In today’s world of fine spirits, it’s hard to stand out. It’s kind of a mixed blessing that there are so many choices; while it’s great that all the new small batch producers and premium lines from established distillers creates a dynamic marketplace that raises the bar all across the board, sometimes you’ll miss some really great spirits that aren’t getting raves from the connoisseur crowd. And frankly, sometimes, being number one is over-rated. A classic example of this idea is the brand Snapple. Whatever you may think about their products, they staked a solid claim to third place behind Coke and Pepsi in the global soft drink market. How? They set out to be number three on purpose. You may remember that they even ran commercials back in the 90′s proudly proclaiming “We’re Number Three!” But we’re not really here to talk about Snapple, or striving for third. We’re here to talk about a couple of new items we’ve added to our selection. The reason we went on the little digression about being number three is because although one of these items – Label 5 Scotch – has garnered a number of top awards in the blended twelve-year category, they still proudly point out that they’re number 42 in the market. But look at the company they keep in the graphic on the left, and you’ll see why. The other item has no issues with being second either, because they were probably the first. Although Greenall’s has been making gin since it was made legal in the UK, which was 1761, their premium offering wasn’t available in the states until this century. It’s probably worthy of note that in the two and a half centuries they’ve been making gin, they’ve only had seven master distillers! And that in spite of their late entry in the US market, they’re number one in the UK, producing over 70% of the gin sold there. Notes on both below. (more…)
Posted By:Admin May 20, 2013
If you grew up in certain parts of the states, you may remember celebrating Mexico’s independence on May fifth as a kid by smashing a piñata full of candy with a stick. That would be all fine and dandy, except Cinco de Mayo isn’t actually Mexico’s independence day (a persistent misconception), and interestingly, isn’t as big a holiday in Mexico as it is in other parts of the world. You can get all the facts straight on Wikipedia, but no worries – however Cinco de Mayo ends up being celebrated, it can be a fun holiday paying tribute to the wonderful and diverse culture and history of Mexico. A history that is rich with self-determination and struggle, and more recently, rich with fine spirits (like the custom tequila we had bottled a while back) and beer. Which is why this Cinco de Mayo we’re featuring specials on Grupo Modelo’s popular line of beers, as well as two other items. The first person to guess why we’re featuring the last two items wins a cookie… (more…)
Posted By:Admin April 25, 2013
As we pointed out last year when we highlighted some affordable, accessible wine and bubbly for Valentine’s Day, if you’re getting into the real spirit of the holiday, you’re not necessarily wanting to pick a wine that’s going to start a highbrow debate about the Robert Parker score and whether the bottle has been cellared properly. No, as much as “being sweet” has taken some knocks in modern times, both in terms of sentiment and in the world of wine, sweet is back. And bubbles never went out of fashion anyway! So below we’re highlighting one of each. The Cherry On Top wines slide comfortably into that new realm of sweet wines made acceptable over the last couple of years by the surprising meteoric rise of Moscato. And the Rosa Regale – while less sweet – has its roots in hundreds of years of of winemaking in one of Italy’s smallest production zones, the Brachetto d’Acqui Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. It not only has an excellent label for a romantic day like Valentine’s Day, the wine inside is actually quite wonderful! By the way, if you’re still trapped in the odd perception that sweet wine is somehow inferior, check out this NYT piece, which talks about the perplexing consumer resistance to sweet wine. As Marc Parcé of Domaine de la Rectorie observes in the linked article: “It’s bizarre. People have never consumed more sugar than they do today, but no one wants to drink sweet wine.” Well, let’s fix that. Don’t be afraid of a little sweetness this Valentine’s Day!
||Rosa Regale has a delicate bouquet of rose petals and offers sensuous flavors of fresh raspberries and strawberries. Its effervescence is softer than that of champagne, yet it yields a persistent and delicate pink froth. Its lively garnet color makes other sparklers pale in comparison. No wine pairs better with chocolate than Rosa Regale. a celebration.
||Cherry On Top Red is deliciously sweet, lush with fruit, and easy to drink, with a smooth finish. Enticing aromas and flavors of bright red cherry, baking spice and vanilla. Created from a blend of Syrah, Zin, Merlot, Tempranillo & Grenache
||Cherry On Top White possesses floral aromatics, is sweet and lively with fruit, and easy to drink. Aromatics of peach cobbler complimented by fresh stone fruit and a honeyed finish. Blend of White Rielsing, Gewurztraminer, Chenin Blanc and Viognier. Like Moscato? You’ll love it.
Posted By:Admin February 3, 2013
If you live in Ann Arbor, you may have noticed the conspicuous absence of the historic Beer Depot neon sign near the corner of Main and William streets. You also may be familiar with the story of how it blew down in April 2011, and the Beer Depot’s costly struggle first to get permission to restore the sign, and then to actually pay for the project. Well, as they reached the homestretch, they hit ANOTHER snag, when the insurance company refused to pay on the policy. The Beer Depot took them to court and won, but after legal and administrative expenses, they received considerably less than expected. As a result, they’re reaching out for a little support. Check out their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, and learn more about the whole sign saga on their blog, where you can also find some photos of the sign, including the one below:
Photo by dwacphoto.com
Posted By:Admin January 8, 2013
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Well, 2012 wasn’t the end of the world, but the end of the holiday season and the beginning of a bold new year are upon us. That’s why we’ve once again selected a few of our over one-hundred sparkling wines and specially priced them for New Year’s Eve. The days of premium prices for premium sparklers are long gone, so you can easily break out the bubbly without breaking the bank. We’ve previously pointed out that “Too Much Champagne” Is An Oxymoron and suggested Champagne For Your Real Friends, Real Pain For Your Sham Friends, and although some of those featured wines might not still be available, the items featured will give you a good idea of the breadth of our selection. We may have others on special; you’ll have to stop by the store and see for yourself! But selecting some nice bubbly isn’t the ONLY thing a good host should be thinking about this New Year’s Eve. We definitely encourage the enjoyment of fine drink around the holidays, but only if it’s done RESPONSIBLY. And if you’re hosting a holiday party this year, the well-being of your guests is YOUR responsibility. Here are some quick reminders for how to have a safe holiday celebration:
Check Keys Like Coats - This is a great way to make sure you see EVERY guest as they leave to see what kind of shape they’re in. Any guest who has a problem with this may have problems with other things, like sensible drinking.
Have One Or More Designated Drivers On Hand – Taxis can be hard to come by on New Years Eve. Make sure you have one or more people in attendance who will commit to staying COMPLETELY sober, and willing to give rides throughout the evening.
Feed Them, Water Them, Don’t Overserve - This is no-brainer stuff. Make sure you have plenty of food and NON alcohol beverages on hand. And SLOW DOWN the serving of drinks as the party progresses, don’t SPEED IT UP! And STOP serving well before the party ends.
Those are some basics, but for a much more expansive list, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has a handy guide called Responsible Party Host Tips (269KB, PDF)
HAVE FUN, BUT BE SAFE!
IF YOU DRINK, DRINK RESPONSIBLY!
Specials below: (more…)
Posted By:Admin December 27, 2012