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Staff Favorites - Sarah Covey
2014 Alloy Wine Works "Tin City" Central Coast Grenache Rosé (500ml Can)
Review Date: 08-03-2015
3/4 of a bottle of rosé in a can for this price? Are you bonkers? Nope! It's the latest thing--get on the bus! 3 glasses in this can make it the perfect thing to bring along to share with a friend on a picnic, hike, at the beach or the pool. Or, splash out and take one down yourself! Pretty strawberry, peach and watermelon with vibrant acidity and total drinkability. It's summer--enjoy it! But watch out--the staff might buy it all first!
2008 Miguel Merino "Vitola" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-30-2015
Here's what I love about Miguel Merino- his wines are so incredibly balanced, well-crafted and drinkable, it's crazy that we can offer them at such outstanding prices. This 2008 "Vitola" is in a lovely spot- the wood is well-integrated, and the acidity vibrant and pleasing. Plush, ripe red cherry, Santa Rosa plum, hints of savory leather, and that signature Rioja minerality with fine, integrated tannin and medium plus acidity. Stock up for summer BBQs and in preparation for holiday entertaining! A Top Value for sure!
2013 Tongue In Groove "The Mound Vineyard" Riesling Waipara Valley
Review Date: 07-15-2015
Aaaaand the Tongue in Groove Riesling brings it again! Seriously fabulous Riesling, most excellently crafted. Apricot, peach, and citrus with classic mandarin orange marmalade botrytis notes with a delicious sweetness that is perfectly balanced with the acidity. Stock up- last year the staff bought 90% of the stock!
2014 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "Toru" White Blend Marlborough
Review Date: 07-08-2015
I have been begging Ryan Woodhouse to bring this wine in for the last two years. And now- it's finally here! If you love easy drinking, aromatic yet very elegant white wine for spring or summer, this is the wine for you! A gorgeous blend of Gewurztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris, this wine shows lemony citrus, honeysuckle, plump apricot and white peach, with lively acidity and fabulously balanced sweetness to acid that leave the wine feeling fresh and bright instead of cloying and dense. An incredible value and a must for easy summertime entertaining!
Michel Loriot "Marie-Leopold" Sec Champagne
Review Date: 06-29-2015
Michel Loriot and his daughter & co-winemaker Marie have created a very special cuvee here. The Marie Leopold Sec (named so after Michel's daughter Marie and their great-great-great grandfather Leopold) has the tiniest dance of sweetness, with beautiful lemon zest, fresh apricot and flaky pie crust notes, with a chalky minerality and vibrant acidity that keep the sweetness from being heavy or dense. If you enjoy Prosecco, but are looking for something different and truly more elegant, try this pretty little cuvee. It's an homage to the Loriot family's history!
Underwood by Union Wine Co. Oregon Rosé (375ml can)
Review Date: 06-04-2015
It's here, it's here, it's finally here! The Underwood Rosé I've been waiting for since last June! Plush strawberry, unexpected peach, citrus, and red cherry with nice acidity and balance. Half a bottle for $5.99 in an easily portable, light can? SIGN ME UP! Head out to the beach, the park, a picnic, the pool, or a BBQ with cold cans and you will be the toast of the party! LOVE THIS!
2014 Copain "Tous Ensemble" Anderson Valley Rosé
Review Date: 04-10-2015
Crunchy cranberry, red currant, bright red cherry, mineral with zesty, refreshing acidity. On the leaner side of rose, this is delicious on its own and killer with food! Stock up!
2014 Palmina "Botasea" Santa Barbara County Rosato
Review Date: 04-09-2015
Strawberry, red currant, watermelon, nice acidity- juicy and easy. I served this to my family for our Easter dinner this year, and it was perfect with roasted ham, scalloped potatoes and green beans! An interesting blend of Sangiovese, Barbera and Dolcetto. A blend by Chrystal Clifton to raise awareness of breast cancer.
2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 04-02-2015
This wine gets better every time I taste it. Beautifully elegant, red rose & red cherry, sandalwood, cassis, currant, mineral and hints of earthiness. Lively acidity and soft, easy tannin. A total no-brainer to stock up on as we start a warm spring!
Venus Spirits Batch #2 Barrel Aged Gin 750ml
Review Date: 04-01-2015
I've got a new favorite barrel aged gin, and its name is Venus Batch 2! Sean Venus hits it out of the park with each bottling of his carefully crafted, local Santa Cruz spirits. Not just another bottling of the same darn gin just thrown into a barrel, Venus actually created this spirit independent of his Batch 1 gin. Batch 2 winks at you from the shelf with a bright amber sparkle, with dried orange peel, nutmeg, star anise and gingerbread teasing you to make yourself a Negroni, for goodness sake! This puppy will be a mainstay on my bar from today forward!
Anchor Old Tom Gin 750ml
Review Date: 04-01-2015
This year is the first year that I have played around with the Old Tom sweeter style of gin, and the Anchor Old Tom now has a permanent position on my home bar shelf. Slightly sweet, with notes of lemon and orange zest, and spicy juniper, this gin is absolutely fabulous mixed with blood orange juice and a bit of soda water! Or, try it with grapefruit juice! Such a fun and festive gin for springtime!
Marietta "Old Vine Red-Lot #62" Red Blend
Review Date: 03-30-2015
Jake and Scot Bilbro have re-launched their father's historic winery into the future. The Marietta Old Vine Red is still an amazing value and really, really good stuff. I love that they are carrying on the tradition of deliciously drinkable, affordable, well-made juice with this wine. Always a blend of old vine Zinfandel (and a few other reds they won't tell you!). Blackberry, black currant, cassis, and spice with medium plus acidity and medium tannin. Throwing a BBQ? Hosting a graduation party? Having a wedding reception? Kicking off the summer with a block party? This is one wine that needs to be on your list!
2013 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)
Review Date: 03-30-2015
The Akitu 1 Pinot Noir Black Label is a stunning, undeniably elegant wine. With clonal material from DRC in Burgundy, it shows all of the grace and poise of its genetic roots, with the vibrancy and purity of fruit I love about Central Otago Pinot Noir. Black currant, plum, red cherry, sandalwood, spice, red roses, and mineral, with medium plus acidity and medium tannin. Described by the winemaker as "The Chanel Suit" of his two Pinots (the Akitu 2 is his flashier "Dolce & Gabbana"), like classic Chanel, this wine is stunning now, and no doubt will continue to age with understated elegance. Buy as much as you can.
Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-15-2015
I just threw our family's first baby shower for my brother and sister-in-law, and this was the Champagne of choice to celebrate the new little life on the way! I love this Champagne for its easy and yet elegant personality. Apple, cream, citrus, and mineral with the stunning golden wine visible through the clear glass. It looks gorgeous on ice at a party, and its accesibility make it a total win for Champagne neophytes and connoiseurs alike!
2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana
Review Date: 02-10-2015
Every time I try a new vintage of this wine, I am reminded of how ridiculous this is for the price! The gorgeous Sangiovese stands out in this blend, with red cherry and sandalwood, the Merlot lends a little plummy fleshiness and the 10% Ciliegiolo a bit of mineral and delight. Seriously too good not to tuck away a few cases for your house wine! Fabulous with pizza, burgers, roasted chicken, antipasto--Salute!
2011 Tassi Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 02-09-2015
My love affair with Sangiovese continues.... Beautiful fresh cherry compote, cassis, mineral, sandalwood spice, and the tiniest hint of smoke & earth, with elegant, fine tannin and medium plus acidity. This lovely Rosso shows everything that Sangiovese Grosso is about- finesse, grace, and beautiful fruit. Guzzle this by the gallon while you are waiting for your Tassi Brunello to age! Try this with a San Daniele prosciutto & truffle oil pizza!
2013 Patient Cottat "Le Grand Caillou" Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 01-08-2015
This wine amazes me every vintage for its balance, deliciousness, and price performance. Grapefruit and mineral with bright, refreshing, zesty acidity. A must for your daily-drinker white category! Buy by the case--this budget-friendly wine will take you easily from January through summertime, delighting your friends and family with its accessibility--and quaffability!
2012 Charles Baur Eichberg Riesling Grand Cru Alsace
Review Date: 12-04-2014
A pretty Riesling, with fabulous acidity! With a tiny hint of sweetness, starfruit, citrus and mineral, this wine really showcases the seriousness of Grand Cru Alsatian Riesling.
Charles Baur Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rosé
Review Date: 12-04-2014
Crunchy cranberry and juicy strawberry make this lovely sparkling wine an easy choice for elegant and fun holiday entertaining! Spice things up with this top value rose!
Charles Baur "Emotion" Cremant d'Alsace Brut
Review Date: 12-04-2014
Bright, fresh and elegant, the Chardonnay in this sparkling wine really shines with citrus, pear, apple and mineral. Looking for an affordable, classy wine for your holiday parties? Look no further!
2012 Filippi "Castelcerino" Soave Colli Scaligeri
Review Date: 11-26-2014
What a tremendously interesting white! Citrus, tart green apple, leesy richness, and a saline character that is a result of the volcanic soils in which the grapes are grown. Medium-plus quite zesty acidity. The length of this wine is significant--about 10 minutes after tasting, it was still lingering on my palate. A fabulous value--I am excited to give this a go with a cheese platter, roasted chicken or scallops!
2013 Oustric Picpoul de Pinet
Review Date: 09-03-2014
Pear, mineral, grapefruit zest with medium plus acidity. A juicy, fun and easy introduction to the world of Picpoul de Pinet! Fabulous value!
Lot 40 Single Pot Still Canadian Rye Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 01-15-2014
All the spice and flash of Rye that I love, with a vanilla, caramel, clove and cigarbox undernote with a soft, sweet finish. AWESOME!
Bruno Michel "Les Roses" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-26-2013
Every time I taste this Champagne, I want to sit and linger with it for the rest of the afternoon. It's a totally nerdy rose, unlike anything else we have. Barrel fermented, all Pinot Meunier and aged in bottle for a year, this particular bottling is all from 2006 fruit. Red cherry, spice, vanilla, leather, funky earth with medium plus acidity and a long finish. What a fabulous, fun rose Champagne!
Crabbies Ginger Beer, England 11.2oz
Review Date: 09-03-2013
My go-to closing beer! When my colleagues are sipping brews from our unique selection, I sip my Crabbie's. This puppy tastes like alcoholic, fresh ginger ale. I love it! Zesty, fresh ginger with hints of citrus, I drink this whenever I can! Y-U-M!
Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne "Perle d'Aurore" Brut Rosé
Review Date: 09-03-2013
Man, I love this wine. I had this again the other evening with pank-crusted salmon and a spinach salad, and it was light, pretty and delicious. Soft raspberry, strawberry and citrus with the tiniest hint of sweetness. The acidity really worked with my salmon's fattiness. Of course, the wine's pink sparkly glimmer on the dinner table in my wine glasses added to the ambiance. Stock up for birthday celebrations, brunch, baby showers, or just because it's a Tuesday night!
Caves Messias Santola "Crab Wine" Vinho Verde
Review Date: 09-01-2013
Love bright, fresh, affordable Vinho Verde? This is simply delish! Super low alcohol at 9%, this vinho verde is slightly fizzy, with notes of apple, pear and lime zest with fresh minerality and lots of zip. Stock up- this one has been flying out of the store in the hands of every staff member! (Including me!)
1999 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-15-2013
Oh Gran Reserva, how I love thee...This gorgeous 1999 from Puelles is in the absolutely perfect spot for drinking! Stewed red cherry, red currant, leather, earth, spice, licorice, and mineral with silky, elegant tannin & medium plus acid. An excellent example of Gran Reserva for $20? Are you nuts!? Stock up now!
Michel Loriot "Authentic" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-08-2013
Apple, pie crust toastiness, chalky minerality with a beautiful, persistent bead and balanced acidity. This is the real deal, folks. I love this 100% Meunier, insanely affordable Champagne! Thank you, Gary Westby!
1998 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 12-08-2012
This is a gorgeous wine! Moving gracefully into its secondary characteristics, with stewed cherry, hints of leather and earth. Still had medium plus acid and fine tannins, leading me to believe this puppy will continue to age well for at least another 5-10 years. Drink it now after decanting, and you will not be diasppointed!
Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-24-2012
This has been my recent number one go-to champagne: I had a bottle with a friend at dinner, and then 2 days later had another to start a party, and I am buying a third tonight just because! Pretty spiced apple, white flowers, and citrus, with medium acid & a fine bubble structure. Very pleasant and quite friendly for such a complex wine. A lot of fun as a conversation starter at a cocktail party!
Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle" Sparkling Wine Brut Central Otago
Review Date: 07-16-2012
I had the pleasure of tasting this elegant sparkling wine with the winemaker from New Zealand, who stopped by our store recently. Having just stepped off the plane not 24 hours prior, he was still enthusiastic about presenting us this wine! Pinot Noir dominates the blend with Chardonnay, with a sweet apple and pear, a lovely leesy toastiness, hints of mineral and zippy acid in the finish. This wine is biodynamic, hand picked, and done in the traditional method- and it is HAND riddled to boot! Not many sparkling wines left in the world today can claim that! The care taken with this wine is clear- and the price makes it a steal!
Cocchi Aperitivo Americano 750ml
Review Date: 07-10-2012
Oooooh if you love Lillet Blanc but want something a little sweeter as an aperitif, try the Cocchi Americano! Mandarin orange, lemon, hints of white flowers with a sweet finish.... delicious on the rocks on a hot afternoon!
Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 12-29-2011
Minerally, cranberry and tart- the perfect pairing with smoked salmon appetizers. The richness of the salmon would be outstanding with the crisp mineral zip of this fantastic rose. Another excellent demonstration of the care and passion that Ariston Aspasie and family put into their champagne. Drink deep- Happy New Year!
Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2011
A teeny-tiny version of the Aspasie classic Carte Blanche? Get me a picnic basket or a seat by the fire! I'm in! A miniature version of the well-balanced, delicious champagne that we sell by the, well, boatload as it were. Get it now- this is all that is left!
King's Ginger Liqueur 750ml
Review Date: 11-17-2011
Fans of fresh grated ginger rejoice! This is the stuff for you! No cloying stickiness here, just lots of spice and real ginger heat. Made with 20 year old Glenrothes, and macerated with real fresh ginger root- just add soda!
St. George Terroir Mt. Tam Gin 750ml
Review Date: 11-15-2011
Having read Melissa and David's reviews of this gin, I was excited but rather dubious in approaching it- how could it be so expressive of the terrior of Northern California? I poured it over ice, added some Fevertree Tonic water and a splash of lime and BAM! Hands down the most incredible experience of drinking in the landscape I love so much! Bay laurel, damp redwood, eucalyptus, wild fennel & dill- this California girl is enraptured!
La Caudrina "La Selvatica" Asti
Review Date: 07-04-2011
A soft, mildly sweet Moscato d'Asti with light floral aromas. A pleasant choice (best when chilled) to enjoy on its own or for a sunny Sunday brunch on the terrace with friends!
St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur 750ml
Review Date: 07-04-2011
Drinking St. Germain is like drinking liquid flowers! Subtle, sweet and captivating. Who knew that hand-picked elderflowers from the French Alps could be so lovely? Delicious with Gran Cava champagne with a curly twist of orange, even more amazing with soda on the rocks! I served St. Germain with soda and fresh watermelon juice at a springtime cocktail party, and could hardly keep up with the demand! My absolute favorite spirit for spring and summer!