Although Jackie O christening a
ship is an appropriately festive
usage, we think this otherwise a
waste of perfectly good Champagne!
That little toast is often misattributed to Tom Waits, but was in fact first popularized much earlier, by the Anglo-Irish artist Francis Bacon*. And he in any case was probably just giving his famous name to an Edwardian toast that had been in use since at least 1830. Who said it first is really of less concern than the fact that it highlights one of the great things about Champagne. Although any time two or more people are sharing a libation a toast is in order, Champagne takes it all to a celebratory level with the popping of the cork, the dancing effervescence of the bubbles, and the lively, invigorating aromas and sensation on the palate. Nothing speaks to the bonds of friendship and trust more strongly than the gift of a bottle of bubbly, and the shared toast can range from words full of hope and dreams to a loving jab at one’s mates. It’s this very perception of Champagne as an “event” that probably prevents many of us from enjoying it more often. Buying a bottle of pricier champagne can feel like a big commitment, and you may have on occasion felt – whether buying it as a gift or for yourself – that buying another bottle would have been nice, so you could try it in a less-festive setting, as part of a nice dinner. That’s part of why we’re offering some great prices on the purchase of two bottles (see below), but the other reason is that we just want to help spread a little cheer this holiday season. That’s why we’ve also rounded up some amusing toasts, which you’ll find after our featured Champagnes, below. Have an amusing toast of your own? Feel free to share it as a comment. We’ll be back with some more mid-price sparklers next week. We have about a hundred to choose from, starting in the $10-$15 range, all the way up to some of the nicer ones featured here. And of course we have some non-alcohol selections for your designated driver. More bubbles next week. Cheers! (more…)
Posted By:Admin November 27, 2010
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If you have a book on your wine reference shelf called “The Perfect Wines For Thanksgiving Dinner” you should probably burn it. If you check a dozen authoritative sources on what wine to serve on Thanksgiving, you’ll probably get a dozen answers, naming – in different combinations – every varietal, style, and appellation known to man. Amongst those answers though, one consistent truth comes through, which is that there IS no perfect wine for the traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. What wine could possibly be a perfect match for a dinner that features turkey, ham, cranberries, heavily herbed stuffing, potatoes with gravy, and the dreaded green bean casserole, baked yams with marshmallows, or aunt Marge’s legendary suspended fruit Jell-O? The most realistic answer to this question is: don’t select wines that will be lost in the riot. Loosen up a bit, drink what you LIKE to drink, and use common sense. And common sense in this case suggests wines that are lighter, and perhaps less complex. Which in our opinion suggests a broad variety of whites, especially a Riesling, Gewurztraminer, or even wines that you would typically reserve for dessert, like a Beeren Auslese (see below). And for reds, a Pinot Noir or maybe a nice Rhone (we have about 50). Another nice idea is to pick a lighter, not-too-dry sparkler, which can find its way through a variety of foods, and is a great palate cleanser. And of course don’t forget the versatile and fresh fruitiness of this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau, or for that matter any other Beaujolais. David, the store’s general manager, has selected a few good values below, but we have over 2500 wines on hand, so stop by the store or use the search box at the top of the page to help you ponder. But most of all, have an enjoyable Thanksgiving feast! Dave’s picks below. (more…)
Posted By:Admin November 20, 2010
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The 2002 Slate.com article Red Scare – Stay away from that Beaujolais Nouveau, sucker is a perfect example of the kind of snobbishness that can get in the way of simply enjoying wine. In it, the author slams the wine as “a wine mainly borne of its worst vineyards, a wine barely removed from the fermentation vat, a wine that is nothing more than pleasantly tart barroom swill“. If you share this attitude toward the annual release of the Beaujolais Nouveau, maybe it’s time to un-stuff your shirt for a moment, and have some fun with it for what it is. Granted, it’s fair to say that the wine industry over-marketed the autumn tradition of rushing out the year’s recent harvest while its better grapes are still just beginning to become the great wines of Beaujolais. But the real marketing frenzy of recent decades is over, and at the end of the day the nouveau is a fun wine, whose youthful fruit expresses an enthusiasm for life and the rewards of the harvest. This recent Houston Chronicle piece fair-handedly explains how Georges Duboeuf’s marketing savvy may have done for Beaujolais what white zinfandel did for rosé, but takes a much more positive spin. In it, the author shares an example of how to enjoy the annual release. On Thursday morning next week, French father and son restaurateurs Georges and Jean-Philippe Guy will “pop a cork of the 2010 Nouveau, slice some saucisson – cured, air-dried country sausage – and toast each other“. They of course will be doing in the crisp fall air of the region, but what a wonderful image. We’re sorry to say we can’t help you get to the French countryside by next week, but we WILL have some Albert Bichot Beaujolais Nouveau on hand. Even if your palate resists such childish grape expressions, the light fruitiness and colorful label of a Nouveau is a fantastic complement to holiday dinners, and with its broadly accessible character, a great gift through the end of the year.
Posted By:Admin November 14, 2010
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There has always been a lot of fuss about wine labels. More recently it has tended to be about how pretty or clever they are, and historically, many (mostly in America) have found the labels of Spanish, Italian , and French wines frustrating, primarily because they haven’t taken the time to bone up on why and how they’re labeled. This is the only concession that Olé Imports has made in the making and marketing of their line of exceptional terroir-driven wines. The bottles are attractively and functionally labeled on the front, with concise plain-English information on the back. But obviously what’s important here is what’s INSIDE the bottle, and these are honest, quality Spanish wines, not Spanish wines made to appeal to a particular palate. This may sound a little snobbish in a way, but Olé’s Patrick Mata explains the very practical reasons behind their insistence on staying true to the grapes and their origin in this Wine Curmudgeon piece, adding “Why don’t wine buyers want more for their dollar?” We couldn’t agree more about that last bit, which is why we’re excited to have gotten a great price on these wines, which we’re passing on to you. So if you’re already a Spanish wine lover, you know what great ratings Olé wines are getting and will appreciate the value here. And if you’re just beginning to discover your inevitable love of Spanish wine, these are some very solid, truly Spanish wines with some very approachable prices. And labels. Plenty of notes below. (more…)
Posted By:Admin November 7, 2010
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No. They’re relocating, according to AnnArbor.com. You might think that as a competitor we would derive some sort of pleasure from this fact, but nothing could be farther from the truth! We wish Village corner a speedy and painless relocation. One of the great things about selling wine in Ann Arbor is that – much like the variety of people you’ll meet from all over the world here – the town has a great deal of diversity in selections and styles of selling wine. From focused selections like that of Everyday Wines and Morgan & York, to the large inventories at stores like ours, to newcomers like The Wine Seller, and even volume retailers like Plum Market, Whole Foods and Bush’s. Village Corner is a vital part of that mix, having been on the scene for decades. We wish them the best.
Posted By:Admin November 3, 2010
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