Staff Picks: What to Drink This Week
Things our staff thinks you should consider trying!
2019 Laurent Cazottes Champêtre Blanc, Occitanie, France *certified organic - $24.99
What does a glass of Springtime taste like? Apparently it tastes like 100% Mauzac, biodynamically farmed, and found only in the South of France. The Mauzac grape is the main white varietal in Gaillac and is the dominant grape in Cremant de Limoux. Here it stands alone as a still wine and the aromas of apples, pears and plums are intoxicating. Honey, spice, soft floral and mineral notes round out the palate. We don't get much of this little gem so be sure to grab a bottle and check an obscure Southern French grape off your list!
2020 Paetra Willamette Valley Riesling - $25.99
Weinbau Paetra makes some of the most exciting Riesling coming out of Oregon. The winemaker, Bill Hooper, learned how to make wine in the Pfalz region of Germany after working in Minnesota as a Wine Buyer and in Wine Distribution. The Wine and Agricultural schools of Germany are the most comprehensive and immersive in the world; during this time he was also required to work at multiple German wineries, gaining a diverse working knowledge of winemaking. Bill brought his passion and skills to Oregon, and founded Paetra in 2013, where he focuses on cool climate grape varietals. This Willamette Valley Riesling is an "acid head's" dream; it's shockingly vibrant like eating a white peach that's been soaked in fresh lemon juice. This refreshing, organic Riesling is the perfect lean white wine for the glacial melt this week!
2018 Chateau Musar Hochar Pere et Fils -$37.99
This is the second wine from the legendary Chateau Musar estate in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. It is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon and aged for 6 months in French Oak. This bottles gives the consumer the unique Musar tasting profile without quite the power and weight of it's bigger brother. The wine shows aromas of sweet tobacco and plum on the nose. The medium bodied palate has pretty red fruit and is reminiscent of an old school Rhone wine with delicate tannin. This is one of the best Hochars I have encountered and is ready to enjoy now. Try this wine with lamb skewers on the grill.
2018 Domaine Douloufakis 'Dafnios' Liatiko, Dafnes, Crete - $19.99
One of my biggest pleasures with wine is discovering and enjoying wine regions and grape varietals new to me from across the globe. Ancient varietals still being nurtured by small family grower/producers in Europe is of particular interest to me. The wine takes me on a journey. It takes me back in time. I'm imbibing history. I'm drinking in a certain place I dream of exploring. This wine, currently swirling around in my glass, is one such delicious discovery.
A trip of Crete is in my glass. From the Douloufakis family comes this 100% Liatiko red wine. About 10 miles inland from Crete's capital city of Heraklion, the indigenous Liatiko grape flourishes in their vineyard at an elevation of 1000 feet in the D.O. of Dafnes. Organic viniculture ensures that this wine is truly of a "particular place". Aromas of cherry, olives, plum, spice, and cedar entice and lead me to flavors of cranberry and earthy smoke. The orange hue to the light red color is true to this unique varietal. The initial light grip when first poured softens with time in the glass and finishes with lifted satisfaction. As I am planning an actual trip to Crete next January, I definitely plan on enjoying a glass of this wine in the vineyard from whence it came.
OPIHR Spices of the Orient - London Dry Gin $34.99
OPIHR creates a London Dry Gin with spices gathered from along the Ancient Spice Routes between Europe and the Far East. The hand-picked botanicals travel to the oldest distillery in England, where they are distilled using traditional methods dating back to 1761. Italian Juniper is blended with Malaysian Cubeb Berries, Tellicherry Black Pepper and Ginger from India, Morracan Corriander, German Angelica Root and citrus from around the Mediterranean Sea. The richness of the spice gives the nose intense cardamom and ginger notes with toasted cumin, bursts of bright citrus and a warm earthy background. Warmth fills the palate, subtle hints of peppery tellicherry and cubeb berries mix with traditional juniper, coriander and citrus for a delightfully intense experience. Smooth across the palate, with a refreshing finish, this is perfect for a sping Gin and Tonic or your favorite style of Negroni.
1 ounce OPIHR gin
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce sweet vermouth
Orange for garnish
In mixing glass filled with ice, stir all ingredients except garnish. Strain into Old-Fashioned glass over large ice cube. Garnish with orange half-wheel.
Alaskan Hard Seltzer Mixed 12-Pack - $19.99
Temperatures continue to climb this week, giving a sample size of some warmer and more enjoyable days ahead for us Minnesotans. When it comes to warmer weather, I tend to lean on seltzers for a clean, refreshing beverage of choice from time to time. Alaskan Brewing Company has a hard seltzer mixed pack that has flavor combinations that are loud in your mouth. Typically, I have tasted many hard seltzers that lack in flavor and instead offer just a hint or flash of it. However, Alaskan's bold flavor combinations — such as slightly tart and very crisp Lemon-Lime, sweet and sour balanced Cherry-Grapefruit, tropical and candy-like tasting Mango-Peach, and the numerous flavors of Mixed Berry — hold up extremely well. All seltzers start with Alaskan's exclusive Sitka Spruce tip base, which imparts citrusy and berry qualities, giving that extra "oomph" to your taste buds. These drinks are sugar- and gluten-free as well, with each can only being 95 calories. Stop in and snag a mixed pack today!
Uruapan Charanda Blanco $24.99
Uruapan is a truly interesting spirit, while technically a "rum" by definition it is also a protected denomination of origin spirit made in the state of Michoacan, Mexico known as Charanda. This spirit has a lot of character for such a young spirit, with sweet sugar cane fragrances coming through on the nose as well as surprisingly funky undertones that are slightly similar to a Jamaican rum. The flavor profile has nice sweetness and salinity up front with notes of basil, lime, honey, and a little funk throughout. The finish is very clean and makes it both very easy to drink by itself and a great addition for your at home bar.
El Floridita Daiquiri
1.5 oz. Uruapan
1 oz. grapefruit juice
0.5 oz. lime juice
0.75 oz. Maraschino Liqueur
Put all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice, shake, strain, and serve in a chilled glass.