Staff Picks: What to Drink This Week
Things our staff thinks you should consider trying!
2014 Dirupi Valtalina Superiore - $41.99
Dirupi is the brainchild of Davide Fasolini and Pierpaolo Di Franco who were childhood friends who used to play hoops and pick grapes in primary school. The two of them reconnected in enology school and in 2004 started renting vineyards in Valtallina, Lombardia were they grew up, and began their journey in winemaking. Dirupi is named for the steepness of the vineyards which are high elevation, terraced vineyards in the Alps where Chiavannesca, more commonly known as Nebbiolo is grown. Chiavannesca from Valtallina can be a very approachable alternative to the higher priced Nebbiolo from Piedmont. This 2014 Valtalina Superiore is drinking beautifully now. It shows aromatics of
licorice and red fruit. The palate exhibits soft tannin for Nebbiolo and bright cherry fruit. Try this stunner with a wild game ragu with pappardelle.
2021 Devil's Corner Chardonnay, Tasmania - $22.99
Last fall, we fell head-over-heels in love with Devil's Corner Pinot Noir. The sultry, black-fruited Pinot was punching well above its weight at only $23.99, and we just couldn't get enough. We just brought in the Devil's Corner Chardonnay and folks... it's every bit as delectable! If you've counted off Australian wine as being too heavy handed, give Tasmanian wines a try — Australia's coolest wine region. This cool-climate Chardonnay is crisp and acid-driven, with lovely melon and stone fruit characteristics and a salty minerality that transports you to Tasmania's East Coast. This young wine is fresh, zesty and light on its toes. A quintessential "everyone will love it" white wine, and it's priced to party!
2021 Red Car Rose of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, CA $27.99
It's finally rose season and one of my favorites from California is Red Car, a boutique winery in Sebastopol that produces some exceptional Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. Their rose has always been an "intentional" rose, harvested early to preserve acidity, whole-cluster pressed and fermented in stainless and oak barrels to give it lift and a creamy mid-palate. This is cult rose at its finest- their neighbors are Hirsch, Marcassin, Flowers, Peay and a handful of other producers that craft such delicate wine from struggling vines in the "true north" of Sonoma Coast. We never get much so this is not to be missed! Drink now or keep it in your cellar for a year or two and see how it develops.
2019 Cruse Tannat, Alder Springs Mendocino - $44.99
Two weeks ago I reviewed a pet nat of Valdiguie from Michael Cruse. That was an eye opening experience. Cruse's table wines are an equally thrilling experience. Forget Tannat's reputation (assuming you've ever heard of this rarely planted and mostly blended French grape) as a coarse chewy brooding red. This old vine Tannat has been Califonia-ized in the best possible way. It's absolutely exploding with lush ripe fruit that is somehow both deep, dark and dense and powerfully refreshing. The grapes typically meaty notes are subdued and replaced with effortlessly bold and graceful notes of anise, violet, backing spice and crushed rock like minerality. This power house screams for grilled or roasted meat but won't wear out your palate in a relaxing after work type cocktail setting.
2019 D.V. Catena 'Tinto Historico 1910' Mendoza, Argentina - $22.99
This red blend comes from Bodega Catena Zapata owners Laura Catena and her father, Nicolas Catena, as an homage to her Grandfather, Domingo Vincente Catena. D.V. was known as a "Master of the Assemblage" when, in the 1930s, his blend was all the rage in the French bistros of Buenos Aires. Consisting primarily of Malbec, a generous amount of Bonarda and a little bit of Petite Verdot are added to the blend. Each different grape comes from old-vine estate vineyards in Maipu, Rivadavia, and the Uco Valley. The best expression of these individual varietals coalesce to create a luscious wine ready to enjoy now or after many more years in your cellar. Aromas of ripe red berries, plum, and floral violets lead to a plush feel on the palate of juicy red fruit balanced by a light smoky savory quality that gives the wine wonderful tension. Round tannins and lifted fruit carry the wine to a pleasing finish.Lauded by major wine critics (91 points from Robert Parker and 94 points from James Suckling) this is a delicious tribute to a Master Blender from Argentina's first family of wine.
Ida Graves - FORAGED Celebration Cocktail $28.99
Ida Graves has teamed up with Chef Alan Bergo to create a ready-to-drink cocktail from locally foraged roots, flowers, and fruits, representing the not commonly appreciated but delicious flavors from our region’s diverse forests and prairies. They believe that going back to foraging is a new frontier in food and drink and collaborated with Minneapolis local mixologist Tyler Kleinow to create their Foraged Celebration Cocktail. This seasonal release is made from rowan berries, highbush cranberries, wild ginger and galium. You can smell the berries mixed with hints of earth, spices and honey (they use local honey to make their base spirit). The palate brings rich flavor and follows the nose with juicy berries, warm spices, hints of earth and has a smooth finish with a touch of sweetness. Bring this a your craft cocktail while you watch the Women's NCAA Final Four, or enjoy a date night in with your sweetie.
Lustau Solera Reserva Brandy - $31.99
Lustau is primarily known for being a prominent sherry house but they make some truly excellent and affordable brandy as well. Aged in Amontillado Sherry casks, this brandy has a touch more sweetness than its French counterparts but conveys a great deal of character and depth within. The nose has rich vanilla fragrances, apricot notes, and a roasty nuttiness that is to die for. The palate leads with a strong oaky/new leather relish but moves into notes of fried fruits, cocoa, and residual creaminess. This is a fantastic brandy at a great price, perfect for sipping by itself on a late night or in your favorite brady cocktail.
1.5 oz Lustau
0.5 oz green chartreuse
0.75 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz simple
2 Dashes Angostura
Add all ingredients to a shaker, add ice and shake hard. Strain into glass and garnish with a twist of lemon. Enjoy!
It's Final Four weekend! Minneapolis is hosting the Women's Final Four at the Target Center. UCONN made it and their star player, Paige Bueckers, is from Hopkins. This year all of the teams that made the Final Four are some of basketball's "Blue Bloods". So in honor of that I am putting together a couple of refreshing blue cocktails to sip on while you watch the games. First up, Blue Margarita. in this one we are just substituting Blue Curacao instead of Orange Curacao. You can substitute blue curacao in any cocktail that calls for Curacao since they are pretty much the same. One just has a different color added.
1.5 oz Blanco Tequila
.75 oz Giffard Bleu Curacao
.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
First salt the rim of a chilled cocktail glass. In a shaker add all ingredients, add ice, shake it hard, strain into your salted glass over ice or up and garnish with a lime wheel.
Next up I have a classic. The Blue Moon from Crosby Gaige's Cocktail Guide that came out in 1945.
2 oz Gin (We can add specific gin tomorrow, i want to look at them)
.75 oz Rothman and winter Creme de Violette
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 oz Simple syrup
Add all ingredients into a shaker, add ice, shaker, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cherry.
Hope everyone enjoys the games this week. Just so you know I am currently winning the NLWS Bracket. So wish me luck. Cheers