Party like it’s 1200!

The life of a monk in the Middle Ages may sound more ascetic than indulgent, but we’ve got these cloistered men to thank for the vineyards of Burgundy and for creating some of the most complex beers and cheeses we have today. Washed-rind cheeses were developed in monasteries, where a staple to replace meats was required for the frequent fasts. Bathing the wheels in a brine, sometimes with a liquor, kept the cheeses moist and creamy, preventing the rind from cracking and encouraging the development of beneficial and aromatic bacteria. (Yummy bacteria? Sounds crazy, but yes.)

Along with the cheeses, many monasteries brewed their own beers, as an inexpensive means of feeding the peasantry. Most famous were the Cistercians in La Trappe, France. Their strong, nutty ales, more smooth than bitter or hoppy and capable of aging, became known as Trappist ales. Though there are many Trappist-style ales in production today, only the beers produced in the seven remaining monastic breweries are allowed to have the Trappist label. They are amazing with washed-rind cheeses, refreshing and flavorful enough to stand up to the pungent creaminess of monastery-style cheeses. While wine and cheese is a classic combination, we’re excited to bring some of these awesome beers to our next cheese party!

Wines @ PG
Buy any six bottles of wine and get 10% off!

We’ve gotten about a dozen new wines in the past week, from the Rhone (including a Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise), Languedoc, Burgundy, and Savoie. Mix and match a half case to get 10% off!

Abbey Ales

Chimay Premier Trappist Ale ($4.99) — Slightly sweet, nutty, with notes of pepper. A dark brown ale that pairs well with Epoisse and Soumatrain. Bottle-conditioned.

Orval Trappist Ale ($5.99) — Coppery brown, hints of earthy, and brimming with citrus zest and a frothy white head. Bottle-conditioned and fermented with a local yeast that creates its distinctive flavor profile. Quite refreshing.

Grimbergen Dubble ($12.99/6 bottles) — Undergoing a second fermentation, this beer is reddish-brown and bittersweet and full-bodied.

Cheese @ PG

Pont l’Evêque

A creamy, washed-rind cow’s milk cheese made in Normandy. The flavor is buttery, milky, and savory with a long finish of tangy and fruity undercurrents. Marvelous with Trappist-style beers or a fruity Gamay.

Abbaye Ste-Mère

This traditional monastery cheesefrom Normandy has a creamy yet firm texture. Made with raw milk and washed in brine, it has a fruity, mild, and slightly sweet flavor. A sure crowd-pleaser!

Charcuterie @ PG

It rhymes!

Petit Jesu Salami (32.99/lb) — This coarsely ground, juicy salami is flavored with red wine and sweet and savory spices. From the famous Salumiera Biellese, its a favorite for baguette sandwiches!

Mother’s Day, May 9th

Our next issue will be full of Mother’s Day gift ideas. We have beautiful cermics, dishtowels, hand lotions, fiction and non-fiction writing, special wines and goodies that are sure to make her smile! Stay tuned.