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Snap up special offers on limited availability items, close-out deals snagged from the depths of a distributor’s warehouse, or just interesting wines that we want to share.

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WINE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEEDED: Beer-ish Wine


Camillo Donati Malvasia Frissante (Emilia Romagna, Italy):

donati - full.jpgThis wine comes off  like a crazy cross between cider, beer and cream soda. It’s considered a sparkling wine, but it’s more foamy than full on sparkling. And yes, we have to tell the truth and admit that it's just the wee-est bit funky. But pretty much everyone who tries this stuff likes it.  Not just likes it, but loves it. Even becomes ridiculously addicted to it. And it’s the perfect companion to salty snacks.  Admit it – you’re curious. So if you’re looking for an extra push to give it a try, just use the excuse you also need to have some beer on hand - and this can be a “sort of beer-like substitute.” And then just try not to like it.

Price: $21.99

 
 
 

The Spirit(ed) Club


NOW ACCEPTING MEMBERSHIP FOR AUGUST!

bartender - left.jpgMake your life a little boozier... we mean, um, brighter!

From the fortified to the straight distillate, we’re ready to take you on a spirited journey to great booze-y insight. We’ll explore the marvelous connection between wine and distillates… The epic terroir to be found in agave to grains, grasses to grape pith!

Each month you’ll discover flavors beyond the usual world of vodkas and ubiquitous Kentucky whiskey, combining something new with rediscoveries of things past with fresh ways to drink them. Pretty soon, you’ll know when to sip what… straight, on the rocks, or in a trending cocktail (recipes provided!).

In this inaugural month (a.k.a. August), $50 (that includes sales tax) ushers you into our wild world of booze.  In the months that follow, you'll get 1 - 3 bottles of singular finds. The club’s monthly value will rise and fall based on the nuance of bottles that have us under their sway. However, you can expect a range between
$35-$70 per month, with an average of $50 (we promise we’ll do that math!)

THE FINE PRINT
We’ll bill you each month on the 5th. Your monthly selections will generally be ready for pick up or delivery around the 15th to 20th of that month. If you ever want to cancel (but why would you want to do that?), just let us know by the 1st of a given month and we’re gone like the wind. If you would like to sign up for a set number of months, let us know and we’ll set your membership to “expire” automatically.

As for delivery options: Pick up is free, as is delivery below Canal Street. Anywhere else in Manhattan or Brooklyn it's a flat $10 per month. Further than that, it's a flat $15/month. SHIPPING WILL NOT APPEAR IN YOUR SHOPPING CART AND WILL SHOW UP AS A SEPARATE CHARGE ON YOUR CREDIT CARD.

 
 
 

GET IT BEFORE IT'S GONE ROSE: The Benefits of Forgetfulness

We blew through a lot of rose this summer... and the summer's not even over. Some of our favorites sold out as early as June - like this one. Or so we thought! We managed to forget that we had an additional five cases we needed to order. So when our dear sales called to remind us, we did a little happy dance. So if you missed your chance on the first go around... it's BACK! (But not for long... and this time, it won't be back until 2015.)

gilbert.jpgDomaine Philippe Gilbert Menetou-Salon Rose 2013 (Loire, France): Menetou Salon - it's a very well-kept secret. Like roses from the Sancerre region, Mentou-Salon roses are made from pinot noir. Unlike Sancerre, you've never heard of the place, so it offers very good value. The best producers (and this is one of the best) make wines with a subtle complexity that comes from their underlying minerality. But for those who aren't concerned with complexity in their pink bottles, they are also lovely, elegant, and very drinkable.  We get a bit of Philippe Gilbert's wine every year, but it never seems to be enough so if you know you like this wine - or if you're intrigued grab it NOW before it's gone.... again. Because this time, it's really, truly not coming back before 2015.

Price: $23.99

 
 
 

CHILLED RED ALERT!


moulin.jpgDomaine des Cotes de la Moliere Les Moulin a Vent 2011: Isabelle and Bruno Perraud make this Moulin a Vent and I love it. So much that I bought, oh, 25 cases. The only 25 cases in the country. So if you try it and like it, you’ll either need to visit the Perrauds in France, or visit me. (French winemakers may be charming, but I’m much more convenient!)  It’s one of those wines that shows best with a slight chill (it was the hit of our summertime “Chilled Reds” tasting – and can go for days without losing its tastiness.  Dark berry fruits, mulberry skins, a touch of dusky minerality and texture that manages to be a touch silky and crunchy all at once. (‘Crunchy??’  Yes, crunchy. Think of that snap of freshness when you bite into an apple. That’s crunchy. And it’s a very good thing.)  Pick one up one to try. Give it a good chill. And then come back from more!

Price: $24.99

 

 
 
 

Vera Vinho Verde - A Very Good Value


Vera VV.jpgWe’re always on the hunt for cheap and cheerful selections. It’s easy to find great wine that we can get on the shelves at $25+. But something that hits under $10? That’s tasty? (That we can bonus, still make money on?) That’s the trick… and we spend way more time mulling over those wines than we do the “cool kid stuff.”  But when we find one, we grab as much as we can and pass it along to you. So we were very happy to find this one: Vera Vinho Verde 2011.

Yes, common wine wisdom would say that’s too old for Vinho Verde. It’s supposed to be young and fresh. And we would tell you, if you come across a “back vintage” VV in a wine shop, you should ask them about it.So go ahead - ask us.

We’ll tell you that we’ve tasted this one and it’s great. That wee bit of extra age gives the wine just a touch more texture, but it’s still light and crisp and fresh and easy. And best yet… INEXPENSIVE!!! So you can drink a lot of it. Because let’s be honest, unless you’re going to a party teaming with wine geeks and industry folks, no one is really paying much attention. Light, tasty and chilled is the order of the day. And this is that.

It’s regularly $8.99/bottle. But buy it by the case, and you can get 12 bottles for $80 (including sales tax.) If we were an infomercial, we would throw in a free set of steak knives. But we’re not allowed to do that… it would be inducement.  So hopefully the price is inducement enough. Stock up now. And never be without something chilled and white for the rest of the summer.

Vera Vinho Verde 2011 (Portugal)
$80/case (including sales tax)

 

 
 
 

IT'S SO PRETTY! (and it's also pretty delicious)


tricot.jpgLovely label.
Lovely wine.
Made by a lovely couple.

After early oenophilic training in Beaujolais and time with Morgon natural wines legend Marcel LaPierre, Vincent Tricot met and married Marie and the two went chasing pre-phylloxera vines, settling in Auvergene.. the new hotbed of non-interventionist wine-making. You can taste the result of their 12 years of discovery in terroir, technique, talent and cellaring in each bottle.

Wait… non-interventionist wine-making? Natural wine? We won’t go into too much detail, but these are wines made with as little mucking around as possible. No added enzymes, flavored yeasts, wood chips, Megapurple, etc. etc. etc. Wines that are made as wine… not as “product.”  (Intrigued? Terrified? Subscribe to Alice Feiring’s newsletter and learn more.)

Anyway, back to the wine at hand:

Vincent Tricot "Les Petites Fleurs" NV (Loire Valley, France): $22.99 

The fruit is bursting with juicy, classic gamay notes - red cherry, a touch of black cherry skins and the slightest boysenberry lacing the glass. That bonanza is augmented by an undercurrent of soft, soft tannins and distance hillside brambles that hint at Tricot's care given to "letting the terroir speak through the vine." Great as summer barbecue drinking or savored as an evening's focus.

 
 
 

Liquid Sunshine Suggestion: Holly's Garden Pinot Noir


Neil Prentice Holly's Garden Pagan Pinot Noir 2011
(Whitlands, Victoria, Australia)

hollys.jpgIt’s time to re-think Australian wine. While there’s still plenty of big, jammy kangaroo-style juice available, there’s a lot of wine diversity over on the other side of the world. And good for us, more and more is making it over here. Like this sunny little bottle of Pinot Noir. It’s light, almost translucent, with just-shy-of-ripe fruit that plays wonderfully with the hint of thyme that you’ll find in many wines from this region. (It’s not actually thyme… it’s a hint of eucalyptus that may actually come from the leaves of the trees that surround the vineyard.) If you’re looking to be surprised by what Australia is doing these days, pick up a bottle. If you’re looking for a bright and fresh chillable red, pick up a bottle. Heck, just pick up a bottle!

Price: $24.99

 
 
 

The Well Edited Wine Club


$45.92 monthly (that’s $50 with sales tax)
Bonus: 10% off any 6 bottles; 15% off 12 bottles

Top 5 Reasons to join:

delivery truck - left.jpg1.) Your book club needs more interesting wine
2.) Discover wines you never knew you needed
3.) You want to learn? You need to drink!
4.) Fermented fruit of the month!
5.) You get thirsty. Your friends get thirsty.

What? You need more reasons? It’s $50 bucks a month, including sales tax, for two to four bottles selected by us.

Good stuff.
Fun stuff.
Stuff we really like… and hope you like too.

Do you really need any more reasons? (If you do, read our extra long explanation here.)

Details, details, details:
FREE in-store pick up and delivery below Canal  Street.
Elsewhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn: $10 a month. Beyond that: $15 a month.
Shipping fees will not appear in shopping cart. They will be added manually.

Subscription members billed monthly.
3 and 6-month pre-paid options also available (and are a great gift idea.)

 
 
 

NEW WAVE CALI: La Clarine Farm Piedi Grandi


La Clarine Farm Piedi Grandi 2012 (Sierra Foothills, California):

LCF.jpgThe third vintage of Hank’s nebbiolo-based blend. There’s also some mourvedre and syrah in here. If you expect California to = big, ripe, and HUGELY CONCENTRATED, prepare to be surprised by the elegance and lightness of this wine. But lightness doesn’t mean lack of flavor. You’ll sniff out red fruits, pomegranate, crushed roses, spice, all back up by a sneaky structure and vibrant acidity. Tasty on the 1st day, but if you can keep from finishing a full bottle in one sitting, this wine is spectacular on the second day! We don't get much (and we grab a lot for ourselves) so get it while you can!

Price: $24.99

 
 
 

THE (THIRD ANNUAL) CIVILIAN SERIES


beach.jpg

Time for the annual Frank/Ohio-family pilgrimage to Sandbridge Beach, about thirty minutes south of Virginia Beach. There’s nothing much (make that nothing, period) to do here except go to the beach, make a few meals, and drink a few bottles of wine. (And of course, argue with Kids #1 through #3 about electronic time.)

This year, I’ve kept it simple: my parents are members of Alice Feiring’s Feiring Line Wine Society and are several months behind. So I just brought the bottles, along with a few other random selections. There are fewer of us along this year – but just as much wine. But I’m not one to let an unfinished bottle stop be from opening another bottle, so I am sure we’ll do just fine.

Sit back, relax, and if any of these bottles look intriguing… I might just know where you can buy them. (HINT: You can buy them from me!)

And... if you want to follow the full story, bottle by bottle, head over to the Frankly Wines blog: Frankly My Dear.

 
 
 

THE CIVILIAN SERIES: SUNDAY


Busy day with a few guests over and a major mission to swim, swim, swim. So wine wasn’t the day’s main focus (Such a thing happens often in the civilian world, I’m told.) But that didn’t prevent us from opening a bottle for a little lunch time sipping.  Today’s selection was a bottle from the Feiring Line Wine Society stash: Vincent Caille La Part Colibri Gros Plant 2013 (Nantais, Loire, France)

gros plant.jpgI was curious to see how this bottle went over. The grape is gros plant and it’s from the same general sub-region of the Loire as Muscadet. And if good Muscadet is considered the classic battery acid wine, then good gros plant is even more so – battery acid with a squeeze of lemon juice? OK, “battery acid” may not sound like a turn on. But racy, crisp and refreshing? Those are words that can sell wine.  But selling it to someone and having them like it are not always the same thing. And while I love high acid, minerally whites, they aren’t always a hit if you’re used to something a fuller and fruitier.)

But today, it worked: the beach, the heat, non-wine-related conversation. It went down just fine.

Y thought it was a Riesling –  and it did have a lean, crisp mineral/citrus edge that recalls a troken riesling (which means he liked it, because remember, he likes Riesling!). My dad asked if it was Champagne. And if you’ve ever had a bottle of good blanc de blanc at the end of a long day being toted around in a sales reps bag, it has that rain-water-over-rocks thing going on that reads as Champagne without the bubbles. Our friends liked it. And of course, I liked it.

It's got everything you could want in a simple, easy wine. It’s not exactly fruity, but the citrus and mineral notes are concentrated enough to balance the super racy acid. It’s not full-bodied at all, but it has a certain texture to it – a weightless plumpness that keeps it from being inconsequential.  Grown up lemonade? Water with a kick? Liquid laser beams? Sometimes simple is just perfect.

 And really, what more could you ask for $12.99?

 
 
 

THE CIVILIAN SERIES: MONDAY (Bottle #1)


Our lunch time bottle: I Vigneri Vinudilice Rose di Salvo Foti NV (2011).

foti.jpgIt was pink, sparkling… and didn’t last long. It’s a Sicilian thing: a blend of alicante (known in other parts as grenache) and a mish mash of other local grapes. Normally, the grapes in this bottle would make a non-bubbly pink wine, but for whatever reason, they didn’t get ripe enough in 2011 so the vigneron decided to go the sparkling route. Unlike Saturday’s muscat bubbly, this one is not a petnat. It’s made using the same method as Champagne: make a still wine (a relatively low in alcohol one), stick it in bottle, then kick off a complete second fermentation – which actually raises the alcohol level a bit… and of course, makes for the bubbles because the CO2 isn’t allowed to escape this time around.

That’s a lot of technical info for a wine that didn’t stick around for more than half an hour. Bubbly, with subtle fruit, a bit of a floral edge, and an undercurrent of firm, sneaky minerality (hello volcanic Mount Etna soil.) It was a fan favorite, which wasn’t a big surprise. Commentary was pretty straightforward – “I like this one.” “Can I have some more?” My mother’s note: “ I like it more than that first one we had.” Which would have been the muscat. Which I guess she didn’t like so much after all. Or at least not as much as she like this one. But she’s a sucker for pink bubbles. (Must run in the family.)

Price: $37.99

 
 
 

THE CIVILIAN SERIES: MONDAY (Bottle #2)


And… the evening bottle.

Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery Mourvedre Especial 2013
(Santa Barbara, California)

dirty with kid.jpgThis one wasn’t part of the Feiring Line Wine Society – not enough made to offer it up. We got 12 bottles for the store – and I snagged one for the trip… because I can.

The wine was a hit. My mom: “It tastes like wine’s supposed to taste… unlike that first one” (That first one, for those keeping track, was the Los Pilares petnat muscat. Which even if it wasn’t a Frank family favorite, was clearly memorable.) It’s a comment that makes me laugh a little because I don’t think this wineis at all like most people expect from a California red wine. It’s light in color – an almost pale red – vs. a deep, extracted purple. And it’s cloudy due to the (on-purpose) lack of filtration. It’s got plenty of fruit… but not deep, lush, overly ripe fruit. More like tart cranberries, pomegranates, just-shy-of-ripe raspberries, and if you look for it, a blood orange note. Citrus? In a red wine? And just 12.4% abv, which for a California red… it’s practically non-alcoholic!

Dirty & Rowdy is part of a growing group of “new wave” California producers. There are young guns (OK, a lot of them are my age, so they’re not all that young) who aren’t following the typical formula of big, ripe, oaked-up cabernets and chardonnays. They’re going for quirkier grapes (mourvedre, semillon, trousseau, valdiguie to name a few) which have the advantage of costing less and in many cases, coming from older (in some cases very old) vine stock. And they’re picking earlier, going for a lighter, more elegant style, toning down the oak use, working with natural yeast, whole clusters, carbonic fermentations, minimizing SO2 and acid additions. It all makes for wines that are unique, lighter in color and alcohol, but extremely flavorful.

Are these wines typical?  Like wine is “supposed to taste?” Well, I think so. And apparently, so does my mom!

TUESADY left overs

We made sure to leave a little Dirty & Rowdy for Tuesday lunch, since I know this is the kind of wine that shows really well over the course of days. My father asked “why do I like it even more today?”

The official answer: The flavors become more tightly knit when they have a chance to marinate. The tart blood orange edge softens up a bit, the tart fruit notes become a little less edgy, somehow a little riper, and earthy, herbal notes add a little more complexity. The real answer: Because it’s just better.  It just is.

Price: $36.99 (only 4 bottles left)

 
 
 

THE CIVILIAN SERIES: TUESDAY

The series generally starts to get a little sketchy at this point in the week. Yes, it’s only Tuesday, but beach brain sets in and the days … and the bottles… start to run together. So notes will be brief on this one – but don’t hold it against the wine!

lousas.jpgEnvinate Viña de Aldea “Lousas” 2012 (Ribera Sacra, Spain): From Alice's June selection. June was a fun month for the Feiring Line Wine Society and I brought in a few extra cases of two of the wines for the shop: the La Clarine Farm Rose 2013 and Bengoetxe Getariako Txakolina 2011, both of which I’ve been drinking as much as I can over the summer. But this one, the Envinate, we only got a few extra bottles which have been squirreled away until I had a chance to try one for myself, which I finally did on Tuesday evening. We paired it with a very nice, thinly sliced beef rib slathered in my friend Lori’s homemade New Rigel rib sauce. (New Rigel is a tiny town just outside my less tiny hometown of Tiffin. It's famous for it’s ribs, ribs, and ribs. And if you peaked at the menu - those prices are current and yes, decimals are all in the right places.)

Although the conversation was focused on the ribs, ribs, ribs, everyone liked the wine. The grape is Mencia and it’s grown on slate soil (Lousas is the local name for the slate soil in this part of Ribera Sacra.) It had more fruit than I was expecting – deep, dark, purple fruit, but it was balanced by an undercurrent of slate-y minerality.  And no.. that’s not just suggestive thinking – there was dark, grey earthiness that lurked beneath. I would be money that by day two, that earthiness would have broken through and become more overt. But I didn’t get to try it.. my mom turned it into sangria before I had a chance to stop her. (But it was very delicious sangria!)

Price: $28.99

 
 
 

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