July 16th, 2017 - "Featuring: Fresh Salmon"

     Smoking, poaching, baking, broiling, steaming, grilling. In dips, soups, sushi and sashimi. Salmon is one of the healthiest fish available today and for good reason. It is rich in important nutrients that are hard to find in most foods.
     The better known species are Atlantic, King, Coho and Sockeye. Atlantic salmon, because it is farm-raised, is available year round throughout the US. Maine, Scotland and Norway are world leaders in Aquaculture of salmon and other fish. King salmon is wild-caught the Pacific Northwest to Alaska and has a high fat content and succulent flavor. Coho is also wild-caught in the Pacific, Alaska and British Columbia and has a lighter flavor than King salmon. Coho is often called Silver salmon due to their silver-y skin. Sockeye salmon, also called Red salmon because of their deep red flesh, can have a faint crab flavor since Sockeye feed on crustaceans before they're wild-caught from the cold waters of Alaska to Japan.

     We believe cooking is a life-long learning process and you can alway learn something new! To delve deeper into the world of salmon, read this short guide to salmon species from The Spruce!
     Rosés and Pinot Noirs are generally accepted as good pours for the pink pesce, but how you cook the salmon should determine the wine you pair with it. “The size and weight of the wine should match the richness and intensity of food,” says Erik Liedholm, wine director and partner with John Howie Restaurants in Seattle. “Grilling creates a char that goes with a New World Syrah or cooler-climate Zin. With poached salmon, a rich Chardonnay can be wonderful.” Salmon have their own superstars—the Copper River and Yukon River runs in April and May. These salmon pack higher concentrations of Omega-3s, and their rich fillets fare best when simply grilled or seared. “Because of the richness of the fish, you can head to Syrah,” says Liedholm.

Jean-Marc Burgaud Les Vignes De Thulon: The Château de Thulon in Lantignié, one of the best villages due to its hillsides and granite soil, produces a wine with a bright red colour and a fresh and fruity nose. Best drunk when young, within 2 years. Wines from Beaujolais villages area are made and bottled on the Château de Thulon’s cellar (XII century). 

Featured Cheese: Tommes

Tomme is a generic term for a group of cheeses produced mainly in the French Alps and in Switzerland. Usually, Tommes are cheeses produced from skimmed milk after the cream has been removed to make butter and full cream cheeses. Consequently, they are low in fat. Cheeses belonging to this class adopt the name of their place of origin, the most famous being Tomme de Savoie from Savoie in the French Alps. Tomme are complex and unpredictable class of cheeses with a delicate milk and buttery aroma. It tastes of fresh butter and cream yet can be complex when compared to some other cheeses. The texture is semi-soft or soft and pliable. Its pate, which is often white to light yellow in colour, comes covered with an ivory to yellow rind. The cheese tastes delicious with fresh or dried fruit and a glass of good red wine. -Cheese.com

Lastly, Food for Thought: "A World of Salmon" - Saveur 
"Tender, versatile salmon is the centerpiece of traditional dishes all over the world. From Swedish cured salmon with a bright honey-mustard sauce to Japanese-style skewers, yogurt-marinated filets from India, and more, here are 15 of our favorite preparations from around the globe."

-Dalena Nel

July 11th, 2017 - "New wines, New recipes, New friends, New CHEESE!"

     More than 3000 different kinds of cheese are made around the world. To "simplify," cheese can de divided in 7 categories: Blue cheese, cheddar, alpine, soft-ripened, washed rind, gouda and fresh goat.
     Great cheese, just like wine, tastes of the terroir. A wine and cheese pairing done well, delights the palate. Sparkling wines work marvelously with cheese, where cheese coats the mouth the bright bubbles in the wine cleanse the palate, refreshing it after each bite. A triple-cream Brie or creamy Blue like the Marca Oro Gogonzola, not your average dolce, and not overly powerful in blue flavor, can be a delightful choice.

     Cheese is a versatile offering that can be a savory tidbit to the start or finish a meal, or cheese can be the star of a casual gathering, served with delicious chutneys, jellies, jams, tapenade, and honey on a crusty baguette. Swan's Maine Beekeeper Raw & Unfiltered Wildflower Honey and Grey Goose Gourmet Pepper Jellies are just a couple of our favorite things to serve with our cheese! 

Wines of The Week:
Aveleda Vinho Verde (2015) - Notes of white flesh fruit, like apple and pear, harmonize in the mouth with a persistent sensation of freshness.
Painted Wolf "The Den" Chenin Blanc (2016) - An elegant full bodied wine with tropical flavors of creamy pineapple, melon and vanilla.
Black Stallion Chardonnay (2015) - This Chardonnay opens with overflowing aromas of melon, white peaches, lemon and vanilla, followed by lush flavors of yellow apple, pear and coconut. Rich and full on the palate, bright fruit and creamy notes lead into a lingering finish.

Montinore Estate Reserve Pinot Noir (2014) - Smokey and spicey aromas of black raspberry and cherry slowly develop. Precise on the palate, offering sweet red fruit flavors and a hint of musky herbs. 
Painted Wolf "The Den" Pinotage (2014) - An intense fruit packed wine with flavors of summer berries, savory spice and toasty wood flavors. The wine has fine bright tannins. 
Locations by Dave Phinney P4 Red Blend - The immediate dark chocolate structure provides the canvas on which black cherries, roasted lamb, and exotic spices intermingle, finishing with hints of vanilla.

     We love The Painted Wolf for more than just the wine! The Painted Wolf, is also known as the African Wild Dog or Painted Dog - a highly social animal, each with it's own ornate markings. The den is at the heart of the pack, a place where Painted Wolves relax and bond. As you 'paint your palate' with this wine, you are making a contribution to the conservation of rare carnivores. To find out more go to www.paintedwolfwines.com

Food for Thought: "How to Buy Wine - A Real-Life Guide from Bon Appetit

     "When I first started buying wine, I dreaded coming off like an idiot. You know that feeling: You scan the aisle for a familiar label, but then the shelves close in and paranoia creeps up...The only thing you can decipher is the price, which is even scarier than asking for help. You grab the closest bottle and get the hell out of there. But not anymore! With these tips, you’ll walk into wine shops as confident as Hermione Granger with the right answer." 

     Say CHEESE and have a wonderful week!
          -Dalena Nel

The Lighthouse

For Lobster:
Le Pouches Saumur: Attractive, simply fruity Chenin Blanc, this is a wine for drinking now. It is full of nutty flavors and apple acidity, with just a touch of minerality to give the wine some tension. 

Albert Bichot Montagny: This brilliant Montagny Premier Cru is golden in color and redolent of oak, vanilla and brioche. It is round and delectable on the palate with lovely vivacity and minerality. The finish is long and fragrant with flavours of almond and fresh and cooked apple. This Montagny Premier Cru's freshness and minerality make it perfect as an aperitif served with salmon on toast and sushi. Enjoy this delicate wine with fine fish such as sole, seafood or poultry.

For Steak:
Rust En Vrede Stellenbosch: Deep crimson red color. The Shiraz is very prominent on the nose with notes of cedar and cumin in the fore, backed up by cigar box and tobacco aromas. Classic blackberry, plum and mulberry flavors. This full bodied wine has great structure and length, with an old world style and seamlessly integrated mid-palate with a long, dry finish.

Dry Creek Zinfandel: At first swirl, bay leaf and white pepper leap from the glass balanced by deep layers of plum and cocoa. The complexity of Old Vine Zinfandel lies in the spicy notes that are unique to their historic properties. Refined and balanced, the wine integrates seamlessly on the palate offering a broad array of currants, black cherry, raspberry and toasty oak notes. 

June 18th, 2017 - "Happy Father's Day from The Lighthouse!"

     We're excited to celebrate Father's Day, a tradition over 100 years in the making! Sonora Dodd, a daughter of a widowed Civil War soldier who raised his daughters on his own, suggested a holiday celebrating fatherhood in Spokane, WA in 1910. However, it was Maine's own Margaret Chase Smith who, in 1957, led the initiative to make it a national holiday, writing to congress to express the importance of celebrating both parents. 

     This year, spoil Dad with a Jumbo lobster or a juicy steak! Complete the Father's Day feast with a knockout bottle of wine – here are our suggestions:

July 4th, 2017 - "Happy Independence Day from The Lighthouse!"

     When I asked Sarah to compile an email to wish you all a Happy 4th of July I reflected on what would be on my table this weekend with friends. As it was early morning, before my regular breakfast of an egg white omelette with power greens, I longed for smoked salmon with cream cheese on toast! It was the thought of smoked salmon that directed the creation of my 4th of July menu. 

Dining with Dalena

Wine Cocktail Aperitif 
The French 75 

Smoked Salmon Bites
Damariscotta Oysters on the Half Shell,

with a squeeze of Lemon, Black Pepper, & TABASCO sauce
Steamed Gulf Shrimp & Cocktail sauce

Paired with:
Klein Constantia Sauvignon Blanc - Bright and inviting with a flinty nose with flavors of gooseberries and tropical fruit. 
& Albert Bichot Montagny Premier Cru - This brilliant Montagny Premier Cru is golden in color and redolent of oak, vanilla and brioche with lovely vivacity and minerality. 

Shore Dinner - Steamed Lobster, Clams, Mussels, Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, & Lemon Butter

Paired with:
Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay  - In addition to the classic Chardonnay aromas of apple and pear, this wine consistently delivers aromas of tropical fruits and stone fruits.
& Lugana Le Creete - Aromas of fragrant white blossom, stone fruit, honeydew melon and tomato vine come together on this savory white. 

Chantilly Cream Meringues with fresh strawberries 

Paired with:
Tinhof Rosé - Dry, slender and elegant, this wine charms with lots of white pepper spice amidst strawberry fruit. 

The Maine Dish 

The Musings of The Lighthouse Keepers

Wine & Seafood

Salmon Wine Pairings:

Domaine de l'Olivette Bandol Rose: A brand new import to the US, this family domaine in the heart of Provence crafts a 2016 Rosé of Mourvedre and Grenache with classic Bandol structure and concentration. Brilliant light salmon-pink. Pleasurable nose of red berry fruits with some floral notes and fine spices. Harmonious, silky substance with lovely intense, clear-cut aromas and presence that is virile yet elegant. Long-lasting finish. Truly enjoyable.