Saturday, March 28, 2009

Vom Fass

Last night the wife and I had a date night and she said we were going to Vom Fass here in Madison. She needed a gift for someone for a party we were going to. I said sure (admittedly grudgingly).

I didn't know much about the place besides the fact that they let you taste stuff before you buy it. So we went in and wow did I have a great time. We had fun tasting all of the things they had laid out.

Vom Fass translated means "from the cask". They had oils, vinegars and wine that you could sample. I saw a section for spirits and immediately went there, but apparently they won't have those items until summer - I was disappointed since a scotch or cognac tasting is right up my alley. This Vom Fass location is apparently the only one in the entire United States we later found out, and from what the help told us there is some sort of issue getting an approval for spirit tasting. No such issue with the wine tasting.

We didn't try the wines, but we did sample lots and lots of oils and they were absolutely fantastic! They put a drop or two on a plastic spoon for you and the quality was very high. We ended up buying a gift, and then a couple of bottles for our home use. The best olive oil we tried was infused with basil. I can't describe how good it was. We bought some of that and also took home some olive oil infused with garlic to finish pastas with as well as a small container of toasted sesame oil - it is wonderful to fry salmon in.

I tried three different types of balsamic vinegar. We didn't feel the need to buy any of that. We use balsamic vinegar when eating fresh mozzarela with basil, and are pretty happy with the store bought junk.

The prices were very reasonable, I thought. Oils you see in the stores are pretty damned expensive, and you don't even get to try before you buy. Here is the general idea, from some photos I stole from the intertubes. The store we were at had those pottery looking things that held the oil, but not the green keg looking things.
This is what the now empty casks look like.
The help at this place was very friendly and full of information. My wife and I started out cold to this idea, but in the end were trying all sorts of different things and had a great time. I told the help that when they get in their spirits he would see me every day on the way home and he laughed about that. But I literally can't wait for those scotches and cognacs to show up.

We immediately signed up for their frequent flyer club - spend $200, get $20 free. Why not - these will be great gifts. If you have a place like this where you are, give it a try. It was fun and opened our taste buds to some different ideas. And it is relatively cheap.

1 comment:

Carl from Chicago said...

That sounds like a pretty cool place.