Going “Wild” on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Cape Cod is known for it’s natural beauty and with that comes an unlimited amount of wildlife.  While staying at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, the Captain Freeman Inn, we like to up your chances of encountering unique wildlife. So while you are exhaling on Cape Cod to  relax your soul, we might also suggest that you take a “walk on the wild side” to see some of our unique wildlife and habitat. Listed below are some of our favorites:

Cape Cod Whalewatching

Cape Cod Whale watching

Whale tales- Many of our guests staying at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfasts enjoy a day of whale watching during their stay on Cape Cod. We usually recommend the Dolphin Fleet out of P’Town which has several 4 hour + excursions each day. Many of our guests tell us that seeing the whales up close was on their bucket list…..and most just rave about their experience. P’Town is such a unique town and is full of many other things to do after your whale watching such as biking on the bike path to Race Point beach, having lunch at the Lobster Pot which is a great place to have your old fashion “lobster eating experience”, climbing the Pilgrim Monument and shopping at the many unique shops on Commercial Street. The whale watching cruises get you very close to the whales and usually include sightings of Humpback and minke whales that frequent and feed the waters off of Cape Cod. Recent sighting of the rare Right Whale means you may even see a more unusual species. The trips are narrated by a naturalist who share the natural history of the area and teach guests about whale biology and their natural habitat.

Seal

Seal

Seals of approval- Everyone loves to see seals, and we recommend to our guests that they stop by the fish market in Chatham to see all of the seals that wait for the fishing vessels to return and the dinner that they receive when the fishermen throw into the waters their unused bait. Adorable grey and harbor seals are frequent visitors to Lower Cape beaches, where they swim, frolic and sunbathe. Blue Claw Boat Tours out of Orleans brings seal watchers to the shores of Pleasant Bay. The Monomoy Island ferry, based in Chatham, takes visitors to the Monomoy National Wildlife refuge, barrier islands off the Cape Cod elbow that are home to a sprawling colony. Recent news last summer included shark sightings since the seal habitat has become so large and makes for a nice meal to the sharks:(

Birds of a Feather- Midsummer is a perfect time to view migrating shorebirds including short-billed dowitchers, whimbreds, Hudson godwits- taking a break en route to South America. Diane Silverstein is a local expert and is a member of the Cape Cod Bird Club. Members provide free guided walks in bird friendly spots from Sandwich to P’Town. For self guided strolls look for barn swallows and Baltimore orioles at the Ashumet Holly Wildlife Sanctuary in East Falmouth, herons and terns in the National Seashore on the outer Cape, or ospreys at the Cape Cod Natural History Museum.

Osprey at the Natural history Museum

Osprey at the Natural history Museum

Not to be missed are the array of bird life that can be seen from the bird feeders in the front and rear of the Captain Freeman Inn. Guest have recently seen cardinals, finches, woodpeckers, robins of course, and chickadees.

Finch resting in our Lazy Susans last summer

Finch resting in our Lazy Susans last summer

Audubon- The Cape’s Audubon wildlife sanctuaries can be a great place to view egrets, herons and ospreys, but there is more to be seen at these properties. The Wellfleet Bay sanctuary offers walks, lectures, and kid’s day camps. At Long Pasture in Barnstable, visitors can wander the Butterfly Mosaic trail looking for unique butterflies, diamond back terrapin and pipping plovers, or maybe the threatened spadefoot toad.

Baby plover

Baby plover

On Martha’s Vineyard visit Felix Neck sanctuary to hike four miles of trails, watch resident barn owls or sample wild edibles. You can find scheduled for each at http://www.massaudubon.org

Walking trails full of nature including the trails in our Brewster Nickerson State Park, the unique White Cedar Swamp Trail at the National Seashore where you can enjoy an easy 1.5 mile walk on an elevated boardwalk with swampy trees and peat lined swamp full of unique bird life.

Ahhhhh, exhaling on Cape Cod and being amazed at all of the natural beauty and wildlife that surrounds our two inns, Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn.

Captain Freeman Inn on Cape Cod Captain Freeman Inn on Cape Cod[

 

Dancing Chef at the Captain Freeman Inn on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

First Unitarian Cemetery

First Unitarian Cemetery

This Memorial Day I feel truly humbled and thankful for the freedom we have in our country.  I know we owe this wonderful way of life, that we sometimes take for granted, to all of our veterans. Thank you!

Since loosing my mother this past winter I find myself being  appreciative of the little things in life and cherishing all of the wonderful family, friends and staff that we have around us. We were full this weekend at both of our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa and the Captain Freeman Inn.  My husband and I were a little concerned as we have been short handed since our J-1 students have not arrived yet. Happy to report that we had a spectacular weekend with happy guests and sunny weather. We are blessed to have a wonderful staff that work hard and are such fun people to be around. Yesterday’s breakfast is a perfect example. We had 22 people for breakfast at the Freeman and last minute heard that our young high school server, Claire, had come down with a bad virus. Her Mom Ann, who is a spa therapist at our other inn, Brewster by the Sea, came to the rescue. Thanks Ann!

Dear friend and massage therapist, Ann

Dear friend and massage therapist, Ann

Our wonderful chef Nick was in a devilish mood and had jazz  playing on the radio. He was singing and dancing in the kitchen as he prepared our wonderful breakfast of fresh pineapple, apricot scones and croissant egg sandwiches. I was especially pleased with his new presentation of the main course.

Croissant Egg Sandwich

Croissant Egg Sandwich

I was able to get a little snap shot of his fine dancing but no words or pictures can truly describe his spontaneous dancing in our inn’s kitchen…….he told me afterwards that “food comes out better when you dance to it”  Thanks Nick for making such wonderful breakfasts and teas for us at the Captain Freeman Inn.

Chef Nick dancing in our kitchen

Chef Nick dancing in our kitchen

Nick dancing in our kitchen

Nick dancing in our kitchen

Exhaling on Cape Cod and feeling very blessed this Memorial Day weekend.

Low tide in Brewster

Low tide in Brewster

Brewster in Bloom at the Freeman

Captain Freeman Inn

Captain Freeman Inn

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

We  love our inn for many reasons but the one that stands out over and over is that we are so blessed to live in our wonderful small town of Brewster. It is a small community that is on the quiet side of the Cape and the town captures what many of us remember as “old time America” .

Brewster in Bloom is a town celebration that captures that feeling and includes a band concert at a local church, craft fairs and hopefully tons of daffodils in bloom. This years the daffodils coincided perfectly with the celebration. Our favorite part is the parade which runs down main street right in front of the Freeman. We love to sit in our rockers and watch the parade go by.

Rocking  at the Freeman

Rocking at the Freeman

Some of our favorite pics from the parade:

Family School float

Family School float

Brewster in Bloom parade cycling

Brewster in Bloom parade cycling

The loud part of the parade

The loud part of the parade

great music

great music

great fun

great fun

Clam water from the library:)

Clam water from the library:)

parents joining in on the fun

parents joining in on the fun

Exhaling on Cape Cod and happy spring to everyone.

New Cooking School Calendar at the Captain Freeman Inn

by Donna Cain

Cooking School at the Freeman

Cooking School at the Freeman

We have a fabulous time each winter during our Cape Cod Culinary cooking schools at the Captain Freeman Inn. Chef Carol will continue conducting the class. This year’s calendar is filled with some new comfort foods including bread and soups, all from the areas that we love in Europe including Italy, Spain and France.

The cooking school package includes a one or two night stay at either the Captain Freeman Inn or our sister property Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa. The package includes a fabulous breakfast each day, cooking school for two and wine tasting and dinner afterwards. We pair both red and white wines to compliment our evening meal. Guests can sample different wines and decide which one they would like to enjoy with their meal. The dinner always concludes with a wonderful dessert or biscotti that I love to dunk in the dessert wine:)

Savory breakfast the the Freeman

Savory breakfast the the Freeman

2014/2015 Schedule

November 8, 2014- France

CookingSchool-20131109-0007

In Paris the crisp fall air is filled with smells of baking bread and simmering comfort food. The flavors are amazing but the best part is that these classic dishes are simple and fun to make. We will make French bread, classic French Onion soup and French garlic sausage and butternut bisque that will transport you to Paris.

mushrooms from a previous class

mushrooms from a previous class

January 17, 2015 – Northern Italy

Winter chills mean fragrant country loaves and simmering soups overflowing with the bounty of the Tuscan hills. We will make country bread, stracchiatella, chicken and egg soup and hearty white bean and kale soup. Flavors to delight an Italian palate.

February 7,2015- Spain

CookingSchool-20131109-0028

Winter is the season for warm bread dipped in fragrant olive oil and simple but beautiful paella, the comfort food of Spain. This hearty and simple rice sauté traditionally loaded with seafood and poultry. We will honor our local seafood bounty and prepare a sausage and scallop delight with all of the seasonings of Espagna!

cookingSchool-20120114-0013

February 21, 2015- France/Provence

cookingSchool-20120114-0047

As the cold mistral winds blow across the lavender fields of Provence, learn to shape French loaves in many shapes and sizes and enjoy classic Bouillabaisse, the provencal city of Marseille’s world famous seafood soup made with our local bounty of fish and seafood.

March 7, 2015- Southern Italy/Sicily

As spring approaches the hills of Sicily we will make hearty Sicilan country bread and two wonderful soups: Ribolitta (literally bread soup)and escarole soup with veal meatballs.

April 11, 2015- Spain, Portugal and Morocco

Where northern Africa meets southern Europe the flavors of Spain, Portugal and Morocco are all influenced by their common geography and unique histories. We will make traditional flat bread with its soft pillowy texture and amazing flavors. To accompany our bread, a selection of delicate soups and hearty tagine highlighting the local flavors of the region.

Our winter classes fill up quickly so it’s important to get your reservations in early. The package price includes best available room at time of booking giving you even more reason to book early so that you can reserve your favorite room.
cookingSchool-20120114-0046

Bon Appetite and Exhaling on Cape Cod!

Herring run in Brewster

by Donna Cain, Innkeper and owner

We always know when spring is here as we hear all of the seagulls “squaking” with content at the Stoney Brook Grist Mill which is just behind our second inn, Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa. It’s quite a sight to see the seagulls swooping down and eating many of the herring that are jumping upstream to reach Upper Mill pond where they will spawn over the summer months.

Herring Run

Herring Run.

It was interesting to read that the herring population is very healthy and increasing every year. The article below was written last year by the “Wicked Local” There is much debate as to why the population is increasing. When we first moved here over 10 years ago it was fun to watch the kids catching the herring in their nets. When the population starting decreasing you could not get a permit to catch the herring.

Herring at Stony Brook

2007 – 22,300
2008 – 25,289

2009 – 11,062

2010 – 48,099

2011 – 37,091

2012 – 41,028

2013 – 153,262

(one wonders how they can count the actual number of herring:)

Herring in Brewster

Herring in Brewster

They won’t be packing barrels of smoked herring out of the Stony Brook Mill site like they used to 100 years ago, but maybe some day folks will be able to dip their nets in to catch the sparkling silver fish once more for their private smoking.

The Association to Preserve Cape Cod reports last spring’s estimated record run of herring was 153,262 fish.

“It’s certainly encouraging to see this big increase at Stony Brook,” said noted Jo Ann Muramoto, senior scientist at the Association to Preserve Cape Cod, who oversees their work with herring. “Still it’s so, so low compared to historic records based on the barrels of fish they used to take out. I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet.”

Prior to 1903 Brewster had an official herring catcher who had to supply each town family with one eighth of barrel of herring a year. The average annual catch was 225 barrels. In contrast, in 1912, Harwich’s Herring River produced 1,200 barrels.

The official “record” only covers eight years, the formal herring counts began in 2007 but it still a good sign. The previous high was 48,099 in 2010 so this represents a tripling.

The question is, is the bounce due to the reworked (in fall 2010) culvert under Route 6A, which is now 18-feet wide instead of 4 feet, or does it reflect a general rebound of herring around the state?

“I’d like to think it’s a combination of both of those,” Muramoto said. “I do think making the culvert wider has made a difference. During the run itself a number of people including myself stood over the culvert and looked down at thousands of herring schooling to pass through the culvert whereas before maybe a dozen could move up at one time. An entire school could make it through now.”

Muramoto explained that herring seem to like to form a school before they move upstream.

“It’s probably the way they migrate upstream. If you watch at different points they seem to like to congregate in schools. This schooling pattern is pretty common,” she said.

Herring

Herring

That could be a way to reduce the chance of predation by gulls or other animals.

Massachusetts imposed a three-year moratorium on herring harvests (both alewife and blueback herring, both in the genus Alosa) on Jan. 1, 2006. That was extended for another three years in 2008 and has continued since. Connecticut and Rhode Island have also closed their herring fisheries however herring can be caught in the open ocean as a bycatch of other fisheries, especially Atlantic herring (Clupea Harengas). Most of the bycatch occurs around Cape Cod, according to a 2008 study.

“The effects of fishing at sea are not well controlled,” Muramoto observed.

Dana Condit, head of Brewster Mill Site Committee, puts more stock in the fishery shutdown than the new culvert.

“I grew up right there and I remember in the ’60’s they’d show up like this year and they would use that culvert,” Condit said. “In 1968 they changed the configuration where the fish go into the pond and they navigated that in huge numbers.”

The Stony Brook fishery was big business in those days.

“They used to sieve them out in the back of dump trucks and in barrels on tailor trucks. They took a lot of herring out of there,” Condit recalled.

Last year (2012) saw big runs of herring in the Charles and Black rivers, as well as at Stony Brook and in the Monument River in Bourne.

“This may have begun in 2012 and is continuing this year. We’ll know better when the Division of Marine Fisheries presents the results from around the state later this month,” Muramoto said. “I think 32 runs are monitored in Massachusetts. The highest numbers are on Cape Cod.”

Muramoto works with herring monitors in several towns.

“There are increases in some, others are the same,” she said. “The Herring River in Wellfleet almost doubled this year. Pilgrim Lake (in Orleans) was the same. The Mashpee River was the same but some counts were lost. The Quashnet (River) was the same. The increase for Stony Brook was one of the most dramatic.”

“I talked with construction guys from the DMF and they had wonderful numbers everywhere. It wasn’t just us,” Condit said. “A lot of runs did very well off Cape.”

The herring run generally peaks in late April and early May. Muramoto recruits 15 to 20 volunteers to do the counts. Nine counts are done each day at random times during herring season, at a designated location, each count lasts 10 minutes. Herring runs in Bournedale and Sandwich have electronic counters.

The herring do run at night, but nighttime counts have been problematic.

“We’ve tried to use a video camera underwater at night but had severe lighting problems,” Muramoto said. “We weren’t successful seeing fish.”

We stopped by the Herring run last night and Byron was able to get some great shots of the herring in the water. The pictures have an impressionistic feel and we both loved the shots so much that we want to frame some.

Herring in Brewster

Herring in Brewster

This particular evening the seagulls were flying overhead but were not swooping down for dinner…..maybe they had their fill for the day.

Herring

Herring

Many of our guests staying at the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea love visiting the Brewster Grist Mill. This weekend the town is celebrating Brewster in Bloom and the mill will be open for tours. They will also be selling their wonderful ground corn meal. We love to purchase the ground corn for our wonderful Captain Freeman Corn Muffins which we serve regularly at the inn.

Happy Spring!

Cape Cod Boutique Inn is inspired by nature

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

Beach shells

Beach shells

One of our favorite things in life is walking on our Cape Cod beaches.

walking the beach with Harrison

walking the beach with Harrison

This past week we found some beautiful shells that spoke to me. I am fascinated with color and am always looking for new color schemes and decor to use at the inn. We are a “boutique inn on Cape Cod” as each room is tastefully decorated in a unique theme. Our main objective is to have an elegant feel combined with a relaxed feeling. My husband always teases me in that I am always talking about a feeling……but I know our guests pay attention to their feelings during their stay and we strive to make every guest feel both relaxed and pampered during their stay at the Captain Freeman Inn.

DSC_2967

Since nature is a perfect place to relax, I often use color tones that are found in nature. I was intrigued when I found a shell that pulled together beautiful tones of blue, grey and tan. it would be fun to find a modern painting with these color tones as a base for decorating the room. The walls and fabric treatments could work around the painting…what fun! Can’t wait to decide which room I will be redecorating at the Captain Freeman Inn.

A guest’s winter experience

By Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Breakfast is one of my favorite times at the inn, and I always love to ask guests about their previous day’s experiences. This past weekend we had a lovely repeat guest stay with us that comes to Cape Cod to rest and rejuvenate. I so loved hearing about her adventures that I asked if I could mention some of her favorites in our blog. She was glad to share and actually e-mailed me one that she had forgotten to mention. Listed below are some of her favorites:

The Rose Dorothea Schooner Library in P”town-

Rose Dorothea Schooner Library

Rose Dorothea Schooner Library

For those that have never visited the library, it is a wonderful experience filled with a unique surprise- there is a replica boat in the middle of the building that is filled with history.

Rose Dorothea schooner

Rose Dorothea schooner

The Rose Dorothea won the “Lipton Cup”in a dramatic finish in 1907. The Lipton Cup was a special prize offered by Sir Thomas Lipton, who was an avid yachtsman, for the Fisherman’s Cup Race, a 42 mile race which took place in Massachusetts Bay, between Boston and Gloucester. The boat was an Indianhead schooner, designed by Tom McManus and built in 1905, at a cost of $15,000. In 1917 the schooner was sunk by German U-boat while traveling from Portugal to Saint John’s with a cargo of salt. Her crew escaped into dories and made it safely to Lisbon.
The boat that is found in the library is a half scale replica and was built as a tribute to Provincetown’s fishermen and New England ship building. Master ship builder Francis A. Flyer Santos oversaw construction, which started in 1977. The sails were hand sewn by Ernest W. Smith of New Bedford, one of the few men left who could create authentic sails for a Grand Banks Schooner. The Schooner sits on the second floor of the library with the sails high (the ceiling was modified to fit the tall masts) above which was originally the sanctuary of the Center Methodist Episcopal Church of Provincetown, built in 1860.

Wired Puppy , Specialty coffee and tea

Wired Puppy

Wired Puppy

We love coffee and tea and are anxious to try out this wonderful coffee shop. Our guest raved about the wonderful selection of teas ,and she chose the decaf jasmine green which is a loose tea option available at this eclectic house.

Napi’s restaurant, Provincetowns most unique restaurant-

Napi's restaurant

Napi’s restaurant

Our guest is vegetarian with some food allergies so we recommended  Napi’s. They have many vegetarian options and the menu is very eclectic and the clam chowder delicious!

Wellfleet Wildlife Sanctuary
Wellfleet Bay provides peace and unmatched beauty on the hillsides and shoreline overlooking Wellfleet Harbor. Extensive trails bring you to a panoramic salt marsh, sandy barrier beach, and pine woodlands, each attracting a wide array of wildlife. The sanctuary features a universally accessible trail and an award-winning “green” nature center with professional exhibits and aquariums. There is a $5 entrance fee to walk the trails which is worth every penny!

Brewster Fish House-

Bar at the Brewster Fish House

Bar at the Brewster Fish House

The Brewster Fish House is still our favorite restaurant on Cape Cod, simple, elegant dining that uses fresh local fish.

Harrison

Our lovable Harrison

Our lovable Harrison

Leslie loved Harrison, and she mentioned that spending time with him each morning had soothing affect on her soul and heart. We totally understand as our 4 legged friend loves us unconditionally.

White Cedar Swamp-

White Cedar Swamp

White Cedar Swamp

We found this wonderful walk trail last winter and have been recommending it to our guests ever since. The trail is found in the Marconi Beach area and includes a well maintained walk path and board walk through the swamp.

The Chocolate Sparrow-

The Chocolate Sparrow

The Chocolate Sparrow

We visit the Chocolate Sparrow frequently, and I love the Sparrow coffee which includes a chocolate flavoring. Our guest loved the atmosphere and was pleased when they accommodated her food allergies.

Last but not least our guest mentioned that she loved coming back to the Captain Freeman to rest by the fire in her room to read.

Truro fireplace

Truro fireplace

 We left her some gluten free cookies in her room to enjoy with a good cup of Harney and Son tea.

Thanks Leslie for staying with us and sharing all of your favorite spots.

 

Spanish Cooking School at the Captain Freeman

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

We recently had our first cooking school of the season which included Spanish food from Valencia. Our Chef Carol Edmondson continued the tradition of providing wonderful cooking tips in the class and later an over the top delicious meal which we enjoyed in the fireside dining room at the Captain Freeman Inn.

Our wonderful chef, Carol

Our wonderful chef, Carol

The menu included warm lemon, garlic and rosemary olives,

warm olives

warm olives

figs with goats cheese,

Fresh figs served with goat's cheese

Fresh figs served with goat’s cheese

warm garlic and herb flat bred and the show stopper, Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo.

Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo

Paella with duck, seafood and chorizo

All of our cooking school meals include a wonderful fresh salad and a dessert that pairs perfectly with the meal . For this dinner Carol chose  Valencia oranges in Rioja wine with Manchego.

It was fun to learn a different way to grill the peppers which was actually quite simple and included just holding the pepper over the stove flame and then pealing away the burnt skin.

fresh roasted peppers

fresh roasted peppers

Our classes always include Wine tasting before our meal and Byron was so excited about the Spanish wines he was able to find. For those wine conoseurs, a detail description of the wines we served is noted below:
Wine

RED
• Zerran – 2011 Montsant
Garnacha 50%, Mazuelao40%, Syrah 10%

• The Saint – Rioja – 2008 Reserva
Tempranillo

• Los Dos 2012 – Campo De Borja
Grenache 85% & Syrah 15%

• Laya 2012 – Garnacha Tintorera 70% , Monastrell 30%
WHITE
• Godello 2011 – Castelo Do Papa
Godello 100%

• Licia Albarino 2011 – Rias Baixas
SPANISH WINES – Grape Variey Descriptions for wines in our tasting.
Albariño – White. Native to Galicia, with small, very sweet glyceric berries which produce high quality wines. It is the basic grape of Rías Baixas DO. There has been a dramatic increase in the area planted with this grape over the last few years.
Godello – White. A high quality, very aromatic grape. Native to Galicia, new planting has been encouraged in the last few years, especially in Valdeorras DO. It is considered a main variety in Valdeorras and Bierzo DOs.
Garnacha Tinta – Red Garnacha. A high-yielding grape that produces vigorous wines. This is the most widely grown red grape in Spain, especially in La Rioja, Madrid, Navarre, Tarragona, Teruel, Toledo and Zaragoza.
Cariñena (Mazuelo) – Red. Produces robust, balanced wines. An excellent complement to Garnacha, it is widely planted in Catalonia and La Rioja, where it is known as “Mazuela”.
Monastrell – A red, very sweet and productive grape. It produces wines with a deep colour and considerable alcoholic content. It is mainly found in Murcia (52%), Alicante, Albacete and Valencia and it is considered a main variety in DOs such as Alicante, Almansa, Costers del Segre, Jumilla, Penedés, Valencia and Yecla.
Syrah – Red. A variety thought to have come from Persia, grown extensively in central and southern France. Hermitage wines are usually 100% Syrah. Very little is grown in Spain (principally Catalonia and La Mancha).
Tempranillo – Red. Superb quality and very aromatic, the star of Spanish grapes. It is called Ull de Llebre in Catalonia, Cencibel in Castile-La Mancha and Madrid, and Tinto Fino and Tinto del Pais in Castile and Leon. It flourishes in Burgos, La Rioja, Alava, Cuenca and Ciudad Real. It is considered a main variety in the following DOs: Calatayud, Cigales, Conca de Barbera, Costers del Segre, La Mancha, Penedes, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Somontano, Utiel-Requena, Valdepenas, and Vinos de Madrid.
WINE DESCRIPTIONS
BODEGAS ORDONEZ 2011 ZERRAN MONTSANT – RATINGS – WA 92 ; IWC 91+
Zerran is another fantastic deal from Spain. The 2011 Bodegas Ordoñez Zerran is a blend of 50% Garnacha, 40% Mazuelo (aka Carignan), and 10% Syrah sourced from vines that were planted between 1934 and 1942 (so the youngest vines are 70+ years old!).
The only ‘shock’ was how good this was in the glass, the wine’s explosive fruit component with notes of boysenberry, plum, and blackberry with a hint of cola taking center stage. There’s good minerality and acidity to balance out the fruit and the soft tannins make this bottle very approachable right now.
Very expressive, very versatile, very affordable, this has all the makings of a first class ‘house red’ or party go-to. There are excellent notes from both Wine Advocate (92 points) and International Wine Cellar (91+ points) as well as some enthusiastic words. It reveals abundant kirsch, lavender, black raspberry and dusty, loamy, earthy scents intermixed with notions of spring flowers and blackberries. There is not any oak evident in this dense effort.” Excellent value. Stock Report Aug. 2013
Robert Parker writes in Wine Advocate: “Even more so is the 2011 Zerran, which ratchets up the level of concentration and ripe fruit. It reveals abundant kirsch, lavender, black raspberry and dusty, loamy, earthy scents intermixed with notions of spring flowers and blackberries. There is not any oak evident in this dense effort. Its completeness and overall equilibrium are impressive, and this great value should drink well for 5-6 years, possibly longer. (There is no track record for these wines in terms of aging.) Production from the Rueda vineyard (38.3 acres) owned by Jorge Ordonez was begun in 2011. This well-known white wine appellation sits on the border of the province of Segovia. The 2010 and 2011 Zerran come from a vineyard planted at 1,500-1,800 feet altitude. They are blends of Grenache, Mazuelo and Syrah whose vines were planted between 1934 and 1942.”
Josh Raynolds writes in International Wine Cellar: “Vivid purple. Aromas of black raspberry, spicecake and musky herbs, with a smoky topnote. Densely packed and youthful, with spicy dark berry flavors accented by cracked pepper and a touch of candied violet. Tannins build on the zesty finish, which shows refreshing bitterness and a touch of boysenberry.”
2008 The Saint Rioja Reserva
Website: http://www.thesaintwine.com – Region: Rioja Varietal: Tempranillo
Coined by Jancis Robinson as “Spain’s answer to Cabernet Sauvignon,” its style varies significantly depending on terroir and the wine-making techniques used. Cooler regions and stainless steel fermentation tend to produce Tempranillos with fresh strawberry and cherry like fruit, similar in body to Pinot Noir. Examples from hotter, more arid regions that undergo extended oak aging often produce richer, plumper, jammier wines, typically exhibiting chocolate, tobacco, and leather notes. Tempranillo provides the backbone of the highly regarded wines of Rioja, Toro and Ribera del Duero. In Rioja particularly, it is typically blended with Garnacha (Grenache), Mazuelo (Carignan) and Graciano. In La Mancha and Navarra, it is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to produce inexpensive, great-value wines. One of the few places Tempranillo has spread to is Spain’s neighbour, Portugal. Grown mainly in the Douro valley since the mid 19th century, where they call it Tinta Roriz, it is used as one of the key blending agents in port. Lately it has been used in the region’s intensely rich, dry, table wines.
With more area under vines than any other country, it ranks third in terms of quantity of wine produced. The range of its wines is a reflection of the country’s regional climatic diversity ranging from the rich and sumptuous reds of the hot and arid Ribera del Duero to the light, crisp whites of the cool Atlantic region of Galicia and Basque Country. For some of the country’s best reds, try the regions of Rioja, Navarra, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, and Murcia. Spain is also nsible for some of the world’s finest fortified and dessert wines, the finest of which come from the town Jerez (Sherry), in Andalucía.
Complex aromas of ripe fruit blend with smoky fine woods. The wine is fantastically well structured and has a long lingering finish. The Saint Rioja is a deep ruby colored wine that displays an abundance of fruit enhanced by a full 26 months of oak aging. On the palate it shows big fruit, spice and outstanding concentration of flavors with impeccable balance. This Reserva will continue to age well for at least 10 years. The Saint Reserva Rioja will match well to most dishes for the perfect pairing, try this with grilled meats, BBQ and mushroom or seafood risottos. Enjoy this wine with good food and good friends or, try it alone in your room with the door locked, you’re the boss!

2012 Los Dos Grenache / Syrah
Brand: Bodegas Aragonesas – Region: Campo de Borja – Varietal: Grenache Blend Style: Red Wine
Winemaker’s Notes:
From slopes on the edge of the Sierra Iberica, just south of Navarra where Garnacha is king, this special cuvée blends Syrah with rich Garnacha produced from vines of 30 years of age. The resulting wine is nuanced and elegant. Fermentation is classical, with no carbonic maceration. Aging is entirely in stainless steel. The wine is immediately aromatic, full and friendly on the palate and finishes with a refinedlength.
Almira Los Dos is bright cherry red with violet hues and has a pleasantly intense and complex aroma of subtle fruit and balsam, with a full, well-structured and lingering taste.
85% Grenache and 15% Syrah The fun and fruity character of Los Dos might seem simple at first taste, but Grenache and Syrah have been making hap…
RP: 87 + Wine critic This is a dark rich wine with a nice fruity aroma. Bold black berry flavor, that hold it flavor right to the finish. The tannin on the finish were … Read more
classic old world Garnacha dark-fruit-forward flavor profile with a long, dry, spicy Syrah finish. would be excellent with something like carolina-… Read more
A round, fruit-foward palate of cherries and blackberries carries through to a refined, lengthy finish. Read more
Suggested Recipe Pairing presented by
Spain Easy Paella featuring RiceSelect™ Arborio Rice – RiceSelect™ Arborio Rice has an exceptional ability to absorb flavors, which makes it the perfect choice for tasty paella and Spanish Red Wines
Parsnip Risotto with Pancetta and Sage Recipe
Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass Recipe
Garlic-Infused Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root Recipe
02/17/2012
This is a dark rich wine with a nice fruity aroma. Bold black berry flavor, that hold it flavor right to the finish. The tannin on the finish were present but smooth. We had this with some spice chili that my wife prepared, I wondered how this wine would match with the hot and spice dish. This wine stood it ground, it’s flavor came through the spices in the chili nicely, even mellowing out the chili a little. One spoon of chili followed by a sip of wine (alright , maybe a gulp), then some more chili. It was great. Two years ago a reviewed a 2008 vintage of Los Dos, but I was not impressed and stated I would not purchase again. I am happy that I forgot about that review. I would buy the 2010 vintage again.
Snooth User: kleith
classic old world Garnacha dark-fruit-forward flavor profile with a long, dry, spicy Syrah finish. would be excellent with something like carolina-style smoked pulled pork with a vinegar slaw topping (with cilantro, I think). Keep it at proper temp, as Garnacha can get cloying if let get too warm and Syrah loses dimension when too cold.
External Reviews for Los Dos Grenache Syrah Campo de Borja 10/05/2011
A round, fruit-foward palate of cherries and blackberries carries through to a refined, lengthy finish.
External Review Source: Astor Wines & Spirits 09/28/2011
An excellent Spanish red from the Campo de Borja region, made from a blend of old-vine Garnacha and a bit of Syrah. Dark, fresh and – no surprise – deliciously “grapey” on the palate. Light, silky tannins make for a very pleasant finish. Try it with grilled fare for a failsafe pairing.
Winemaker’s Notes: From slopes on the edge of the Sierra Iberica, just south of Navarra where Garnacha is king, this special cuvée blends Syrah with rich Garnacha produced from vines of 35 to 50 years of age. The resulting wine exhibits an elegance rarely encountered in the wines from this DO. Fermentation is classical, with no carbonic maceration. Aging is entirely in stainless steel. The wine is immediately aromatic, full and friendly on the palate, and finishes with a refined length.
Tasting Notes: The fun and fruity character of Los Dos might seem simple at first taste, but Grenache and Syrah have been making happy noise together for centuries in the southern Rhône Valley. The grape duo are no less rewarding in this wine, showing oodles of fruit such as mulberries, boysenberries, and raspberries.
BODEGAS ATALAYA 2012 LAYA ALMANSA
WA 90
Neal Martin writes in Wine Advocate: “The 2012 Laya, a blend of 70% Garnacha and 30% Monastrell, has a superb bouquet of pure dark cherries, blackberry and incense that would normally grace a wine far more expensive. The palate is medium-bodied with layers of succulent black fruit that is neatly entwined with the subtle French oak. It is not a complex wine, but it is supremely well-crafted for the unbeatable price. Excellent.”

Not only is Spain cranking out an abundance of great values overall, there are certain sources that have consistently hit the mark year after year. One of the producers that we keep going back to is the Gil family. These are the folks who bring you an impressive list of exciting wines: Bodegas Atalaya, Juan Gil, Shaya, Can Blau, and El Nido. We’ve carried the Laya every year ever since the inaugural 2009 vintage was released in the U.S.. There have been changes in the organizational aspects of the company since that time. But thus far there have been no changes in the quality and value of what goes in the bottle. This 2012 Bodegas Atalaya Laya from Almansa is a blend of 70% Garnacha Tintorera (aka Alicante Bouschet) with 30% Monastrell (aka Mourvedre). Although every vintage has been quite the juicy value, this is the first vintage that pulled in 90 points from The Wine Advocate. Neal Martin of The Wine Advocate writes, “It is not a complex wine, but it is supremely well-crafted for the unbeatable price.” There are immediate impressions of mixed berry preserves with a hint of smoked meats and fresh cracked pepper that carry from your nose to your palate. There is also surprising volume and length for a wine at this modest price. You might want to keep a few bottles handy for those summertime neighborhood BBQ’s or as a hearty all-around house go-to. A juicy ‘90-pointer’ for $7, this is definitely a case buy.

Lícia Albariño 2011
Wine Description
Lícia is a shortening of Galicia, the autonomía in northwest Spain known for its Celtic influence and overall greenness due to the maritime climate. This refreshing, flavorful white is made from 100% Albariño, sourced from the subzones of Condado de Tea and O Rosal in DO Rías Baixas. Situated along the border with Portugal, vineyards in these subzones benefit from the drier climate and warmer growing season.
Tasting Notes
Straw yellow with greenish hues, the Lícia Albariño has strong varietal characteristics with hints of grapefruit, candied fruit, quince jelly, notes of fresh herbs, green apples, and minerals. It is fullbodied and wellbalanced, highlighting the aromas of citrus and green apple, with a long and persistent finish.
Food Pairing – This wine pairs deliciously with grilled fish—or any kind of seafood—Asian cuisines, rice dishes, salads and grilled vegetables.

Castelo do Papa
Papa, spicy scents of citrus peel, green apple and anise, with a salty mineral overlay. Fresh and taut, with the wine’s minerality dominating fresh apple and pear fruit and notes of fresh herbs adding complexity Exceptionally concentrated and focused. Finishes brisk and persistent. This fresh, mineral-inflected Godello will pair well with swordfish sautéed in butter and wild herbs, grilled or pan-fried sweet veal or pork sausage, and a host of casual foods like tapas, pasta with white clam sauce or fried oyster sandwiches.
Wine Advocate
Made from the indigenous Spanish varietal Godello (25-year old, organically farmed vines), this cuvee is aged completely in steel and sees no malolactic fermentation. A restrained yet intense minerality along with spicy, lemony, flinty, stony notes make for a fresh, medium-bodied, complex white to enjoy over the next year.
Score: 90. —Robert Parker, August 2012.

Best Wines to Pair with Paella?
Fabulous Blog Post – http://enofylzwineblog.com/2013/03/27/best-wines-to-pair-with-paella/
Every cuisine has at least one – a one-pot meal, a dish of humble origins that is the quintessential definition of that place and people. There’s Gumbo, Cassoulet, Risotto, Irish Stew and Pad Thai to name a few. And the Spanish? Well, they have paella. March 27th is National Paella Day.
Paella originated Valencia region of Spain.
Paella was originally farmers’ and farm labourers’ food, cooked by the workers over a wood fire for the lunchtime meal. It was made with rice, plus whatever was to hand around the rice fields and countryside: tomatoes, onions and snails, with a few beans added for flavour and texture. Rabbit or duck might also have been added, and for special occasions, chicken plus a touch of saffron for an extra special colour and flavour. Paella was also traditionally eaten straight from the pan in which it was cooked with each person using his own wooden spoon.
There are three main types of paella; Valencian consists of rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck, pork), land snails, beans and seasoning; Seafood replaces meat and snails with seafood such as prawns, mussels, and clams and omits beans and green vegetables, and Mixed, a combination of meat, seafood, vegetables.

Paella Valenciana (image courtesy of daytondailynews.com
In addition to the three main types of Paella, two other popular variations are Vegetarian, which typically contain vegetables like artichokes, lima beans, red and green peppers,and Paella Negra, which is typically seafood, cooked with squid ink, so it looks black.

My personal favorite – Paella Negra (image courtesy of piospaella.com)
When pairing paella with wine, I recommend keeping a few food and wine pairing guidelines in mind:
• What grow together, goes together – I prefer to pair with wines from Spain, Portugal, or wine from the neighboring Languedoc-Roussillon region in Southern France. Outside of Spain or France, consider Sangiovese or Pinot Noir for red wine.
• Pair humble with humble, great with great – Paella has humble origins, I generally pair with inexpensive wines unless it’s a special occasion.
• Sparkling wines go with almost anything – Pair Valencian, Mixed, and Negra paella with rosé Cava and Seafood and Vegetarian with Brut Cava

Can’t wait for the next class. We have a few slots left  in the Naples class.

February 8, 2014     Naples, Campagnia

March 1, 2014     Rome
March 29, 2014     Provence

Crepes for Breakfast at the Captain Freeman Inn

Sweet crepes with mascarpone and lemon curd

Sweet crepes with Mascarpone and Lemon Curd

I have always loved a good crepe and have fond memories of my mother making them for breakfast and serving them hot with our homemade raspberry jam……the tradition continues at the Captain Freeman Inn. We serve both a sweet and savory version during our two week menu rotation in the summer months.

This morning we served the sweet crepe that was filled with a very thin layer of Lemon Curd and Mascarpone cheese. On the side was plenty of our homemade raspberry jam that is made from the raspberries grown in our patch at our sister property, Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa. Many guest like to have a protein with their breakfast meal so we offered our very special fresh Hickory smoked Bacon and eggs any way you like.

Buckwheat Crepes

Buckwheat Crepes

Our savory version is made with a little bit of buckwheat. We serve that with an over easy egg (or any way you like them) The savory crepe has gruyere cheese and black forest ham. The cheese is also melted on the top……ummmmmm, what a yummy combination!

Here’s to breakfast dining at the Captain Freeman Inn!

Former Guest of the Captain Freeman, Suzy Brooks makes headlines

Suzy Brooks, third grade teacher.

Suzy Brooks, third grade teacher.

“Class Act” was the title of the headline of our local newspaper this morning. When I glanced over the headlines I knew the face looked familiar but I did make the connection that Suzy Brooks and her husband had stayed with us for our French cooking school at the Captain Freeman Inn.

Suzy was one of five teachers nationwide to receive the national award recognizing her social media savvy in the classroom. The third grade teacher at Mullen Hall School in Falmouth has more then 12,000 followers on Pinterest, where she shares teaching strategies, links, tools and suggestions. Add to that 600 friends on her professional Facebook page and more than 3,000 twitter followers, and it’s no wonder her fellow educators call her a social media rock star.

Congratulations Suzy!