Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Bordeaux Day Three

A small group from Binny’s visited Bordeaux. They tasted samples of the 2013 vintage, with stops at both chateaux and negociants. Find previous reports here. Steve is back with more:

 

Chateau Pichon Baron

 

Day three starts with an appointment at Pichon Baron to taste and have lunch. We also have the distinct pleasure to taste with the winemaker, and to tour this lush and iconic chateau. Just check it out:

 
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Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Bordeaux Day Two

A team from Binny’s visited Bordeaux, one of France’s most famous wine regions. They tasted samples of the 2013 vintage – now available en premier – visiting chateaux and negociants. Read yesterday’s report here. Steve is back with more:

 

Day two and we’re on the right bank in St. Emilion and Pomerol. Vineyards spread out along the countryside, but upon reaching St. Emilion, the city is right on top of the vineyards. In fact, Chateau Ausone is on a hillside above their vineyards just 500 meters behind town. Just like we saw on the Left Bank yesterday, the local population and the vineyards are completely interwoven. Towns have grown as a result of the success and history of the wine region, which again is so different from the other regions I’ve visited. St. Emilion especially is a gorgeous old commune straight out of a fairy tale. Old with buildings staggered over steep hills, narrow passageways, vineyards enclosed by stone walls. A tourist destination and certainly worth the visit.

 

Vineyards and Towns in Bordeaux

 

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Wine Hotline Hits the Road: Bordeaux Day One

Binny’s Wine Managers Steve Reiter and Chris Speir joined Wine Buyer Barbara Hermann on a trip to one of France’s most famous wine regions, Bordeaux. They tasted barrel samples of the 2013 vintage – now in the early stages of its en premier campaign – visited Chateaux and negociants. Steve reports from the road:

 

Binny's in Bordeaux

 

 

First Impressions

 

I expected the city of Bordeaux to be large (the 9th largest in France) but not quite the expanse that it is. We’re staying in a charming, modern sprawl radiating from the river with a modern, urban feel. However, the “Centre” or old part of Bordeaux, is just as large, and definitely has the rustic feel I expected. With stone buildings, colored shades of earthy white, grey, orange and green, it reminds me a lot of Venice. Old churches and architecture dot town squares where people pass time. We wander a few hours through the alley-like, brick-layered streets. I would hate to have to park here. No wonder there are so many bikes.

 

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From the Humidor Vault: E.P. Carrillo Edicion Limitada 2010

I recently made a visit to our Des Plaines location. While there, I came across a box of cigars that were tucked away in the corner. This wasn’t a full box, but only had four cigars remaining. I was surprised to see these cigars still on the shelf, but at the same time I was glad they were there. They were going to go home with me. The cigar was the E.P. Carrillo Edicion Limitada 2010. We have a handful of boxes in our vintage program, and I won’t have a chance to try them for a few more years. Seeing these sticks on the shelf gave me the perfect opportunity to assess their progress.

 

Carrillo_blog

 

The cigar was introduced in the fall of 2010 and quickly became a favorite. It was placed at #8 on Cigar Aficionado’s list of 25 Best Cigars in January of 2011, and scored a 94 rating. The demand went through the roof, but there already weren’t many boxes to go around. A total of 1,000 boxes, ten cigars each, were ever produced. Cigar Aficionado described it best, saying “The only flaw with this cigar is its rarity.” It was incredible four years ago, and possessed all the characteristics of a great cigar with flavor, balance, and construction. Could it hold up after all this time?

 

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Binny’s Lincoln Park: Seeing Is Believing

How do you celebrate the expansion of the area’s largest wine, spirits and beer superstore? By inviting an industry legend to host the festivities.
 

Lincoln Park

 

Binny’s Lincoln Park Tasting Room
Ribbon Cutting & Toast with
Jim Koch of Boston Brewing Company
Tuesday, April 8 from 6-8:30pm

An Open-House Event

 
More details after the jump…
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It’s a Gimme. Free Golf from Gosling’s.

Summer is coming, and that means that spirits companies are doing their best to get you out on the golf course. For free. Isn’t summer great? This year, the first to the tee is Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. The offer starts today and runs through August. It’s easy, and it works like this:

 

 

Next Round Is On Us.1) Find a specially marked bottle of Gosling’s at a Binny’s near you. Watch for the uniquely coded promotional bottle necker. It looks like that graphic over on the right.

 

2) Head to goslingsgolfexperience.com and input your unique code. You’ll have to give a little more info, then print and mail in your Claim Form, along with proof of purchase and all that stuff.

 

3) You’ll then receive an email with a link where you can pick out your favorite course and get your free golf voucher. Just make sure to use it before December 31, 2014.

 

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Hennessy Brings You The Blue Bird

They’re calling it their “Never stop. Never settle.” campaign, showcasing the story of legendary motorist Sir Malcolm Campbell’s historic breaking of nine land speed records in the 1920′s and 30′s. Considering the spirit of the campaign, I have to wonder if Sir Malcolm Campbell’s iconic racecar had brakes.

 

Blue BirdSee, Campbell was the kind of thrill seeker who broke land speed record after land speed record. Campbell, as it turns out, was also famous for being one of the few land speed record holders who did not die in a firey auto crash. He had a series of cars, all called “Blue Bird,” and Hennessy is touring a 24 foot replica of one of these fast, fast cars across America.

 

Binny’s Lincoln Park
Friday, April 25th, 4-7 pm

 

Binny’s Evergreen Park
Sunday, April 27th, 1-3 pm

 

Along with the car and a timeline of Campbell’s accomplishments, Hennessy is showcasing samples of signature cocktails featuring Hennessy. Plus, this is your chance to enter a sweepstakes to win a trip to France, including stops at the Hennessy Distillery in Cognac and the Formula 1 Academy in Nice. If you can’t make it to the event, participate by tweeting @HennessyUS with the hashtag #wildrabbitchase.

 

Now, and artist’s rendering of the tour:

 

Hennessy Blue Bird Tour

Quick Flight, Small Pours

We’re back, flying quickly and pouring smally. Catching up:

 

You read a tantalizing wine review. Eric Asimov explains why we may not have it.

 

The story of phylloxera, infographic style.

 

How to write misleading headlines: “Gadget … Turns Water Into Wine,”
… Actually turns water, grape concentrate and yeast into wine, which isn’t so great.
Still, three days is impressive.

 

Remember these Girl Scout Cookies inspired beer flavors?
Now there are Girl Scout Cookie bourbon pairings.

 

MillerCoors, conservationists.

 

Token story about how wine is good for your health.
Token story about creepy ingredients in wine.

 

A device to break your phone-checking habit at the bar.
Pure genius.

 

Woah, that was the longest Quick Flights ever. …Thoughts?

Whisky Hotline Hits the Road-Mexico

Had a wonderful chance to escape the polar vortex in late February and explore a number of Tequila producers.  Make no mistake, the production of Tequila is just as involved, complex, scientific, creative and artistic as the production of every other world class spirit we have the good luck of enjoying. The broad purpose of the trip was to explore the varied distilleries involved in the production of the Arte NOM series of releases that are the brainchild of Jake Lustig of Haas Imports. Just like Armagnac, Cognac and Calvados are expressions of place and materials, Arte NOM strives to differentiate based on the expression of the distiller.  Each distillery in Mexico is assigned a number by the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT) that certifies the distillery’s compliance with the Official Mexican Standard of Tequila (NOM), with defined rules about appelation, ingredients, production, and more.

 

First stop was Destiladora El Paraiso (NOM 1580) located in the Rancho Sagrado Corazon de Jesus outside of Jesus Maria to see what is behind Arte NOM 1580 Blanco.  Like most distilleries in Jalisco, Paraiso produces Tequila for a number of brands available in and out of Mexico.

 

Sagrado Corazon De Jesus

 

In this case, Herencia Mexicana and Oro Azul are brands you might know. The process begins with Weber Agave Azul (blue agave) grown on the ranch, one of the highest in Los Altos (the Highlands) at over 6000 feet above sea level.  The soil in this area is extremely rich in iron, as well as other minerals, and beautiful in its distinctive red.

 

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