agro-Industrial College in the Ukraine and as a Sommelier in Philadelphia, PA, Yanushkevich has found that most people feel shy or uncomfortable in wine shops and restaurants trying to pick a wine. "I always want to teach my clients how to describe the style of wine they like, how to evaluate price against wine quality, and how to know which wine to pair with which food," and these are exactly the kinds of principles Yanushkevich will be teaching in "Be Your Own Sommelier."
The course is 6 weeks long (beginning January 21st and ending February 25th), and there is one class each week (Friday, 6:30-8pm), all taking place in the WineNot Boutique. In weeks one and two, participants will learn how to taste and talk like a professional as Yanushkevich shares "Sommelier Secrets." The focus of classes three and four will be on varietals and wine styles: "Big 6 Wine Grapes" and "Old World and New World Wines." Class five will teach students how to pair wine with food, and the sixth and final class will explore the true complexity of wine.
Students can expect to sample six wines at each class and to walk away from each class with printed informational materials. Class participants will also be given the opportunity to purchase store merchandise for 15% off and to receive special case discounts. Classes 1, 2, 3, and 4 cost $30 each to attend, and classes 5 & 6 cost $50 each. If you register for all six weeks, the cost is $210. Participants can attend any number of classes they choose, but there are only 25 seats available for each class; therefore, priority will be given to those who register for all six weeks.
"By the end of the 6-week course," according to Yanushkevich, "students will be able to describe wines using the wine language they've learned; they will learn what they like (Old World v.s New World styles, light-bodied vs. full-bodied, oaky vs. unoaky, etc.); they will learn how to judge the quality of a wine against its price; an they will understand how food and wine can change each other." In short, they will have become their own personal Sommeliers.
For more information about WineNot Boutique's "Be Your Own Sommelier" course, or to register, you can call 603.204.5569, email email@example.com, or visit http://www.winenotboutique.com/wine-education.php.
About WineNot Boutique in Nashua, NH: WineNot specializes in good value & collectable wines, fine cheeses, and gourmet food. Wine education is one of our biggest specialties. Every Wednesday at Winenot, from 5 to 8 PM a different wine company offers free tasting of its selection for you to try before you buy. “Blind Thursdays” and “Wine Books Clubs” are conducting monthly on Thursday evenings, by Paulette Eschrich, wine writer for the Hippo. WineNot also offers private parties in our store (base price ($250) includes up to 25 guests, 5 bottles of fine wine, gourmet cheeses, and personalized instruction, and upgrades are available for larger parties, premium wine, and/or additional bottles). Interested parties can find WineNot's monthly events on www.localwineevents.com, or by joining the WineNot mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Telegraph – “Fill out Santa’s list at Nashua shops” December 15th, 2010
By Marc Bouchard
Downtown Nashua is no longer the shopping mecca it was when I was growing up.
Back then, a snowy Saturday afternoon in December would find half the city’s residents walking its pavements, arms laden with presents, and the sound of Christmas carols in the air.
Today, it’s comparatively quiet. But there are still plenty of small shops with excellent gifts for the food fanatics in your life.
And here’s the best part: no crowds, light traffic, plenty of parking and a lot less stress. Mall? What mall?
If you want to buy a bottle of wine for your favorite connoisseur, you’ll probably go to one of the state liquor stores. Then you’ll spend half an hour scratching your head, because while they hold the advantage in price and diversity, the long rows can prove daunting, the displays confusing, and none of the well-intentioned clerks are certifiable wine experts.
But Svetlana Yanushkevich is – a trained sommelier, I mean. And at her store, called the WineNot Boutique, 170 Main St., Nashua, she can give you the one thing the state stores can’t: advice.
Granted, the selection at WineNot isn’t enormous. But that’s because it doesn’t have to be.
You don’t need to offer 12 brands of Cotes du Rhone as long as you have the right one, the best one. She does. You can also give the gift of knowledge by signing your recipient up for one of their wine tastings or wine courses.
If, however, your friends are beer nuts (no pun intended), then you want to stroll half a block north from WineNot to 4 Temple St., the site of Jasper’s Homebrew and Winemaking. Also, look for them online under the most apropos Web address of www.boomchugalug.com.
Jasper’s probably offers the best selection of premium beers in the state. Microbrews, Belgian, Belgian-styles, stouts, porters, you name it. And believe me, the prices are much better than you’ll usually find elsewhere.
If your friends are really serious about beer or wine, you can also set them up with all of the equipment to make their own home brew. Hops, malt, barley, tubs and tubing, they’ve got it all, along with more good advice.
All this shopping is probably making you thirsty, so stop awhile at Swan’s Chocolates on the corner of Temple and Main for a hot chocolate. And while you’re there, you can pick up a few lumps of coal for the kids’ stockings.
In this instance, “Lump of Coal” is actually the name of a chocolate and marshmallow confection shaped exactly like, you guessed it, coal – only more delicious.
Before you leave, check out Swan’s other handcrafted chocolates, including their insanely beautiful truffles. With flavors such as Pistachio-Praline, French Vanilla, Orange, Raspberry, Moroccan or Lemon-Sesame, I can’t make up my mind which to buy. So, I’ll just get them all.
The key to success in cooking is more than just a great recipe and ingredients. It’s also about presentation. And nothing makes a bigger difference than having the perfect plate on which to arrange your masterpiece.
Sure, you can buy some nice china and wares at the malls or online. But there’s nothing special, nothing truly unique about them.
The handmade plates, cups, bowls and baskets at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen shop at 98 Main St. are all one of a kind. These aren’t just housewares; they’re works of art. Each artist represented at the league’s stores has to be qualified by the organization’s jury panel.
The objects at the league may cost a couple dollars more, but they represent a lifetime of study and practice on behalf of their creators. And the recipient will appreciate both their unique value and the extra effort you made.
Right across the street from the league is my favorite downtown food store, Cooking Matters. If you’re hungry from all of the shopping, 97 Main St. is the place to stop, because they serve in their little bistro what’s universally described as the best soup in southern New Hampshire (and some great panini, too).
But we’re here for Christmas gifts, especially stocking stuffers, and they have that covered on several levels: gift baskets, teas, coffees, teapots, candies, gourmet and barbecue sauces, condiments, jams, marmalades, oils, vinegars, pastries, cookies, pastas, you name it.
Also, they have the best selection of cheeses in the region. Not the biggest, just the best. Boucheron, Morbiere, Maytag Blue – all of the classic great cheeses, as well as the serving plates, crackers, condiments, beers and wines to accompany them.
We shouldn’t pass over three of downtown Nashua’s oldest food emporiums.
The Sweet Shoppe at Martha’s Exchange at 185 Main St. is where Nashuans have been satiating their sweet tooth since 1932 with every sort of filled chocolate, dazzling candied fruit and excellent gift baskets.
At Crosby’s Bakery at 51 East Pearl St., the pastries don’t taste as if a world-famous chef created them; they taste as if your grandmother made them. Crosby’s is still many folks’ first choice for holiday breads, rolls, pies and cakes. This is also one of the last places around where you can find homemade baked beans and gorton.
Finally, there is McDonald’s Kitchenware Store at 7 Factory St. McDonald’s is the king of retro cookware. Walking in here is like traveling through a time portal into the past. You’ll see pots and pans, china patterns and kitchen implements that date to the Kennedy administration. Or is it Eisenhower?
Take your pick: You can drive to the mall, sit for hours in traffic and end up with the same cheap frying pan that 3 million other people are buying, or you can go to downtown Nashua, buy your friends and family something truly unique – without the stress – and still have enough time to enjoy a cold microbrew at Martha’s before heading home happy.
It’s your call.
Marc Bouchard, of Hudson, is executive chef at Stellina Restaurant in Watertown, Mass. Address comments or questions to him c/o Feast, The Telegraph, 17 Executive Drive, Hudson, NH 03051.
Hippo Press - "Wine Tasting: Nashua" July 7th 2010
By Paulette Eschrich
One of the best ways to learn about wine is by tasting and drinking wine. You can read books and subscribe to wine journals, but the best way to learn is by taking a class, attending a wine dinner, or going to a wine tasting. To get you started, in this and future columns I’ll focus on different cities or regions around NH that regularly host wine events.
Nashua, especially the downtown area, provides wine tasting experiences for the neophyte and the sophisticated oenophile. Information on current and upcoming wine events appears in The Hippo, and many of the venues have e-newsletters and information on their websites. Another source is www.localwineevents.com [with listings for Manchester and Other New Hampshire.] While not the only places that have wine tastings, what follows gives you a sense of what is available.
WineNot Boutique at 170 Main Street has “Sideways” Wednesdays from 5 – 7 pm, a free tasting of five wines with a winemaker or representative from a wine distributor. On a recent Wednesday Kristen Van Horn from Martignetti was pouring an Australian sparkling wine from Taltarni, an unusual white Arneis from California’s Seghesio, a Sicilian Nero D’Avola from Villa Pozzi, Stephen Vincent’s red blend Crimson, and a blockbuster red wine called The Chocolate Block from South Africa. The wines that are featured can be purchased at a 10% discount that evening, and there are usually cheeses to sample as well. Svetlana Yanushkevich, the shop’s proprietor, is teaching a six week course “Be Your Own Sommelier” starting on Friday, July 9th. You can sign up for individual sessions ($30 in July, $50 in August) or the whole series ($210) by calling her at 204-5569.
Just around the corner, Stella Blu Restaurant at 70 East Pearl Street, hosts a free tasting of five wines on the first Tuesday of every month. Due to the 4th of July holiday, their July tasting is scheduled for Tuesday the 13th. If you decide to stay and order three items from their extensive tapas menu, you can purchase any of the featured wines by the bottle at a 50% discount. Check out their menu at www.stellablu-nh.com. Sounds like a party to me!
Further down Main Street at Michael Timothy’s Urban Bistro & Wine Bar, stop in any Thursday after 5 pm when they introduce their weekly flight of wines. Each week three wines are selected around a theme – the same varietal, the same winery, the same region, the same style – and you get a 2 oz. pour of each for a set price. Frequently there is someone available to answer questions or provide additional information about the wines on Thursdays. If you prefer, you can create your own flight from their “by the glass” menu. Their Wine Bar Menu is served from 3-10 pm. My friends and I like to split a Mediterranean Salad and then share one of their Wood-Fired pizzas along with our flight.
The New Hampshire State Liquor Stores have introduced Friday night wine tastings at several of their locations. In addition to the free tasting, you can purchase a Riedel Bordeaux glass for $3.99 during the tastings. Trust me when I say that wine tastes significantly better when sipped from a stemmed glass rather than a small plastic cup. One Friday when I stopped by the NH State Liquor store at 27 Coliseum Avenue (tasting from 5-7 pm), Claire Tully from Vinlandia was pouring a Portuguese Vinho Verde, a crisp white, and a deep red Italian Valpolicella Classico. Times for the tastings vary by location and you can get the full schedule at www.nh.gov/liquor as well as information on other tasting events.
At 650 Amherst Street in the Greystone Plaza, the Wine Society has free, informal wine tastings most Saturday afternoons from noon to 4 pm. Check out their website, www.winesociety.us, for other wine tasting events, wine dinners and wine education courses. The owner, Charles Saunders, offers a series of six week seminars from Connoisseur to Wine Master for those who want to learn more about wine. Each class includes a lecture portion as well as a tasting, and Charlie teaches you how to evaluate wine using the University of California at Davis rating system. I run a monthly Wine Book Club at the Wine Society. On July 22nd we are sampling wines from a murder mystery by Michele Scott, Murder by the Glass; Book Club tastings are $25.
For those who reside on the south end of Nashua, the Grape Time Winery is co-located with IncrediBREW at 112 Daniel Webster Highway South. Sign up at www.incredibrew.com to get their monthly newsletter and find out about their upcoming free wine tastings (reservations are required and space fills up quickly.) They produce wines made from juice that they purchase from major wine growing regions around the world. Grape Time Winery has partnered with the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of NH to create a line of wines that are available for sale in area retail stores and some restaurants, with a portion of the proceeds being donated directly to the ARL.
Paulette Eschrich is a dedicated oenophile and former wine retailer who runs a Wine Book Club and conducts custom in-home wine tastings.
Union Leader "WineNot Grand Opening" May 2010
By JIM BEAREGARD
Last Wednesday was the Grand Opening of Wine Not, the new wine shop at 170 Main St. In Nashua. The day started with a noontime event with the mayor of Nashua, and was followed by a tasting Wednesday evening, a fabulous, very well-attended event with lots of conversation, time to catch up with friends, and of course, good wine.
These are the wines that were sampled at the event - all of them are available now at Wine Not. 2007 Kuentz-Bas Alsace, France, $17.99. :60% - Sylvaner, 15% - Muscat, 15% - Auxerrious, 10% - Chasselas. A delicious summer blended white, lemon gold in color, developing nose with fruit, floral and spice aromas. The wine is off-dry on the palate, medium acidity, medium alcohol and body, medium-plus flavor intensity with flavors of blossom, citrus peel, peach. Very good quality, balanced, complex with a very nice finish. A great summer wine. 89 pts.
2005 Robert Young Chardonnay, $42.99. this should cost $30 more than it does, but it doesn't. rich floral nose, lemon gold in color, dry on the tongue, developing nice secondary flavors now, with white fruit, herbaceous notes, pear, peach, citrus. Continues to thrill. 92 pts. Terre d'Alteni Moscato d'Asti DOC,. Italy. For dessert or appetizer, beautiful grapey aromas and flavors classic to the varietal, sweet, great acidity, pronounced flavor intensity. 91 pts.
Poggio al Tufo Vigneto Pompiollo, Toscana, Italy, $20.99. A "Supertuscan" meaning a blend of Sangiovese (60%) with something else, usually cabernet sauvignon (40% in this blend). Dark core red, developing nicely with aromas of black fruit, dry on the palate, medium tannin from the Cabernet especially, well-integrated, about medium bodied, flavors of classic sour cherry, blackcurrant, blueberry and blackberry, medium-plus length finish. Very good. 88 pts.
2005 Clos Junet St. Emilion Grand Cru, Opaque black core, from the classic year, black fruit, plum on the nose, dry on the palate, medium acidity, medium-plus tannin, medium alcohol, well balanced and integrated, flavors of blackfruit, blackberry, blackcurrant, plum in this Cab/Merlot blend, hints of vanilla from the oak, a classic Bordeaux of subtlety and balance. 92 pts.
2007 Angel's Landing Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford, California, $25. Purple and young, with a long life ahead of it, I think. Developing, with black fruit, pencil shavings on the nose, dry on the palate, medium-plus acidity, medium tannin, well integrated components, blackcurrant, pencil shavings, blackberry flavors, long, long finish, a delicious cab. Balance, concentration, complexity and length - it's all there. Grab it while it lasts; I don't expect it will be on the shelves long once people have the chance to try it. 91 pts.
San Roman Tempranillo, Spain, $82. Opaque in the glass, developing, complex nose of black fruit, well balanced and integrated, blackberry and blackcurrant flavors, elegant, powerful, subtle all at the same time. 90 pts.
2005 Jaime Lirac, France, $33.90. Another deep colored red, developing, medium-plus intensity, blossom, floral hints, b lack fruit, flavors of blackberry and dried fruit on the palate, very well balanced and integrated. Very long finish. Outstanding. 92 pts.
2008 Clos la Coutale, Cahors, France, $21.99. 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot, from the region that is known for its Mable. Purple with a black core, dry on the palate, medium acidity, medium-plus tannin (decant for a couple of hours before serving), great flavors of black fruit, blackberry, some currant. Long finish. Balanced and intense. Cries out for steak on the grill, and I plan to oblige. 88 pts.
2006 Banyuls Domaine La Tour Vielle, France, $31.99, 500 ml bottle. We enter the realm of very, very good dessert wines here. 100% Grenache, 16% alcohol, medium intensity, still fairly young and capable of a god number of years of aging that will deepen it, the aromas are beautiful dried fruit like fig. Medium sweetness, just right for a dessert wine, medium tannin, again flavors of delicious dried fruit, especially fig, balance, concentration and a long, long pleasing finish. Think chocolate cake, tiramisu, and other rich desserts, or just drink it on its own. One of the best dessert wines you're likely to find in the state. 91 pts.
2006 Serrapetrosa Chianti Classico riserva, $37. Dark purple with a purple rim suggesting it's just coming out of adolescence, classic sour cherry, and red fruit, needs a couple of hours to open up, so decant before serving and you won't be sorry about the extra effort, silky on the palate. Elegant and subtle, repays all the attention you are willing to give it. 90 pts.
And so, in closing, a word of heartfelt thanks to Svetlana - I think she has created something marvelous on Main Street, and I look forward to events and wines to come.
Finally, some upcoming wine events through the Common Man Restaurants:
June 17th, Seven Deadly Zins Wine dinner, Lakehouse Grille in Meredith. Seven courses paired with seven wines. $75 per person.
June 24th, fifth Annual Common Man Family Winnipesaukee Wine Festival at Church Landing in Meredith, 5:30 to 8pm, 50 donation, with a portion of proceeds to benefit the Haiti Limb Project (to assist victims of the Haiti quake acquiring prosthetics). For information call 968-9330.
Jim Beauregard is a Bedford neuropsychologist and wine writer who can be reached at email@example.com
Union Leader "Checking out a new Nashua shop" May 2010
By JIM BEAREGARD
The opening of a new wine shop always brings new possibilities for wine – learning, tasting, meeting new people, making new friends. So you can understand why I was excited to see Wine Not open on Main Street in Nashua recently.
Svetlana Yanushkevich, the new shop owner, hails from the Ukraine. Now, I haven’t said much in this column about that region of the world, but I will tell you that it has a long and noble history in the world of wine. Grapes were grown there as far back as the fourth century BCE. Nowadays, Ukraine has some 247,000 acres of land under vines and produces 2.4 million hectoliters of wine annually. The climate is continental (meaning they have all four seasons), and most of the wine making takes place in the Crimea, along the Black Sea. There are a lot of different grapes grown there form the familiar (Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris and Riesling) to the not so familiar (like Saperavi, Bastardo, Fetiaska, and Sukhomlinski).
Svetlana grew up in the Crimea and had a family tradition of winemaking, her uncle having worked in the well known Massandra winery. Her mother took her along to the vineyards from the age of three on. The passion started early, and Svetlana went onto earn a Master’s degree in viticulture at the Crimean State Agricultural University, after which she worked as a P[professor there and headed the Viticulture Laboratory at the Crimean Agro-Industrial College.
She came to the US in 2002 and earned her Diploma in Wine and Spirits from the London-based Wine and Spirits Education Trust (where I got much of my wine education too, and I can tell you it’s rigorous). She worked in the wine industry in Philadelphia for a number of years, and then came to Nashua in 2007. She worked for a while at the Wine Society, Nashua, and then decided to strike out on her own.
After all that education, I asked her what her favorite wines were when she sat down to dinner. She told me Falanghina (see below) and Oregon and Burgundy Pinot Noir, each appreciated for their complexity. Her company statement: “Wine is not simply a bottle of alcoholic beverage. Wine is an art, wine is a history, wine is a spirit of the soil."
Svetlana has done a wonderful job of providing variety and a range of prices in her new shop (there’s a growing under $15 shelf, much needed in the current economic climate). The wine shelves are organized in terms of body (light to full) and she will be starting an “Exotic grapes” section soon. Gift baskets are available too, some put together by Svetlana and some that will be custom made for you.
There are some other odds and ends in the shop – cheeses, chocolate, cookies, wine glasses, cork screws, everything you need to enjoy a glass of wine, in other words.
Wine not holds wine tastings every Wednesday evening from 5-7. She’s having a grand opening on Wednesday May 26th,m with a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Mayor of Nashua at noon, and a tasting that evening from 5-7. At her request, I’ll be there doing some book signing to help celebrate the event.
Svetlana is also going to be offering a variety of wine education seminars (I’ll keep you posted), and she has already gotten quite busy with corporate tastings. Looks like things are taking off fast.
And here are four wines you can pick up now at the shop:
2008 Taburni Domus Falanghina, $18.99, Wine Not, Nashua. Flanghina is the grape, which you might not have heard much about. It’s grown in southern Italy, in the Campagnia region, and you may have heard of a wine that uses it – Lacryma Cristi del Vesuvio. Classically, this grape makes a white wine that’s full bodied, with white fruit, citrus and some nuttiness. The Taburni, at 13% abv, is gold in the glass, with a clear rim. The nose is crisp and bright with white fruit, crisp apple, some citrus and mineral hints. It’s near full-bodied on the palate, almost creamy, with rich apple flavor, lemon peel, and hints of minerality again. Flavorful with a good long finish, it would pair with heavier things like swordfish steak on the frill or marinated chicken, and maybe homemade fish and chips in beer batter. Made from organically grown grapes. 90 pts.
2008 Clos La Coutale, Cahors , France, $21,99. 80% Malbec, 20% Merlot from a somewhat lesser known French region. It’s on a tributary of the Garonne in southwest France, near Bordeaux, and any wine bearing the label Cahors must contain at least 70% Malbec, a regional specialty. Merlot and Tannat are the two other main grapes. The finest wines of the region are dark and intense with rich berry fruit and spice. This example is purple with good legs and a clear rim (still young), with a nose of beautiful red and black fruit, earthiness, and a palate that is medium-bodied, slightly warm at 13% abv, with medium tannin, flavors of black fruit, hint s of ripe plum (that’s the Merlot talking), and some vanilla along the finish. Good balance of components overall. IT would benefit from decanting for at least two hours before serving, which would take care of the warm alcohol and get the tannins in balance. Suitable for aging for a year or two as well. 88 pts.
2008 Wrongo Dongo Monastrell, Jumilla Spain $14.99, Wine Not, Nashua. Monastrell is the Spanish name for the French Mourvedre, the Rhone red grape in the classic Rhone GSM trio (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre). A medium hued red with slow legs at 15% abv, it’s spice that greets you on the nose, then black fruit and wild fruit, along with just a little hint of mint. The palate is earth and spice, medium-bodied, loads of black fruit, spice, and very dry. A good long finish rounds it out. It’s a little warm in terms of the alcohol; a year in bottle or a few hours decanting should clear that up, though. 89 pts.
2006 chateau d’Arcins, Haut-Medoc, France AOC, Crus Bourgeois, $30.99, Wine Not. From the Gironde, upstream form Bordeaux. They used to send grapes downriver to make Bordeaux wine before all the wine laws developed, so the blends are similar. Red, medium-hue, opaque core, light rim, purple colored with long fat tears, the nose is a rich combination of black fruit and earth in classic French style of subtlety and balance, a hint of barnyard (not a bad thing in a good French wine,which this is – just means it needs some air before you drink it, about 3 hours worth, I’d say. Medium-bodied, a food wine with loads of earthiness on the palate, subtle blackcurrant, ripe plum, perfume hints, good tannin that would pair well with steak, a relatively short finish. Good balance of components. 89 pts.
Wine Not is located at 170 Main Street, Nashua (A couple doors down from Pompanoosic Mills and right across the street from Martha’s Exchange). Shop hours are: Tues-Fri 11-7, sat. 11-6, closed Sunday and Monday. Wine tastings every Wednesday evening from 5-7 pm. Wine Not’s web page should be up and running in about a month at www.winenotboutique.com. Telephone: 603.204.5569 . Svetlana has a Facebook page in the works; in the meantime , if you would like to be on her email list (and several hundred people have already signed up), send Svetlana a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Grand opening Wednesday, May 26th, with a wine tasting from 5-7 pm.
Jim Beauregard is a Bedford neuropsychologist and wine writer who can be reached at email@example.com.
The Telegraph "Thoughtful choices at new Wine Not" March 2010
By EROL SENEL
The idea of helping someone pick out a quality bottle of wine to celebrate a special moment, pair perfectly with dinner or just lounge around on a rainy spring afternoon is what we wine professionals live for.
We all chose to enhance the moment through our given medium. It’s about sharing, friendship and dreaming.
This is one reason why I’ve always dreamed of opening a wine shop in downtown Nashua, although being a sommelier isn’t bad either.
These same ideals are what led Svetlana Yanushkevich to open her new wine shop, Wine Not, on Main Street.
As a former sommelier at The Marker and Penne restaurants in Philadelphia, Yanushkevich is no stranger to helping people enjoy life’s simple moments. Her presence as a former employee of the Wine Society means she has a good idea as to what Nashua area wine lovers are looking for.
Although not possessing a massive selection, Yanushkevich has chosen to stock her wine racks with thoughtfully selected wines, no 7 Deadly Zins or Menage a Trois here. She has selected wines that are approachable in taste and price while allowing us to break from the wines that we may be comfortable with, yet we don’t know why.
While inspecting the selections, I came across one of my favorites, Truchard Vineyards Roussanne, which is a terrific example of the growingly popular Rhone varietal.
Also present are the Chateau Beauchene Cotes-du-Rhone Blanc (Rhone, France) and Hedges “Red Mountain” (Columbia Valley, Wash.), which represent just a fraction of the quality wines available.
Yanushkevich also hosts a weekly wine tasting of a few wines that are typically themed by region or varietal. The distributor with which she works that given week typically brings five wines for the guests of Wine Not to sample.
The tastings are held from 5-7 p.m. Wednesdays and allow guests to try the wines, learn more about them from the distributors and, if they like, buy them.
Yanushkevich offers a few other neat amenities. She has a selection of cheeses and meats to pair with your wines, as well as the unique Icelandic, Black Capelin Caviar. These foods, along with the custom gift baskets she creates – both with wine and without – offer a uniquely European experience in her shop.
The nice thing about wine professionals is that they’re always welcoming and looking to help. Be it educating, tasting or recommending, local wine specialists (and specialists in general) know their products better than most, so take advantage of their knowledge.
This is why Wine Not is a welcome addition to the downtown community and gives us yet another destination to visit as the nice weather comes around.
Erol Senel, of Merrimack, blogs about wine at www.senelwine.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Telegraph "Comings & goings" February 2010
By PATRICK MEIGHAN
All things considered, Svetlana Yanushkevich would rather not be in Philadelphia.
A native of Ukraine who studied agriculture, Yanushkevich was living in Philadelphia when she decided it wasn’t the best place for her, given her training. She took additional classes about the wine industry, and moved with her partner, a Maine native, to Nashua three years ago with the idea of finding a job in Boston and commuting.
But when she got here, Yanushkevich discovered the drive to Boston was harsher and longer than she had anticipated. So when she got the idea to open a wine boutique, she eyed her new hometown as the location.
Yanushkevich plans a soft opening for WineNot Boutique, 170 Main St., in the beginning of March, with a grand opening in May. The boutique will carry “unique wines” not found in other stores, as well as gourmet chocolate, coffee and cheese, she said.
Additionally, Yanushkevich plans to invite wine producers to give educational demonstrations and speak about their products and vineyards.
Thus, one of downtown’s newest businesses, to open at a former politician’s office, came about because of chance and circumstances.
“I didn’t have an emotional attachment when I came here. I thought (Nashua) was a nice, small city,” Yanushkevich said.
During the past three years, Nashua grew on her, she said.
“I like the downtown. I like the community. I have a lot of new friends,” Yanushkevich said.
WineNot Boutique is one of several small new businesses slated to open soon downtown. Most of the others are coming in on the heels of other small retail shops that closed – after months, years or, in one case, decades – at the location.
Whether one thinks the downtown business climate is healthy or mired in a sort of post- recession malaise might depend on perception and what evidence one chooses to consider.
City Hall has entertained debate over the past few months on how to market businesses and draw more customers downtown. Central to that debate is whether to create a downtown improvement district, funded through a tax on business owners, increased parking fees or contributions.
A committee, after voting not to recommend imposing a new tax, is wading through other options and will deliver its recommendations to the mayor and board of aldermen later this year. The goal is to find the most acceptable and effective way to improve a downtown that includes a mix of successful ventures and empty storefronts.
“Most of the small spaces are turning over very fast,” said Sue Butler, executive director of Great American Downtown, the group that initiated the effort to create a downtown improvement district.
For example, a new restaurant showed immediate interest when Black Orchid Grille at 8 Temple St. closed, and the Amsterdam Bar and Lounge will be opening soon. Likewise, when the Blackthorne Antiques & Interiors at 98 Main St. closed, Ruth Boland Basketry from the Millyard jumped at the chance to relocate there. And an Army and Navy store will open at 99 W. Pearl St. at the site of Inquiry Within, a boutique that closed after only being open for months.
“If you look at the economy, that’s really not bad,” Butler said of the spate of new business waiting to open.
But she admits some larger spaces remain vacant. For example, a 6,000-square-foot storefront at 94 Main St. – the original location of Cameraland, which moved to a different Main Street location and recently closed for good – has been vacant for two years, Bulter said. The landlord has indicated a willingness to divide the space to attract tenants, she said.
And the second location of Cameraland has been purchased by the owner of Alec’s Shoes, Butler said.
Business owners cite a variety of reasons, and circumstances, for closing a store. Take for example Blackthorne Antiques, which closed in December after eight years downtown.
Co-owner Caroline Kemezys at the time said antique sales were lagging even before the recession due to a radical change in buyers’ tastes over the last five years.
“Pottery Barn and Ikea have become more the trend of today’s buyers,” she told The Telegraph in December. “They want something new with clean lines, and if they get tired of it in five years, they can get rid of it.”
A flood in the building also didn’t help things, Kemezys said.
The flood at Blackthorne this past February closed the store for a month and resulted in more than $50,000 in property damage, Kemezys said. A third-floor tenant left the water running all night, causing it to spill down into the two floors below, she said. The store was closed while the building was repaired.
Blackthorne had a good run, as far as downtown retail goes, but nothing compared to Cameraland, a fixture on Main Street for more than 60 years, which also closed at the end of 2009.
Declining sales, competition from online and big-box retailers, the arrival of digital photography and the recession all led to the difficult decision to shut the doors for good Dec. 31, according to store manager and part owner Brian Lawrence.
“This industry has been changing so much at a fast rate for so many years. The writing is on the wall that this kind of store is disappearing,” said Lawrence, whose father bought the business in 1948. “The world’s changing, and I think we just need to silently bow out before we’re forced to bow out.”
A store like Cameraland closing is likely to draw more attention, as least in the short run, than one like WineNot Boutique celebrating an opening.
People tend to notice the businesses that shut down, not the ones coming in or waiting to come in, Butler said
“People drive by and see the storefronts that are closed. It’s not everywhere, but people notice,” Butler said.
But customers do come downtown to do their banking or to have lunch, and that drives foot traffic, she said.
“The downtown is still strong because a lot of the businesses that are open are solid businesses. They’ve been here a long time,” said Sherrilyn Alden Bellavance, president of Great American Downtown and owner of Ancient Moon on West Pearl Street.
As for the empty storefronts, “the merchants are more profoundly aware of the vacancies than the consumers,” Bellavance said.
Downtown shop openers take notice when a business closes, and it’s often the topic of conversation behind store counters and at meetings, she said.
Customers don’t notice as much because they come downtown to some destination store. But merchants have more of a pulse on the general health of the downtown, she said.
“It’s a tough economy. Obviously, you want your downtown full of life and vibrancy. It’s definitely a concern. We want to see all the vacancies filled. We want to see a vibrant downtown,” Bellavance said.
“We’re all aware. We get really excited when a new store goes in. And we all feel it when a store closes,” she said.
Patrick Meighan can be reached at 594-6518 or email@example.com.