Friday, July 29th, 2022
Mezcal, Theater, and Other Things We Love

This week: We explore the world of Mezcal — an area of our store that has blossomed with our recent expansion. There are so many delicious options on our shelves; let us help you decode the delicious agave spirit!

With less than a week until this town's favorite theater festival, we wanted to explore everything your home bar will need to prepare you for the spotlight. If you're hosting a cocktail party before curtains, between stage times, or after the final bows — let us help you keep your libations "in character".
-Division Wine Event-
Thursday, 8/4/22, 7pm

$25 Ticket buys $20 in Division wine after the tasting!
Tickets available on Eventbrite - CLICK HERE
Division Wines are dedicated to making approachable and balanced wines through minimal manipulation.

It’s their passion to work with well-farmed, terroir-expressive vineyards, many of which are organic and/or Biodynamic®.

Division Winemaking Company co-owner and co-winemaker Tom Monroe got his start in banking, but was drawn away by the artistry of wine. The unique trifecta of people, science, and art, has kept him in wine for the past decade. Playing multiple roles in his constantly evolving day-to-day is one of the elements to winemaking that Tom enjoys most.
Mezcal 101
A little bit about Mezcal.
Mezcal has been growing in popularity in the U.S. for the past few years. It has been like a snowball rolling downhill. More and more are becoming available in the market and there are tons of different types available. It is overwhelming.

What is it?
Mezcal is anything that is distilled from the Agave plant. There are about 200 different types of agave out there. It is kind of like anything made from fermented grapes is a wine. So Mezcal is the blanket term for the beverage and they can vary drastically in flavor. Yes, All Tequila is a Mezcal because it is made from Blue Weber Agave but not all Mezcals are Tequilas.
How it is made.
Mezcal is made by harvesting the hearts or Pinas of the agave plant. The plants are then roasted by the Mescaleros in earthen clay pits or ovens. This is where Mezcal picks up its "smokey" quality. The agave is then crushed and fermented in wood or stone tanks. This sometimes adds a nice salinity or limestone quality. The juice is then added to copper, clay or stainless steel stills and distilled mostly using wood as a fuel source. Then it is bottled, labeled and ready to drink (unless it is being aged).

Types of Mezcal.
Mezcal can be made with any agave plant. The most widely used is Espidin. Tobalá, Arroqueño, Tobaziche and Tepeztate are a few other popular ones. They will be listed right upfront on the label and they all add a unique flavor. I'm not going to list all of them! Most Mezcals are single varietal agave but there are also some blends that use multiple agaves that are called "Ensamble".
Styles of Mezcal
Joven: Mezcal that is entirely unaged or aged for less than two months.

Reposado: Reposado mezcals are aged in oak barrels for two to twelve months.

Añejo: These mezcals are aged for one to three years.

Extra Añejo: Extra Anejo mezcal needs to be aged for more than three years.

Pechuga: Pechugas are distilled with a raw chicken or turkey breast, which is hung above the liquid in the still. The vapors steam the meat, which, in turn, imparts a full-bodied flavor to the mezcal. Mezcal de pechuga is typically drunk on special occasions like baptisms, weddings and quinceañeras.
Conclusion
Mezcal is a very unique spirit. What does it taste like? That is like asking "what does wine taste like?" It varies widely. Which is the great thing about trying a new mezcal, they all have their own special qualities and flavors. We've only scratched the surface. There are enless websites and books devoted to the deeper understanding of Mezcal. The journey is long but worthwhile.
Cheers,
Nikola
Minnesota Fringe Fest:
Theater Themed Cocktails
August 4th-14th
Chorus Girls' Milk
(Champagne Cocktail)

2-3 dashes aromatic bitters
1 sugar cube
brut sparkling wine (to top)
lemon twist garnish
optional: 2 tsp cognac

The Champagne Cocktail was so popular in the theater community it became nicknamed "Chorus Girl's Milk". To make this delicious, throat soothing libation, you first start by putting a sugar cube in a Champagne flute. Next, add a couple dashes of aromatic bitters onto the sugar cube. Fill the flute up with dry sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist. If you're feeling frisky, add a little cognac on top (to taste)!
Leading Lady Cocktail

1 oz Peach Flavored Vodka
1.5 oz Grapefruit Juice
.5 oz Elderflower Liqueur
.5 oz Egg Whites
2 oz. Sparkling Brut
2 Rosemary Sprigs
Grapefruit Peel, for garnishing

Start with a chilled martini coupe (or whichever glass you've selected).
Muddle 1 sprig of rosemary in a shaker. Add vodka, grapefruit juice, elderflower cordial and egg whites. Add ice and shake. 
Double strain into your prepared coupe. Top off with sparkling wine.
Garnish with remaining rosemary sprig and a grapefruit peel.
Broadway Cocktail

1 oz Bourbon
.5 oz Apricot Brandy
.5 oz Orange Juice
1 Dash Pernod
1 Maraschino Cherry

Fill a shaker with ice cubes and all liquid ingredients. Shake until well chilled, then strain into a coupe. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
-Friday Tasting Table-
(4-8pm)

Join us for a free wine tasting this Friday - led by Nick of New France Wine Company!
6oz Pour Wine Education Class:
Pinot Club - Burgundy
Wednesday, August 8th, 7pm
($75 per ticket)

Join us in our cellar for an educational extravaganza led by Doug Hultgren of 6oz Pour.
To reserve your seat, click the link below!

Staff Picks: What to Drink This Week
Things our staff thinks you should consider trying!

2021 Umathum Rosa Burgenland Austria - $26.99
A serious rose from one of my absolute favorite producers using Austria's three main varieties Blaufrankisch, Sankt Laurent and Zweigelt. Mature vines (up to 45 years old) grown on gravel and schist soils in the villages of Frauenkirchen and Jois. Biodynamically farmed, hand harvested and minimal intervention in the cellar are signatures of Umathum, a solar powered winery that mixes traditional craft and modern philosophy. This saignee is aged in stainless steel tank accentuating the Rosa's wonderful raspberry and cherry fruit characteristics. Not only is this wine perfect for summertime sipping but it also ages beautifully making it a perfect fall food pairing option. Brilliant raspberry color, aromatic morello cherries and red currants, spicy, fine and smooth with a long finish.
-Angie

2020 Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstadter Kabinett Trocken Riesling, Pfalz - $25.99
Soak up the vibrant summer sun with a zippy trocken (dry) Riesling! My favorite inexpensive bottle is always one by Pfalz producer Koehler-Ruprecht. 'Kabinett' Rieslings can also be off-dry; 'Kabinett' is a metric of sugar levels in the grapes at their harvest. In this instance, those sugars have been fermented into alcohol (11.5% ABV). So if you pick up a Kabinett Riesling and it has a lesser ABV (9% or 10%), expect that wine to be slightly sweet. Aromatically, this Riesling is bursting with minerality, stone & melon fruits, with a touch of honeysuckle. On the palate, there is a surprising weight and richness balanced by a lightning bolt of acidity. The Koehler-Ruprecht Riesling is predominantly fermented in barrel and then aged in large neutral barrels to further develop its texture. As an estate, they've made trocken wines long before they were en vogue — stylistic mavericks with an 'old world' approach.
-Katrina

Domaine Alain Voge Les Bulles d'Alain St Peray - $52.99
A sparkling wine done in the traditional method (champagne method) from the Northern Rhone appellation of St Peray. St Peray has been a sparkling wine area for 300 plus years, in fact the area was renowned for it's sparkling wines up until world war 2. At that point, for whatever reason, the region switched to making mostly still wines. Sparkling or still the wine made in St Peray is primarily marsanne with this wine being 100% marsanne. Hand picked and farmed organically this has aromas of roasted lemon, apricot and herbs; mineral flavors along with pear and almonds in the mouthfeel and a lengthy dry finish. It pairs well with celebrations and seafood, particularly ceviche or grilled fish. 
-Sean

Burgan's Albarino Rias Baixas - $17.99 
This exporter commissioned co-op wine is a ridiculously consistent and a perennial value. Sourced from highest quality vineyards, the style is bold and seamless, focusing on the ripe, stone fruit aspects of the albarino grape. Characteristic acidity and salinity lend to an overall refreshing style that manages hgh critical praise year in and year out. File under no-brainer crowd pleaser.
-Dave 

2021 Charles Joguet, Rosé, Chinon - $27.99
In the late 1950s young sculptor and painter, Charles Joguet, gave up a promising career in art to assume control of his family's vineyards in the Loire Valley Appellation of Chinon. His family's harvests were always sold on to separate wine makers before he took the galvanizing step of making their own wine, as the terroir of their vineyards were considered to be of the finest in Chinon, making their wine truly of a "place" and elevating the quality of Chinon wine overall. Hand harvested from Organically grown 30 year old Cabernet Franc vines on the fertile plain between the Vienne and Loire rivers, their Rosé is a seriously good "picnic match" and more.The wine is cold fermented in stainless steel and does not go through Malo-lactic Fermentation, so as to preserve the bright aromas and crisp dry pop of the fruit. Notes of wild raspberry and plum lead to cranberry, licorice and spice, with light stony minerality and lifted acidity that is thirst-quenching to the last drop.
Enjoy this by itself or with a refreshing fresh berry salad!
-Patrick

2021 Massimago Duca Fedele Valpolicella - $29.99
The Massimago winery was founded by Camilla Rosso Chauvenet in 2004 and converted to organic viticulture in 2014. The property had originally belonged to Camilla's mothers family going back to the late 19th Century, but had never been a working winery prior to Camilla taking it over. The name of the winery is from the Latin "Maximum Agium", maximum benefit. 
This Valpoicella shows aromas of wild berries and violets, with a medium bodied palate boasting notes of cherry, strawberry, and minerality, balanced by lively acid. This fruit driven red would be great for pizza night but is very delicious on its own with a chill on a warm summer evening.
-Rob

Weingut Norbert Bauer 'Schplïnk!' Grüner Veltliner, Austria - $41.99
Trink Schplïnk! The Austrians have it. And we want it. This tantalizing and quaffable, 3 liter boxed Grüner Veltliner is hot-weather, camp-out and music-festival-proven to refresh your friends and attract acquaintances. Up your wine box game with this fine sipper produced by 11th generation winemaker Norbert Bauer, who gets his credentials from the winery founded in 1721 in Pulkautal, Lower Austria. My communal festie friends described it as “refreshingly chill,” “long juicy finish”and “like cold green grapes.” Its bright lemon, mineral acidity matches its futuristic electric yellow box, so you can’t miss this one on the shelves. The wine boxes and cans just keep getting better and better. So convenient. And good with just about anything.
-Karen
VERY IMPORTANT: Furry Friends Who Visited This Week
Cheers everyone!
-The Team at North Loop Wine & Spirits