July Beer Club: Iowa

Manzana LinTrabanco
Manzana Lin Sidra Natural
Gijón, Asturias, Spain

Manzana Lin is a special, limited production release from Trabanco. This single-site cider is made of Lin apples sourced from the San Pedro de Anes orchard. The juice is fermented with indigenous yeasts and in accordance with the guidelines for “Sidra Natural,” producing a low-alcohol cider that is tart and lacks carbonation. Sidra Natural should be served cold in a wide glass and poured from great height to break up the residual carbonic gas. Only a small amount (one sip’s worth) should be poured into the glass at a time.

BeerStyles: Fruity and Spicy
Style: Sidra Natural (Cider)
ABV:
6%
Apples: 70% Lin with a blend of local apples sourced from the San Pedro de Anes orchard.

Vinification: This cider has been fermented with indigenous yeasts and in accordance to the guidelines for “Naturally Fermented Quality Ciders.”

ABOUT THE CIDERY:

Like most families from the Asturian countryside, the Trabanco Family made their own cider from their own apples, but in 1925 Emilio Trabanco decided to turn this household hobby into a family business; creating Trabanco Cider. Using the best apples of selected varieties and following traditional methods, Trabanco Cider quickly became known throughout the region as the premier natural cider from Asturias. Not much has changed since then, the Trabanco family is still using traditional methods, augmented with modern technologies, to produce exceptional Asturian ciders. From a very young age, all of the members of the family are involved in the production process, from the apple picking and weighing, to operating the press. The family business continues to grow, as their inheritance is passed from one generation to the next.

Asturias Map

Asturias Map by Paul Dangel

Trabanco Orchard

Trabanco Orchard. Photo by Steven Alexander

Isastegi CiderIsastegi
Sagardo Naturala
Tolosa (Isastegi), Spain

Sagardo Naturala, or “natural cider” is from the Basque Country in Spain, where basque ciders have been produced for over 2,000 years.  Golden-green hue in the glass, Isastegi’s Sagardo Naturala has ripe notes of apple on the nose, but lead to an acidic, malted apple on the palate. The finish is crisp and fresh. This cider goes through a completely natural fermentation process in large wooden barrels and is bottled fresh without filtration. Sagardo Naturala is more bitter than most ciders, with only mild residual carbonic acid. It should be served cold in a wide glass and poured from great height to break up the residual carbonic gas. Only a small amount (one sip’s worth) should be poured into the glass at a time.

BeerStyles: Fruity and Spicy
Style: Sagardo Naturala (Natural Cider)
ABV:
6%
Apples:
A blend of over a dozen native varietals
Vinification:
After fermentation in kupelas (old, large, oak cider barrels) the cider is bottled fresh and without filtration before each shipment.

ABOUT THE CIDERY:

Isastegi is an old family estate located in the town of Tolosa in the Basque Country of Spain. The estate was originally covered by pastures for cattle, with only a few apple trees for the family to make a small amount of cider for itself. In 1983 they decided to switch from livestock to cider output and started selling their cider to the public. Over the years the demand for Isastegi cider has increased and the family’s country house has adapted to the changes. Pastures were replaced by orchards, while renovations added new state-of-the-art pressing and bottling rooms and a larger spaces for the kupelas (old, large, oak cider barrels). Isastegi prides themselves on their local focus and adhere to the strict guidelines of Basque Ciders by using only local apples with no added carbonation or sugars.

Basque Country

Map by Paul Dangel

Isastegi

Isastegi Cidery

 

July Cheese Club: Iowa

cheese_club_logo-1240x1240Iberico BonvallisBonvallis – Iberico Cheese
Valladolid, Spain

Bonvallis Iberico Cheese is a Manchego-style cheese, one of the most eaten in Spain. An authentic Iberico Cheese must have, by law, a maximum of 50% cow’s milk, a minimum of 15% goat’s milk, and a minimum of 15% sheep’s milk. If these amounts are not specified on the label, the cheese cannot be labeled ‘Iberico’. Bonvallis Iberico Cheese is compact and firm in texture. It features herby, grassy flavors from the goat and ewe milk, and a smooth, creamy texture from the cow’s milk. It is slightly lactic, yet mild and buttery on the palate; making this cheese tasty and aromatic.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRINGS:
Bonvallis Iberico Cheese pairs wonderfully with wines from our Bubbly wine style category, such as a Cava. Additionally, Iberico cheese pairs well with our Fruity & Spicy beers, such as a cider.

WINESTYLES: Bubbly
BEERSTYLES: Fruity & Spicy

PRODUCTION:
Located in Valladolid, the capital of Castilla y León, the family-run dairy, Bonvallis, has produced their cheeses since 1984. The region of Castilla y León is well known for its vast production of sheep and blend cheeses, and cured meat products. Long cold winters and dry hot summers are the perfect conditions for manufacturing their products. Bonvallis Iberico can be semi-cured (around 2 months), cured (4-6 months) and aged (over 7 months).

Idizabal DOPAraz
Smoked Idiazabal Cheese
Basque County, Spain

Smoked Idiazabal by Araz is a traditional, farmhouse, hard cheese made from raw milk of Latxa or Carranza sheep in the Basque and Navarra regions of northern Spain. Named after the village of Idiazabal, the cheese received Spanish D.O. (Denomination of Origin) in 1987, which defines the basic regulations for the product’s manufacturer. Idiazabal is produced in the shape of a cylinder, with a smooth and hard natural rind that is pale yellow to amber in color. The cheese has a compact texture that is dry, but not crumbly, and feels pleasantly oily in the mouth. The rind carries the marks of the wooden moulds in which it was drained and the cheese itself has a characteristic smoky flavor, coming from the fireplaces it is stored near during the summer.

WINE & CRAFT BEER PAIRING: Idiazabal Cheese pairs beautifully with a medium-bodied tempranillo from our Fruity wine style category. It also pairs well with Fruity & Spicy beers, such as a cider or a sour.

WINESTYLES: Fruity
BEERSTYLES:
Fruity & Spicy

PRODUCTION:
In the summer, the sheep migrate to higher pastures to graze on the blossoming, new grass. During this time, the artisanal cheese makers milk the sheep, make the Idiazabal cheese and leave it in the rafter to mature for a minimum ripening of 2 months. At the end of summer, when the cheese makers return back to the lowlands with their sheep, the cheese has ripened and is ready for sale.

Monthly Cheese ClubDon’t let your Wine Club go home alone!

Join our Cheese Club and bring home a match made in heaven!

If you enjoy pairing cheese with wine, this is your club!  Each month you’ll discover specialty and artisan cheeses to pair with your Wine Club. Monthly cheese selections are chosen by your local WineStyles participating location. It’s the perfect opportunity to Taste, Learn and Enjoy® amazing artisan cheese every month! Only $19.99/month and your wine won’t be lonely!  Click to learn more >