Wine and Cheese
Jul30

Wine and Cheese

Summer on the Tongue:A Wine and Cheese Tutorial by Clara Rose Thornton Whimsical warm nights are upon us, with all of the magic that accompanies longer hours spent outdoors. While temperatures elevate, leisure time sees its stock rise and guitar riffs swim through the breeze, and people get quite serious about not being serious at all. Although, one thing that should be kept to decorum—despite letting everything else get a bit crazy—is pairing the perfect wines with the perfect hors d’oeuvres at your elegant backyard parties. We’ve all heard the cliché of white wines being the better summer drink than reds. Though clichéd and not a hard-and-fast rule—as I happen to enjoy a robust Shiraz on many a summer evening—there’s a slew of reasons for this long-held truth in the wine world, harkening to the structural components and characteristics of those Rieslings, Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Grigios and Chardonnays floating about your palate this summer. White wine is better for hot temperatures because they are structurally simpler than reds. It is fermented grape juice, pure and simple, without the red grape skin soaking and chemically reacting with the juice, coloring and thickening it. White wine, made from the greenish-golden grape varieties of course, has the skin removed prior to fermentation, clarifying the pale juice. (Red wine grapes are fermented with the skins on, though technically, whites could also be made from red grapes if the skins were not allowed to ferment.) Resultantly, white wine lacks certain chemical substances that reds absorb from their grapeskins, like tannin. Tannin is the bitter-tasting compound that helps reds to mature and age well. This is why reds are generally better aged and whites turn sour if not drunk within the first year or two of their lives, while they’re the freshest. Tannin also prevents a wine from tasting good if chilled. Therein lies the reason that whites are served cold. Coldness is better in the summer, and so are lighter, structurally simpler beverages that don’t bog down a system already feeling bogged down with heat. There is a lesser-known summertime wine tradition, as well. There aren’t as many avid rosé drinkers in this world as there are of reds and whites. It’s shameful that such a unique, meticulously crafted drink doesn’t get equal recognition with its older counterparts, and worse, often falls victim to misconception. It may be that because of its salmon-pink color and how it usually walks the line between medium and light-bodied, many people think it’s a watered down mixture of red and white wines post-fermentation. Rosés, meaning “rose-colored” in French, are produced from red grape varieties in the same fashion...

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The Artful Chef
Jul30

The Artful Chef

The Artful Chef A Chef’s Passion for Real Food by Anita Rafael Chef Josh Tomson at The Hermitage on Handle Road in West Dover, just minutes from the Village center, has something that chefs elsewhere can only dream of: a huge vegetable and herb garden just steps away from his kitchen door. Tilled and planted in the spring of this year, the plot provides him with the fresh ingredients that shape his menus. What a luxury: organic food that goes from garden to table with no one but himself as the middleman. Even Alice Waters, California’s Chez Panisse Restaurant & Cafe goddess of fresh food, would be impressed. When guests meet Chef Josh, he shares the secret of his straightforward culinary mantra: ingredients should be fresh, local, seasonal. His inspired summer menu combinations are new favorites, such as his pairing of pan-seared Wild Salmon with an Apple, Celery and Fennel slaw. Must try: Chef Josh’s Guacamole Martini. No, not to sip, but to nibble on; it is one of his sensational summer appetizers. The Hermitage, as many recall, was owned and operated by the now late James McGovern who first opened it somewhat “hunting lodge style” in 1971. Closed for only a brief interval, the property was recently sold and reopened last year in a second incarnation that has captured all the best of its past fame while substantially augmenting the level of service, style and comfort. Today’s guests take great pleasure in its restored, yet informal, elegance. On sultry summer nights, guests may reserve a private dinner for up to 12 people in the hushed coolness of the elegantly furnished Wine Cellar. Some choose to order from Chef Josh’s new summer menu; others meet with him ahead of time to plan their own meal while pairing each course with the fine wines from the hundreds of bins in the 55º chandelier-lit chamber. The dining room and tavern at The Hermitage, an historic homestead, are open to the public. The Inn is located in West Dover at 25 Handle Road. More information at:...

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What’s New
Jul30

What’s New

What’s New New Gallery Opens in Manchester A recent addition to the Manchester scene is Epoch Gallery, a cooperative craft gallery featuring the work of 18 Vermont artists and artisans. Furniture, glass, pottery, photography, and jewelry are only a few of the mediums represented. One of the unique features of the gallery is that the store will always be attended by one of the 18 participating artists. Local artists include Bob Gasperetti, Lucy Bergamini, Nick Seidner, Phyllis Lee, Ellen Howard, and Diane Rosenmiller. Stop in at 4927 Main Street. It’s a beautiful gallery and worth the trip. New Association of Artists and Craftspeople Formed in West Brattleboro Brattleboro-West Arts (BWA) is an association of artists and craftspeople working in the villages of West Brattleboro and Marlboro, dedicated to supporting the artistic and economic growth of its members and community. As Doug Cox, founding member and renowned violinmaker, explains, “It grew out of an analysis of West Brattleboro’s economy and an identification of the kind of town it wanted to be. We realized that we have a lot of craftsmen and artists working in the area. The question was how could we make them more successful. Besides helping with marketing, we’re also providing business support—informed business support if they need it.” Current members include Cox, Josh and Marta Bernbaum, Petria Mitchell and Jim Giddings, Michelle and David Holzapfel, Malcolm Wright, Naomi Lindenfeld, Cai Xi Silver, Matthew Tell, Karen Kamenetsky, Kris McDermott, Ron Karpius, Sharon Myers, Jason Breen, Nat Waring, Zachary Roseman, Walter Slowinski and Mark Littlehales. BWA will hold its first annual Fall Studio Tour on September 19th and 20th. Select members of the group will open their studios to the public so that people can observe the creative process in its native environment, and have the chance to purchase the fruits of the process.  brattleboro-west-artists.com. New Gallery Opens on the Common in Chester Landers & LeCours Collective Art LLP opened its doors in July. The privately owned gallery is owned and operated by Jess Landers & Meesh LeCours and will feature the talents of local Vermont artists from Chester and the surrounding area. Works will include fine wall art, jewelry, pottery, sculpture and glass. Landers & LeCours will also offer custom framing to artists from their in-house frame shop.  The space includes a Children’s Studio and registration for art classes will open this summer. Visit the gallery Thursday – Saturday from 10am–5pm and on Sundays from 11am–4pm. 80 The Common, Chester Vermont. 802-875-1227. collectiveart@landersandlecours.com. Windham Art Gallery Finds a Friend! It was sad to see that The Windham Art Gallery closed its doors due to a bleak financial outlook...

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Calendar
Jul30

Calendar

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Marketplace
Jul30

Marketplace

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Design Observed
Jul30

Design Observed

Design for The Bottom Line Green Mountain Power Corporation finds that a revamped corporate environment can lead to a stimulating, successful workplace and business. by Anita Rafael Design for The Bottom Line Green Mountain Power Corporation finds that a revamped corporate environment can lead to a stimulating, successful workplace and business. by Anita Rafael S.O.S!—your company is close to bankruptcy. What’s the first thing you should do? Hire a better accountant? Not if you’re Mary G. Powell, President and CEO of Green Mountain Power Corporation. According to Powell, you should call a designer like John Anderson of John Anderson Studio to redefine your corporate office space to embrace communication, transparency and flexibility. The first step GMP took in 1998 in its turnaround towards solvency and success, a process that began over a decade ago, was to sell its corporate building in Shelburne, Vermont. Then-COO Mary G. Powell thought the massive building had an unwelcoming and intimidating entrance with a “Darth Vader-like quality.” But the entrance was only one of the structure’s many negative characteristics that she believed acted as a barrier to communication among employees, as well as between the company’s operations and its customers John Anderson was hired soon after to design a new corporate office for GMP in a brick industrial building in Colchester, Vermont that was one-third of the size of its former headquarters. (Half the company’s employees, including top brass, had already been trimmed from the payroll as a way to cut costs.) Powell asked that Anderson, a Yale graduate who worked briefly in the internationally renowned firm of Venturi and Rauch Architects, find ways to make every square foot of the new office space flexible, not rigid; flat, not hierarchical; and transparent, not secret. Although there were “huge pockets of resistance” to this new design paradigm amongst the company’s employees, according to Powell, GMP’s corporate leadership countered everyone’s concerns with optimism and enthusiasm.   The Design Solution Anderson used every design element that would support change in GMP’s corporate culture. For example, Powell asked a simple question: “Why, just because we’re a utility, does the building’s color scheme have to be gray and brown?” Anderson didn’t think that drab colors were necessary, so he used bright, friendly colors in the interior spaces to define different functions—greens and blues to soothe and reds and yellows to energize. Anderson also raised the ceiling therefore adding more air and light into the workspace and gave every employee, including the CEO, the same size work area and equal access to natural light. But Anderson’s ingenuity in using space differently did not stop there. Instead of locating the employee...

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Summer Inspirations
Jul30

Summer Inspirations

Summer Inspiration The Duty of Capturing a Fleeting Smile by Clara Rose Thornton Summer: the season of life, the season of a land coming to bear its long-waiting fruit. It is a time when the human spirit seems to open itself more fully to the possibilities that lay beyond closed doors and to an intrinsic exploration of the natural world. Summer represents opportunity. It represents a fleeting enjoyment. It feeds off of our anticipation. Summer Inspiration The Duty of Capturing a Fleeting Smile by Clara Rose Thornton Summer: the season of life, the season of a land coming to bear its long-waiting fruit. It is a time when the human spirit seems to open itself more fully to the possibilities that lay beyond closed doors and to an intrinsic exploration of the natural world. Summer represents opportunity. It represents a fleeting enjoyment. It feeds off of our anticipation. The notion of the landscape being open and inviting and showing its lushness to the world during its most vivid phase, has a certain emotional effect. As individuals who pay heightened attention to their surroundings —naturalistic and otherwise—landscape painters must take this energy that occurs from the maturation of plant life and the eagerness inherent in summertime endeavors and infuse their works with this singularity. Or, at least, the worthy ones do. It is no wonder that when speaking with three of Vermont’s premier landscape painters about capturing the season, the subject of communicating emotion as related to life’s ephemeral mysteries reared its head again and again. Elizabeth Torak of Pawlet, Kim Eng Yeo of Townshend and James Urbaska of Newfane offer their thoughts. “Summer is a time of physicality,” said Torak. “When I am painting outdoors I have no time for reflection: Everything is moving and changing, so I have to grasp the moment and paint it, i.e. live it, quickly. I don’t think in those moments, I react and feel.” Yeo related, “I connect with (spectators) when they respond to my painting in an emotive way, apart from the craftsmanship of my work, whatever the subject. My watercolors, whether studies, sketches or detailed paintings, are always responses to scenes or objects, personal expressions that I want to share with the viewer. Walk with me so as to speak and see through my eyes.” And Urbaska, along the same lines, mused, “My emotions and intellect will come into each picture naturally without me having to think about it… A summer landscape motif is simply a starting point for me.” Torak is represented by Tilting at Windmills Gallery in Manchester, and her muted, dreamlike works with effusive colors that seem to...

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Spotlights
Jul30

Spotlights

The Vermont Summer Festival Horse Shows July 15-19 and July 29-August 2, 2971 Route 7 at Harold Beebe Farm, East Dorset, 802 362-7548, vt-summerfestival.com. The Harold Beebe Farm in East Dorset is the perfect site for the six weeks of competition. Its lovely peaceful view of the Green Mountains, just off scenic Route 7 North, offers a well-equipped hunter/jumper facility. The show grounds boast five all weather rings, including one of the largest Grand Prix fields in New England, as well as several all weather schooling and riding areas, permanent wash racks, paddocks and extended trails for casual enjoyment. Nearby towns are full of New England charm with inns, fine dining, and world-class shopping at The Manchester Designer Outlets in Manchester. The Vermont Summer Festival is the largest ‘AA’ rated hunter-jumper horse show held in New England and has a huge economic impact on the state with an estimated $18 million spent throughout the duration of the six-week competition. Maplerama 2009 & The Shires Maple Festival July 24–26, 2009, 1545 West Road at Colgate Park, Bennington, 802 447-3900, shiresmaple.com. Maplerama 2009 is a trade show for regional maple syrup and maple product-makers that moves to a different Vermont county each year. The 2009 festival will be held in Bennington, from July 24–26, under the sponsorship of the Bennington County Sugar Makers Association. As a festival within a festival, The Shires Maple Festival has been created to complement Maplerama and also to stand alone as a full, major weekend event. For two days, July 25-26, The Shires Maple Festival celebrates not only the magic of maple but also of regional farming, fresh local produce, specialty foods and fine, hand-crafted products. The festival will in-clude the live music of The Blues Sanctuary and Tas Cru, an exten-sive farmers’ market, workshops and maple processing demonstrations, specialty vendors, a pancake breakfast Saturday and Sunday, children’s activities and wagon rides. 2nd Annual Vermont Blueberry Festival & Parade July 26–August 9,various venues in the Mount Snow Valley, vermontblueberry.com. Celebrate the Blues in three picturesque, bustling towns with the quintessential nature of Vermont stamped all over them. These ski towns with a unique culture are Wilmington, Whiting-ham and Dover. Over the course of nine days, everything blue will be featured— berries, vintage cars, music, food and tarp displays. More than 30 family-friendly events are plan-ned to excite your taste buds with blueberry-infused and Vermont-centric country cooking. It’s fun, it’s historic, it’s healthy, it’s blue! Weston Playhouse Summer Stage Village Green, Weston, 802 824-5288, 824-8167, westonplayhouse.org. The award winning Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, Vermont’s oldest professional theatre, continues its summer season on the Mainstage with the New...

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