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Planning a PARTY? Let Betsy help you select just the right beverages!
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July Club Selections
SAN MARTINO PINOT GRIGIO 2017
Is there a better time than summer for Pinot Grigio? We doubt it. This wine is light bodied, crisp and all around gulpability making it a go to whenever the temperature is above 70. From the classic region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, it’s citrusy, bright and priced just right to purchase by the case so you don’t run out during an unexpected heat wave.
$12.99 regular $11.59 club
JEAN- LUC COLOMBO COTES DU RHONE (RED) “LES ABEILLES” 2015
Some might say Jean-Luc Colombo is the bad boy of the Rhone. He doesn’t do things the usual way. You can tell something is different just by looking at his labels. Les Abeilles (The Bees) is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Mouvedre. On the nose “red fruits…” on the palate “fresh and silky, with notes of licorice and spice”.
$13.99 regular $12.99 club
VISTALBA CORTE C 2015
Malbec and Argentina have not stopped their march to conquer the wine world. This blend of 82% Malbec and 18% Cabernet Sauvignon comes from one of the finest areas, Lujan de Cuyo. The wine has lots of flavor with some silky tannins as well as some red berry fruit. A great buy from a great vineyard.
$15.99 regular $14.39 club
The Threesome $38.97
DOMAINE DE FONTSAINTE GRIS DE GRIS 2017
It seems that every year the rosé category expands more and more. This rosé from the Corbieres region of France is composed of 70% Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Carignan, and 10% Cinsault—all of them classic grapes and perfect for rosé. The winery de-scribes it as having aromas of “ raspberry, cherry and freshly picked strawberries”. On the palate it has a “density and richness of the fruit…” that is mixed in with great acidity. This is the kind of wine that can stand up to a lot of foods. The winery recommends pairing it with everything from olives to lamb tagine—a dish we think would be particularly good out on the grill. You may need two bottles because one is sure to go quickly while you are supervising the lamb tagine.
“Beer is made by men, wine by God”—Martin Luther
TOUR DES GENDRES RED BERGERAC 2016
The Italian family of Vincenzo di Conti settled in this southwestern part of France, Bergerac, in 1925 and since then have devoted them-selves to the pursuit of growing grapes and making wine. The “Gendres” vineyard goes back to the Gallo-Roman era. The de Conti family has managed to “conjugate all our talents so that our wines, our appellation and our region inspire dynamism and prosperity”.
While some may think this kind of wine may spend time in oak that is not the case here. All of the fermentation and aging is done in stainless steel producing a wine that is “bright garnet-colored…aromas are very elegant, a fresh nose of red fruits, fresh cherry…lovely body and soft tannins”.
If you are a fan of blends then this is for you as it is of 60% Merlot and 40% Malbec. It’s also a good opportunity to taste what these two grapes can do outside of Bordeaux and Argentina where those two grapes do really well. And while it may not matter in the taste, the little green sticker on the label with the shape of a leaf means, the wine is organic.
ONABAY VINEYARDS MERLOT 2013
Onabay is located on the North Fork of Long Island. Long Island has had a long history of growing grapes and making wine. And while there have been doubters as to its potential, it is making wine better than ever. This wine a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Malbec; 20% of it was aged in new oak and the balance in seasoned French oak—all for a total of 17 months. It is described as offering “sweet aromas of plums, bing cherries, and a hint of licorice. The palate is even more surprising…a rich mouth full of ripe flavors combine with elegant tannins and a gentle finish”. If you don’t want to fight the weekend crowds on Long Island, grab a bottle of this, find a chair On A Bay somewhere, and enjoy.
SOLAR DE RANDEZ RIOJA RESERVA 2010
As we have written many times, Spain is one of the best places to find wines that have been aged, and are ready to drink at a reasonable price. This 100% Tempranillo wine has been fermented in stainless steel, aged in French oak for 24 months and then aged for a minimum of 16 months in the bottle before it is released. The key thing to know about Reserva wines from Spain is that they must adhere to certain rules such as how long it’s aged in oak and then kept in bottle before release. It’s a great example of the word Reserva (Reserve) having a very real and concrete meaning. The flavor profile includes a “round and velvety texture” with “well-integrated notes of vanilla, tobacco and ripe fruit”.
Agave de Cortes Mezcal Reposado
The agave revolution has been far more understated but no less dramatic than the bourbon one. So much so that you can find articles about the shortage of agave to make this beautiful liquid from our neighbors to the south.
Mezcal is different than tequila and it is just as alluring. It probably has a smaller following than tequila but those who love it, love it intensely!!!
The makers of this mezcal, the Cortes family, are “considered by many to be mezcal royalty”. “For close to 200 years, the Cortes family has been growing, foraging and distilling the maguey in the Zapotec village of Santiago Matatlan.” They have been the “driving force behind the award winning mezcals of El Jorgorio and Nuestra Soledad”.
This one is full of flavors of “vanilla, caramel, milk chocolate, and white stone fruit”. “The smoke is subtle and the palate is rich”.
$45.99/ 750 ml bot-tle
DOMAINE PINSON FRERES CHABLIS 2016
At one time in American wine history, Chablis was THE white wine. So much so that it became synonymous with all white wine in general. With all due respect to the past, it doesn’t even come close to resembling what true Chablis is and can be. True Chablis comes from a very specific region in France—located above Champagne and is made from the Chardonnay grape exclusively. This Chablis has an incredible provenance—it is located between two of the most famous names in the area—Vaillons and Montmains. It is fermented and aged in tank which of course means that if you like unoaked Chardonnay, then this wine is for you.
DOMAINE PIERRE GUILLEMOT SAVIGNY LES BEAUNE “DESSUS LES GOLLARDES” 2015
The general rule is that Chardonnay is the white grape of Burgundy but of course there are very few exceptions. According to the importer Kermit Lynch (0ne of the great importers of wine in America) “this rare appellation (Savigny Les Beaune) permits 70% Pinot Blanc to be blended with Chardonnay”. “Fragrant aromas of roasted hazelnuts and zesty limestone minerality make this a Burgundy unlike any other”! There is a richness here the winery describes as “white flowers; yellow fruit; peaches; with age, notes of honey on the nose”.
CONQUILLA CAVA BRUT ROSE NV
Of course the bubbles don’t have to be expensive! In this case the sparkling wine of Spain, Cava, will do nicely. Made from the traditional grapes of the Catalunya region, it is made from 100% Pinot Noir—a grape that is also the backbone of so many Champagnes. The fruit all comes from their own estate and it is allowed to ferment very slowly in order to develop more complex flavors. It is “bright cherry color…fine, delicate bubbles. Aroma of wild berry and currant lead to a spicy palate of red fruit accompanied by fine enduring bubbles and balanced acidity. Generous, toasty finish.”
One of the most important aspects of making drinks and serving wine is temperature. We don’t often think about temperature unless the temperature is in some way not right. Think about the cube of ice you need for the shaken martini or the block of ice you need for the summer party punch. Either way you want ice that is pure, clean and brilliant.
Ice. Ice. Baby.
Towne Liquor Store
Established in 1948, and still family owned, has been the premier supplier of excellent wine, beer and spirits in South Eastern Connecticut. We are located close to both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos. We provide a great selection and can also advise you on your spirited beverage needs.