Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Box Wine and Beer Brat Updates and Tully's

In two previous posts, I promised a couple updates on the longevity of a wine and the modification of a recipe.

In August's Box Wine post I said I would see if the 4-week claim of freshness for Black Box wine would hold up. The answer is yes, but you have to be aware of how low you have drained that bag in the box. When it starts to get low, you need to tip it forward as you depress the spigot or it sputters. If it sputters, this allows air in, which will speed oxidation. Colder weather is coming, so I'm going to try one of the reds once I drain my current box of pinot grigio. I'm thinking to put it to a big test, such as braising a huge hunk of inexpensive meat in red wine.

And now the update on Beer Brats with Bar Harbor Real Ale.

First I must mention the location at which I purchased the Bar Harbor Real Ale, for I didn't go up to Bar Harbor. Last weekend I was going through Wells, ME and stopped in at Tully's. This is a beer heaven. The selection alone makes the mind reel. Luckily, Tully's is owned and operated by Donna Tully, who is exceptionally hospitable, enthusiastic about her inventory and immensely knowledgeable. In addition to a great selection of Maine brews, she has a wide variety of Belgians and and other micro- and craft-brews from around the country. Matt was especially excited that I was able to bring home Lakefront Brewery's IPA, which is a Milwaukee beer he has fondness for (especially accompanied by bacon and the company of his brother). Much appreciated is that Donna willing splits up six-packs and will sell singles. This is great for trying out something new or different, but not committing financially to a whole six-pack, just in case you're not crazy about it. The rest of the haul included some Dogfish Head, a handful of various Maine porters, and a couple bottles of Peak Organic Maple Oat Ale. Tully's certainly is not in our neighborhood, but will now become a must stop whenever we are in the area.

OK, so NOW, the Bar Harbor Real Ale Beer Brats made exclusively and accompanied by the Real Ale. Same method as before of steaming the brats in beer (about 8 ounces), then pan-grilling. Also, the same beer-melizing of onions. And then onto a roll slathered with Bar Harbor Real Ale Mustard. As expected, this beat the last batch of Beer Brats made and paired with a mix of different beers. This meal is beyond amazing to begin with (beer and pork are a divine union), but to pair brats with a malty ale with aromas of pear and apple makes for a great meal on a cool fall evening.

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