Thursday, March 17th, 2022
The 2021 vintages of rosé are filtering in, and boy are we floored by what we're tasting!

This week: Happy St. Patrick's Day, and an even happier First-Day-of-Spring next Monday, the 21st! We're feeling so relieved by these warm sunny days, we're diving ahead into rosé season!
Special Event : Robert Sinskey
April 4th, 6-8pm

North Loop Wine & Spirits is proud to host winemaker Robert Sinskey for an evening of stories from the vineyard and great wines. This event was too big for our cellar, so we partnered with Twin Cities Wine Education to hold this event at the Campus Club, at the University of Minnesota. Sign up soon to reserve your seat for an evening featuring Mr. Sinskey's wines and to learn all about his approach to farming, winemaking, food pairings, the future of Napa Valley, and so much more! All of Robert Sinskey's wines are available at the shop, stop in and enjoy!

The 2021 Rosé Vintage

The new vintage of rosés are rolling in, and the 2021 vintage is consistently delicious across the map! The Provençal rosés we've tasted have reinvigorated our love for the region's blushing beauties! This region is known for their direct-press, delicate styles that are light bodied, high acid, and mineral driven with delicate notes of celery & strawberry.

The 2019 vintage produced a robust fruit forward rosé after a summer of heat waves.
The 2020 vintage faced an exceptionally turbulent start, with an unusually warm winter that led to early budding on the vine, followed by freezing temperatures in late March, May hailstorms, and a humid mildew-prone Spring. The vintage rallied in the Summer, with well heated days followed by ballancing cool nights — resulting in surprisingly fresh rosés with good acidity, despite the odds. But alas, the vintage sorely left us void of goosebumps, and we gravitated more to 2020 rosés from Austria and Germany.
And now we begin to see the 2021 rosés from Provence...
Wine Rep's are dragging in bags of the new 2021 vintage, and we have to tell you...we're excited.

The Provençal rosé we love is back and fresher than ever, baby!

A true 'Winegrowers Vintage', 2021 faced frost, fire & hail with a 30% decrease in production volume. This sounds bleak, but the summer brought warm very dry days, and competent vineyard managers produced grapes with lower sugar and higher acidity— the holy grail for great rosé production.
While you eagerly await French rosés hitting our shelves...feel relief knowing that quality rosé is filtering in from all over the world!
2021 Rosé

Domestic rosé has already begun hitting our shelves, and so far the juice 'slaps' (as the kids say today).

California is producing superb rosé this year. Generally, the drought brought about smaller-sized grapes/yeilds with high concentration of flavors - a favorable side effect! Moreover, the 2021 harvest happened earlier last year (thanks to the drought), so luckily smoke taint was largely skirted. California also managed to avoid the heat spikes that plagued much of the country last summer. In a nutshell, California's 2021 vintage is small but exquisite.
2021 was a favorable vintage in Oregon as well. While the state did see some heat-spikes last summer, they occured in the fortunate window between the vine's flowering and veraison (where the grapes begin ripening/change color). This led to a 29% decrease in overall yeilds. Much like California, drought also led to smaller berries. The resulting juice was very concentrated and of high quality, luckily unaffected by smoke taint.

Let's get ahead of ourselves and make some spring cocktails. I have put together a couple of really refreshing and easy to make cocktails to enjoy with the weather. I always like using floral liqueurs and fresh ingredients once my seasonal depression starts to fade. Also, gin and vodka!
Let's go!

De Flora Gimlet
1.5 oz Tattersall Gin
.75 oz Tattersall Creme de flora
.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
Add all ingredients into a shake, add ice, give it a hard shake and strain into a coupe or martini glass and garnish with a thin sliced lemon wheel floating in the middle of the glass.

Cucumber Collins
2 oz of Uncle Val's Botanical Gin
.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
.75 oz Simple Syrup
3 slices of Cucumber
Soda Water
Put cucumber in a shaker, muddle it a lot, add the rest of the ingredients, add ice, light shake, pour over ice into a Collins glass, top with soda water and garnish with a slice of cucumber slid into the side of the glass. (When adding soda to cocktails you use a short shake to make sure the drink doesn't get over diluted)

Elderflower 75 (great for brunch!)
1 oz Norseman Vodka
.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.25 oz Simple Syrup
3 oz Prosecco
Add vodka, St. Germain, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a shaker, add ice, light shake (for same reason as the collins) strain into a champagne flute, top with prosecco and garnish with a lemon twist.

These cocktails will all help shake the winter blues.

Fun New Items This Week!
New Beers/Seltzers!

Fair State: All of All of Us ($14.99)
Ottakringer Vienna Lager: Vienna Lager ($11.99)
Inbound: Black Currant Sour ($15.99)
Press: Pineapple Basil Seltzer ($17.99)
White Claw: Surf Seltzer ($19.99)
Pryes: Variety Pack ($20.99)
Utepils: In ALl Places ($13.99)

New Spirits!
Thomas Dakin Gin ($37.99)
Harmony Spirits Bourbon ($42.99)
Balblair 15yr Scotch ($109.99)
Pearse 12yr Single Malt Irish Whiskey ($55.99)
Dubliner Irish Whiskey ($31.99)
Dubliner Honeycomb Liqueur ($29.99)
The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey ($46.99)
Bloom Jasmine & Rose Gin ($31.99)
Opihr London Dry Gin ($34.99)
Lokal Vodkas - Blood Orange, Meyer Lemon, Key Lime ($16.99)
New Wines!
2021 Land of Saints Rosé ($21.99)
2021 The Fableist 'The Butterfly & The Wasp Rosé ($19.99)
2020 Grosgrain Skin Contact Semillon ($33.99)
2017 Domaine Rouge-Bleu 'Lunatique' Grenache ($61.99)
2019 Cedre "Blandine le Blanc' Gascogne ($18.99)
2020 Vietti Roero Arneis ($26.99)
2017 Ratti Rocche Del Amunziata Barolo ($139.99)
2020 Famille Chasselay 'Beaujolais is Not Dead' ($31.99)
2020 Division 'Nightshade' Nebbiolo ($44.99)
2020 Division 'Polka Dots' Gamay Pet Nat ($33.99)
2021 Cathedral Cove Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($16.99)
2021 Teutonic Raspberry Mushroom Riesling ($34.99)

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

2018 Rouge Bleu Dentelle Rouge IGP Méditerranée, France, *Biodynamic- $21.99
In keeping with the theme of women winemakers, I absolutely have to gush about one of my favorite wine making couples in France. Rouge Bleu is the dynamic duo of Thomas Bertrand, from Alsace, and Caroline Jones, a native Aussie. They farm their tiny, 8.5 hectare property of old vines biodynamically and do most of the farming themselves along with running a bed and breakfast and parenting two young girls. The Dentelle is 60% Carignan and 40% Grenache, summer berries and spice in the glass and best with a slight chill. This is your go-to picnic wine!

2019 Murgo, Etna Rosso - $21.99
Often I'm in the mood to enjoy a glass of Pinot Noir that is not exactly Pinot Noir. As an alternative to Pinot Noir, while also rich in its own characteristics, I think Nerello Mascalese is a perfect choice. It is a Sicilian red grape varietal that grows only on the slopes of Mt. Etna, the iconic volcano that dominates the Eastern part of Sicily. The cool high elevation and volcanic soils, along with the right amount of rainfall balanced by intense bright sun, make ideal conditions for this grape to flourish and express itself. Baron Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo and his family (including his 8 sons!) have been making wine from their vineyards on the slopes of Etna since the 1860s. For the last 40 years this Nerello Mascalese Etna Rosso has been their flagship wine. Aromas of strawberry, orange zest, fresh herbs, and minerals entice and welcome the light earthy mineral laden juicy red berry fruit on your palate, lifted by balancing acidity. Delicious. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a wine that comes from nowhere else and is of a style both familiar and unique. This wine will pair nicely with Chicken Parmesan or a rich Cioppino.

Cruse Valdiguie Pet Net - $37.99
I initially slept on these wines, do not make the same mistake. Also don't confuse this pet nat with some shabby, fermented in a bathtub experiment. This wine is the height of elegance but with a ton of personality to boot. Made of red grapes pressed completely off the skins, it is stone dry with the barest hint of a golden hue yet retains some raspberry type red fruit in the mid palate. It absolutely screams Spring and will make you happy.

Montinore Estate 'Borealis', Willamette Valley - $19.99
Borealis is a lovely domestic White Blend that makes a perfect aromatic picnic wine! Comprised of biodynamically farmed Müller-Thurgau, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, & Pinot Gris — this blend is Oregon's cool-climate equivalent to Alsatian 'Edelzwicker'. This wine is audaciously aromatic, heavily perfumed with floral notes of orange blossom and rose with giving notes of stone fruits, pineapple, and lychee. Pack this wine in your finest wicker basket with a handful of soft cheese and enjoy on a Spring picnic with someone special!

Minneapolis Cider's Dubliner Irish Coffee Cider - $11.49/4pk
If you're looking for a St. Patty's Day drink to enjoy that doesn't include the dark richness of stouts or the heaviness of whiskey, I highly suggest giving the Dubliner a try. Minneapolis Cider's Irish Coffee Cider brings the bold flavor of coffee without the bitterness, as it finishes nice sweet and crisp as a cider typically does. The juicy apples add a sweet taste that blends well with the coffee. Those who enjoy both coffee and ciders should introduce this tasty beverage to their tastebuds! 

Pearse 7 Year Irish Blended Whiskey - $44.99
Pearse 7 year is a truly well crafted Irish blend from Pearse Lyons Distillery that's been quite a hit at the shop, both with our staff and Irish whiskey lovers looking for something new this St. Patrick's day. This blend is aged mostly in ex bourbon casks but also spends a bit of time in sherry casks, this gives it some fun dried and sherried fruit elements in both the nose and on the palate. The nose contains notes of honeyed malt, orange, and leads with delectable oak fragrances. Pearse 7yr has this very pleasant warmth on the back of the palate with lovely citrus and dried fruit qualities that I can't get enough of. It finishes with a well rounded hint of cocoa and dried fig as it almost begs you to take another sip. It's perfect by itself or with a lighter beer as accompaniment, and also makes some lovely whiskey based cocktails like an Irish old fashioned. If you don't know what you're drinking for St. Patrick's day this year then I hope you'll follow my lead and get a bottle of Pearse. Overall I'm really in love with this Irish blend and I think you will be too. Cheers!
VERY IMPORTANT: Furry Friends Who Visited This Week
Cheers everyone!
-The Team at North Loop Wine & Spirits