Siciliano's Market News, June 25th Edition

This week's list of new and returning products follows a few words about the cinder block garage at the cottage

The outside of the garage...

Preamble by Steve Siciliano

When we're up at the cottage and if it's too hot, too cold or too wet to be outside, Barb and l will often retreat to the rustic comfort of our cinder block garage. As far as garages go it's a nice place to hang out. We sit at a big wooden table. There's a sound system on the work bench and a good horse hair dart board on one of the walls. Because of its cinder block construction it retains heat on chilly evenings and stays cool even when the daytime temperatures soar. The fact that I can smoke a cigar out there is a nice bonus.

One of the previous owners of the cottage was evidently pretty handy judging by the stuff that was left behind in the garage: metal shelves filled with dozens of coffee cans, plastic tubs and glass jars filled with nuts, bolts, nails, screws and hinges; a couple of electric drills dating back to the time when tools were still made from metal; tool boxes filled with drill bits and pipe cutting tools; an ancient metal chain saw, a block and tackle, various lengths of chains, a couple of long pieces of thick rope and a variety of hand saws.

I'm guessing that the guy who left behind all the tools was also the one who expanded the size of the garage. He did such a good job that it was a couple of years before I realized that the length had been extended by a good ten feet.

I've been slowing culling out the stash that the previous owners left behind. I threw away a lot of stuff that probably would have been useful to someone but to me it was just junk. I gave away most of the tools. I can't remember if I gave away or threw away the old self propelled lawn mower and the yard vacuum. I did keep a few things. You never know when you're going to need a nail or a screw, the little air compressor comes in handy and I use the electric leaf blower to clean off the deck.

I've also kept a few things I will never use and I left them hanging right where they were simply because I think they contribute to the overall esthetic. There's a couple of levels, one metal and one wood, an old hand planer, a chain saw blade for that ancient heavy chain saw, a tool belt, two fan belts still in their packages, a couple of metal braces, that block and tackle, a minnow net, a hand saw, a hack saw and two circular saw blades. My own contribution to the ambiance is a new, made-to-look-old metal sign that I picked up at the Elijah Craig distillery in Kentucky last October.

This past spring my brother in law and I installed a wood burning stove. I fired it up on a couple of cold nights last April and it was nice watching the flames through the glass window. It warmed up the space nicely and it's sure more economical and lot more pleasing to look at than those sunflower propane heaters we were using. There's a bunch of downed tree limbs in back of the pole barn that I've been cutting up with a light weight Husqvarna. I really can't remember if I gave away or threw away that ancient heavy chain saw.

...the inside of the garage

Featured Wines of the Week

El Jefe, Reserve Rhone Blend, Washington State, $13.99/one liter - 62% Syrah, 25% Mourvedre, 13% Grenache. This wine is polished and supple with a beam of raspberry and pomegranate fruit teasing the senses.  Intense yet harmonious, the El Jefé yields a dark succulence to the palate in the form of cassis, plum and a hint of biodynamic loam.  All of this juicy concentration carries nicely into the tannin-laced finish. (Source)

Biographe, Red Blend, Cotes du Rhone, $17.39/750 ml - Biographie tells the story of the South. Its generosity evokes Grenache grapes on round pebble stones; its freshness Syrah and Mourvedre on clay and limestone. The hand-crafted organic viticulture results in a lively harmonious wine with great purity of fruit. (Source)

Cocchi Torino, Vermouth, Italy, $21.79/750 ml, $13.99/375 ml - On the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the House of Cocchi, we have resumed production of Giulio Cocchi’s original recipe Vermouth di Torino, previously produced in 1891. This Storico Vermouth di Torino adheres to a long if seldom followed tradition , notably in the selection of its fine wine Moscato of local origin, the botanic formulation and production in the historic Asti region, outside Torino. The flavor profile is unmistakably of Cocchi, with rich and vibrant notes of citrus, cocoa, rhubarb and a balanced bitter undertone. Vermouth di Torino stands apart as one of only two protected geographical indications of origin for vermouth (Chambéry is the other one). Delicious on its own and ideal for use in numerous classic mixed drinks. (Source)

Buy three or more bottles of wine get 10 % off.