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The Weathertop Blog

For area events & inn specials, as well as posts on our favorite topics - food, wine & travel...

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Michael Lang

Michael Lang

Mike is co-owner of Weathertop Mountain Inn. He generally takes his orders from Lisa, but his various titles include building supervisor, toilet scrubber, grill master, sommelier, website designer & BS artist... 

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Wagyu At Weathertop!

Our first shipment of Wagyu beef arrived today - beautiful, whole flatirons! I just finished trimming them up into 8 oz. portions and plan to offer them as a menu special starting tomorrow evening, while the supply lasts. What's so special about Wagyu? Without going into too much detail (you can Google it yourself...), it's as close as you'll come to Kobe beef, without flying to Japan and taking out a second mortgage to cover dinner. It's the same breed of cow, just raised in Texas. Oh yeah...in Texas, they don't feed the cows sake or give them daily massages (at least to my knowledge)...but the flavor profile is "reasonably" similar.

With such flavorful beef, we plan to honor it by keeping the preparation simple & seasonal. After a light dusting of smoked sea salt and freshly cracked peppercorns, we'll sear it on the BBQ, then serve it on a bed of heirloom tomatoes from our Gaylord Farm CSA basket. The finishing touch will be a toasted spice vinaigrette.

And what wine will we recommend? Give me the night to think about it - that will be the subject of our next blog. Tonight, we're having our "test" steaks with a Super Tuscan.

Bon Appetit!

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What's On Tap?

That's right...

To enjoy some of the local Vermont beers only available in kegs, we have added two draft lines at Weathertop Mountain Inn! Our current offerings are Trapp Golden Helles Lager and Lost Nation Rustic Ale. Golden Helles is a nicely balanced, golden-colored & filtered session lager with an ABV of 5.0%, while Rustic Ale is an amber-colored ale with more pronounced hop flavor (IBU: 40) and an ABV of 5.2%.

Enjoy autumn & the changing leaves in Vermont's Mad River Valley with a stay at Weathertop Mountain Inn. While here, sip a pint of each brew, and then move on to a can of Heady Topper. We'd say you've had the ultimate Triple Play!

Cheers!

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend our menu special was a stone-grilled ham steak, glazed with boiled cider and finished with grainy mustard. Our suggested wine for this dish was:

Laurent Kraft "Sec" Chenin Blanc, Vouvray AP, Vouvray (Loire), France, 2008

This is a dry Vouvray with light golden color and intense aroma & flavor reminiscent of fresh peaches, mangoes and orange blossoms. Crisp acidity and signature minerality perfectly balance the saltiness and tanginess of the glazed ham. If I had to describe this wine in one word - precise.

Dry Chenin Blanc is one of those wines that I don't have very often, yet every time I do it reminds me that I should utilize it more often...

Cheers!

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend our menu special was beef short ribs, braised low & slow, with plenty of fresh root vegetables, lentils and red wine. Oh yeah...we also added some bacon to kick up the flavor. This dish was crying for a BIG red wine, so our choice was:

K Vintners "River Rock" Syrah, Walla Walla Valley AVA, Walla Walla, Washington, 2011

Charles Smith, the owner of K Vintners, takes the concept of terroir to extremes. Not only does he retain vineyards in several Washington State AVAs, he bottles many single vineyard Syrahs to highlight their flavor differences. River Rock is no exception. It comes from the warmest region of Walla Walla Valley and, as the name suggests, the soil is comprised of ancient riverbed stone. These conditions should deliver wines that are big, bold & fruit-driven...and they do. The unique thing about the 2011 growing season is that it was cooler than normal, producing higher-than-normal acidity & tannins.

The final product is an outstanding wine, packed with blackberry, smoke & crushed stone flavors that last a really long time. The palate-cleansing acidity and refined tannins make it extremely food-friendly to boot. If you're into the rating game, Robert Parker gives this one a 95...not too shabby...

And the cost? Let's just say it's up there, setting you back about forty bucks. Consider it a worthy endeavor. As Charles Smith himself says, "It's just wine. Drink it." Indeed...

Cheers!

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This Weekend's Menu at The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

We received a bumper crop of beautiful cucumbers in our CSA basket from Gaylord Farm, so we decided to add a chilled cucumber soup to our list of appetizers. A cool & creamy summer refresher, this soup includes house-made yogurt, mint & cilantro. We've also modified our main course pork offering. Now, it is a Dijon mustard-glazed Berkshire chop served with the house-made bacon-maple jam "invented" and described in last week's post.

Bon Appetit!

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend's wine choice was "all about me". I have a weakness for good rosé...any grape, any style and in any season. My choice was:

Circumstance "Cape Coral", Stellenbosch WO, Somerset West, South Africa, 2013

This wine comes from Waterkloof Estate and is made from 100% Mourvèdre. It is one of the most unique rosés you will ever try. While most have signature strawberry aroma & flavor, this one is all about peach & spice, and the color is a beautiful, delicate salmon. The wine is dry, but there is so much fruit going on that my initial impression was a hint of residual sugar. We paired it with a roasted vegetable & feta flatbread which really enhanced the fruit flavor. Then we added a dosage of music - groovin' on Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil". Just about as perfect an evening as you can get...

Cheers!

Cape Coral Rosé

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New Menu Item at The Shameless Carnivore

Slow weekend at The Carnivore, since most guests were at weddings or visiting family. However, that gave us time to "play" in the kitchen, and Lisa came up with a keeper...bacon jam...

This wonderfully flavorful, artery-seizing reduction includes North Country Smokehouse uncured bacon, onion, garlic, dark-roasted coffee, cider vinegar, brown sugar & maple syrup. Here you see it simply presented on fresh slices of zucchini, which happened to be our initial taste test. Starting Monday, you will find it on our menu, topping a cumin-encrusted Berkshire pork chop. That should be even better!

Hope to see you at The Shameless Carnivore soon!

Bacon Jam

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Time For A Trim...

We hate cutting down trees as much as the next person, but sometimes disease, encroaching power lines, guest safety and forest health make it essential. We decided to leave this project to tree experts (no, that's not me in the tree...), and had them do the entire property in one go. Several old & unhealthy trees were removed, while others were given a good haircut to keep them healthy. Most importantly, EVERY item removed will be replaced by either a Sugar Maple or a flowering bush, for aesthetics and erosion control, later in the season. We will probably never see them reach their full potential, but we have the satisfaction of knowing that somebody in the future will...

Thanks to Whitney Tree Service for their knowledge and a job well done!

The diseased ash tree is now gone...

That's not me in the tree...

Clearing some unhealthy pines...

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend saw a lot of grillin' at The Carnivore. The weather was also pleasantly cool, so a red wine was definitely in order. Our not-so-traditional choice was:

Duorum "Tons de Duorum", Douro DOC, Vila Nova de Foz Côa (Douro Valley), Portugal, 2010

This wine is a blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional & Tinta Roriz from Portugal's Douro Valley. The aromas & flavors are reminiscent of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry & plum. Barrel aging adds spice & roasted nuts. The acidity & tannins are also sufficient to stand up to anything you might pull off the grill. And did I mention the price...considering the quality, this wine is so cheap you can't afford not to drink it...

Cheers!

view of the douro valley

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend we had a few life-long friends, an international cast of characters, staying at Weathertop for a long-overdue visit. Naturally, this required rummaging through the wine cellar to find something "a little special". It didn't take long to find that something. Our choice was:

Albert Bichot "Domaine Long-Depaquit", Chablis AC, Beaune (Bourgogne), France, 2010

Even better, we had a few magnums in inventory! It was a humid afternoon, which suggested a drier white wine. We were also going out to American Flatbread later that evening, so something lighter made sense too. This is a beautiful, textbook Chablis. Taut & steely, with a boatload of lemons, oranges and chalky minerality from start to finish. It paired well with afternoon nibbles - smoked trout, mixed Italian olives, Consider Bardwell "Dorset" cheese, crusty Red Hen bread and ripe pears. So much food before dinner? YOU BETCHA!

Friends don't let friends dine (or wine...) lightly...Cheers!

friends enjoying albert bichot chablis

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This Weekend's Menu at The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

Considering the exceptional quality of fresh vegetables in this week's CSA basket, we'll be highlighting them with interesting side preps - stuffed Cousa squash, wilted baby Swiss chard, balsamic-glazed beets, etc.

Even a shameless carnivore can enjoy veggies!

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What To Do With Old Barns?

Once no longer usable, make dining room tables out of them! While looking to replace the tables in The Shameless Carnivore, we stumbled upon a company that made table tops from old, reclaimed barn siding. We thought it would give a nice rustic look & feel, while at the same time being an enviro-friendly choice. Since these barns were 100+ years old, we can only imagine how long the tables will last!

Now it's time to put it all together...

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend's grilled fish specials called for a clean & crisp white wine. Our off-the-wall choice was:

Zudugarai, Getariako Txakolina DO, Aia (Pais Vasco), Spain, 2012

Yes, the spelling is correct. Txakoli is a white wine made from the Hondarrabi Zuri grape. This particular vineyard is located on Spain's north coast, near the Basque fishing village of Getaria. The coastal terroir is key, producing a wine that is very dry, packed with green apple flavor and lifted by small, palate cleansing bubbles & crisp acidity. It finishes with signature salinity & minerality. I like to think of it as a wine with the best qualities of Vinho Verde, Muscadet, Cassis & Dry Riesling, all in one glass! Try it if you can find it...or come stay with us...

Cheers!

Zudugarai Getariako Txakolina Wine Label

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This Weekend's Menu at The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

We're highlighting super-fresh, whole Dorado & Atlantic Mackerel which we scored from our favorite fishmonger! Enjoy these wonderful fish in either a Mediterranean or Southeast Asian style.

Bon Appetit!

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Our Weekend Wine Pick

This weekend's smoked pork loin special was calling for red wine, but the heat & humidity weren't conducive to a big Amador Zin or Barossa Shiraz. So our off-the-wall choice this weekend was:

Valckenberg "Undone" Pinot Noir, Bingen am Rhein (Rheinhessen), Germany, 2008

Yes, a German Pinot Noir. This wine is un-oaked, allowing the pure fruit flavor to shine through. Very smooth & aromatic. Lots of berry & plum with a dash of herbs on the finish, plus enough acidity to make it incredibly food friendly. Very pleasant, uncomplicated & easy-going with a ridiculously low price to boot. Valckenberg even kept it simple for the English-speaking market by calling it Pinot Noir instead of Spätburgunder!

Cheers!

Undone Pinot Noir Wine Label

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Still Smokin' After All These Years

Not me...my old Char Broil H2O Smoker...

We've had this bad boy for almost 25 years and it still lights up like Cheech & Chong. Why buy something new if old school works...

SOOOO...the special tonight at The Shameless Carnivore is apple wood-smoked pork loin rubbed with black pepper & cayenne pepper. Since there was extra room in the smoker, I threw on some sweet Italian sausage for good measure (that's for us...). Hopefully this doesn't all sell tonight, as I can see some smoked pork enchiladas in the near future...

Smoked Pork Loin & Sausage in the SmokerSmoked Pork Loin & Sausage Ready To Serve

During the summer, smoked meats can always be had at The Shameless Carnivore as one of our Specialties For Two. Click here to see what else is available on our specialties menu. Now time to decide what wine to recommend with this special. That will be the next post!

Peace, Love & BBQ...

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Sorry Mrs. B...

Last night I was beginning to plan our pre-winter vacation and came upon a travel website that had a great quote:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

They attributed the quote to Mark Twain. Sure sounds like Mark Twain, but I'm a pretty big Twain fan and had never seen that quote in any of his writings. So with a few minutes of internet research I come to find that, in fact, he did NOT write it. The quote's first appearance is in the H. Jackson Brown, Jr. book P.S. I Love You: When Mom Wrote She Always Saved The Best For Last, and he attributes it to his mom. I have no reason to doubt him, since mom's never lie...

Anyway, this quote has mistakenly been credited to Mark Twain by at least The New Yorker, The Miami Herald, The Salt Lake Tribune, a marketing campaign by one of Richard Branson's companies and countless uninformed (and in many cases sleazy...) internet travel companies...

So for all of those businesses who spend less than five minutes doing research in this split-second world, I'd like to say...sorry Mrs. B...that was a great quote!

If you would like to see some of my other favorite quotes on travel, click here.

Tagged in: Travel News
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This Weekend's Menu at The Shameless Carnivore

Check out this weekend's menu at The Shameless Carnivore...click here...

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The New Rosés Are Here!

Summer has arrived and what a gorgeous day it is! Also arrived is our selection of rosé wines to enjoy all summer long. Click here to see our recently updated wine list, then stop by for a visit us and sip a glass (or two...) while relaxing on our garden patio. We'll be raising our glasses this afternoon for sure in a toast to the great summer ahead, and hope to see you at Weathertop real soon. Until then...

Peace, Love & BBQ!

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Weathertop's New Blog

Welcome to Weathertop's newest blog, which we've chosen to incorporated into our website. Here's where you will find the latest information regarding lodging specials at Weathertop Mountain Inn, dining updates for our restaurant, The Shameless Carnivore, and details regarding upcoming events of special interest in and around the Mad River Valley. This is where you will also find on-going discussions about some of our favorite topics - food, wine and travel.

For those who routinely use Facebook or Twitter, any blogs generated here will conveniently autopost to those sites as well.

Stay tuned for more, and we hope you enjoy!

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