This Week at the Shop:

Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Picks:

It doesn’t matter what kind of date you are having tomorrow, whether it is a serious one or you are celebrating being single, a good bottle of wine, beer, or cider can improve the situation! Stop by today or tomorrow and pick up one of these great suggestions:

  •  Ben Haines ‘B Minor’ Blanc de Blancs 2011: Are you one that likes your bubbles to come from the wild side? Do you want something that is both interesting and remarkable? Are you looking to make a big impression with a bottle? From the Grampians in Western Victoria, Australia, most often known for its Shiraz, comes one of a batch of experimental wine makers that are challenging the norms of Australian (and international) wine. Ben Haines grew up surrounded by wine and today, he crafts unique wines from superior vineyards. This Method Traditionale sparkling is a rare find at this price because of the time and effort required to produce quality at this price. A 100% Chardonnay that is undisgorged and was aged for four years on the lees, it packs a punch! As Ben says, “Bursting with fresh apple, lemon and grapefruit amidst complex yeast characters of toasty bread and roasted nuts. A tight, fine palate of great purity balanced by a subtly creamy texture.” A remarkable wine that is a great value, any way you measure it, that packs quite the “pop” when you crack its crown cap!
  • Pacari Chocolate: Pacari Chocolate is a family-owned company that has built a chocolate business based on socially and environmentally sustainable principles to ensure that their products meet three goals: 1) it is the highest quality organic chocolate; 2) it supports the well-being of the land; 3) it supports the community that produces it. Made from the native Arriba Nacional cacao, they both grow and make their chocolate in Ecuador. This made Pacari the first single-origin organic chocolate made entirely in Ecuador. They work directly with small farmers, pay a premium for their products, and have international certifications for being biodynamic, organic (EU & USA), kosher, vegan, and Raw Cacao. We currently have both their mini bars (Salt & Nib, Coffee, Esmeraldas 60%) and their full size bars (Andean Mint, Esmeraldas 60%, Manadi 65%, Raw Cacao 70%).
  • Gray Ghost Victorian White: Are you looking for something a little sweet? Maybe, something a little fruity? Have you planned on having something spicy for Valentine’s Day? Pick up a bottle of this 100% Chardonnay that has been fermented in stainless steel to approximately 1.8% residual sugar. It is fresh and fruity with lovely lemon overtones. It is a great semi-dry wine in a lighter style that makes it perfect for spicy food, sipping with cheese, or enjoying with lighter fare. Gray Ghost itself is somewhat of a love-affair between a couple and the Virginia countryside! It is a family-owned winery that has been cultivating vines in Rappahannock County since 1986 and producing award-winning wines almost as long.
  • 3 Stars Zombie Date Night: Okay, how could I not include this on the list! An Imperial Porter brewed with cocao nibs and raspberries with that name … it is perfect for a beer lover’s Valentine! The nose is full of roasted chocolate malt with raspberries, a touch of hops, and dates. This is a big malty beer and it is the dominant flavor with sweet dark chocolate, roasty malt, and light hops being its backbone. It has a light raspberry note and some peppery alcohol (it is 9.6% ABV). It finishes sweet but not cloyingly. Take it on your date for a winner!
  • El Enemigo Bonarda: What do you want in a red for Valentine’s Day? Something big and rich and fruity, I bet. Maybe something made by a pair that share a love of adventure and made in tribute to the battles that we all face in determining who we are? El Enemigo is a tribute to those internal battles that make us who we are, brought to fruition by a winemaker, Alejandro Vigil, and a historian, Adrianna Catena. They share a love of wine and the era when European immigrants first settled in Argentina. These settlers sought to make wines as fine, and finer, than those of their old homeland. This 85% Bonarda and 15% Cabernet Franc blend is a tribute to old Bonardas, a wine made in a traditional Mendozan style. This wine is a deep violet color with bluish hints. It is an intense and complex wine that would pair excellent with roast lamb or other beast, pasta dishes, aged cheese, or empanadas. Having steak for Valentines? Grab this!

Need help finding something different for Valentine’s Day? Just ask us! Whether you need a couple bottles of wine, a special beer, a unique bottle of cider, or to grab a quick piece of cheese, we are here to help!

Author Thad

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