Special Cheese & Chocolate Class Wed!
Cheese & Chocolate with The AntonellisFrom Austin:
“Chocolate is a gift of love to yourself.” Sonja Blumenthal “Chocolate is happiness that you can eat.” Ursula Kohaupt
One of our projects while working from home (while virtually schooling our kids - AH!) has been to revisit and look at all our specialty food offerings holistically. We finally launched our Conservas tinned fish line (woohoo!), we updated our jams and spreads game (more on that later), and….drumroll please….we brought in a ton of new chocolate offerings!
Whether you know it or not, we’ve had a strong chocolate game since opening. In fact, we were one of the first retailers in the entire USA to bring in award-winning Marou from Vietnam, we were one of the first to feature Dick Taylor off the West Coast, and we were the very first retailer to sell The Chocolate Maker’s Studio (now Wildwood Chocolates). The hard part? As these makers have grown, they’ve been picked up by the bigger specialty grocers. Which we love! It means more income and sustainability for them. But it also means we have to work harder to keep representing the folks who need it. So, all that said, we now have roughly 4 DOZEN offerings - including many that aren’t carried in Texas and one that’s only available at 3 other shops nationwide. We’re bringing in selections from Georgia to Ghana, and we hope you’ll check them to purchase locally or for shipping. We’re still receiving new shipments and updating as they arrive. (photo from @compartes of their Donut & Coffee Chocolate)
Wed, Nov 11 - Cheese & Chocolate Pairing with The Antonellis
Want the best introduction to many of our new chocolates? Join John and me at our Wednesday night Facebook Live with The Antonellis tasting class, featuring a Cheese & Chocolate Pairing. We’ll be showcasing all new chocolates to our shop - many (if not all) that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in Central Texas. That’s right. We’ll be pairing 7 cheeses with 7 chocolates. You’ll also get a few other pairing bites and - surprise! - a complimentary 6-pack of Rambler sparkling water, which includes their brand new flavors of Lemon-Lime and Grapefruit. And if you drink it, this is a great class to add on some (optional) red wine pairings. Ready to join us, delight your tastebuds, and support some artisan chocolatiers?! Ticket details here.
Preorder your Cheese giving Boxes Today!
Thanksgiving, a traditional week of gratitude, acknowledgement, and enjoyment of family and friends, will be different this year… like much of life in 2020. Personally, we will not be celebrating with other family nor friends. So we’re looking for ways we can make the week feel special - from supporting new producers and retailers to many of our local restaurants who are offering cool Thanksgiving meals, Antonelli’s Cheese is glad to be one of the folks offering something delicious, special, and unique for your holiday table. Our Thanksgiving Boxes include an assortment of cheeses and treats that we don’t normally carry and that we brought in just to feature in these boxes, including a mix of milk types and styles so everyone loves something! Because of that, we only have a limited quantity available on a first come, first served basis. Hope you’ll get your order in today for pickup or shipping!
Seasonal Cheese Spotlight - Black Betty
I have literally received dozens upon dozens of emails and social media inquiries asking, “Has she arrived? Is she in stock? When does she get here?” Without further ado, I can confirm that BLACK BETTY IS IN THE CASE! For those of you who have yet to meet perhaps our shop’s most popular cheese, let’s properly introduce you. Betty Koster and her husband Martin own and operate Fromagerie L’Amuse, a cheese shop in Amsterdam. They scouted and partnered with a handful of nearby producers, then handselect wheels that will spend extra aging time in her special aging environment (at higher temps). One of the results is the one and only Brabander Gouda, a gouda made from pasteurized Saanen goat’s milk at a cooperative dairy in Zijerveld. This exceptional cheese is aged 6-9 months and available the majority of the year in our shop. Betty holds back a limited amount of these cheeses and ages them longer, resulting in a cheese affectionately and formerly known as Black Betty (for the black wax its dipped in, compared to the white wax coating of its younger self). As of this year, they’ve renamed her Brabander Reserve. Be warned. She isn’t the least expensive cheese in our case. But she is an artisanal cheese, made by hand, that spends a lot of time maturing to become the perfect bite and balance of sweet and tangy, like cheese candy. It’s salted caramel, pineapple, and a milkshake all in one bite. Get it while you can (for pickup or shipping), remembering you can adjust the quantity when ordering online. In case you missed it last week, we are also currently selling other seasonal and limited favorites, like “Best Cheese in the World” winner Rogue River Blue and Rush Creek Reserve. (photo by @fromageforyou)
In the Shop
If you’re after a fuller-bodied white wine that isn’t Chardonnay, Roussanne is a rare and complex alternative. Although typically blended with its partner in crime Marsanne, on its own this russet-colored grape shows flashes of brilliance, with a deep herbaceous aroma and notes of amber honey and roasted pear. Roussanne is a Goldilocks grape in many ways, but when harvested at the right time and treated carefully, the results can make for incredible imbibing.
We recently brought in a rockstar of the Northern Rhône, Yves Cuilleron and his 2018 Les Vignes d'à Côte Roussanne. Yves makes natural, labor intensive wines, only hand-harvesting and using indigenous yeasts, never using too heavy a hand and letting the grapes speak for themselves. Yves’s Roussanne is a testament to his great care and a celebration of the great growing season of 2018. Rounded with balanced acidity and fruity but not sweet, the Roussanne shines with notes of honeysuckle, ripe orchard fruit and just a touch of vanilla from its time in oak. Try it with one of our favorites from the Rhône-Alpes, Tomme Crayeuse, or with rich and gooey soft-ripened cheeses to add to the decadence of the approaching holiday season. - from David Rhodes, Antonelli’s Beverage Buyer
In the News
Last week, food writer Janet Fletcher featured us in her article for Specialty Food Magazine, titled “Pivots with Staying Power.” Want to know which changes we’ve made that we think we’ll keep? Check out the link. Who knows what the future holds, but we know we’ve offered you all some services we just can’t take away (and we’re oh-so-grateful that you’re supporting us!).
A huge morale boost to our team was taking home the big win from the Austin Young Chamber #FAVEAwards in the Small Business Category. Because we’re living in a pandemic world, we were able to invite 6 of our team members to the virtual awards ceremony - so they personally got to hear their names and biz called. After all, we are nothing without our team, our makers, and our customers. Thank YOU for making us a viable small business, and congrats to all the winners and finalists. #AntonellisInTheNews
Our Cheese Around Town
Small Victory Bar is open for curbside at their downtown location (108 e. 7th street) from 2pm - 10pm on Thursday-Sunday. Check out their current curbside menu here, which will expand over the coming weeks and heading into the holidays. All orders come with their house-made large format ice (or “sonic ice” if you order the tiki). Food options include mixed nuts, marinated olives, and sliced-to-order cheese and charcuterie plates. So, if you want one of the city’s best cocktails to go (because you’re sick of messing it up at home like us), support Small Victory.
(Virtual) Tasting Classes Coming Up
We estimate that we’ve led over 13,000 folks in virtual tastings. THANK YOU! Whether you have yet to join us - or have made us a weekly tradition - we hope you’ll find something exciting coming up below. All are virtual with curbside pickups of cheese plates (or option for local delivery). Deadline to purchase tickets is midnight the day before an event. Want to see our full schedule, including November? You can search by class topic here or by date here (scroll down and click on the date). Questions? Check out our most frequently asked questions here.
Like everything else this year, the 2020 holidays are going to be abnormal. Shipping supplies are limited, mail is an issue, sourcing is tricky... In short, nothing is the same as in year’s past. I wouldn’t normally rush you (nor push you!), but the sooner you get your orders in this year, the better we can serve you. (After all, who isn’t ready to put 2020 behind us?! Just kidding! But we appreciate all efforts to help us this holiday season - our usual busy time of the year. We are remaining close to walk-in traffic for the safety of our team and needing support in all other ways. Thank you!)
Preorder your Thanksgiving Boxes today! Some of you have made us part of your family traditions for the past TEN YEARS! Why stop now?! Whether you’re traveling or staying cooped up at home, we promise that enjoying a spread of artisan cheeses, meats, and pairings is one way to show gratitude for our farmers, dairymen and women, and good food makers. Order for pickup here. Order for shipping here. (Shipping deadline of Mon 11/23 at 7am.) Note: We have a limited quantity available!
Our gifts start at $35, we offer special bulk gifting options, and by far the most requested item and our best “experience” is the “Cheese Class in a Box” for $125. We offer FREE SHIPPING in Texas for any gifts over $75 (pretax). Otherwise, shipping is $20 in Texas and $40 outside of Texas anywhere in the continental USA.
We’ve been creating artisan cheese trays for a decade now. What makes our boards a little different? We craft our trays in our health-inspected kitchen. All items on our trays are made by folks we know and love (ie no bulk, industrially-sourced cheeses from big box stores). We always build our trays the morning they are enjoyed (ie no pre-cut pieces). Sometimes, that means our team shows up at 4am, just to make sure your cheese tastes the best it can. Our trays first and foremost feature the best cheese and meat we can source. Want in on the action? Check out all our cheese tray options here.
Private Virtual Tastings
We’ve teamed up with individuals for special occasions like anniversaries and milestone birthdays, with companies to offer teambuilding appreciation events, and with nonprofits alike to help us all still cope with and celebrate through this pandemic. You need a group of at least 12 for a private party (at $40pp). We’ll arrange all the details - whether you want to purchase in bulk for your guests or have each buy their own plate. Folks can pick up via contactless curbside or we have a shipping box available as well. Private Party details here.
How You Can Help Us Stay In Biz
From Anywhere in the United States:
John & Kendall
And Your Awesome Cheesemonger Team