Salem Sips' returns with Spring Vin de Soif

by Kit Rose

It may seem like wishful thinking now that we basically skipped winter this year, but behold a 70-degree day and all that's on our mind is seeking a refreshing, gulpable, thirst quenching white wine to enjoy while soaking in the sun and not ending up "day drunk." 

The French call that wine vin de soif. In terms of wine, they've thought of every time and place one might need a particular kind. Think of this instance as these first days of outdoor thawing in the new warmth, on a plaid blanket on the beach or park with a wicker picnic basket, and of course, a little booze. 

Beer drinkers call it session beer; you know, low alcohol, and easy to drink. You can socialize for hours and barely catch a buzz. Some low alcohol wines can have the same effect. So as spring blooms, seek out an acid balanced, light bodied, green (young) tasting wine to pair with your day drinking. 

Salem Sips sought five examples to head you in the right direction on your vin de soif hunt under the welcomed sunshine. Happy Spring Sipping! availability and pricing subject to change; please inquire within each establishment. 

SOPHIA BLANC DE BLANCS has notes of juicy pear and refreshing melon, tasting zesty, fun, and dazzling as it is served in a stylish pink can. Pair it with your first lobster roll of the season at THE LOBSTER SHANTY 'S opening day on April First, 12pm. 

LUC BLAIRE RARE ROSÉ  is dramatic and rich with red and pink fruit, resulting in a harmonious off-dry sparkling blend of Syrah, Cinsault, and Grenache. Pair it with sunglasses and flip flops; find it at Loring Liquors, $29.99

HUBER GRÜNER VELTLINER is grown in the Austrian TraisentalValley, where cool nights and warm days allow Markus Huber's wines to show their unmistakable characteristics of lightness, herbaceousness, and refreshment. Pair it with a smoked salmon plate at Scratch Kitchen, $9/$30

F.E. TRIMBACH comes from the French appellation of Alsace, where low-alcohol and brightly acidic fine wines are known. Pair one with an eggy brunch dish or charcuterie board at Opus, $45

SANTA CRISTINA CAMPOGRANDE ORVIETO CLASSICO has luscious fruit and a floral nose, giving way to an easily drinkable white blend from various Italian notable regions. It pairs with virtually any food, as it is simple and remains cool and light. Pair it with a picnic basket; find it at Quality Liquors, $11.99 

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by Kit Rose


Easter Weekend is Finally Here 

As New Englanders, we can all agree not to hold our breath on the calendar's solstice first day of spring. The weekend that really kicks off blooming flowers, warm sunny days and melting snow is finally here; Easter Weekend. We drool over the season's first harvest of fruits and vegetables, farm fresh eggs and poultry, and of course, refreshing cocktails. We'll start packing away winter coats and boots and break out some strappy sandals, and our finest pastels to gather with friends and family to feast on all things spring this Sunday. 

Photo by Salem Pet Photo

Photo by Salem Pet Photo

Some of us will dine out and gorge on lavish buffets with brunch dishes,  carving stations and seasonally inspired sides and desserts, while others look forward to their family's home cooked traditions. Either way, Easter Sunday is the perfect day to break bread and cheer to your loved ones that the brutal winter we just endured is behind us.

Whether at home or dining out this weekend, here is some spring time wine and cocktail inspiration to aid you in the perfect pairing. Party punches are great for a crowd, and most fully stocked bars will carry the ingredients to whip you up a sway from the usual mimosa. Keep in mind that if you decide to dine out, most spots are reservation only, and likely booked by now, but there's always bar seating! An Easter wine guide and Kit's Spring Frittata recipe is also included to inspire your brunch menu. 

Brunch Punch Bowl 

In a punch bowl, combine a cup of peach vodka, 1/2 cup limoncello, and a quart of lemonade. Fill with ice and top with prosecco, sliced lemons, fresh raspberries and sliced peaches. Give it a good stir before serving. 

Cape Cod Mimosa

A regular mimosa with a splash of cranberry. Or try a Nantucket Red where the oj is substituted with cranberry. If you're feeling adventurous, order a shot of St. Germain or Cointreau in it. 

Bellini Bar

Invite your guests to be creative with their own concoction from options like peach puree, guava juice, strawberry puree, etc. topped with a sparkling wine of your choice. 

Easter Brunch Wine Pairing

Egg inspired brunch dishes~ pair best with sparkling wine, crisp whites like riesling or sauvignon blanc, or gamay (Beaujolais) with bacon and sausage 

Ham~ an acidic white such as gruner veltliner,  or a gentle pinot noir

Lamb~ a robust tempranillo (Rioja) or intense Barolo 

Salmon Lox~ begs for Chablis

Vegetarian~ pinot noir or Chianti, or a sparkling rosé 

Kit's Spring Frittata

Start by sautéing half an onion with 8 ounces of mixed wild mushrooms in a tablespoon each of heated oil and butter. After about 5 minutes add a cup of chopped asparagus. When vegetables are tender, add salt and pepper to taste, and remove from skillet. In same skillet, add 6-8 whisked eggs (depending on size) and allow edges to cook. Add veggies back to eggs, top with crumbled goat cheese, and bake in 400° oven for 15-20 minutes. It will be done when eggs slightly puff and brown. Serve hot. 

Happy Sunglass-ed Sipping! 

Valentine's Wine Guide by Kit Rose

Valentine's Wine Guide

by Kit Rose

Many of you will be heading out to one of our fine Salem restaurants for a romantic dinner this weekend, and what better way to indulge, splurge, and impress than a bottle of wine to share with your sweetie? Selecting the perfect pairing with dinner can be a challenge if it's not common practice for you. 

There are some staple rules to follow, or sticking to a varietal or vineyard you are familiar with, however you may be missing out on other great choices when you skip over uncharted territory. A budget could also play an important factor in your selection, a consideration not to be ignored. 

This weekend, leave behind the "red with beef, white with poultry" principle and think more about the preparation and origin of your meals. It is very common in Old World territories for wines to be stylized to compliment their cuisine; red, white, rosé, or sparkling. Sake is a wonderful pairing to Sushi, just as Cava matches up to Tapas, as examples. Below is a list of further options to break you from your comfort zone and try something new with your Valentine. 

Happy Sipping xoxo 

Seafood~ Skip the Sauvignon Blanc, and try a light bodied red such as Pinot Noir or Barbera; a refreshing Prosecco also works great with shellfish

Pasta~ Skip the Chianti (although a win with a light tomato based sauce) and go for a Shiraz for something richer; a white Soave pairs with creamy or cheesy sauces

Steak~ Skip the Cab and try a rich blended red Bordeaux, or a tannic Malbec. An oaky Chardonnay will also hold up, especially if the meat is plated with root vegetables. A Tempranillo based Rioja is also a wine to consider here 

Pork~ Skip the Merlot, and try Rosé or steel fermented Chardonnay, which both compliment pork in all of its forms- roasted, barbequed, or spicy

Chicken & Turkey~ Skip the white, and try a medium bodied Merlot to compliment poultry in its dark leg meat presentation.  Go for something bolder such as a Super Tuscan with Duck

Vegetarian~ dry and easy flavors from a Pinot Grigio is a safe bet, but try a Spanish Cava or Grenache with a spicy or heavy dish

Dessert~ coffee drinks are a no-brainer, but why not try a late harvest wine or rich and nutty sherry with something sweet and chocolaty 

Tell us in the comments~ where are you indulging this weekend and which new wine will you try? 


Here in Witch City, we are certainly one of many bustling towns "running on Dunkin'". You can't really consider yourself a true New Englander unless you've dipped a glazed doughnut in your morning coffee or hot chocolate. Just the thought alone invites warmth and comfort to a chilly, oceanfront, wintry day. However, in true Salem Sips fashion, we're here to highlight "Locals" and your favorite original spots in town. 

A hundred DD's aside, we have Ziggy's to brag about, with their quirky savory shapes in sugary chocolate form. But what if, on a Sunday morning, you want to slowly indulge and savor that sweet-fried-doughy bite with a mimosa? Or a spiked hot chocolate? Or an Apple Toddy? You could bring a dozen doughnuts to to a bar to share with friends and staff, but honestly, it's frowned upon to bring food to a place that, well, serves food. 

The solution to this, as part of a sweeping #doughnutnation, has just arrived in Salem. In our ever trendy, yet amazingly original and creative city, comes 62 Restaurant & Wine Bar's Pop-Up Sunday Morning Doughnut Bar, already approaching it's fifth week. 

Their weekly changing menu features four different house made fresh doughnuts and accompanying tiny bites, Sundays only, from 9 am till noon (or until they run out), for take out or eat in, with coffee, cappuccino,  or house made hot chocolate. Pastry Chef Erin's creations are unique and delectable; a pleasure to all of your doughnut craving senses, and unparalleled in regards to the drive-thru world. 

From 10 am until noon, the bar is open to pair your selection with a specialty cocktail, spicy Bloody Mary, or tea-infused mimosa. An insider tip: ask for your hot chocolate spiked with Solerño, a blood orange liqueur, topped with fresh whipped cream and orange zest. 

Chef Erin tells us that many themed doughnut days are being planned. Look for a DIY Doughnut Topping Day, Savory Doughnuts (umm.. eggs & bacon?), a Bubbly Bar, Staff Inspired Flavors, a hashtag photo contest, and a Valentine's Chocolate Menu. Tell us in the comments... what theme or flavor do you want to see? 

Our lovely and vibrant city does not fall short in the brunch and cocktails arena, as many noteworthy restaurants offer Eggs Benny and Bloodies. But for Booze and Doughnuts, 62 Restaurant is serving these two in favorable form. Share your visit with these hashtags: #62doughnutbar and #62doughnutlife for a chance to be reposted! Doughnuts aren't just for coffee dipping, my friends. 

Happy Sipping!