A group of Binny’s wine staff visited Walla Walla, Washington. Jon Kaiser reports from the road:
Most of the Walla Walla wineries we visited, with the exception of Woodward Canyon, source their grapes from the Columbia, Cascade, and Yakima Valleys. The vineyards in Walla Walla have to be in elevation above 600 feet to avoid damaging frost when the vines start to bud. A primary characteristic of these valleys that create such rich and full bodied Cabernet Sauvignons, Syrahs, and Cabernet Francs is that during the warmer months the valley floors get very warm but the vines enjoy drastically cooler nights. The sun warms the soil during the day so that it radiates heat throughout the night, keeping the vines active even when the temperature cools. Average rainfall in Walla Walla is only 17 inches per year, so most of the agriculture in the area is dry farmed wheat while vineyards utilize drip irrigation.
Several of the wineries we visited in Walla Walla are located on the property of the Walla Walla Regional Airport. It was an Army Air Base during World War II where pilots learned to fly B-17 bomber aircraft. While the airport still flies small commercial planes, The Port of Walla Walla overtook ownership of the property in 1989 and the older barracks, firehouse, hangars, and buildings associated with the base are now home to 20 plus wineries including three of the biggest. We got a chance to visit Tamarack Cellars, Buty, Dunham. The quality of product and volume of production coming out of these small facilities is astounding, with production on the scale of both very large and very small. From 100,000 case production wines to just a few thousand. We tasted barrel samples at many of the wineries we visited, and one of our favorites was at the Long Shadows vineyard. Customers will love Michel Rolland’s 2012 Pedestal Merlot when it finally hits the shelves at Binny’s – in a few years.
What does nice weather, backyard barbecues and a long wedding season have in common? Moscato, of course!
May 9th is National Moscato Day, and Binny’s is ready to celebrate! Sure, moscato is delicious year round, but is especially tasty in the summer months. With its fresh and fruity taste, it’s just too hard to pass up on a warm, summer day. With aisles full of moscato, where should you start? We asked our moscato buyer for some favorites.
2012 Saracco Moscato d’Asti
Light and sparkling with aromas of peach, apricot, lemon peel and white flowers. Enjoy with a dessert or a spicy barbecue dish – the sweetness of the Moscato will reduce the heat of spicy food.
Emeri Pink Moscato
For a full on sparkling wine, you can’t go wrong with Emeri. At its low price, you’ll still get the fruity and refreshing taste you so long for on your back porch.
2011 Bartenura Moscato d’Asti
You’ll find this Moscato to be crisp, refreshing and filled with flavors such as pear, tangerine, melon and even nectar.
New to Moscato? A few tips:
- Don’t sit on it. Moscato is made to be fresh and ready to drink!
- There’s no perfect food pairing with Moscato. Drink it with whatever you love.
- Regular Cork vs. Champagne Cork: bottles finished with Champagne corks will have more bubbles.
- Glara vs. Moscato Grapes: Glara grapes are a little more dry while moscato grapes are sweeter.
- What’s the “d’Asti?” It denotes that the wine came from a specific region in Piedmont, Italy.
…a great read.
Major League Craft Beer.
Click through for the slideshow. Step up your game, Chicago.
2012 Bordeaux Futures are out now, prices have come down.
Buy yours at Binny’s now if you’re in the market.
Breaking News: “Beer Taste Excites Male Brain.”
Remember that Maker’s Mark thing? Beam did it with Old Grand-Dad too.
Nobody seemed to notice. Thanks Chuck.
Have you shopped Binny’s Elmwood Park lately? Now is a great time to give the store another visit. We’re just putting the finishing touches on a store-wide remodel, and it’s looking great.
First, we updated the shelving. This allowed us to expand every category in the store, with craft beer and wine coming out on top as big winners in the move. The wine is laying down in bins and the previously tall shelves have been lowered, opening up the general space. Add in a fresh coat of paint and some pretty pictures, and it’s almost like new.
Next, we added a full walk-in humidor, bringing our chainwide total up to 25. With 800 different cigars in the humidor, Binny’s offers the best cigar selection in the area, hands down. A humidor isn’t a humidor without a cigar expert, so we’re excited to have cigar consultant Marc LeBlanc on the Elmwood Park team. Joining Marc are several new more staff members manning departments all across the store.
So swing by! Check out all the improvements we’ve made. Hope to see you at the Elmwood Park Binny’s!
Have you met Elmwood Park Binny’s Wine Consultant Mike Kiessel? Mike has been working with Binny’s for seven years, and his interest in good wine and food goes a lot further back than that. Critical to this was the decade and a half he spent living in San Francisco, within striking distance of some of the world’s greatest wine producing areas.
“With easy access not only to the great wines of northern California, but abundant fresh fruit and vegetables too.” Mike recalls, “It was a great time to cook, eat, drink, and learn how to make flavors work together.” Now he likes to share these wine and food pairings with customers on the Binny’s sales floor. He has discovered over the years that some combinations are more difficult than others.
Paring asparagus and wine can be a tough proposition, but it’s a challenge Mike doesn’t fear.
“The key,” Mike says, “is the combination of spices to enhance the flavor, the ideal method of cooking, and then the right wine to bring it all together.”
Smoky Grilled Asparagus
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 pound thick asparagus, trimmed
In a shallow dish, whisk mayonnaise with oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, salt and cumin. Add the asparagus and toss; let stand for 30 minutes.
Grill asparagus over moderately high heat, turning, until tender and blistered in spots, about 6 minutes; serve.
Learn the ins and outs of this ancient beverage from Lindy Mangubat, CSP, current Sake specialist for Southern Wine and Spirits. She will teach you the rich history and wonderful variations of Sake, while of course, tasting several different Sake types and styles.
What: Sake Tasting with Lindy Mangubat
Where: 802 Town Center Blvd
Champaign, IL 61822
When: Friday, April 5th at 6:30pm
Seating is limited.
To RSVP email email@example.com or call 217-355-0625.
Free with your Binny’s card.
Outside of a few small areas in Bordeaux, Napa is making the greatest cabernet sauvignon on the planet. We recently visited some of the greatest wineries in the country. For more info on some of our favorite wines from the region, check out the current edition of The Wine Hotline. We snapped these pics on our journey down Route 29 and the Silverado Trail.
As you prepare for these crafts (By drinking Bailey’s and wine, of course) brush up your knowledge on these key Irish sayings!
“Grab us a snug” means “Snag us a booth!”
Be sure to ask for the Black Stuff! Translation? A Guinness!
When asking for a “spot, drop or touch” of a drink, it means “fill er’ up!!”
|Melted Candle Dripping Centerpiece
Candle (At least 4 in. tall and thick enough to fit in bottle)
1. Insert candle stick into bottle. (Begin this process over foil)
2. Apply heat to where candle is inserted to merge the two together.
3. Allow candle to melt until it begins dripping.
4. Hold Crayon close to heat and the Crayon will begin to melt/drip down the bottle.
5. Repeat this process until you have your desired centerpiece look.
Start collecting those corks… we’re getting crafty!
Lots of corks!
Hot glue gun
String of yarn
Cardboard wreath (You can find this at your local craft store)
Or… try cutting a circle out of a thicker cardboard box