Brewery Spotlight: Night Shift Brewery

mystic blog
What happens when you take three friends, a love for beer, and an interest in homebrewing? You get Night Shift Brewery of Everett, MA. Founded in 2012 through love and passion, three friends brought their homebrewing to life. In 2007 they began homebrewing in their apartment kitchen. They were desk workers by day, homebrewers by night. They called themselves “Night Shift Brewers“.
mystic blog
Night Shift offers a wide variety of delicious brews year-round. First up, is The Crew. This group of beer is their core crew of brews on tap year-round and consist of –
  • Whirpool- New England Pale Ale
  • Santilli- American Indian Pale Ale
  • The 87- American Double IPA
  • One Hop This Time- Rotating single-hop IPA series
  • Morph- Rotating IPA series
  • Nite Lite-Craft Light Lager
Next is the a group of seasonal brews called The Rotators. This group is their smaller-batch, limited release offerings crew. They may not always be available, but when they are, they’re worth picking up a pack or two.
  • Awake- Porter aged with coffee
  • Bennington- Oatmeal stout brewed with dutch-processed cocoa and maple syrup
  • Furth- German-style hefeweizen
  • Matisse- Classic Saison
Looking for a great sour beer? Try their Mixed Fermentation Sourswhich are fermented exclusively in stainless steel tanks with both lactobacillus and brewer’s yeast to achieve a high level of complexity and refreshing tartness.
  • Ever Weisse- Aged with Strawberries, Kiwis, and Hibiscus. Available: March-May
  • Rickey Weisse – Aged with Raspberries and Limes. Available: June-August
  • Mainer Weisse- Aged with Blueberries and Cinnamon Sticks. Available: September-November
Last but not least, is their Special Guests beers.  These brews are a specialty group, that are only released every once in a while. Regardless how often they’re released, they’re sure to be worth celebrating. Night Shift has a long list of “Special Guests” so here are a few of our favorites:
  • Cul-De-Sac – Cream ale dry hopped with Amarillo
  • El Lechedor- Horchata-style milk stout aged in bourbon barrels with poblano peppers, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon
  • Marilyn- Barrel- Aged blonde barleywine-style ale
  • Pfaffenheck- German-style pilsner
Screen Shot 2018-05-14 at 1.13.14 PM
Night Shift also offers so many great opportunities to try their beer.  Check out their online event calendar, which is filled with tastings, food trucks, and tours. They also hold private events in the taproom. With summer right around the corner, Night Shift is the perfect brew to bring to any get-together, BBQ, or with just a few friends. It’ll sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Stop into Mystic Wine Shoppe and check out all the Night Shift beers we have available!

Bello Rosato!

Mystic Wine Shoppe Post

Summer is the time of the year that I come alive.  Having grown up in India, on a beach in Goa no less, I am still accustomed to sunny days and warm ocean breezes.  Right now, I feel like a bear emerging from hibernation, as the crocuses finally pop up and the forsythia celebrate the changing season with bright yellow sprays of color.

And speaking of celebrating, what better way to cheer on the warmth, the long, lazy days and heat of the sun on your bare skin than to chill down a beautiful bottle of rosé and throw the windows open for the fresh air.  That is exactly what I have been doing with a dry, refreshing bottle of Castello di Bossi Rosato.  Just saying the name of the wine makes me happy.  
The Castello di Bossi Rosato, made from 70% Sangiovese grapes and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, uses the maceration method to gain some color from the red grapes.  That means that it spends approximately 3 hours in contact with the red skins of the grape before the juice is pressed off and fermented separately.  There are two other methods for making rosé wines.  One is just to blend in some red wine to add color.  This is generally not allowed in most wines that want to be labeled as quality wines.  The second is to use a technique called “Saignée”, which means to bleed off.  In this method, some of the wine in a red wine fermentation is bled off after a short period of time to be fermented separately as rosé, which leaves less juice and more skins in the main vat to concentrate the flavors of the red wine.  This technique is used in places like Bandol in Southern France where the grapes may not have ripened enough or in places like Napa Valley, where vintners want to make richer, more extracted wines.  
This Rosato is a dry, dusty, wonderfully aromatic wine full of bright cherries and cranberries and hints of fresh, wild herbs.  On the mouth, it has a bright acidity on the open with a fruity, yeasty lingering finish.  One of the secrets to enjoying a good wine is to appreciate what comes before and after as much as the actual taste.  You should smell it, swirl it, smell again.  As the volatile compounds are released, they tease you with elusive scents that change from second to second.  When you finally taste it, you are invariably surprised because the nose did not reveal all of its treasures.  And then, for a really good wine, you can just enjoy the lingering aromas after you have swallowed it.  Sometimes that is even the best part of the whole experience.  This wine gives you a similar experience.  Each part of the tasting gives you a different impression and a different experience.  And you realize after each sip that the process was so enjoyable that you want to experience the whole thing again.  
Serve this wine well chilled – in an ice bucket – with a plate of caprese salad and prosciutto, a light pasta with fresh vegetables and herbs, grilled chicken sausages and sage-scented butternut squash soup (like we did!) or a creamy mushroom risotto…you will be in heaven.
Thanks for reading, Seema

Glazed Pork and Big Barrel Pinot Noir

bird winery


Bird Big Barrel Pinot Noir Tasting Notes:  There is not much one can say about this wine without gushing.  It is delicious. From the remarkable color to the nose full of delicately scented cherries and roses and baking spice and the taste of a very carefully and lovingly vinified Pinot Noir, it is to be savored. If handled improperly, Pinot Noir grapes will still yield a juicy wine, but it will lose all the uplifting aromatics.  Therefore, this wine is made in the eponymous big barrels to keep the oak from overpowering the essence of the grape.  The winemaker also uses an unusual “Vernou roll” technique that allows the wine to come into contact with the skins very gently and with limited exposure to oxygen, thereby preserving much of the flavor and intensity without extracting harsh tannins.


Pork or Veal Loin Glazed with Pomegranate and Oranges

  • One 3-pound roast of pork or veal, or two 1 1/2 pound tenderloins
  • Marinade
    • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
    • Grated zest of one orange
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
    • 2 tbsp pomegranate syrup or pomegranate molasses
    • 2 tbsp hot mustard
    • 2 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • Basting sauce
    • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
    • 3 tbsp honey
    • 3 tbsp pomegranate syrup or pomegranate molasses
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp reserved marinade
  • To Make:
    • In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Then marinade the roast in a dish, covered by plastic wrap or a lid. Marinade for at least 6 hours, overnight if possible.
    • Combine the ingredients for the basting sauce. Reserve 1/4 cup for spoon on at the very end.
    • Broil or grill the roast or tenderloins not too close to the heat source, turning the meat and basting with the sauce at least 4 times. Cook until a meat thermometer registers 140 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 to 30 minutes for a large loin, 5 to 7 minutes per side for tenderloins.
    • Or, in an oven, place in a roasting pan at 400 degrees.  Baste every 5 minutes, until meat thermometer reads 140 degrees, about 40 minutes.
    • Transfer meats to a carving board and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly. Simmer reserved basting sauce until slightly thickened. Spoon over meat to glaze.

When can I have the next bottle?

Mystic Wine Shoppe Blog
While everyone has heard of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas (pronounced ghee-gohn-dass) is a bit more in the background.  First of all, why is the last “s” pronounced?  I am told it is a dialect difference in the south to pronounce more of the last letters.  Second of all, what is Gigondas and why should we be drinking it?  The short answer is, it is delicious and it has a great quality to price ratio (QPR).

Gigondas is an appellation in the Southern Rhone region of France that is nestled in the valleys and foothills of the romantic sounding mountains, Dentelles de Montmirail.  This area has a warm, mediterranean climate that ripens the constituent grapes in Gigondas to perfection.  Grenache is a lovely, fruity grape whose vines are resistant to both heat and drought.  They are often not trellised but rather “head trained” – allowed so stand on their own and are pruned to be close to the ground and provide shade to the bunches of grapes it produces.  It ripens relatively late, but can develop enough sugars to push the alcohol levels it can produce to over 15%.  And because it has thin skin, it can be relatively low in acids and tannins which makes it an ideal partner for the more forceful Syrah and Mourvedre varieties.

Wine made from Syrah is powerful – with dark berry flavors offset by notes of white and black pepper and relatively high tannins.  It is more famous for its massive wines from Hermitage, Cote Rotie and under its alias, Shiraz, from Australia.  But it is one of the most important parts of Southern Rhone blends – from Chateauneuf-du-Pape to Vacqueyras – as well as in Languedoc and Roussillon.

Mourvedre is made less as a single varietal because it can be very tannic and overwhelming – but in blends, it can be sublime. It is also known under the names Monastrell in Spain and as Mataro in Australia where it has thrived.  It is also a heat loving, late ripening variety that brings a meaty, herby and potent character to wines.

Together, in a 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre blend, the 2013 Lavau Gigondas is a wonderful example of how these very different grapes work harmoniously together to create a big, rich, fruity, spicy wine that can stand up to anything you throw on the grill or any spices you might add.  This wine has had 5 years in the bottle to meld its various parts, mellow out its rough edges and become downright luscious.  It is filled with blackberry, black currant, peppery notes and licorice on the nose and is almost chocolate-like on the tongue.  Having already finished one bottle, I am already anxiously planning when I can have more!

Cheers, Seema
Photo of Gigondas by Slow Tours
, , ,

Shrimp & Grits with Kim Crawford Rosé

rose wine

This food and wine pairing are making our mouth water! This is the perfect recipe for your Mother’s Day celebrations and/or spring lunches.

roseKim Crawford Rosé Tasting Notes:  Rosé wines come in a range of colors and can be made from a variety of red grapes.  This particular one is a beautiful deep salmon color that immediately draws the eye.  Part of the reason it has such a rich, sunset shade is that it is made from a combination of Merlot and Malbec grapes, which is a bit unusual.  But the marriage of the two is quite successful.  The nose will immediately tell you it is from New Zealand – it has a grapefruit, almost grassy smell that reminds you of Sauvignon Blanc.  But once you taste it, all thoughts of a disguised white wine fall away.  It is crisp and dry but so fruity that you might think it has some sweetness to it.   You can savor the strawberry and melon flavors of summer while lingering over the mineral and green apple finish.  Serve very chilled next to classic Southern Shrimp and Grits!


Shrimp and Grits – an all time Southern Classic

  • Grits:  
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth
    • 3/4 cup half-and-half
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup regular grits
    • 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
    • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • To Make: Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in grits. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes or until thickened. Add Cheddar cheese and next 4 ingredients. Keep warm.
  • Shrimp
    • 3 bacon slices
    • 1 pound medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
    • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
    • Flat leaf parsley for garnish
  •  To Make: Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon, and set aside.
    • Sprinkle shrimp with pepper and salt; dredge in flour.
    • Sauté mushrooms in hot drippings in skillet 5 minutes or until tender. Add green onions, and sauté 2 minutes. Add shrimp and garlic, and sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are lightly brown. Stir in chicken broth, lemon juice, and hot sauce, and cook 2 more minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet.
  • Serve shrimp mixture over hot cheese grits. Top with crumbled bacon and add a sprig of parley.


Top photo by: Meca

Brewery of the Month: Harpoon Brewery

Harpoon Brewery Blog Post

It’s almost that time of year again! Warm weather, blue skies, sandy toes, BBQ’s with friends and family. Summer is quickly approaching and what better way to kick it off than with Harpoon’s Summer Ale’s?

Harpoon was born in 1986 by three friends, Dan Kenary, Rich Doyle and George Ligeti. They all shared the same love: drinking beer. They realized that beer choices were limited and they quickly wanted to change that. The first Harpoon Ale was brewed in 1987 in a transformed warehouse space on the Boston waterfront. Here, the three friends took their love and passion for beer and created local craft brews for everyone to enjoy. The rest is history.

harpoon brewery blog

What’s better than enjoying good times with good friends than cracking open one of Harpoon’s summer brews? One of the hardest parts of the craft beer world is deciding which brew to choose. We know- it’s a make or break decision, so we’ll help you try to decide which one is perfect for your occasion. If it were up to us, we’d have them all.

  • Camp Wannamango: This pale ale brewed with mango begins with a subtle tropical aroma of passion fruit and mango. Golden-copper in color, it has a light body, slight hop bitterness, and malty sweetness, and finishes with a kiss of mango.
  • Hibiscus Cider: Hibiscus flowers give the cider its festive, effervescent deep pink hue, as well as a floral tartness that complements the sweetness from the freshly pressed apples.
  • Citra Sea: Citra hops provide a juicy citrus character in this grapefruit peel-infused IPA. The malt blend adds depth and a touch of sweetness and gives the beer its bronze hue and medium body. The finish is all citrus, all day. This IPA is easygoing and ripe with citrus flavor
  • Midsummer Fling: features a bright golden color, light mouthfeel, and citrusy aromas and flavors derived from the combination of Citra hops, elderflower, and lemongrass
  • Summer Beer: Their version of the traditional German Kölsch-style ale. This beer, which is light and refreshing, appears to resemble a lager rather than an ale. The body is soft and delicate with a dry, crisp finish.

Harpoon Mystic Blog

Still unsure of which summer ale you want? Don’t fret, Harpoon also offers a Summer Vacation Mix Pack. Boston’s Harpoon Brewery has been a standout in the local craft game for years. Stop by Mystic to browse our Harpoon selection, and sit back, relax and crack open a cold one.


Nothing dry about Dry Creek Valley

wine country

Wine tasting is an endeavor of sheer endurance.  That is a lesson I have learned through sheer, hard work.

Let me start at the beginning.  Sonoma County, 90 minutes north of San Francisco, is gorgeous wine country.  Picture rolling, lush green hillsides, covered in orderly and beautifully staked and grown grape vines interspersed with aspens, sycamores, wild grasses, flowers of all colors and herbs of all fragrances.  Driving through the winding roads, you roll down the windows and smell the fresh air as if it is something that reaches into your lungs and blows wonder into your every pore.
The morning temperatures are cool and breezy and perhaps a bit foggy.  The perfect temperatures to put on a sweater, drink some hot coffee and set off on a day of exploration for the senses.  The afternoon warms you up just enough to sun your face and make you feel like you should find the closest hammock for a nice little nap.  And the evenings… are slow as molasses.  Breathtaking shades of peach and lilac drift through the sky as the sun sinks lazily past the horizon, bringing that hint of chill, making you want to reach for your favorite bottle of pinot noir – or is it zinfandel tonight?
My particular adventure has been in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma Valley.  I have never felt more whole as a person than I feel here.  Life is relatively simple here.  People work hard, they grow the grapes, they make the wines and they sell those beautifully labelled bottles full of dark magic.
Sonoma Valley is best know for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Russian River Valley areas and for their juicy, scrumptious Zinfandels along with world class Sauvignon Blanc (often called “Fume Blanc”) and Cabernets in the distinctive Dry Creek Valley style.
Ferrari-Carano is one of those vineyards that changes one’s life.  You wander up to the Italianate facade and filled with wonder, continue through the magical gardens filled with spring blossoms of cherry and apricot, azaleas and tulips to the fountains and statues, wondering, why can’t I just live here?  Can’t I just move here and leave everything else behind?
And all of this before you even taste the wines!

Good wine for a great cause

4 foxes blog
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that slowly moves from tremors to stiffness to cramping, eventually leaving its sufferers entirely disabled – in a wheel chair or even bedridden.  It is painful and horrifying, knowing that it will only bring more and worse suffering.  The most famous face of Parkinson’s in our lifetime has been Michael J. Fox, who has been tireless in raising funds, awareness and supporting research to fight this blight.  And one of his signature efforts has been the production and sale of 4 Foxes Chardonnay.
blog post
This wine was released by the President of Jackson Family Wines, Rick Tigner, whose wife also suffers from Parkinson’s. It is a wine typical of the storied Russian River Valley of Sonoma County.  On the nose, you get delicious smells of lemon, pear, apricot, perhaps a hint of tropical fruits like mango.  On the palate, you get a buttery mouthfeel with the oaky taste of vanilla and caramel.  It has a soft finish that would pair well with everything from a simple white pizza to chicken with mushrooms.
A good wine for a great cause – cheers!
Seema 🙂