Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on a recent remarkable beverage. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Pere Mata Cupada No. 15 Cava – John Garland, Senior Editor
You may have heard about “grower Champagne,” the small-batch bubbly that’s vinified by the farmers themselves. It’s great, but there’s one problem—it starts at around $40. Enter Pere Mata. He’s making “farmer fizz” in Spain with the same method, inspiration, and attention to detail as the French stuff. His Cupada No. 15 (he tweaks each batch to depending on the season or the particular crop) has a gorgeous bread yeast aroma. The body is dry, crisp, and vigorous, with creamy green apple and minerals on the finish. At around $18, this is one of the most astonishing values you’ll find anywhere in the wine store.
Duxoup 2013 Syrah, Dry Creek Valley – Kate Murphy, Editorial Assistant
As the mercury starts to drop, red wines rise to the occasion. A smooth balance between fruit and earth, the sweetness of currants with bold black and red plums are laid overtop an oaken punch of woody undertones. This Californian syrah will be a cozy accompaniment for those brisk autumnal and wintry nights, especially since the Farmers’ Almanac predicts a downright frigid season. Oh joy. Nevertheless, pour yourself a glass and enjoy with a dinner of hearty roasted vegetables and a juicy rib eye steak. This vino will surely make you fall in love with cooler weather, and bid a final adieu to those summer days.
Gamling & McDuck 2014 Chenin Blanc – Brian Kaufenberg, Managing Editor
Crafted by Minnesota expats Gabrielle Shaffer and Adam McClary, Gamling & McDuck’s 2014 Chenin Blanc is a wild-fermented, challenging, and satisfying white wine. The couple makes their varietal with chenin blanc grapes sourced from Mangels Ranch in Solano County, California’s, Suisun Valley. G&M’s Chenin Blanc showcases the grape’s high acidity, offering just enough sweetness to round off the acetic edge. It’s fermented with wild yeasts in neutral French oak barrels, and the sur lie aging imparts a yeasty character to the final product.
Indeed Brewing Company Double Day Tripper Double Pale Ale – Keith Grauman, Web Editor
Is there such a thing as a “Double Pale Ale?” According to the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Style Guidelines, the answer is no. Does that matter? Well, that depends on where you fall on the spectrum of beer style purists. While style guidelines have their place in judged competitions, they were the last thing on my mind when I reached for this beer on a Thursday night after a long day. In the age of citrusy and sessionable IPAs, Double Day Tripper is neither. With in-your-face aromas of pine, dank, and apricot against a toasted malt base, this dark amber-colored, 8% ABV, 90 IBU “Double Pale Ale” is in category of its own—styles be damned! (*Dodges flying objects from BJCP purists*)
Sweetland Orchard Cherry Rhubarb Scrumpy Cider – Joseph Alton, Editor-in-chief
Mike and Gretchen Perbix had a “quintessentially-Minnesotan problem” on their hands in the spring of 2014: more rhubarb than they could possibly consume. Luckily for us, that embarrassment of riches—and the cherry syrup in the freezer from the previous summer’s bumper crop—turned into Cherry Rhubarb Scrumpy, now available in four-packs. The cider pours clear pink with a hint of copper and no head. Pronounced cherry on the nose blends with subtle white wine aromas. Medium body and light-to-moderate carbonation in the mouthfeel. The cider drinks dry, but with enough fruit sweetness to carry bright fresh flavors of rhubarb, cherry, and green apple. Explicit recommendation: Pair it with the beer-battered onion rings at Ball Park Cafe at the Minnesota State Fair this year.