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Spring Charcuterie board paired with Good Clean Spumante

We love charcuterie! It’s the wine drinkers best friend because there is nothing quite like matching our favorite wines with complementary cheese and cured meats. Together their flavors marry to balance the flavors of both the wine and the cheese.

Charcuterie is a french word that references prepared and cured cold meats that is often paired with cheese, crackers and fruit when served on a charcuterie board. Not every charcuterie board is created equal, but they are all created awesome. 

Inspired by the seasonal colors and foods of Spring, I looked to source what’s local and fresh to create this Good Clean Spring Charcuterie board. It pairs well with all 5 good clean wines and we paired it with good clean spumante. The fresh green apple flavor and elegant bubbles enhances the taste of spring strawberries, grapes, blood and manderine oranges. 

Our good clean spring charcuterie board is made up of beautiful colors, fresh veggies, fruits, cured meats and a few bites of sweets. Perfect for mid-day snacking and gathering with the whole family and when you are entertaining outdoors.

I assembled my board in a round, wooden cheese box. Then, layered napa cabbage leaves in the bottom to create a soft bed to lay the ingredients. I added spinach dip and truffle mousse pate to milk glass goblets to elevate the dips and add visual dimension and allow me to fit more goodies on the board. Watch me assemble it here 

Ingredients

Fresh veggies: colorful veggies such as cucumbers, rainbow baby carrots, napa cabbage leaves.

Fresh Fruits: grapes, strawberries, blood oranges, manderine oranges.

Cured meats: Prosciutto, a thinly sliced Italian cured ham with a salty flavor that pairs well with veggies, cheese and good clean wine. Cubed summer sausage which pairs well with unoaked white wines. 

Cheese: Soft, semi soft, semi hard and hard cheese are all great options for charcuterie board. I added cubed comté, our absolute favorite cheese in the world. Made in France on the eastern border near Switzerland, it’s an Alpine cheese and pairs well with both red and white wine. Whites made with sauvignon blanc and vermentino, like good clean white, and sparkling whites pair well with creamy, young cheeses like brie and chevre. For this reason, I chose double creme brie topped with black truffle puree and spreadable blueberry flavored chevre.

Crackers: Salty and crunchy crackers are the perfect addition paired with cheese and cured meats. I arranged sea salt flatbread crackers, delicate olive oil crackers and crispy cheese twists in a dried palm leaf dish. 

Dips: A seasonal dip like green goddess or spinach dip can be the center of your beautiful board. I also added whipped duck pate mousse with black truffles which pairs lovely with good clean red, rosé and spumante. 

Decorate the finished board with edible spring flowers, dried culinary herbs and fruits with stems, vines and leaves still attached. I embellished this board with sweet edible hibiscus flowers and chocolate covered strawberries. 

This combination makes the perfect meal at any point of the day, is easy to make, offers variety and goes with all 5 good clean wines. 

Don’t be intimidated, don’t overthink the process…turn on some Mario Biondi music, pour a glass of good clean wine and give it a try! 

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We’re celebrating the spring equinox by eating (and drinking) clean. For us, that means popping the tops on good clean spumante and pairing it with this Shaved Asparagus & Parmesan Vinaigrette.

Just-harvested sweet asparagus is the go-to white wine pairing for spring. And since our favorite trick for pairings is serving wine and food from the same region, we’re filling our glasses with good clean spumante from Modena while mixing up a fresh vinaigrette made with parmesan from nearby Parma.

Cin cin!

Shaved Asparagus Salad with Parmesan Vinaigrette

ingredients

12 large asparagus spears (about 1 lb.), washed, trimmed and peeled
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan, plus a piece for shaving
1½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

directions

Use a vegetable peeler to shave washed and uncooked asparagus spears into long, thin shavings. Transfer to a medium bowl (the tips will snap off as spears get thinner; add to bowl). Combine grated Parmesan and lemon juice in a small bowl and slowly whisk in oil until well blended. Season vinaigrette generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over shaved asparagus and toss to coat. Divide asparagus salad among 4 plates. Use peeler to shave more Parmesan over salad. Serve with good clean spumante.

“I have always lived between vines and wine.” – Sergio, good clean winemaker

We first met our wine negotiant Nicola and our good clean winemaker, Sergio in Tuscany during harvest in 2019. We visited vineyards spread over 700 hectares between rivers – Ombrone and Albegna and to the highest peak in Tuscany, Monte Amiata. We fell deeply in love with this land full of well-kept secrets, gentle rolling hills, defined by plots of wheat, scattered with vineyards and olive orchards dotted with sheep. Here and there a farm appears on a hilltop with a view that stretches from Scansano to the Tyrrhenian sea.

On a hilltop farm near the ancient village of Pitigliano close to the sea, in the untouched countryside in the province of Grosseto, Nicola told us about how good clean wine producers focus on quality when tending the vineyard every day. This is when our winemaker Sergio, pointed to and described how good clean wine grapes are grown in a variety of soils and microclimates. It was the perfect spot to see all the vineyards spanning from 150 to 300 metres above the sea level. Sergio said, “The composition of the soil here varies even within the same plot of land and are composed of sand rich in minerals, silt, clay and tuffaceous stone.” Which is why our wines are so clean and delicious.

Our winemaker, Sergio, told us he has, “Always lived between vines and wine.” He was born and raised on a farm in the Scansano village in Maremma Toscana. His father was a winegrower who produced and sold wine directly from their farm. Sergio studied Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Pisa and graduated as a chemist. His first job was in a laboratory doing wine analysis. Next, he gained extensive experience in the production and export departments of a renowned local winery. He became the General Manager of the winery in 2010 and his goal for the past decade has been to implement a strategy that strengthens the winery’s position and fosters its growth in the domestic market and abroad. He says his focus is always on, “Social responsibility and sustainability to reduce the carbon footprint of our wines, and in general their impact on the environment.”

He oversees a large group of 160 small family grape growers and farmers who follow strict organic, biodynamic farming rules throughout the year to grow and harvest the highest quality and most healthy grapes to bring to the winery. He works with them to implement a combination of organic, biodynamic and biodiverse farming and winemaking processes and minimal intervention technology to grow healthy grapes in the vineyard. He says on average, “Each good clean grape grower farms around 3 hectares and having small plots allows our farmers to take care of their vineyards with the attentive care one would dedicate to a rose grove.” He described how the grapes gathered from these small plots are vinified separately and estate bottled.

As we toured the winery, Sergio talked about all the extra care they take in the winery to ensure the characters of the grapes shine through when you taste the wine. He described to us how each grape variety is hand picked following the directions of the agronomist who advises grape growers the best time when to pick the fruits. He said, “This varies regarding the single grape variety, the position of each vineyard and on the climate of the specific vintage.”

Sergio and Nicola told us many stories of how the grape growers spend a lot of time in the vineyard nurturing the vines, to grow the best quality grapes. We learned all about how they listen to nature and react accordingly to the vineyard and grapes day by day, month by month and year by year to do what is best for the vineyard in any given situation. He says his,”Ultimate goal is to bring healthy grapes to the winery to make good clean wines.”

“Marrying tradition with innovation.” – good clean Spumante and spumante rosé winemaker Daniel

Italians take pride in their grape cultivation and are some of the greatest wine artists in the world. Our good clean spumante grape growers bring passion, joy, energy of the land, and knowledge of ancient traditions to create our wines for you. Jon McDaniel, one of the most recognized wine educators and professionals in America introduced us to our wine negociant, Nicola. A professional Wine Taster and Sommelier, raised in a family of winemakers in Italy, who led us to the winemakers who follow organic, Biodynamic, and sustainable farming to make good clean spumantes.

We also met Carlo, the winery manager during our trip to oversee harvest in September 2019. He described our spumantes as, “Dry, direct wines, classic in style with refined simplicity. For people who are sincere and true.” He told us, “Our wines will always be a true friend at the table…and everywhere.” We feel much joy, knowing our wines will not only sparkle on your tongue but also be a universal drink that can be enjoyed by all.

Good clean spumante and spumante rosé are a sparkling blend of indigenous Lambrusco grapes (pignoletto, salaminio, and sorbara) from ancient vines. Made naturally in the town of Carpi, in Modena County. In the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy known as the land of wine and food. Good clean spumante is made in the Emilia appellation and good clean spumante rosé is made in the Modena appellation. Our vineyards are planted in nutrient rich sandy and wet soils among poplars and elms.

Our export manager, Benedetta, told us over lunch that when our grapegrowers cultivate the vines and select and harvest the grapes by hand and when the winemakers do the pressing and the bottling, they literally hope to, “Touch your heart through a glass of spumante.” A beautiful way to think about winemaking.

Daniel, our winemaker, was born in 1990. A farmers son, into a family that has made wine since the 1940’s. He grew up in the countryside, among the vines, helping his grandfather harvest grapes. He studied Viticulture and Oenology at the University of Bologna and began his career at the winery in the quality control department during harvest. He was promoted to cellar man and then to an analyst at the laboratory before becoming the winemaker in charge of bottled wines.

He says his goal is to always, “Make quality, easy drinking wine to pair with special moments.” He strives to make wines that, “Make you want to drink it. Wine that is the first to be finished and then ordered again.” We love his philosophy!

His secret to making our delicious spumante is, “Marrying tradition with innovation.” He reminds us that growing clean, healthy grapes means the grapes will change and evolve from year to year. Each growing season he works to understand and identify the strengths of the grapes features. He focuses completely on, “Determining how to blend the grapes of each harvest together make a perfect wine.”

He told us he, “Offers us and the world a great quality Lambrusco, respectful of the tradition, energy and lightheartedness of the region.” Wines that are, “Genuine and bubbly for every occasion, for toasting and celebrating.”

 

The only way to know if your wine is clean is to know your winemaker.

We know and work with families of farmers and winemakers that live and breath their soil and love their land. When you buy good clean wine you support over 160 small family farmers who’ve grown grapes as their livelihood for generations. 

Good clean wine is made in a sustainable way with healthy grapes. therefore, little to no intervention is needed to make good clean wine.

Good Clean Wine is made in two beautiful, lesser known wine regions in Italy.

good clean red, white, and rosé are made by grape growers and winemakers using sustainable farming practices and minimal intervention in the appellation of Maremma, Italy, on the southwest coast of the Tuscan wine region. close to the sea, in the untouched countryside in the province of Grosseto, it’s a land of gentle rolling hills, defined by plots of wheat, scattered with vineyards and olive orchards dotted with sheep. here and there a farm appears on a hilltop with a view that stretches to the Tyrrhenian sea. 

good clean spumante and spumante rosé are made naturally in the town of Carpi, in Modena County, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy known as the land of sparkling wine and tortellini. good clean spumante is made in the Emilia appellation and good clean spumante rosé is made in the Modena appellation. They are made by passionate winemakers with knowledge of the land and Italian winemaking traditions who cultivate the vines, select and harvest the grapes by hand, and do the pressing and the bottling with hopes of touching your heart through a glass. our vineyards planted in nutrient rich sandy and wet soils among poplars and elms offer a magnificent sight.

Our producers and winemakers spend a lot of time in the vineyard nurturing the vines to grow the best quality grapes. They listen to nature and react accordingly to the vineyard and grapes day by day, month by month, and year by year to do what is best for the vineyard in any given situation. They implement a combination of organic, biodynamic, and biodiverse farming and winemaking processes to grow healthy grapes in the vineyard.

They take extra care in the winery so that the characters of the grapes shine through when you taste the wine.

Social and Environmental Sustainability is our priority.

Attention to the environment and efficiency in the winemaking process allow us to provide delicious, environmentally friendly wine at accessible prices. Our grape growers and winemakers invest in the people who live near and work the land. Social sustainability means safeguarding the region and its traditions during all stages of wine production.

Grapes grown in sustainable ways produce healthy grapes, and then less intervention is needed to make good clean wine.

Our Sustainable farming practices Organic procedures as much as possible, and biodynamic procedures to create happy, healthy, lively soil.

Biodiverse agriculture is farming that implements practices in the vineyard to balance the microorganisms that inhabit the vineyard soil. To create a habitat that is blended with a variety of many other crops: wheat, grass for animal feeds, sunflowers, soy, corn, wild woods, naked/resting fields.

Drones, Infra-red sensors, NIR spectrometers, and microclimatic stations are used throughout the vineyards to collect data to send to our winemakers to help them manage and limit treatments in the vineyard to a bare minimum. These devices read the color of healthy grape leaves and compare all the leaves in the vineyard to gain a better of the grapes and again lower the interventions.

The TERRA SYSTEM is installed in several parts of the vineyards to collect and send data from the vineyard to the winery. The sensor stations measure rain, humidity, sun exposure, air temperature, ground temperature and underground temperature. Bionic leaves developed by the university of Pisa calculate the actual level of humidity on the leaves of the vine. Information is gathered to predict if and when it is needed to intervene in the vineyard which enables us to drastically reduce the number of interventions.

Sexual Confusion instead of spraying chemicals that kill parasites, pheromones are spread to confuse them so that they do not mate and do not spoil the grapes. This reduces the use of chemicals, diesel fuel, and fresh water.

Using only the best grapes

Minimal to no intervention during fermentation and aging process.

Careful yeast selection/using natural indigenous yeast that perform better and provide better quality wines. The right balance of indigenous yeast and stainless steel tank fermentation to show the varietal expressions of the wines. We do not need to use extreme temperature control fermentation, which means less electrical power needed and less pollution.

Our wines do not require added sulfites before and during fermentation. Instead Natural tannins with poli-phoenolic molecules with high antioxidant power are used to protect the wine. It costs way more than sulfites, but we prefer health over cheap.

No citrus added, no micro-oxygenation induced

No coloring, no decoloring. No dye.

No pea protein. No tartaric acid or cream of tartar. (Both are often found in other “clean” wine.)

Sustainable cellar practices that reduce the carbon footprint related to to the production of grapes and wine reduced water consumption and waste water management reduces energy consumption by 30%, using solar energy as much as possible. An Air Mixing vinification system reduces energy used for vinification by 20%. Modern air-conditioning systems minimize the energy needed to heat and cool the winery and offices and windows are designed to reduce the need for artificial lighting. Eco-bottling systems reduce washing water and energy use by 40% and new cup elevators replaced the Stem suction line to reduce energy used by 50%. A central storage warehouse and larger trucks make for fewer journeys reducing gas emissions.

Our wineries received the PEF certification from the European Union. The first EU certification measuring the environmental footprint along the entire supply chain, from the vineyard to the disposal of the packaging. 

They are members of the Programma Nazionale per la Valutazione dell’Impronta Ambientale . The program’s aim is to promote business strategies that foster sustainable development.

In 2015 they received the VIVA Sustainable Wine certification. This program measures the vine-wine production chain based on four elements: territory, air, vineyard and water. Our winemakers collaborate with Università della Tuscia and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna di Pisa to develop and apply technologies in the vineyard and in the cellar to minimize the environmental impact.

The Good Clean Wine philosophy is to provide the healthier product for the money. We work with wine producers that follow sustainable farming practices focused on lower quantities of grapes in the vineyards, which equals healthy grapes that do not need intervention or to be fixed with chemistry/chemicals.

While our wines are made naturally, we stray from using the word natural to describe our wines because it is a non-regulated term generally used to describe zero-intervention wine.

We do not claim our wines as biodynamic, vegan, or organic because those are all certifications our wineries have chosen not to get. We believe organic and biodynamic procedures are a great guideline to follow. We also know that one solution in nature and winemaking does not work. Nature must be listened to and our grape growers and winemakers react accordingly, day by day, month by month, year by year.

 

One time we accidentally booked a couple’s bath in Portugal. And tried to drink the bath soak. Let us explain.

When we travel to Europe in search of the best, clean wine, we always incorporate spa treatments, because it’s part of the clean wine lifestyle. Last time we were in Portugal, we visited the Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at the Yeatman Wine Hotel. (They make skincare out of vineyard grapes—how perfect!) We booked two barrel baths, which is where you soak in fermented wine and essential oils.

The spa therapist took us to a beautiful room overlooking the Douro river and the city of Porto. We were so happy that it didn’t even register that there was only one tub. We actually got in the tub together (thankfully we brought bathing suits) and were taking pictures and enjoying ourselves, that it isn’t until about 20 minutes in (when the therapists start giving us neck massages) that we realize we accidentally booked a couple’s massage bath. Ha!

But the best part has to be when they brought over the wine/oils to pour in the water and we tried to take the glasses from their hands and drink it. Hey, in our defense, everywhere you go in Portugal someone hands you a glass of wine!

We had a blast and obviously didn’t care that we shared a bath, but the moral of the story is, when booking spa treatments always check that they are done separately or together.

You’re ready to sip Good Clean Wine, and who can blame you? It’s wine you can feel good about drinking, tonight and tomorrow morning.

You can order wine from our website to be shipped to 46 states. (Sorry, we don’t ship to AL, MA, MS, PR, UT, or any U.S. territories. Shipping to HI and AK is possible, but very expensive. If you would like to arrange shipment to these states, please contact admin@goodclean.wine.)

In Springfield, Missouri you can purchase, drink, and enjoy Good Clean Wine at the following locations:

Bambino’s Cafe (both locations)

Brown Derby Wine Center

Catrina’s Mexican Kitchen & Cantina

Cellar + Plate

Harter House Eastgate

Harter House Republic Road

Macadoodles Springfield

Macadoodles North Springfield

Macadoodles Republic

Ocean Zen

Whiskey Tango’s Spirits and Tobacco(Ozark)

Be sure to tag us on Instagram (@goodcleanwine) so we can repost. Cheers!

 

How it began

In the beginning, there was a tasting. In 2018 we set out on a European journey to find the purest, most delicious wine that would eventually become Good Clean Wine. We traveled to Austria, Germany, France, Spain, and Hungary. The photo above is us in Portugal tasting the wine that almost became Good Clean Wine. (And it still might someday! Portugal has outstanding wine, as does every other country we visited.) In the end we landed in Italy and it was love at first sip. Good Clean Wine is lovingly made in Maremma, Tuscany (red, white, rosé) and Emilia-Romagna (spumante and spumante rosé).

ok, how it really began

we own a spa, skincare boutique, and product line called Good Skin Day. our clients trust us to bring them the best services and products, with no BS or bias. Michelle is a holistic esthetician and former chef, and Courtney is a former beauty and health editor. Everything we do is part of what we call the #goodskinlifestyle, which includes attention to what we put on and in our bodies, how we take care of our health and minds, relaxing and having fun.

Wine has always been a staple at the spa. We offer it to clients, walk in shoppers, and we serve it at events. friday afternoons became wine happy hours where we would post about drinking wine at the spa, and people could just stop by and have some. we started noticing that we were fielding more questions about the wine than we were about the skincare. People wanted to know how we were able to drink wine and not have it affect our skin and healthy lifestyles in negative ways. We started hearing tales of terrible headaches after just one glass of wine, puffy eyes, red splotchy skin, stuffy noses, even rashes. people who hadn’t had a glass of wine in 10 years were suddenly able to enjoy a glass with us and feel fine.

our secret, although we didn’t realize it at the time, was clean wine. Michelle had been visiting wineries in Europe for years as a personal hobby, meeting winemakers and learning about winemaking, and would bring delicious, clean wine back from Europe in her special wine suitcases. we would share the bounty with our clients. these wines were made in sustainable vineyards, with no additives or artificial ingredients, often in family-run vineyards that honor the land. these clean wines made us and our clients feel good.

good clean wine is born

it’s not that clean wine doesn’t exist, it’s that the casual wine-drinker doesn’t know how to find them. there are so many amazing wines out there, but the wine world tends to only talk to itself. the casual wine-drinker looking for a delicious wine to drink with friends is often intimidated by chateau this or domaine de that. we realized that we needed to bring this amazing wine to a group of people who would otherwise not know how to find it. we decided to take the intimidation factor out of wine and bring the fun part back.

we chose the word “clean” because our skincare clients already had a frame of reference for what that means. clean is an unregulated word. anyone can claim to be “clean” whether they are or not. the only way to really know if your wine is what it claims to be is to know your winemaker. we travel to Italy at least once per year (when it isn’t Covid times, that is) to spend time on the vineyards, mingle among the beautiful stainless steel tanks, learn about new sustainability initiatives, and pet all the cute vineyard dogs. And, of course, we taste a lot of wine. we love our winemakers and are honored that they allow us to bring their beautiful wine into the United States.

how we live now

wine is a part of our lives, and we want it to be a part of yours, too. we hate that so many people are intimidated by wine. wine is for everyone, not just experts and wine snobs. we do the research for you so all you have to do is focus on having fun.

If you’d like more information about our wine and where it is from, you can find it in our FAQ. If you have any other questions, you can email us at admin@goodclean.wine.

Cheers!

Michelle + Courtney

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