Main Street Party Ann Arbor Wine Sellers

Who Are YOU Going Home With On New Year’s Eve?

Campaigns like this one by Anheuser-
Busch may offend some, but put some
humor in a sometimes touchy subject

As we head into the homestretch of the holiday season, many of us have our eye on finally letting loose on New Year’s Eve, and wrapping it all up so we can make a fresh start in the new year. Two obvious components of a good New Year’s Eve celebration are some good bubbly and a good toast, and we’ve already pointed out that we have plenty of both high-end and lower-priced bubbly, and even suggested some classic toasts. But equally important – on a holiday which for many is almost entirely about drinking – is drinking responsibly. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission has provided a handy guide this year called Responsible Party Host Tips (269KB, PDF) that offers plenty of suggestions for responsible party planning. But the basic guidelines for responsible hosting are simple: Stay clear-headed yourself, don’t over-serve, have plenty of food and and non-alcohol beverages on hand, plan some designated drivers, and stop serving an hour before the party is ending. One clever idea is to check keys when you check coats. That way, you get to see each guest face-to-face before they leave, so you can help them make a responsible decision about whether or not they’re ready for the road. Real friends who care about each other should take no offense in this, any adult who drinks with any regularity should be well aware that when we drink we are our own worst judge of the shape we’re in, and trusting in the concern of our friends could literally save a life! And there’s no reason to be a stick in the mud about the whole thing, although campaigns like the Anheuser-Busch Wanna Go Home with Me Tonight? campaign generate a little controversy, they put a humorous spin on a sometimes uncomfortable topic. On another humorous note, P.J. O’Rourke said in his book Modern MannersNever Refuse Wine. It is an odd but universally held opinion that anyone who doesn’t drink must be an alcoholic.” There’s probably a strange truth in that, so for those of you who for some reason feel socially excluded without something that looks like a drink in your hand, we have some non-alcohol beer and bubbly on hand in the store. See below. (more…)

Posted By:Admin December 26, 2010

“Too Much Champagne” Is An Oxymoron

If you’re old enough, you may remember a time when if you wanted to enjoy some bubbly for under thirty or more dollars, you’d have to accept the fact that you’d be imbibing a soda-pop like concoction that was likely to give you a headache while you drank it, rather than the day after. Thankfully, those days are long gone, and there are many exceptional sparklers available for under twenty dollars. We featured some of our higher-end sparkling wines and Champagnes a couple of weeks ago, but as we head into the home stretch of the holidays, we thought we’d highlight some of our less expensive bubbly. For many of us, the two weeks around Christmas and New Years are a minefield of office parties, social obligations and gifting that can really challenge your holiday cheer. A quality sparkling wine can offer a single simple solution to all of these holiday checklists. Going to a party? Take along a couple of nice Cavas from Spain. Need an inexpensive but festive gift to show your appreciation to all the people in the cube farm? It would be nice to put a bottle of Mo√ęt & Chandon or Pommery on everyone’s desk, but we don’t all work for Goldman Sachs, and at a mere seven or eight dollars a pop, you can make a lot of corks pop, while bringing a lot of smiles without breaking the bank. Below are nine exceptional sparkling wines, all for under twenty dollars. And while these are all highly-rated sparkling wines on their own, they’re affordable enough that they can pull double duty for a deliciously refreshing Mimosa. And there’s bound to be a morning or two during the hectic holidays where that’s going to sound like a really good idea! (more…)

Posted By:Admin December 18, 2010

Share Some Christmas Spirits That Are Guaranteed To Impress

Remy Louis XIII Grande
If it’s good enough for Queen Elizabeth and
Winston Churchill, it should be good
enough for just about anyone on your list.

There’s a good chance there’s someone on your Christmas list that you know would enjoy wine as a gift. There’s an equally good chance that if they’re a genuine enthusiast, they spend fifty to a hundred dollars on a bottle of wine with some regularity. So you may think that’s one quick gift out of the way, but then realize – once confronted with hundreds of wines to choose from – that you’re not really all THAT sure what they have in their cellar, or what EXACTLY would bring a smile to their face when they’re unwrapping it. So here’s a strategy: why not buy them something interesting to drink that *isn’t wine. Like a nice whiskey, brandy, port, or even a mescal or tequila? Fine spirits have another little side benefit: you’re almost certainly not going to a come across a “bad” bottle. We’ve rounded up just a few of the more interesting (and pricey) gift packages we have in stock below. We’re being a little whimsical to make a point; we don’t expect you to rush in by Christmas and drop a couple thousand dollars on a Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac, or a Highland Park 40 Year Old scotch, but you might very well find that something like the Dewar’s Signature in a wooden gift box to be just the thing for about a tenth that price. And that’s what we’d *really like to bring to your attention. Our store is unfortunately a bit cramped at about 2500 sq ft, so many of our nearly 3,000 wines and several hundred fine whiskeys and brandies are at your feet, high above your head, or in our “secret cellar” in the rear of the store. Like our selection of vintage ports, which cover most years through the 80’s and 90’s through the present. Or our selection of magnums and jeroboams. So next time you’re in the store, remember things are looking up. Or at least you are, if you’re perusing our selection of hundreds of fine spirits. (more…)

Posted By:Admin December 13, 2010

Spread Some Cheer With Christmas Beer

Delirium Noel
The pink elephants on the Delirium
Noel label are typical of the
capricious spirit of Christmas beer.

Although specially brewed Christmas beers have been a tradition in Denmark, Belgium and Scandinavia for centuries, it was not too many years ago in America that if you mentioned “beer” and “Christmas” in the same sentence, it probably conjured images of your beer-drinking uncle sitting in the easy chair in the corner. Well THAT certainly has changed. These days, failure to have on hand one of the many amazing seasonal and holiday beers that are available could probably be considered a major faux pas as a holiday host. The term “Christmas Beer” means something a little more specific in each of the northern European countries that created them, but they all have a few things in common. To stand up to the cold and the season’s heartier foods, they are often brewed with the years late-harvest grains to be intentionally higher in alcohol, and will often embody more of the brewers creativity and playfulness. Styles and character will range from the fairly conventional to all-out flavor riots of nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolatiness, and fruit, but the beer is crafted with the season in mind, so they tend to be flamboyant and expressive. And in spite of the capricious labels featuring naughty elves and pink elephants, it’s interesting to note that we in fact probably owe the existence of these beers to the Christian monks at abbeys throughout Europe who developed and refined these beer-making methods as far back as the 1300’s. But never mind the history of these beers, think about the present. The Christmas present. Many of these beers are in more festively labeled wine-bottle sized bottles, and make great gifts. We don’t recommend getting too carried away with the wrapping though; the beer lover in your life will probably waste no time cracking the bottle and offering to share it with you. We’ve featured about half of the Christmas and winter beers we have on hand below, contact us if you’re looking for one you don’t see. If it’s available in Michigan, we probably have it. (more…)

Posted By:Admin December 5, 2010

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