Pour Your Heart Out



Vietti’s Perbacco
Delivers Inspiration

You may have noticed that throughout the year, we occasionally feature regions or varietals in our Beer & Wine Shops that may be new or emerging. Because let’s face it, we humans get bored with the same old thing and occasionally want to be inspired by something new. 

But sometimes inspiration can come from something familiar. That’s how we feel about wines from Italy and why each year, we visit these wines to take a closer look. So don’t be surprised to see pyramids and displays throughout September featuring these diverse and appreciated wines. 

Italian wines consistently deliver some of the best quality for the price. In fact they still offer  a lot of inherent value – even with the increase in the euro compared to the dollar over the past decade.

Take for instance Vietti’s estate-bottled 2011 Nebbiolo Perbacco. The Piedmont region in northern Italy produces one of Italy’s most celebrated wines – Barolo. For a wine to qualify as Barolo, it must come from specific vineyards around the town of that name, must be vinified (which means to convert grapes into wine by way of fermentation), aged for a specific period of time and meet a minimum alcohol content, among other qualifiers. ...
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Beer & Wine Managers
Offer September Gems

What is there to consider in September aside from decreasing daylight and temperatures? Well, according to our Beer & Wine managers, there is plenty to consider, and sip. Such as:

  • In Ballard, an Italian rose will help you hold on to summer a while longer
  • In Mill Creek, the season’s first fresh-hop beer is here – and it’s delicious!
  • In Shoreline, a Seattle distillery showcases locally sourced ingredients
  • In Poulsbo, a Napa Valley winery surprises with its 2012 Pinot Noir
  • On Bainbridge,  cultures cozy up perfectly in a Bordeaux blend out of Italy

Town & Country Market, Bainbridge Island

Petreto Podere Sassaie 2011 – $19.99

I’m convinced that the world’s cross-cultural influences have led to some of the most amazing discoveries. Examples include champagne-quality sparkling wines produced in California’s Anderson Valley; a multi-national Riesling cuvée between wineries in Oregon and Germany’s Mosel; or simply Bordeaux blends made in Washington state that attempt to capture old-world balance with local terroir. 

No matter what, every winery seems to have a traditional source of inspiration for grape growing and wine making, and when that source is based in a country other than the winery’s own, the results can be extraordinary.  So when a sales rep approached me with a white Bordeaux blend crafted by a winery in Florence, I jumped at the idea, knowing that many of the top Italian wines, such as Barolos or Super Tuscans, drew their inspiration from Bordeaux wine-making methods.

The 2011 Petreto Podere Sassaie is one of the most beautiful expressions of a Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend that I have tried in years:  Wonderful aromas of savory dried pit fruit, nectarous white flowers, and nuances of sweet cured deli meats, oozing with flavors of fleshy white fruit, a mildly creamy citrus midpalate, and hints of smoky herbs on a long mineral driven finish. An absolutely stunning wine for $19.99.  With the change in season soon upon us, I highly recommend this wine for the wholesome late summer and early fall harvest foods we all enjoy.  Only 10 cases available, this is a wine you don’t want to miss. 

Manager Jeremy Brown

Central Market Poulsbo

Starmont Pinot Noir 2012 – $26.99

A couple of weeks ago, one of my suppliers called to say he had a representative from the Starmont winery with him and wanted to know if I had time to taste through her wines.  I told him that Friday was a very busy day and although I did not have time to taste, I would gladly meet her and look at what she had. When they arrived I realized I had plenty of time to taste, and boy I am glad I did, as one of her wines, Starmont Pinot Noir 2012 was something special.

One thing I think most wine drinkers would agree on is everyone likes a good Pinot Noir.  The challenge is, because it is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine, good ones can be quite expensive.  If you shop for lower-priced Pinots, you run the risk of getting a wine (especially California) that has been blended with a small amount of Syrah to enhance color and richness. Often, the Syrah overpowers the Pinot and the result is something less than ideal.    ...
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Our Summer Favorites
from Montana to France
and from Beer to Malbec

What’s on the minds of our Beer & Wine Managers this month?
A Montana beer is a Ballard favorite; a French Sauvignon Blanc is a bottle of sunshine for T&C on Bainbridge; a Veneto-region Prosecco impresses in Poulsbo; two wines from Pierre Andre get the nod in Shoreline; and a Malbec out of southern France wins hearts in Mill Creek. Read why …  

Ballard Market

Montucky Cold Snacks. $5.99 in August

Meet Ballard’s new favorite beer.  This light, canned, refreshing lager is made from barley, hops, water and yeast – and contains none of that GMO corn found in our previous favorite 6-pack of tall boys.

Created by two dudes from Montana, Montucky Cold Snacks is a dual reference to the state and the act of drinking beer. ‘Montucky’ is a slang term for the state – think backwoods and very rural. ‘Cold Snacks’ is also slang – for beer, as in “Let’s go grab some cold snacks.” Who knew?

The brewers aim to celebrate their state through the packaging and by donating 8 percent of yearly profits to various organizations voted on by the consumers in each market – currently Montana, Oregon and Washington. They’ve already been able to give about $5,000 to  Montana bike park. But it’s a new brewery and they still haven’t made a profit so it hasn’t gotten off the ground in the philanthropy sense yet. Buy a couple of six-packs and help them break into the black.

Drink Montucky Cold Snacks on a boat, in the park, or throw in some grapefruit juice and make a Montucky Shandy, which is the favorite summer drink of Ballard Market’s Wine Wonder Woman, J’Nee.

Manager Lauren Allen

Town & Country Market, Bainbridge Island

Domaine Trotereau Quincy – $19.99

When a mid-range white wine from France consistently and quickly moves off the shelf week to week, you know you have something special.

Maybe it’s the sunshine or temperatures that seem to make us want a relaxing and fresh sipper. Or maybe the wine is just enjoying its moment in the sun because wine drinkers are looking for something a little different.

I suppose it doesn’t really matter because the 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc Domaine Trotereau Quincy is all that and more – a veritable bottle of sunny goodness.  Quincy was the second appellation to be recognized after Chateauneuf du Pape, giving it a famed historic significance beyond that of its more widely recognized neighboring appellations.  The winemaker, Pierre Ragon, is as famed in the Loire Valley as Loire wines are in the world.  Situated right next to Sancerre, Pierre’s estate wines (all produced exclusively from Sauvignon Blanc) are arguably better than his neighbor’s – which are sometimes twice as expensive. ...
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Managers’ Favorites
for Summer Sipping

What’s on the minds of our Wine Managers for July? A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc built for summer; a slightly effervescent Vinho Verde from Portugal; a food-friendly dry Riesling from the Yakima Valley; a limited-release IPA; and an Italian red that’s so good, you wouldn’t mind being stuck on a desert island if you had a cellar full of that!

Town & Country Market, Bainbridge Island

Momo Sauvignon Blanc – 2012 -$13.99

It’s a rare treat when you find a deliciously affordable New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. It’s even more of a treasure when you find one that is organic, sustainably farmed and drinks like it should be twice the price.  Enter Momo.

This wine – pale with a light green hue – is produced by Seresin Estates in Marlborough, a picturesque region in the northeast of the South Island. The wine is built for summer, with all of the tropical aromas and elegant mixed citrus flavors we crave for light outdoor summer fare and grilled seafood.  And just like summer, it won’t last long. Come by and grab a bottle … or two … for your next outdoor picnic.  Cheers, from one island to another!

Manager Jeremy Brown

Central Market Poulsbo

Fvine Vinho Verde Non-Vintage – $9.99

Vinho Verde is a Portuguese wine that originated in the Minho region in the far north of the country.  Vinho Verde is not a grape variety.  The name literally means “green wine,” but translates as “young wine.” The Vinho Verdes are light and fresh and, although they do not quite qualify as semi-sparkling, they do have a definite effervescence.  Vinho Verdes are low in alcohol (8.5-11 percent) and high in acidity.  Vinho Verde can be made in red or white, but the white variety is the most common....
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If it’s June, it’s Time
to Get Out the Grill

March and April are “shoulder” months for most of the country – those interim months that precede the heat of the summer. But for us in the Pacific Northwest, June is the shoulder month. We can have some brilliant warm weather or it can be pouring down rain. Either way, most of us are itching to get out and enjoy the outdoors, or at least get out as far as the deck or patio. So we’re featuring wines all this month that go great with food cooked on the grill.

One of the wines we hope you’ll try is Gerard Bertrand Picpoul de Pinet. It’s the only white wine in the promotion.

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Managers’ June Faves
from Beer to Malbec

What’s on the minds of our Wine Managers for June? An Oregon beer, an Italian red, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, an Argentinian Malbec and a Washington-crafted Merlot, that’s what! See what Lauren in Ballard, Jeremy at Town & Country Market on Bainbridge, Alan at Central Market Poulsbo, Jon at Shoreline and Spencer at Mill Creek have to recommend!

Ballard Market

Double Mountain Brewery – Assorted Styles

From the burgeoning beer scene in Hood River, Ore., comes one of our favorite breweries, Double Mountain. Founded in 2007, this 20-barrel brewery was pieced

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Four Favorite Rosés
and a Bordeaux Blend
for Your Spring Joy

What’s on the minds of our Wine Managers for May? Four of their favorite Rosés – and a Bordeaux-style blend thrown in for good measure. See what Jeremy at Town & Country Market on Bainbridge, Alan at Central Market Poulsbo, Jon at Shoreline, Spencer at Mill Creek and Lauren in Ballard have for you this month in our Beer & Wine Shops.

Town & Country Market, Bainbridge Island

Domaine Fontsainte Gris de Gris Rosé 2013 – $14.99

I had the opportunity to meet Kermit Lynch, a legendary importer of limited-production French wines of outstanding quality a couple

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Our Wine Managers
Point to Their Favorites

See what our Wine Managers recommend this month – Alan in Poulsbo goes seasonal with a Northwest rosé; Jon at Shoreline chooses an elegant red by Vietti; Mill Creek’s Spencer is excited about a new Yakima-brewed IPA that’s creating a big buzz; Lauren in Ballard gives a shout out to a South African vintner; and Jeremy on Bainbridge exposes the Rhone Valley’s best-kept secret by Domaine De Durban.

Central Market Poulsbo

Julia’s Dazzle Pinot Grigio Rose, Horse Heaven Hills – $17.99

With the sunshine and warmer weather just around the corner, it might be time to t

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Want Something New?
Try Loire Valley Wines

One of the things most of us in the beverage world like to do is introduce or educate people on new or maybe undiscovered wines.

While it’s good to have a standby to fall back on when you need to make a quick decision, a significant portion of humanity thankfully tends to be curious or adventurous when it comes to beer, wine and spirits. So, for those of you looking for something new, we suggest the wines of the Loire Valley of France. In fact these wines are April’s “Featured Wines” meaning you’ll see them promoted in price and display in our Beer & Wine shops.

Th

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In Praise of Tempranillo,
the Wahluke Slope,
Rioja and Almanac Beer

Each month, our Beer, Wine & Spirits managers eagerly offer their thoughts on what is really great in their department. There are no restrictions – other than answering the question, “So what would you recommend this month?” Here’s what they have to say for March:

Town & Country Market, Bainbridge Island

Juan Carlos Sancha Pena El Gato Rioja 2010 – $34.99

A brand-new discovery for Washington comes from the high-quality boutique importer C&P Wines – Juan Carlos Sancha Pena El Gato Rioja  <

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