Category: VINE OF THE EARTH; Drinking, Eating & Enjoying

The best wine and beer in Boston

In Boston’s North end I enjoyed the best Sangiovese in all my travels. It is called the Ali from Toscana, 2008 – dry as a desert with a body so light that it seemed to evaporate as it hit my tongue. We paired it with a gnocchi dish and a black fettucini dish at Trattoris di Monica and although I kept bugging my lady to return for more food there, alas, it was not in the cards. That’s okay, I will walk the rest of my days with memories of that meal – infact, it may be worth returning to Boston for. After we finished our meal we ran across the street and got another bottle at the little market di Monica to take home and drink in our hotel.

The beer here pictured was the best beer I had on the trip. Being a snooty beer guy from California, it has become hard to impress me with beer, but you know, those folks on the East Coast have been doing it for a while, so I’ll cut them a break. Infact, anything the Maine Beer Company does is really really good. It is good to pour the beer from the bottle into a wide mouth glass to really get the most out of it, but do recognize the spartan labeling for the genius that it is.

Belllocq – masterful teas

Michael Shannon – proprietor of BellocQ, tea atelier, at CapsuleNYC. Michael reported to me that Juniper Ridge has inspired some of the flavors in his brilliant teas – a fact I am endlessly grateful for. I most recently enjoyed his White Wolf tea and it is a brilliant, round tea worthy of me including it in Coyote and Thunder’s Vine of the Earth category – a category normally reserved for wines I love.

The new new Temescal

Above, click to enlarge, Roger Rieflbauer (left) teaches music out of his shop “Woodwires” and designer Lauren Wolf (right) sits in her shop Escueleto, among her impeccably curated jewelry and the art of Kelly Best.

First Friday found us in the alley behind Pizzaiolo at 49th and Telegraph in Temescal. An inspiring mix of creative types have designed a  polished, yet totally authentic and soulful blend of shops. Charlie from Pizzaiolo was serving up burgers, ice cold beer was flowing and little kids were running all around the nicely lit off-street neighborhood.

The neighborhood shops at 470 49th Street, Oakland – Tiny, warm storefronts host an array of friendly artists selling an impressive spectrum of useful and creative wares. The barber shop seems to be the hub…good luck getting a chair, you gotta wait a while. I will be going back. (above, right) The jewelry of Marisa Haskell.