CV, the Wine Guy, Talks Turkey: A Review

For the last two weeks, CV has been giving us the scoop on unique, interesting, undoubtedly drinkable white wines for your Thanksgiving table. Next week, we’ll start on a thorough review of gift-worthy reds for December. Until then, here’s the complete list of CV’s Turkey Wines:

Happy Thanksgiving, dear Co-opers!

CV the Wine Guy_Turkey Whites 2Cune — Monopole Rioja 2013
Region / Country: Rioja, Spain
Varietal: Viura
Price: $12.99
This is 100% high-altitude Viura from the Rioja Alta subzone, in North-Central Spain. It’s going to be dry, with marvelous notes of white peach, Meyer lemon, and mineral accents. The texture is quite rich, but crisp, citrusy acid keeps it lively. This bottle of wine is perfect for someone who knows wine, someone who wants to have something really fun on their Thanksgiving table.

Tomero — Torrontes 2012
Region / Country:
Varietal: Torrontes Riojano
Price: $11.99
Torrontes Riojano is very aromatic — a lot of floral aromas will come off the nose. This is a supple, fruity white, with flavors of pineapple and pear. The flavors of Torrontes should be a perfect, unusual pick for Thanksgiving.

Montinore Estate — Borealis White Table Wine 2013
Region / State: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Varietals: 39% Gewurztraminer, 37% Muller-Thurgau, 19% Riesling, 5% Pinot Gris
Price: $13.99
BIODYNAMIC! This is a lovely blend of Gewurztraminer, Muller-Thurgau, Riesling, and Pinot Gris. What a wonderful and unique blend: each of these individual wines would make for a great turkey wine. Together, it will be delightful. With notes of peach, yellow apple, pineapple and bright citrus, it has the acidity to balance out and contrast with the fruitiness.

Albet i Noya — Xarel·lo 2013
Region / Country: Catalonia, Spain
Varietal: Xarel·lo
Price: $13.99
ORGANIC! This is a fun, unusual wine. Xarel·lo produces highly textural wines, with a lemon-like acidity and stonefruit flavors. This is less fruit-forward than the other wines we’re featuring this week, but features a well-balanced, crisp minerality that will add some refreshment to your Thanksgiving table.

Skagit Valley Food Coop_CV_Rose for TurkeyChâteau Grande Cassagne — 2011 Costières de Nimes Rosé
Region / Country:
Rhone, France
45% Grenache, 45% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre.
This is a lovely Rosé — flavors of raspberry, watermelon, rose petals, which are classic flavors and aromas of a well-made Rose. The electric pink color of this wine is really quite fantastic. You can easily imagine how great this bottle of wine will look on your holiday table. It would sparkle next to the turkey.


Skagit Valley Food Coop_CV_Gilbert CellarsGilbert Cellars — 2013 The Grower
Region: Columbia Valley, Washington
Varietals: 61% Chardonnay & 39% Riesling
Price: $14.99
This bottle of wine was built to go with turkey. It has that bit of sweetness that goes well with turkey, but in a classier style. It’s a style of wine that will suit a number of palettes. People who drink (good) wine will recognize the weight of the Chardonnay and the creaminess that comes with it, and the beautiful lift that comes off of a Riesling.

Skagit Valley Food Coop_CV_White Wines for TurkeyForis Vineyards — 2012 Moscato
Region / Country: Rogue Valley, Oregon / United States
Price: $11.99
This Moscato has been a Co-op favorite for a long time. In a frizzante (instead of fully sparkling) style, this wine is lightly effervescent, with tiny bubbles that balance out the juicy sweetness of the grape. Peachy-floral aromas with a light and lively palette.

Bouza — Albariño 2012
Region / Country: Montevideo, Uruguay
Price: $17.99
This is a very sophisticated, special bottle of wine. This is a really fun wine. It is full of minerals, full of expression. It is made by a terrific winery that is getting much-deserved accolades and attention.

Klostor Pinot Grigio 2013
Region / Country:
Rheinhessen, Germany
Pinot Grigio
Price: $8.99
With strong flavors of citrus and minerals, this tangy wine will go perfectly with turkey for people who want a traditional food wine. This wine comes in once a year, and then it’s gone. Try it while we have it!

+Red Blends for Thanksgiving
And, to wrap things up, two turkey-worthy reds for you:

Gilbert Cellars’ Uncle Cragg’s — 2012 The Pilgrim, $14.99
Red blend from Columbia Valley, Washington.

Skagit Valley Food Coop__CV_LaPetiteFontaineMaison Richard Côtes du Rhône — 2010 La Petite Fontaine, $9.99
Red blend from Rhone, France.
Part of the Chateau la Nerthe family of wines, which has been producing wine throughout the southern Rhone Valle for 800 years. And is famous for it. A friendly, everyday, earthy wine with notes of black cherry and raspberry. It finishes clean, with a highlight of cedar and spice. All-in-all, perfect.


The Cheese Whisperer: Think Thanksgiving Cheese

Thanksgiving is a holiday based on gratitude and food. Be grateful for your meal and company and celebrate with glorious cheese! We have some amazing deals on quality, flavorful cheeses for all your holiday needs, as well as an array of complimentary condiments and crackers.

General Cheese Platter Tips & Profiles

The artfully well-balanced cheese plate contains at least 3 different styles of cheese. Choose a familiar cheddar or Swiss-style cheese, something creamy and soft, and something with a stronger flavor. Classic combinations include: Tillamook Vintage Extra Sharp Cheddar, Delice de Bourgogne triple cream French brie, and crumbly, salty Blue Stilton from the UK. Serve garnished with honey, toasted nuts, bread or crackers, fresh and dried fruits, and condiment spreads. Keep reading to discover some winning pairing combinations that are sure to enhance your holiday! For more information on holiday guest portion sizing, check out Co+op Deals Thanksgiving Planner Guide.

SVFCMonSireTripBrieMon Sire Brie & Le Delice Mon Sire – we are offering two delicious creamy French classics for only $9.99 per pound! The Mon Sire cheese company is based in the Burgundy region of France and makes a wonderfully delicate, mildly flavored French double cream brie from fresh-pasteurized cow’s milk. Le Delice Mon Sire is an extra-decadent triple cream brie. Both of these items are sure to be a hit on any cheese plate. Compliment and cut through the rich flavors of Mon Sire bries with tangy fruit preserves, such as Dalmatia’s Fig Orange Spread or berry jam. Beverage pairing: Crispin Dry Pacific Pear Hard Cider —  new to the beer cooler, available now in 4pks for $7.99. Or pair with non-alcoholic Knudsen’s Organic sparkling pear cider, 750ml for $2.99 each.

Cheese Compliments: an array of spreads and crackers designed to be enjoyed with cheese. Browse our Specialty Cheese Island and crackers aisle to discover our extensive selection! A few highlights:

MtVikosKalaOlivespMt. Vikos Kalamata Olive Spread – vegan and Non-GMO Project Verified, this spread is bursting with the earthy and savory flavors of its whole food ingredients: naturally cured ripe, purple Kalamata olive fruit, garlic, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and wild oregano. Pair with smoked meats and your favorite cheese.

QuinnsPeachPepJellyQuinn’s Pepper Jelly – Pacific Northwest-made with gourmet, high quality ingredients to combine the sweetness of fruit preserves and red bell peppers with the heat of jalapeno and habanero peppers. Utilize this excellent sweet/spicy condiment to amplify the flavors of creamy, mild cheeses, such as bries, cream cheese, and fresh goat chevre. Choose from: Peach Habanero, Raspberry Pepper, and Jalapeno Pepper Jelly.

RaincoastcrispsRaincoast Crisps – locally made in British Columbia, these gourmet chewy crisps pioneered by Lesley Stowe are ideal for serving with strongly flavored cheese, such as blues, washed rinds, and sharp cheddars. Add a crumble of Stilton, a slice of pear and a drizzle of honey on a Raincoast Crisp, and you’re set. Studded with dried fruits and roasted nuts, these hearty crackers are available in several varieties, including gluten-free options!

Late July Saltine Crackers – a simple and time-tested recipe for saltine crackers, made from all organic ingredients. The light, crisp nature of Late July’s saltines acts as a canvas for cheese, and does not impress too much flavor. Upshot: they pair with pretty much every cheese and are great for dipping. Late July Saltines and Rich Butter Crackers are on sale now for $1.99 per 6oz box.

Mediterranean-Style Bruschetta Recipe

Create a new classic holiday appetizer that’s quick, tasty, and colorful. Serve it alongside a cheese platter, or it also tastes terrific when served atop a green salad course with a light balsamic-olive oil vinaigrette. Read more The Cheese Whisperer: Think Thanksgiving Cheese …

What’s Dipping in the Well: Mayan Chocolate



Fresh from our Deli to your tastebuds: Organic Mayan Chocolate Ice Cream. Warm up and perk up with the latest seasonal flavor in our ice cream well: handmade Mayan Chocolate — a blend of dark chocolate, vanilla, chipotle chilies, and ground cinnamon.

Stop by for a scoop or pint of our popular twist on the Co-op’s smooth, melt-in-your mouth, original chocolate flavor. It’s gluten-free and handcrafted using quality chocolate and a special combination of spice. Our Mayan Chocolate is just the fix for a cool, drizzly day: it’s zippy, tickles the senses, and warms the blood.

The ancient Mayan people of the Mesoamericas were chocaholics and revered chocolate (or cacao) as “the food of the gods”. One can argue that not much has changed since. Humankind, across the globe, loves chocolate. According to CNN, in 2009, chocolate was a $83 billion a year business.

Rich in iron, antioxidants and fiber, chocolate is a delicious super and comfort food. One we enjoy incorporating into ice cream. Enjoy this fabulous marriage of chocolate and spice by making an unforgettable milkshake: blend it with organic fair trade bananas, coconut or berries.

Posted by Claire

Skagit Brew Corner: Welcome, Winter Ales!

TenBelowIt’s time to embrace the winter ale season! Many breweries are beginning to release their seasonal winter brews; brace yourself for rich flavors and slightly higher alcohol content.

We now have a large display of seasonal ales at the foot of the stairs to the mezzanine. Several winter seasonal ales are available now, such as Ninkasi’s Sleighr and Big Sky’s Powder Hound, and there are more on the way. So stop by the Co-op and pick up some liquid winter warmth!

Here’s a quick guide to some festive favorites:

10° Below, Scuttlebutt Brewery, Everett, WA.  7.4% ABV / 22 IBU.  An Imperial dunkelweiss-style brew, this local gem is loaded with crisp citrus flavor and a smooth, rich finish.  Locally grown Cluster and Cascade hops are combined with deep roasted malt, evoking the flavors of milk chocolate, pretzels, and orange peel.  Medium-bodied and very food friendly — don’t miss this limited release. Pair it with roasted lemon herb chicken or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!

HalesWeeHeavyWee Heavy, Hale’s Ales, Seattle, WA.  7.2% ABV / 24 IBU. In December 1985, Hale’s Wee Heavy became the Northwest’s first designated “seasonal” ale.  This award-winning, chestnut-colored Scotch-style ale is well SSWW14matched for the cold weather months. Savor its warming, malty richness alongside hearty foods and good friends. Pair it with chocolate desserts or blue cheese with honey and pears.

Samuel Smith 25th Anniversary Winter Welcome, Yorkshire, UK. 6% ABV, 30 IBU.  America’s first imported winter seasonal beer is still a benchmark: deep honey gold, with a full body and wonderful malty richness. Inviting and elegant, it’s fermented in open-topped stone vessels called “Yorkshire Squares”, which are made of slate.  This icon of British ales delivers well-balanced flavor and restrained bitterness from dried whole cone Fuggle and Golding hops. Pair it with roasted meats, shrimp ‘n’ grits, or cheese plates.

Festeroo Ale from Hop Valley Brewing Company, Springfield, OR. 7.8% ABV / 60 IBU. Hop Valley Brewing is a relative newcomer to the microbrew scene, but are gaining notariety with their Alpha Centauri Imperial IPA. Their holiday seasonal, an English-style Old ale, does not disappoint. Loaded with flavors of burnt caramel and hazelnut, with sprucy hop spice, Festeroo is an easy going winter warmer. Enjoy it in moderation and good cheer.  Pair it with raspberry cheesecake and chocolate truffles.

Posted by Claire

The Cheese Whisperer: Henning’s Curds

SVFCHenningsCurdsNew to our Cheese Department: natural white cheddar curds from the Henning Cheese Company in Kiel, Wisconsin. These “squeaky” fresh curds are perfect for snacking or adding to your favorite meals. Free of gluten and rGBH (recombinant growth bovine hormone), these curds are now available at an affordable price of $6.99 per lb!

Curds are essentially very fresh, young cheese. In order to create cheese, artisans cook milk and add enzymes to separate the milk into curds and whey, a la Little Miss Muffet. In the usual cheese making process, curds are salted and pressed into wheels, then aged for at least 3 months before being sold. Typically, curds have a fresh, mild flavor and springy texture, similar to a string, paneer, or mozzarella-style cheese.


Kerry Henning, American Master Cheesemaker

Since 1914, the Henning family has been making cheese. Founders Otto and Norma Henning purchased a rural hometown cheese factory in the heart of dairy country. For 100 years, the Henning Cheese Company has been producing award-winning cheeses. Most recently, Kerry Henning — a graduate of the only Master Cheesemaker program in the United States — heads up the company’s cheese making operation by innovating and fine tuning heirloom recipes.

Fun with curds: melt on pizza, pasta, or steamed vegetables. Dress them up with some fresh herbs, garlic, or chiles. Add curds to green salad or serve atop french fried potatoes with gravy to create homemade poutine, a national dish of Canada. Or go carnival-style and batter and deep fry your curds in oil for a tasty melt-in-your-mouth treat.

Pair your curds with lighter beers such as pilsners, hefeweizens, and blonde ales. Try Pike Brewing’s Naughty Nellie organic Blonde Ale or the original Czech Pilsner Uruquell. Wine fans may serve curds alongside fruit wines — try local Pasek Cellars’ Cranberry Wine, or a white Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, or Rielsing.

Posted by Claire