Category Archives: Wine Tasting

Wednesday Wine Thoughts

We’re half-way to the weekend, but there’s no reason to wait! What will you be drinking tonight?

Customers often ask, “What do you prefer? Red or White?” My honest answer? “Both!” I love to start with a glass of crisp, palate cleansing white wine like Chateau Recougne Blanc from Bordeaux, then move on to red with dinner. Which red wine we drink depends on what we’re eating, but we don’t hold tight to rigid wine and food pairing rules.

Our rule of thumb is to match the regions. If we’re cooking up Middle Eastern fare, we’ll open a bottle of the surprisingly tasty Turkish Kavaklidere from Yakut. Say that after a few glasses! If JF is cooking up some of his hometown favorites, we’ll head straight to the French selection.

Wine is meant to enhance an already pleasurable experience, help you relax after a day of work or compliment a delicious meal. It’s never meant to be stressful, so forget what the books and experts say! Just enjoy.


Crystal Rewards 2012 Membership Giveaway!!

We’re giving away a Crystal Rewards 2012 Membership to one lucky local reader! Will it be you?

Our Crystal Rewards Membership is a value of over $190 including complimentary wine classes, free food & wine pairing recipes every month, private on-demand menue consultations for your event, a free gift on your birthday, 10% off any purchase over $20 and a $10.00 gift certificate!

You can buy it now for just $20 through January! February 1st the price jumps up to $35. Or, enter below for a chance to win a free membership! Entries will be accepted from today until 11:59pm, January 31st! The winner will be announced February 4th!

How to Enter:

You’ll earn 1 to 3 entries for each task listed below. Please leave a seperate comment for each task you complete! Please leave us a way to contact you either by phone or email. You may send us an email telling us you’ve entered if you prefer not to post your contact details.

1 pt: Leave a comment below and ‘like’ the post

1 pt: Like us on Facebook

1pt: Follow us on Twitter

2 pts: Share us with your friends on Facebook

2pts: Tweet about this giveaway (may be done once each day!)

Good luck!

Terms & Conditions: winner will be notified by email or phone. Winner must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Winner must be 21+ and a resident of MI.

Pinot Noir – the thin-skinned grape

Pinot Noir  (pronounced pee-noh-n’whar) is known by wine makers as one of the most difficult grapes to grow. Yet, when they get it right, this red wine is complex, elegant and seriously good.

One of the characteristics of the grape is its thin skin.  This means less tannin, that bitter, drying component found only in red wines.  Pinot makes a great choice for white and red lovers alike, especially those who are looking to meet in the middle and for people who are just beginning to experience the wonderful world of Red wines.

Pinot Noir pairs well with a variety of dishes and is often considered one of the world’s most versatile pairing wines! Chicken, Lamb, Pork… saucy or spicy… Pinot Noir is a safe bet.

Come in this Saturday and taste it for yourself!



Champagne or Sparkling Wine

This Saturday we sampled delicious Pommery Champagne and the sparkling wines of Charles LaFitte and Pierre Chainier, but many wondered, what’s the difference?

Champagne is the region in France that made bubbly famous. Only wine made within this region can be called Champagne. All others from around the world are sparkling wine, even those made in different areas of France.

The complexity of making champagne is another feature that makes it stand out from other sparkling wines. It’s a romantic artistry that requires true skill and foresight by the winemaker. A blend of 30 to 60 different still wines, two fermentations and several years are involved in getting Champagne onto store shelves.

For the best sparkling wines, look for those that list “Methode Champenoise” on the bottle. It’s the closest you’ll get to the amazing flavor and effect of Champagne, but often with less expense.

For more information on Champagne, Sparkling and other wines, check out our selection of books in store now!

What’s the buzz about Beaujolias Noveau?

Every year on the third Thursday of November, France releases its famous Beaujolais Nouveau! No one anywhere in the world can sell a bottle of this light bodied, celabratory red before 12:01am that day and it commonly sells out within weeks.

A light, fruit-forward red wine, Beaujolais Nouveau is easy on the palate because of the minimal tannins (the cause of the mouth-drying sensation of red wine), so even if you usually pass on the red, partake in this one!

Beaujolais Nouveau is  food friendly wine that graces Thanksgiving day dinner tables all over the US. Serve it slightly chilled to bring out the best of the wine’s fruit character. Putting it in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes before serving will do the trick!

It’s meant to be consumed young, so buy, pour & party!

Want to try before you buy? Visit us this week for Sampling Saturday, 2 to 5pm and we’ll do the pouring for you!

 Learn more here!

Perfect Pairings this holiday season

Nothing pairs better with wine than good food and friends. This holiday season we’re here to help you with both!

Need to brush up on your food and wine pairing skills? Check out our new Food & Wine Pairing class on Saturday, November 12th! We’re teaming up with local private chef and sommelier, Torrence O’Haire, a.k.a the Starving Artist.

We can also provide you our services with:

Menu Consultations, including wine & food pairings

Private Parties/Events – guided wine classes, beverage service, or hire a private chef to wow your guests, but relieve the stress!

In-Store Classes – We offer wine classes every Saturday, but we’re happy to arrange another date or time for you and your friends.  Wednesdays or Saturdays, or any other with 10-days advance notice.

Let us know how we can be of service!


A grand Grand Opening and Sampling Saturdays

We couldn’t be happier! Our Grand Opening Celebration was truly a success and we owe our thanks to you. We appreciate every person who walked through our doors and took time to sample a little wine with us, participate in a class or just stop in to see what we’re all about. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Congratulations to the winner of our Gift Basket Giveaway! The winner has been notified and we’ll announce that person’s name soon.

 Now, down to business! Sampling Saturdays start this weekend. From 2 to 5pm we’ll take you down under where the water drains the wrong way, winter is summer and people drink upside-down. Just kidding about that last part!

When they drink it is divine! Join us for a taste of Leeuwin Estate’s beautiful blend of Sauvignon Blanc & Semillon. Crisp and bright, it’s perfection in a bottle!We’ve been to this gorgeous vineyard in Australia’s Margaret River and can’t wait to taste it again with you.

Our red selection is from South Australia’s Ben Glaetzer. Medium-dry and Full-bodied, this 2008 Heartland Shiraz is sure to whet your appetite!

And our favorite discovery from this vast land: Sparkling Shiraz! Don’t miss the chance to taste something uniquely Australian.

See you Saturday!