Monday, August 31, 2009

Today Might Be The Day

Check out Ron Sober's latest wine article for

We couldn't agree more that today just might be the day you've been saving that special wine for. Because, you know, it is Monday.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

September Wine Classes

In conjunction with our friends at the Ann Arbor Art Center, we're pleased to offer two classes coming in September.

Exploring The Loire Valley - Thursday, September 17 - 6:30-8:30 pm

People know the wines of Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the Rhone but often overlook the Loire Valley. Come explore the Loire appellations, taste wines (beyond Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc), and discover new French wines from this underappreciated region.

Wine & Cheese Pairing Class
- Thursday, September 24 - 6:30-8:30 pm

In this class, we'll provide a road map for matching various cheese types with wines. We'll introduce cheese basics, including milk types, textures and flavors, and then we'll guide you through choosing wines that complement each cheese type. And, of course, you'll sample
cheese and wine pairings, discovering matches that suit your own personal tastes.

Both classes will be held at the Ann Arbor Art Center and taught by wine yoda and all around dude, Ron Sober. The cost is $30 per class.

Register online at (click on Workshops to find the classes) or call the Art Center at 994-8004, ext 101.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Taking Stock

Most of us talk a good game when it comes to appreciating the little things, smelling the flowers, and generally taking stock of the people and places that make Ann Arbor special.

But, wow, if you're not basking in the glories of the Farmers' Market in the Kerrytown parking lot these Wednesdays and Saturdays (7 a.m. to 2 p.m.) you might as well just hit yourself with something heavy.

Local fruit, vegies, breads, eggs, flowers, and so much more.

Treat yourself right. Grab a Roos Roast coffee, some Pilar's Tamales, and dive in.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August Case Special

Due to the great response to last month's case special (15% off will do that), we're putting together another one for August. This case was inspired by the arrival of heirloom tomatoes in the Kerrytown Farmer's Market held each Wednesday and Saturday.

Unlike grapes like Chardonnay, Cabernet, and Syrah/Shiraz, we've chosen varietals that are not widely planted and, for the most part, grow in a very specific area. Just as efforts are made to pass down the heirloom tomato seeds from generation to generation, efforts are made to continue growing these grapes even though it will most certainly never lead to commercial stardom. These efforts do lead, however, just like heirloom tomatoes, to unique and tasty results.

Read on for the six grape varietals (three whites, three reds - two bottles of each). This case of wine would normally cost $175.83 but is only $149.44 through August 31. Think of it as only $12.50 per bottle (including tax) and a great way to expand your wine tasting horizons. Now bust out your Google Earth and let's go.

Le Fils des Gras Moutons. Let's start in Muscadet, an appellation in the Nantes region of France where the Loire meets the Atlantic. The grape is Melon de Bourgogne, and it's the sole ingredient in Muscadet.

Before we go any further, let's be clear - we're not talking about Muscat (in fact, it couldn't be much more different). Mistakenly interchange the two, and you'll be missing a fantastic wine
experience. This Muscadet is dry and crisp, with really lovely minerality and a generous array of white fruit and fresh briny flavors. Think oysters, seafood, or just sitting around on a warm

Rondineto Passerina. The Passerina grape lives in the Offida appellation in the northern part of the Marche region of Italy in the province of Ascoli Piceno. How's that for specific. Think floral, with ripe melon, a peachy note, and finishing on a clean orange zesty note.

Fattoria Giuseppe Savini Colleventano Pecorino 2008. The Pecorino also hails from Italy's Marche region. Not to be confused with the cheese, this grape grows primarily in the higher altitudes of Abruzzo. This white grape brings light (but not wimpy) melon and white peach
on the nose and palate. The finish gives the wine complexity as it lingers on a salty note with a bit of minerality.

L'Astore Filimei Negroamaro 2007. Negroamaro is a red grape native to southern Italy and is grown almost exclusively in Puglia, particularly in the Salento Peninsula (the "heel" of Italy) where the grape has been planted for centuries. The wine has a lovely ruby red color and distinct nose with scents of red berries, herbs and a bit of earthiness. The flavors don't disappoint, with more of the same, soft tannins, and just the right amount of acidity to make your mouth start watering.

Domaine Monpertuis Counoise 2006. From the southern Rhone, Counoise is typically used as one of 13 grapes allowed in Chateauneuf du Pape. But on its own, it brings dark fruit nicely balanced with a bit of acidity, soft tannins, and a note of peppery spice.

Barbolini Lambrusco NV. Yep. Lambrusco. Gallo ruined our impression of wines with a screw cap, Franzia continues to ruin our impression of boxed wine, and Riunite ruined our impression of Lambrusco. But just as folks in the 70's had the good sense to retire their leisure suits, it's time to rid yourself of any preconceived notions you have about this grape. For those of you born in the 1980's, nevermind.

This Lambrusco is DRY, slightly spritzy and organic. It has wonderful aromas and flavors of dark cherry and plum, herbs, and a liberal dose of black pepper . Chill it down, pop the cork and you'll have a fabulous pairing for the last months of summer.

So that's August's Case Special. Swing by the store to pick one up or, if you're too jet lagged at this point, give us a call to reserve one. And, we hope you'll pick up an heirloom tomato or two while you're at it.