Saturday, March 14, 2015

Craft Beer Happenings

     Love to talk LOCAL!! A new addition to the bottled selections from the wildly popular and local Cape May Brewing Company will be a Double IPA.  It seems that anything that Cape May Brewing bottles these days is an instant hit and you can be sure that their newest will follow suit.  Formerly available only at the brewery, Coastal Evacuation Double IPA clocks in at 8.3% ABV and has that piney, resinous taste that most IPA lovers crave.  The malt backbone is enough to give it almost perfect balance and keep it from being overly bitter.  Stop in for a sixer and taste for yourself the world class brews that are being crafted right here in our own backyard!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Top 10 Wines Under $10

One of our biggest joys of being wine lovers, is finding delicious wines under that sweet spot of $10! There are so many great wines on the market today that it isn't too hard to find LOTS of wine under 10 bucks. The hard part is finding GOOD wine under 10 bucks! Below we have compiled our Top Ten list of our favorite value wines, all under $10. Enjoy!
1. NxNW, Dry Riesling (Washington) $9.99
A great DRY Riesling with flavors of peach, jasmine, clover, apricot, mango, lychee and citrus with a crisp, round, long finish, balanced with nice dry acidity. Super easy drinking, but with a lot of flavor!

2. Domaine de Pajot, White Blend (France) $8.99 ORGANIC
From the Cotes de Gascogne, just south of Bordeaux, this wine is made from the four main regional varietals: Colombard, Ugni-Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gros-Manseng. Crisp, dry, and bright, with flavors of citrus, melon, and herb, this refreshing white wine is one to snap up by the case and keep on hand all summer long!

3. Amalaya, Riesling/Torrontes (Argentina) $9.99
This wine comes from the Calchaquí Valley in northwest Argentina, in the foothills of the Andes. It is a unique blend of steely Torrontes 85% and aromatic Riesling 15%. Floral, fresh and minerally, this is a refreshing wine for your favorite seafood dishes, salads, or on its own in the warm sunshine.

4. Zestos, Old Vine Malvar (Spain) $9.49
Zestos Blanco is perhaps one of the most complex white-wines produced in Spain. It is also a tremendous value. If you have a demanding palate and love the bright acid of Sauvignon blanc and the body of chardonnay, the Malvar grape will greatly reward your taste. This wine exhibits bright tropical fruits, white flowers, litchis and citrus notes. If you like medium- to full-bodied whites, without oak, that are bright, drink Malvar. White spice and fennel on the finish.  This wine for this price still blows our minds!

5. Tarrica, Chardonay (California) $9.99
Liquid Butter! Golden in color with aromas of tropical fruit, peach, vanilla and hints of sweet oak. Medium bodied and complex with a well balanced mouth feel offering tropical & stone fruit, mineral and citrus flavors. Ending with a satisfying creamy finish.

6. Bodan Roan, Pinot Noir (California) $9.99
Bodan Roan Wines are produced with a clear goal: to make straight-forward, food-friendly wines. This goal is attained through a process that begins in the vineyard, where high-quality grapes provide a base for the wine. The grapes chosen for these wines are from select vineyard sites throughout California. Bright and juicy with notes of cherry, strawberry, and a hint of spice.  Hard to find good pinot under $10.

7. Portada, Red Blend (Portugal) $9.99This deep ruby red, medium-bodied wine has berry fruit flavors and a beautiful balance. It’s fruity, tasty, and very pleasant and elegant. It’s the perfect “happy hour” red wine, a great everyday wine. Excellent with everything from roasts to  barbecue, pasta and pizzas!  Portugal is where the values are!!

8. Chateau Julien, Merlot (California) $9.99
If you like Cabernets try this Merlot! A big, beastly wine with dark plum and blackberry flavors and nice rich tannin structure on the finish. A big red that really goes well with bold, red meat based dishes.

9. Cameron Hughes, Lot 358 Malbec (Argentina) $9.99
This Malbec is filled with rich dark blackberry and plum fruits, framed with a nice approachable tannin structure.  A great alternative to your everyday California Cabernet. Perfect with steak, fajitas, or a simple barbecue with friends.

10. Isle Saint Pierre, Red Blend (France) $9.99
A big, bold blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, Other Red, 10% Arinarnoa. Delightfully aromatic with sweet dark fruit—berry, damson plum, black currant jam—and dark milk chocolate. The palate is drier than the nose suggests, structured by its acidity rather than its fine tannins. The black fruits are there, joined by red fruit and a touch of pepper at the mid palate, and a certain chocolatey sweetness on the finish.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Decanting Wine 101

Want to make your wine taste $20 better? Try decanting it. Decanting your wine separates any sediment that may have formed while simultaneously aerating the wine, which enhances the aromas and flavors of the wine. Knowing why, when, and how to decant wine can really upgrade that bottle on your table.

Decanting is a simple and easy process. Just pour wine into a large open glass container or decanter and let sit for the desired amount of time. Just pulling out the cork and letting it sit open will not actually do anything, it needs to have a large opening in which wine and oxygen have the freedom to mingle. Avoid using any plastic containers as they will alter the flavor of the wine.
Riedel Red Wine Decanter
We recommend the Riedel Wine Decanter ($59.99) - made of 24% lead crystal, this exquisite decanter has an elegant base that ensures maximum aeration of your wines and an open spout for drip-free pouring. The minimalist design of the decanter puts the focus on your fine wines.
True Fabrications Decanter with Handle
Houdini Wine Carafe
Another great option is the True Fabrications Wine Decanter with Handle ($29.99) for a classic style with a handle for easy no-drip pouring. Or for a more casual look and feel, go with the Houdini Wine Carafe ($19.99).

How long should I decant my wine for?
Decanting times range from about 30 minutes to more than 3 hours depending on the variety and age of the wine. A general rule of thumb is to add 1 hour of decanting for every 10 years that the wine has been aged. Most red wines can benefit from decanting, not just the expensive ones. Here are some guidelines based on different wine varietals, but since every wine is different, be sure to check your wine periodically for "doneness." Make sure that you are allowing your wine to sit at room temperature, not in a cold or sunny spot.

Red Wines
Zinfandel: 30 minutes
Pinot Noir: 30 minutes (e.g. red Bourgogne)
Malbec: 1 hour
Grenache/Garnacha Blend: 1 hour (e.g. Côtes du Rhône, Priorat, GSM)
Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot: 2 hours (e.g. Bordeaux)
Petite Sirah: 2 hours
Tempranillo: 2 hours (e.g. Rioja, Ribera del Deuro)
Sangiovese: 2 hours (e.g. Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti)
Vintage Port & Madeira: 2 hours
Mourvèdre/Monastrell 2-3 hours (e.g. Bandol)
Dão and Douro Reds: 2-3 hours
Syrah/Shiraz: 2-3 hours
Nebbiolo 3+ hours (e.g. Barolo, Barbaresco)

White Wines
Most white wines don't need to be decanted, in fact, if the wine is highly aromatic decanting may actually hurt the wine. Occasionally however, white wines taste funky (think steamed mushrooms) and decanting will fix this! This flavor is common in full-bodied white wines from cooler climates like a white Bourgogne (e.g. Chardonnay). Decant for about 30 minutes.

Aerators do an excellent job of decanting wine in just minutes by forcing air to be circulated through the wine. As you pour, the wine "breathes" as bubbles are sent through it, thus creating a wine with more expansive aromas and/or softer tannins. An aerator can be great for casual meals, where time may be of the essence. We offer several options for aerators that can be purchased in store or online.
Vinturi Aerator
We recommend the Vinturi Wine Aerator ($39.99), which aerates your red wine in seconds. The Host Tilt Mini Aerator ($12.99) is also a great inexpensive option and it is small enough to fit in your pocket!
Host Tilt Mini Aerator

Getting in all the nooks and crannies to thoroughly clean your decanter can be tricky. It's recommended to not use dish soap to clean the inside of decanters as it can be too difficult to remove all of the detergent, which can adversely affect the aromas and flavors of the wine. recommends washing the outside with hot water first and then rinsing the inside with cold water, which helps to keep the glass from getting foggy on the inside. We use this nifty Glass Cleaning Brush ($7.99) to easily clean our decanter and our wine glasses too. Plus they're scratch free cleaners so you don't have to worry about ruining your glassware.

Glass Cleaning Brush
For more information on decanting wine, check out!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Newly Launched Cheese Happy Hour!

We're super excited to announce the start of our free Cheese Happy Hour starting Wednesday, February 11th. Join us every Wednesday from 4-7pm to taste 3 different gourmet cheeses at the Market counter. Each week, the featured cheeses will also be on sale and will be paired with jams, chutneys, meats, and crackers from The Market. Wine and beer pairing suggestions will also be given!

Join us every week as we dish out three new cheeses for you to taste and love!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Craft Beer Happenings

      New from Sierra Nevada is Hoppy Lager, which was a favorite from their Beer Camp collection that was available last summer.  The Hoppy Lager replaces Ruthless Rye as this years spring seasonal.  This was Sierra Nevada's collaboration with Ballast Point Brewing Company and as expected doesn't disappoint.  Clean, crisp, refreshing and hoppy all in one make this beer hard to put down.  It has that good malt flavor found in any well-made Lager style beer, but it also has that trademark Sierra Nevada hop flavor that has made them one of the most respected craft brewers in America.  Since they have opened a new brewery in North Carolina that also means fresher beer for us here on the East Coast!  Right now we have 6 packs for $8.99 and 12 packs for $17.99. So get your hands on this seasonal while it lasts.  Also...stay tuned for some exciting Sierra Nevada news that will bring something really cool to the shelves in February.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Three Great Wines for Under $20

Recently, a favorite wine writer of ours, Eric Asimov, wrote a great article for the New York Times in which he picked out 20 Wines for Under $20 that he believes are incredibly delicious and fascinating without breaking the bank. To see his full article click here.
Inspired by this great article, we picked up three of the wines he listed from some of our favorite distributors. These are really unique and interesting wines that we encourage you to pick up today and see what you have been missing.

Pont de Gassac Pays d’Hérault Selection Guibert $15.99
This entry-level bottle from Mas de Daumas Gassac, one of the leading producers of the Languedoc, is a superb value. It’s juicy and agile, with a welcome tannic bite and a bit of bitterness that refreshes. The blend is half Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 percent Merlot and 20 percent Syrah.

Geil Rheinhessen Muskateller Trocken $17.99
Muskateller is German for muscat blanc à petits grains, the classic muscat grape, one of the oldest, most aromatic and least appreciated varieties. This is a perfect little touch of springtime in a glass, lively and floral, well balanced and refreshing.

Rainoldi Valtellina Superiore Grumello $17.99
Valtellina, in the north of Italy near the border of Lombardy and Switzerland, offers an alternative expression of nebbiolo, from the mountains. This version, from the Grumello zone of Valtellina Superiore, offers complex flavors of dried cherries, tobacco, herbs and spices. It’s fresh, well structured, already complex and a great deal.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Craft Beer Happenings

     Some exciting news for craft beer drinkers in New Jersey:  Boulevard Brewing Company of Kansas City is now available in our state!  Our first shipment included Single Wide IPA, which is aggressively hopped using six varieties, but is easy drinking enough as to not overwhelm; and 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat; which is a hybrid of two popular styles: a refreshing wheat beer with a definite IPA- like hop presence! Both the Single Wide IPA and the 80 Acre are in 6 pack bottles and priced at $9.99.We also have the 12 pack sampler which includes their Unfiltered Wheat beer, 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat as well as two different "tasting room" bottlings which are only available in the variety pack or at the brewery itself.  These beers are on a rotating basis.  The 12 pack sampler is $18.99 and the case goes for $34.99.
     We also got in two 750 ml cork and cage bottlings from their Smokestack series, which is considered their line of specialty/full-bodied offerings.  These include Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale which has a world-class rating on Beer Advocate.  With intense fruit notes, a good hop presence, and a spicy finish, any fan of Belgian Style ales will love this one. Speaking of Belgian Style ales, the other must-try is the Sixth Glass Belgian Style Quad.  This is a 100 point beer on the Beer Advocate!  Intense raisin and spice flavors, high in alcohol and good carbonation make this ale an almost perfect representation, as the score represents.  Both Tank 7 and the Sixth Glass are $8.99.