June 2017 - Please The Palate
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Work took me to Boston recently. I had not been to Boston in more than five years and in that time, especially in the past two years, the Boston food scene seems to have exploded. On my two day trip to Boston, I found three restaurants that are must eat-ats if you are heading to Bean Town. Committee Boston 50 Northern Avenue Boston, MA 02210 Located on the waterfront in Boston's Seaport District, Committee Boston is a large, 5,500-square foot restaurant. The open space is a mix of materials, including wood, stone, leather and metal. Wooden wine crates line the walls and ceilings and lighting fixtures are urban funky.  A Mediterranean theme, Committee features a menu of small plates, an interesting wine list featuring a good selection of Greek wines and cocktails. Having traveled to Greece a couple times over the past few years, I was impressed by the authenticity and flavors of the dishes. I hosted a Madeira wine event at the restaurant and the small bites paired perfectly with the sweet fortified wines.
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
If I ask you to think about sparkling wine, Champagne will most likely be the first to come to mind. If I ask you to think about sparkling wine from Italy, you will most likely think Prosecco. But, I am here to encourage you to think about Franciacorta, not just when talking about Italian sparkling wine, but when thinking about sparkling wine in general.
Franciacorta is a hidden gem located in Lombardy, just a short drive from Milano, in northern Italy. The first sparkling wines in the area were produced in 1961 and Franciacorta became the fifth DOC in Italy in 1967.
Franciacorta is a small region with 2,800 hectares, compared to Champagne, which has 35,000 hectares. A valley surrounded by mountains, Franciacorta, consisting of 19 communes, is made up of stony hills and calcareous soils.
The diurnal shifts in the temperature, which varies at least 18 degrees between the maximum and minimum temperatures, enable the grapes to ripen while maintaining their acidity and freshness. The climate results in more consistent vintages than not.
There are no cooperatives in Franciacorta and it is the most self-imposed regulated region in Italy. Franciacorta has changed the rules seven times, each time raising the bar even higher for the region. The process is controlled from the vineyard through production. At 9.5 tons per hectare, they have the lowest yields for any sparkling wine area.