Tuesday, August 31, 2010

09' Bordeaux...They weren't exaggerating.

Okay, so everyone knows that I am personally not a huge enthusiast regarding hype from magazines on "how great" a wine may or may not be. With the recent press on the '09 vintage, I won't lie and will admit how skeptical I was. Mostly because, well - I always wonder how they can determine from so early in the barrell how well a wine will stand up to the test of time. It's not as if we all haven't encountered a wine that had promise right out of the gate - but fell apart after 30 minutes in the glass. It happens; so you can't help but wonder how they can be so sure of one vintage being so much better than another. I suppose that's why "they" get the big bucks, right?

Yesterday, I sampled 5 '09 Bordeauxs (Petite Chateau, non classified) that were less than impressive. I thought to myself "seriously, is this what all the hype is about"? These were not necessarily inexpensive either. I passed on bringing them in.

Today, I tasted 5 '09 (again, Petite Chateau) and they were fantastic and inexpensive. I'm talking ranging from $10.99- $14.99 on the shelf. Complete overproducers for the price range which made me step back and say "so this is what all the hype is about!".

They will be on the shelf tomorrow, and one -- is ORGANIC. Certified and on the label, so if you're looking for certification in a Bordeaux, I've got one for you - and it's delicious.

One can only imagine what the future will hold with the later releases.....

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back from vacation - fabulous feedback....and ch-ch-changes!

Like most of you, I am returning from a brief summer vacation. As we're approaching our first year in Melrose, I was able to take a few days to unwind and relax (well, as relaxing as a family vacation to Hershey Park can be!). As sad as I am for it to be over - I'm so glad to be back.

To make the return even better, this morning I read this great article which really made me so very happy; this encapsulates what our business model is, and why we want the small wine boutique shop to be an experience - not just an errand. (http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com/2010/08/rant-best-advice-on-buying-wine.html)

Labor Day is approaching - and that means Harvest is upon us. This is probably my favorite time of year; and to celebrate - some changes are coming to the Melrose store in the next month....window displays featuring Henriot Champagne is a big switch; if you are an enthusiast of the bubbles and have not yet tried this line - I insist that you try. Speaking of windows, a plan is in the works to pretty up the windows and give us a very classic and unique outside appearance. I'd been hoping to unveil it for Labor Day, but the schedule seems to be slipping on that one..

Hours are changing as well! We are now officially open until 9pm on Thursdays - and look for Sundays to stay open until 7. We know how halftime during football season is always the time that everyone needs to run out and refresh the coolers; or maybe you've got a Sunday dinner plan and forgot that bottle of wine to bring. No worries - we're here for you.

And of course...the inventory. Not sure if you've noticed, but the last three weeks I started stocking Harvest/Pumpkin/Octoberfest beer! Dogfish, Victory, Ipswich, Sam Adams, Shipyard - just to name a few. Who doesn't love a good pumpkin ale, right? We also have Fall Ciders from Woodchuck & Harpoon for those of you looking for something other than traditional beer or wine.

In the wine department - I'm cutting down on some of the lighter Spanish white wines, and re-engaging my South African section. South Africa has some delicious and exciting wines at fabulous prices. The "bigger" wines and higher end (but still not over the top in price) are bulking up as well. It's never too early to think about holiday gift giving!

And then, there's food.... Bread is coming back on Fridays in the next two weeks! I know some of you have really missed that, so I'm happy to announce the return. I've got some great food lines that I found over the summer coming in over the next month - and best of all - they're all LOCAL. Small, artisan food producers are so much fun to find for me - -and you can feel good knowing you're part of supporting our local economy. Buy local, buy fresh -- it's not just a tagline; it's a principle and business model I work hard to follow.

My batteries are recharged - and hopefully, you will enjoy the subtle changes that are going to be happening. My wine shop is your wine shop - and it is a constantly evolving, living thing. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome, and as always - thank you for your support.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tax Free Weekend Event!

This weekend - save 6.25% on all of your purchases!

And with our regular discount of 10% off 6 bottles -15% off 12 (mix and match) -- that's a great incentive to think about stocking up, or holiday gift giving ideas!

Today, we'll have two bottles open after 11 - we're still choosing which ones they'll be.

Tomorrow, join us for an "Old Time Summertime Sunday" as we sample out a selection of 4-6 wines - and enjoy music from members of local band "That Old Feeling" performing live! Specializing in music from the 20's, 30's and 40's, you'll be sure to feel like you've stepped into an era gone by.

And remember - this year's election will feature the ballot question to permanently remove the tax on alcoholic beverages. Your vote counts.... we didn't get the choice previously - and now we do. So be sure to rock the vote!

Friday, August 13, 2010

'Tis never too early for Pumpkin...

Yes, I'm a big fan of Pumpkin Ale.
Who am I kidding - I'm a big fan of all things pumpkin.

So, I couldn't wait until August to start ordering the harvest seasoned beer.
The following are in stock in Melrose -though truthfully, not sure how long they'll last on the shelves.
(And yes - Dogfish Pumpkin will be in stock next week; I've already pre-ordered!)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Beachbound, Visiting or Gift Giving...

We're happy to announce that we're now carrying beautiful handmade Beverage Bags & Cozies by local artist Liz Noonan.

A resident of Melrose, Liz uses classic patterns and styles for her product line -- and exceptionally good quality fabric. You have to see them for yourself to see, touch and feel.

Classic patterns such as English Toile, Striping and coordinating florals make these bags fabulous timeless gifts for yourself - or someone else! The bags perfectly fit a six pack of beer for those backyard barbecues that might be more casual -- and the cozies are perfect for dressing up your bottles.
They're actually perfect casual handbags for just about any use!

And as always - it's never too early to start thinking about holiday gift giving.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Holy Smokes - it's a special Pinot!

If you're a Pinot Noir enthusiast - then you're in for a treat.

We've recently acquired the Sea Smoke Southing -- and supplies are very limited.

Call/email for pricing.

It's never to early to start thinking of holiday gift giving!
And it's never the wrong time to think of a gift for yourself...

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Sake Sampler...and a Sake Class!

So, this morning I had quite the education in Sake. Having a very limited understanding of this deliciously mysterious wine - I was quite interested in the portfolio I was tasting. I was not disappointed.

Good Morning Sunshine....

Interestingly enough, I've discovered that I enjoy a cloudy Sake - this one, a pearl. It tastes unfiltered, and has a delicious coconut like tropical flavor. There also was a fabulous Asian Pear flavored one that was spectacular - as well as some other ones that I'll post more information about shortly. I think my personal favorite was one that was incredibly crisp and dry - but not flat, as some I've tasted can be. When I say flat, think heavy minerality with little other flavor.

I'm writing this off the top of my head (as I drink La Nerthe Chateauneuf Du Pape Blanc, no less...) so I certainly don't want to misinform with writing the wrong names or styles of what I sampled. I'll post the correct information in a future post this week.

Needless to say, I'm quite excited about ramping up the variety in Melrose - and look for a Sake Class to come this fall.

Questions? Feel free!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Love this advertisement..!

Sorry for the poor quality, but this has got to be the best advertisement in this collection of brilliant commercials. Enjoy!

(And for the record, yes - I sell it.)