A lot has been happening here at the store in the last little while. We had a visit from the wine maker of Joie Farms out of the Okanagan, I personally got to meet Alan Schmidt of Vineland Estates, and we hosted our first private classroom function. On top of all of that, we have been bringing in a lot of exciting new products! I have had the pleasure of being able to sample a few and I’d like to share my finds with the rest of you.
Melville’s Craft Fruit Beers – Strawberry, Raspberry, and Ginger ($11.49 per 4 Pack)
For those of you familiar with Innis & Gunn beers out of the UK, you’ll have to check out their new venture, Melville’s Craft fruit beers! The three new flavours are produced in small batches by the distillery. Personally, my favourite is the Strawberry. With a touch of sweetness it reminds me of freshly made strawberry jam. Don’t let the fruitiness fool you these are real beers with fruit flavour and not the other way around. The Raspberry is reminiscent of a Raspberry pie and the Ginger packs a nice kick at the end of your palate. Considering I am not entirely fond of the taste of real ginger, this was a pleasant surprise. All three are delicious and refreshingly crisp! If you are not a fan of fruit beers, FEAR NOT For Innis & Gunn have released two new beers for their line.
The first is the Scottish Pale Ale, retailing at $3.79 per bottle. The beer is crisp and light, with a lovely hint of the wood coming through on the finish. With Canada’s Birthday in the near future may I present the Canadian Cherry Wood beer. What makes it Canadian? They’ve added maple syrup to the beer, which is mildly gimmicky, but it creates a nice thick beer that coats your mouth. The flavour is primarily malty with a touch of bitter on the end. I enjoyed this beer to the very last drop. It is the fifth annual release of Innis & Gunn’s limited edition brews and priced at $5.49.
Aviation American Gin -- $41.99
I am a gin lover! This means, I need to gush about the new gin that just came in a few weeks ago. Aviation is an American style gin, making it little different from the London Dry I referred to in my previous blog post. The big difference I find in this one is the smell and taste is a more robust. Sarsaparilla was used in the distillation and I find it really comes out on the nose. A total of eight spices go into the creation, including the classic Juniper and Coriander. Wine Enthusiast has called it the best gin they have ever seen, rating it at 97 points (For comparison that is 5 points higher than Bombay or Hendricks has ever been rated). For a real treat, try out the Classic Aviation Cocktail:
• 1 1/2 OZ Aviation Gin
• 1 TSP. Crème de violets
• 1/2 OZ Maraschino Liqueur
• 1/4 OZ Simple syrup
• 3/4 OZ Freshly pressed lemon juice
1. In a pint glass, add spirits & mixers
2. Fill with ice
3. Shake vigorously
4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
5. Garnish with a cherry on a pick
One final note about gin, I need to make an amendment to a prior comment I made about “most tonics being the same”. We recently acquired a line of high end mixes; included are the QTonic, QSoda, and QGinger. Made with all natural ingredients, they are crisp and clean. One of the interesting facts I learned is that it has 60% of the calories of the tonics you find at your grocery store. Try your next Gin and Tonic with a bottle of QTonic for $2.79, or pick up a four pack for $10.99.
Sebastiani Merlot 2007 (Sonoma, California) -- $18.99
Seeing as this is Everything Wine and More we need to talk Wine! I spent days mulling over what I could write about when inspiration struck me with a random staff sample of one of our display wines. I have not had the opportunity to try a large variety of merlot, and for the most part I was not a big fan of what I have had. This 2007 has changed my opinion on that! Since it's 6 years old, the wine has seen a good amount of bottle aging which has really softened the tannins. The smell is primarily plummy; it reminds me of a Taylor LBV Port if it was deprived of all the sugar. The fruit carries onto the palate, but the real pleasure comes from the silky feeling of the tannins coating your mouth. Most people describe this mouthfeel as smooth which is very common for Merlots. Enjoy with stronger cheee such as a smoked Gouda or aged English Cheddar. It would be a mistake to miss out on this fantastic wine. It’s a wine that’s ready to drink now and is a great example of how good quality wines can age and make it drink like a bottle worth twice as much. Pick it up for your next dinner party and you’re sure to impress the masses.
After a long anticipated wait, the sun has finally broken through the clouds and made all of the dreadful snow disappear. In commemoration of this joyous occasion, I would like to talk about some summer sippers! It may be a little early to call it Summer yet, but that does not mean you can’t break out the lawn chairs and enjoy a drink or two with friends. To deviate slightly from the last entry, I would like to talk not only about wine but about beer and spirits as well.
Starborough Sauvignon Blanc – New Zealand ($13.99)
So you came to visit Everything Wine and More, you approach the back of the store and find yourself staring at a bright green mountain of wine. The reason we have a mountain of it is because we grabbed as much as we could. This astoundingly crisp Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect representation of what makes the New Zealand style popular in North America. The best way to enjoy this wine is with a bucket of ice (to keep it cool, not to put into the wine), a handful of close friends, and a beautiful afternoon. The wine is grassy and clean, with bright acidity and a citrusy finish. We usually have a bottle open during our sale events, so I would strongly recommend you come down next sale weekend and give this one a try.
Bulldog Gin – London ($38.29)
When it comes to cocktails, I am absolutely in love with the Gin and Tonic. I have my favorite places to go grab one and I have my own personal recipe for making them at home. Your supermarket tonic water does not vary much by brand; it’s a bubbly clear liquid that tastes awesome when mixed. Selecting a good Gin, however, can be a daunting task. One can always fall back on the Bombay Sapphire or Tanqueray, but life is all about choices so why not try something new? This gin smells refreshing, like cut cucumbers and when you pour it into the glass it shines like liquid diamonds. It makes a very distinct and unique G&T, and I strongly recommend it.
Now for my recipe to make the best G&T: Start with 3 large ice cubes in a highball glass, pour in 1.5 oz. of Gin, fill to half an inch below the rim with tonic water. Now garnish the drink with a lime. Before drinking, try rimming the glass with the lime, squeezing the fruit into the drink and dropping the wedge into the glass then give it a quick stir (I normally just use a finger or a straw). Now drink like an adult, no straws allowed.
Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc – Alsace, France (6pack bottles for $12.99)
As I said before, it’s getting to be patio time. Personally, that means it is time for beers with friends. I adore this wheat beer for its refreshing and fruity qualities. The town the beer is produced in sits near the border of France and Germany, so I always like to joke that it is German beer inside a French bottle. The flavor is well-rounded with citrus on the nose and the palate. I would drink it anytime, anywhere; with or without food. It is reasonably priced for the quality, considering some German and Belgian six-packs can boast a 17+ price tag.
That brings an end to my second installment. If you have any thoughts on what you read, leave a comment to let me know what you think. Also, don’t forget to come visit me in store sometime. As much as I can write about wine, I have a lot more to say than what you find here. I love talking to people about wine, spirits, and beer so come have a chat with me!
I started my adventure into the world of wine back in August of 2012. Since then I have gone from never thinking to touch the stuff to now searching for various bottles to suit different occasions. As a newbie wine drinker and buyer, I understand the difficulty that comes with trying to purchase a new wine. Without knowing exactly what is in the bottle, how can you be confident that what you are purchasing will be to your liking? Now imagine that scenario, walking into a store with 1500 bottles staring back at you.
I would like to make the task of buying a new wine easier by lending my experience to instill confidence in your purchase. If you are anything like me, you find it hard to justify spending a lot of money on a bottle of wine, but some people would like to think that cheap prices mean cheap wines. I am going to go through a list of great value wines that I have discovered and would like to share with the world.
Beso de Vino Selecction Syrah/Garnacha – Spain $11.99
If you have ever visited our store and spoke to me in person, there is a high probability that you have heard me say this is the best $12 wine you can buy. To this day I still hold that belief, as this wine continues to delight everyone I recommend it to. A blend of 85% Syrah and 15% Garnacha, this wine has a lovely smell of blueberries and black cherries. The finish is soft with no harsh edges, perfect for a quiet get together with friends and family.
Trivento Mixtus Malbec/Shiraz – Argentina $9.99
Throughout the store we boast a large selection of wines at the 9.99 price range. After exploring most of what we have to offer, this is the one that stands out the most to me. It has the lovely nose of a Shiraz; fruity with a touch of spice. On the tongue, it is very fruity and medium bodied with a clean finish. Very approachable, and with a light tannin structure that gives it the character to be paired with light fare.
Dr. Loosen Riesling – Germany $15.99
For the white lovers out there, I have one final gem to talk about; Dr. Loosen Bros Riesling. A couple of weeks ago, I went through my WSET Level 1 Certification to help teach me a bit more about wines. During the class, we tasted through probably fifteen to twenty different wines with this one included in the set list. Absolutely golden on the tongue is the only way I can think to describe this wine. Chill it to about 13 degrees and drink it on the patio, you don’t even need a glass (Don’t worry, I promise I won’t tell anyone). It is an off-dry wine, but do not let that scare you away. If you can handle a little sugar, I strongly recommend you give it a try!
Grand Opening Weekend!
On March 30th we officially opened in Sherwood Park.
The day’s festivities began with a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Mayor of Strathcona, Linda Osinchuk, followed by coffee and donuts with the staff and Strathcona councilors. The morning was fairly quiet….merely the calm before the storm!
The afternoon was a fun, busy, exciting, & slightly crazy day to be a part of. The first taste of bubble as soon as you walked through the doors was a big hit! Our customers were quite taken with the Terre Gaie Fior D’arancio, a slightly sweet sparkler from Italy. The fruity sweetness of the wine would’ve complimented the savoury components of Easter dinners very well.
From there we had different tasting tables set up throughout the store pouring wine, beers, & spirits. Our own tasting bar was packed with people looking to take advantage of our try before you buy tasting of the wines featured in our sale. It’s great to see Edmontonians so willing to step out of their comfort zones and try new wines. So often people get stuck in a wine rut, they find a wine they know they like and buy the same one over and over again. I don’t know about you, but I love taking the chance and discovering new wines! With 10 tasting tables set up and at least 2 wines at each table I’m sure we helped wine lovers discover some new gems.
A big thanks to all the agents at the tasting tables on Friday and Saturday:
The Wine Syndicate
Lifford Wine Agency
Phillipe Dandurand Wines
Mark Anthony Group
Pacific Wine & Spirits
Oyster Bay Wines
The Bacchus Group
Authentic Wine & Spirits
Christopher Stewart Wine & Spirits
Lanigan & Edwards Wine Merchants
and Moosehead Breweries
We couldn’t have done it without your help!
Another big thanks goes out to The Great Canadian Brewhouse for catering the event.
The staff and customers couldn’t get enough of the delicious snacks that were provided throughout the day. Bacon Jalapeno Poppers and Crispy Boneless Chicken Wings were constantly in need of replenishing. Perhaps you stopped by our Grand Opening because you caught the smell of burgers and smokies that led you to our front doors and to Tiffany who was braving the chilly weather to serve up some BBQ.
It was a great day to be a part of and we hoped that everyone who walked through the doors enjoyed the festivities and had a great experience in the shop. We love wines here at Everything Wine and More and we want to make wine lovers out of Albertans. We love to talk wine and taste wine! We have daily tastings from 2-6pm and educational sit down tastings in our beautiful classroom. Or just come in and talk to our staff.
Greg and Andrew are the guys you’ll want to chat about Scotch and Beers with. Bob in our Vintage loves his Spanish wines will probably get you to buy a case without even knowing it! Pam’s the gal you want to go to when it comes to BC wines, she loves travelling to the Okanagan in the summer. And you’ll find me in the classroom talking and teaching wine!
See you all soon!
Now that our grand opening has come and gone and the word is out it is time to talk Whisky.
And not just any Whisky today it’s all about rye.
It is a little known fact that they can call any Canadian Whiskey Rye Whiskey even if it isn’t made with rye. There are quite a few producers that incorporate various other grains in their blend including corn barley or wheat.
A true Rye Whiskey has a spicy taste that is unmistakable and complemented by the burn of the spirit.
My favorite All Rye Whisky is none other than Spicebox, a masterfully blended spirit that uses a hint of vanilla and nutmeg to accentuate and amplifie the natural spice of the Rye. It hails from Quebec where they use 100% Canadian Rye.
Spicebox is powerful and bold enough to stand on its own or on the rocks but there is no need to stand on ceremony and forbid yourself from mixing. Spice box and Cola is the best possible vanilla cola you can imagine.
I invite you all to come in and give Spicebox a try.
Our brand new Sherwood Park location marked its one week anniversary on Tuesday February 18th, with a fun afternoon of complimentary tasting at our trendy Tasting Bar...
Today’s tasting included Big House Red, Big House White and Cardinal Zin, all by the Big House Wine Company.
The Big House Wine Company, located in Soledad California, takes its name from the State Correctional Facility directly across the street from its winery. All of the brand’s label names are cheeky nods to the penitentiary as well, and the brand’s catchphrase, “so good, they’re almost criminal”, speaks for itself.
The Cardinal Zin, noted for its intense blackberry flavor, mixed with creamy vanilla and oak, was a staff favorite. Big House is also noted for its innovative 3-Litre Premium Wine Cask, carried by Everything Wine and More, that will keep wine fresh for up to 6 weeks.
Don’t miss out on our educational wine classes, starting March 6th , for $10 per class, for a limited time! Come check out our brand new location, daily tastings and friendly, educated staff at Unit 25- 100 Broadview Drive, Sherwood Park, AB. Grand Opening announcement to follow!
Psst... have you heard?
Everything Wine and More is coming to Sherwood Park!
We're so excited and it's all happening SO FAST.
Keep yourself posted of our BIG opening and Grand Opening celebrations by joining our VIP Club.
Best of all - it's FREE to join. More to come! So stay tuned!
We were honoured to have the Beta Sigma Phi sorority alumni celebrate its reunion at our store last week. It was a closed door exclusive event filled with laughter, friendship, a wine scavenger hunt and tastings with food pairings!!
A Vinho Verde with shrimp, a Reserve Merlot with olives, a Reserve Pinot Gris with a nice antipasto.... absolutely delicious.
Mission Hill and Prospect Winery were among this evening´s favourites ---- and who could forget that wonderful Rigamarole Rosé that conquered so many smiles… ---. It was an honour to take part of such memorable evening!
This past weekend was the grand opening for Everything Wine and More in Lethbridge and it was a huge success!
We couldn’t have done it without the help from the wine, beer and spirits representatives from Corby, Molson, Sleemans, Mark Anthony Group, E & J Gallo, Authentic Wine, Bacchus, Treasury, and Pacific Wine for helping with the tastings and donating such amazing prizes. Some of the prizes were a tabletop wine coolers stocked with wine, a Nike Golf Driver, a portable firepit, and 3 OGIO Fireball backpacks.
We would also like to thank Brooksie from Country 95.5 FM and Erin from 94.1 CJOC for stopping in and broadcasting live from location.
Another big thanks goes out to the Black Tomato Bar and Lounge for catering delicious hors d'oeuvre at our tasting bar, and braving the weather to hold a BBQ outside.
Lastly, we would like to thank everyone who came into the store this past weekend and welcomed Everything Wine and More into Lethbridge, we hope to see everyone again soon!
June 14, 2013
- Andrew Clarke (1)
- Michelle De Leon (1)
- Cheata Nao (1)
- Denise Pang (1)
- Meredith Pritchard (1)
- Jeramy Torrance (3)