We finally left the house this Saturday for a reason other to go to work. This winter has definitely put a wrench in many social plans, so it was a refreshing, wonderful change to get out for errands, a tasting at Night Shift Brewing, and dinner at the gorgeous home of my favorite wine PR maven and her family, including the cutest baby boy ever.

We tend to stock up on our favorite wines and bring wine along whenever we visit friends, and this time, without even knowing what was for dinner, the wine we brought turned out to be a perfect pairing.

porchetta and Mourvedre

I can honestly say that the Two Shepherds 2012 Mourvèdre we brought is one of the best wines I have tasted all year, and it was amazing with the porchetta with homemade sausage that we feasted on. The wine was a beautiful light, raspberry/violet color, and it reminded me of a Pinot Noir, making it excellent for the pork. The nose was simply gorgeous, again, raspberry and cranberry, aromas that had me going back to the glass again and again to breathe it in. The wine’s slight peppery notes brought out the fennel in the sausage in the loveliest way. This wine is so elegant and refined but juicy and bright at the same time. I am seriously in love with it. Two Shepherds wines are not available in many stores yet, but you can buy the wine online here. The winemaker also happens to be one of the nicest people I know and has kindly introduced us to so much of his Sonoma County, wineries and restaurants we might not have found ourselves. I believe tasting is by appointment only at this point, but well worth it if you can make it happen.

Our hosts are cooking through the Jerusalem cookbook, and I wish I had taken more photos of dinner. They made the Butternut Squash and Tahini Spread with homemade bread. . . to die for. While there I thumbed through the Jerusalem vegetable cookbook as well, and I decided I definitely need to have it. I have been craving creative veggie dishes, and it is just perfect. I can bet that most of them will go well with this Mourvèdre.

Have you discovered any delicious food and wine pairings lately?

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Tags: mourvedre, rhone, Two Shepherds wine, wine, wine and food pairing, wine of the week, wine tasting, Wine Wednesday

Taste of the South End is next week! This night full of chefs is the perfect excuse to get out of the house this March, which will hopefully come in like a lamb rather than a lion!

A little about Taste of the South End from one of Boston’s favorite chefs:

“The Taste of the South End is Boston’s premier food & wine event in our neighborhood and it brings together all of the South End chefs for the AIDS Action Committee. It is a fine way to both raise money for a wonderful organization that does vital work in our community and also have fun saying hello to friends, neighbors and colleagues. I would not miss this event for the world,”  -Chef Gordon Hamersley.

I haven’t been to the Taste of the South End in a few years, but the last time I went I had an amazing time. I have heard it just gets better every year. This year’s Taste of the South End lineup includes SO many favorite restaurants like B & G Oysters, Cinquecento, Myers + Chang, and Sweet Cheeks. The night promises to be delicious and all for a great cause.

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I have a pair of tickets to give away, and I am going to choose a winner at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. To enter, just take a peek at the Restaurants page and let me know in the comments   what restaurant table you would want to visit first. For an extra entry, tweet “ I want to win @tastesouthend tickets from @traveleatlovemm.”

Good luck!

About AIDS Action Committee

AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection. It provides services to one in six people in Massachusetts living with an HIV diagnosis. Many of the people who seek services at AIDS Action have more pressing, immediate priorities than HIV—which can rank third or fourth on their list of concerns after homelessness, malnutrition, or domestic violence. That is why in addition to HIV counseling and testing, and needle exchange, AIDS Action provides services in mental health counseling; housing assistance; and legal support. Additionally, most of our clients have average annual incomes of less than $10,000 a year.

AIDS Action works to prevent new HIV infections, support those affected by HIV, and tackle the root causes of HIV/AIDS by educating the public and health professionals about HIV prevention and care; and advocating for fair and effective HIV/AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is New England’s first and largest AIDS service organization. In 2013, AIDS Action formed a strategic alliance with Fenway Health that will allow the two organizations to work more closely together and improve delivery of care and services to people living with HIV/AIDS.

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Tags: Aids Action Committee, community, events, Food, taste of, Taste of the South End

Boston has become such a great beer city over the years that I have lived here. In my last job, I set up trips to Massachusetts for travel and food writers, and I would often have the opportunity to send them to some beautiful hotels, great restaurants, famous museums, and fun local food and beverage experiences. One place that I sent writers to but had never visited myself was Night Shift Brewing. The response was always so positive, yet I never made it up there. When getting ready to visit friends this weekend, we decided to go to Night Shift for a beer tasting.

 

Night Shift Brewing

Night Shift’s space in Everett, just outside of Boston, is open, bright, and industrial, with a tasting bar and plenty of seating. There were people hanging out tasting beer and reading, people with food they brought in, and a couple of large party type groups when we were there. It seemed like a great place to spend an afternoon, and many other people agreed!

Night Shift Brewing

Night Shift Beer tasting

I loved that Night Shift lets you do a flight one beer at a time rather than taking them all at once. It gave us time to sip and sample, review what was available at our leisure, and it meant our beers were always fresh.

I also loved all of Night Shift’s owls, which are everywhere.

Night Shift owl

We did two different flights so that we could taste through a bunch of beers without having too much. One of my favorites was the Cape Cod Cranberry Weisse, which was tart, bubbly, and a delightful pink.

Night Shift Beer On the lighter side, I also loved the Somer Weisse, which reminded me of a gingery, lemony kombucha.

 

Night Shift Brewing beer

On the darker side, I loved the Einbeck, which had notes of honey and the Hologram, which is chock full of coffee flavor. We picked up a growler of each, along with their Bean Porter, a heavenly dessert of a beer aged with vanilla and coffee beans. Yum.

We had such a great visit to Night Shift and could definitely see ourselves going back again and again to pick up beer for friends’ houses, the boat, and to enjoy at home.

Do you have a favorite local brewery?

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Tags: beer, beer tasting, Boston, weekends

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