Month: May 2009

Essential Elixirs

ST. Germain Liqueur  Liqueurs  provide the heart and soul of a cocktail.  Their brilliant flavors and lush, satiny bodies temper high-octane spirits and meld the disparate ingredients into joyful bliss.  Without a varied complement of liqueurs on the back bar, your drink-making abilities drop into low gear. 

Several liqueurs new to the market are expanding the mixologist’s palette.  In the event you misses the fanfare over their initial release, here’s the scoop on the hottest prospects in our store.

At the head of the class is artisanal St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur(click on picture for purchase).  A handcrafted masterpiece made in the French Alps from wild elderflower blossoms. St- Germain has a curvaceous  and pronounced aromas of tart domaine-de-canton-ginger-liqueurcitrus, pears and honey.  Its floral-induced palate is expertly balance and features  of fresh mango, rock candy and tangy grapefruit.  It is an amazing accompaniment to champagne or margarita.

Also topping the charts in our store is Domaine de Canton, (click on picture for purchase) a ginger-laced liqueur made in the heart of the France.  The small-batch gem is crafted with a blend of VSOP and XO Cognacs and meuseum-grande eaux de vie, which is patiently macerated with baby Vietnamese ginger, Tahitian vanilla, honey and ginseng. 

Ty Ku Premium Liqueur (click on picture for purchase) is another newcomer with more healthful benefits than an HMO.  The sleek Chinese Liqueur is made from shoshu and junmai-ginjo sake infused with a blend of 20+ Asian super fruits, aphrodisiacs and oolong and green teas. TY_KY_SAKE It has an elegant, citrus and spice palate tailor-made for mixology.  That it’s soul-soothing and loaded with antioxidants is a little bonus. 

 Liqueurs like these are the underpinning of every great mixologist’s repertoire!

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(this entry is written by Shawn –

Mel and Rose Blogger)

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Memorial Day – Wine & Cheese recommendation

MORBIER CHEESE

MORBIER CHEESE

Morbier is a fragrant, yet surprisingly mild French cow’s milk AOC cheese.  It is distinct by the dark seam of vegetable ash streaking through it middle. Customarily, the evening’s fresh curds were scattered with ash to prevent the formation of a rind overnight. The next morning, new curds were laid upon the thin layer of ash to finish off the wheel. Today, the ash is purely decorative, a doze to the method by which Morbier was once produced in Franche-Comté.

 The wheel was then washed and rubbed by hand, forming a rind to protect the rich, creamy interior and create a appetizingly powerful aroma.

 Morbier is aged for at least 60 days and  pleasantly stuns  anticipations. Contrary to its smell, Morbier has a mild taste and leaves a wonderful, nutty aftertaste.

Leboure Roi Les Sangliers $9.99

Leboure Roi Les Sangliers $9.99

  Morbier is excellent served with a Gewurztraminer or a Pinot Noir.  We have enjoyed this great cheese recently with Labouré Roi Les Sangliers 2006 Reserve.

This winery started in 1832 in Burgundy.  It is firmly rooted in local winemaking community, enjoying an excellent reputation for its high quality. The wine has great ruby red color, black cherry and raspberry aromas and a generous finish. 

Morbier Cheese $11.99 per pound available:  http://www.melandrose.com/istar.asp?a=6&id=323

 Labouré Roi Les Sangliers 2006 Reserve for $9.99  available at http://www.melandrose.com/istar.asp?a=6&id=132633

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(this entry is written by Shawn –

Mel and Rose Blogger)

The perfect Bellini

Ladies (and gentlemen) I implore you, put down your Vodka Cran’s -for good- and pick up a Bellini. Equally conspicuous in hue, but far less cliche, this Summery delight is sparkly, satisfying, and unique.  We’ve sifted through a mountain of recipes and this is by far the best:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 “Champagne” (we recommend Foss Marai Extra Dry Prosecco)
  • 1/4 fresh peach juice
  • dash of creme de peach

Instructions:

Get your Champagne flute and start with 1/4 fresh peach juice. It’s really important not to go overboard with the juice or else it will create a unpleasant consistency in the mouth.  Next is the Champagne, or the more economical choice of Prosecco. For an extra little burst add a dash of your favorite peach liquor. Best served chilled.

CAUTION: these things are like pringles, once you pop you can’t stop.

{brought to you by mollymellow}

Out with the Old, In with the New

Two Hands Bad Impersonator

Two Hands Bad Impersonator

I was not amused when we received our shipment of Mollydooker Shiraz Enchanted Path!   I could not help looking at the label. Bright red and green with a cartoonish font & character it was written: Mollydooker. It was a twist-off cap too. A goofy label for $90.00 dollars was a chuckle for me. Shelling out for an expensive wine with a goofball label is not an easy sell.  Especially when it reflects the quality of what’s in the bottle. 

I always thought Fun, cute labels belong on inexpensive wines. You will try a Fat bastard for $10.00 but would you pay $190 for a bottle of Kaesler Old Bastard! 

Fast forward 2 weeks – Mollydooker Shiraz Enchanted Path  is selling out quickly.  It appears that enough wine buyers are knowledgeable enough to base their buying verdict on what’s in the bottle. It could be that people like the idea of new labels that reveals new way of looking at things.

Australians have a sassy sense of humor and it shows in some of their wine labels. We all know about wallabies, kangaroos, and penguins on inexpensive, everyday wines, but now some serious wine makers are being lighthearted and are expanding this movement to more expensive bottles. Two Hands  from Australia has been in the top Ten  ranking for two years, makes a $50 Shiraz called Bad Impersonator with a man wearing a disguise of Marx brothers ( style nose-and-glasses) on the label. Kaesler Old Bastard is a favorite of a few celebrities! Layer Cake shows of a label with several layers of cake, then there is Lucky Lizard, Box head Shiraz, Shoofly or the Black Chook!

Wine is meant to be drunk and enjoyed. If the winemaker is trying to bring people from all different walks of life to experience his or her wine, why not add a little humor to the name or label!

But tell me if are you are  hesitant to buy or serve them to your company? Or is it the opposite and you actually are passionate about them? Does it even matter?

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(this entry is written by Shawn – Mel and Rose Blogger)

Drink by 2020 or Open that bottle tonight!

Chateau Roland La Grande 2000

Chateau Roland La Grande 2000

 Do you have an aged bottle, lying and waiting!  

 If you’ve been holding on to a bottle of a 100 point Château Lafite-Rothschild 1982 or  a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne in your cabinet or celler, waiting for that “Special time”, or the “Right occasion” to drink it – then wait no longer. In truth, that event or moment very often never materializes, and worse, you could ‘accidentally’ get so discouraged waiting for it to come along that you open it and then realize you have to drink it alone, from a Styrofoam cup and match it with a Domino’s pizza – somewhat like a worried Miles in the movie Sideways.

So, now is your chance to open that bottle tonight.   Come on you are not seriously going to wait til 2020!  Create that special instant, to place a marker in the diary that  will always have a “drink by” moment for those wines. It is finaly here, the moment you’ve ben waiting for! That date is tonight, Thursday   May 7th, 2009. You don’t need to wait for your next promotion, anniversary  or the significant other to join in on this venture unless you don’t mind waiting Again!   Well, if you realy want you  can even share your experience and be part of a global phenominan  by sharing your special bottle  on Twitter or  Facebook.

I am planning on doing this again this Friday with a bottle of Château Roland La Grande 2000,  but as it happens, the idea of this  has encouraged  me to dig out my phone book and invite some  friends over to share with them.   I had a stunning bottle of  Krug vintage 1995 (elegant,  smoky, lemony fruit character and hints of brioche, mineral, ripe white fruits and honey.  luxurious with a crisp acidity and vibrant length, but still with a decade or more in front of it !!! and now that I ‘ve gotten brave, I don’t mind cracking open a bottle of  Paloma Merlot  from 1992 that we had  picked up on our trip to Napa back in ’92.     

So, I’ve opened one of my bottles so far. What bottles are you tempted to open now?

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(this entry is written by Shawn – Mel and Rose Blogger)

Rose. Try some!

Once upon a time, rose was the pretty little thing on a Friday night that everyone noticed but no one approached. Who would be caught dead mingling with the albiet hot, though seemingly vapid, red and white cousin?  Well, we would.

At our last wine tasting we focused on the rose’s coming out of Provence and wow! on second glass- oops, *glance- they proved to have both depth and complexity. A few tasting notes from the evening if you’re ready to venture out there:

Saint Roch Les Vignes Cotes de Provence 2008: 65% Cinsault, 35% Grenache, delicate, dry and entirely drinkable! Fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel, the fresh scent of red berries along with the lively palate make this food friendly wine ideal chilled and with any fish. (retails for a measly $12.99!!)

Chateau de Pampelonne Cotes de Provence 2008: 75% Cinsault, 25% Grenache, nose of strawberry, raspberry, melon, scrubland and foam (who doesn’t love scrubland and foam?).  This rose is temptingly silky and voluptuous, and with amazing credentials: 17th century established and previous vintages have won silver and gold at various tastings. (retail $17.99)

So the next time you’re out at a party, introduce yourself to rose, my guess is you’ll get alone swimingly.

{this entry was brought to you by molly mellow}