This week's list of new and returning products follows a few words about Cognac
Preamble by Steve Siciliano
It's too cold to sit outside and since hanging out in bars, pubs, restaurants and tasting rooms continues to be off the table, every evening after supper Barb and I retreat to the rustic digs of our basement family room. When we get tired of watching the news we might put on a movie, binge watch something on TV or listen to our collection of vinyl. A few days ago Barb set up a card table and has been picking away at a thousand piece jig saw puzzle. Whatever it is we end up doing on these dark winter evenings we always assuage the effects of pandemic induced cabin fever with a bracing tot of brown liquor.
Barb always opts for bourbon but I like mixing things up a bit. Sometimes I'll go with the bourbon. Other times I'll go for a rye. If I'm in the mood for something a little different it might be a barrel aged rum or a reposado tequila. Just recently I've added Cognac to my list of after dinner drink choices.
All Cognacs are brandies, all brandies are distillations of wine but not all brandies are Cognacs. Brandies can't be legally called Cognac unless they are produced in the area surrounding the eponymous commune in southwestern France. The grapes that are grown in the region make a barely drinkable wine that is thin, bone dry and acidic. But after that same wine is distilled and aged in French oak barrels it goes through a wondrous transformation.
Unlike most brandies that are produced in other parts of the world, French regulations dictate that Cognac be distilled twice and aged for at least two years in oak barrels. Prolonged contact with the wood coupled with the interaction of oxygen through the staves results in a spirit that exhibits a spectrum of tastes and aromas ranging from flowers, citrus, honey, vanilla, smoke and earth. A good Cognac has the ability to lift the spirits and brighten the mood on even the darkest winter evenings.
Featured Wines of the Week
Guardians, 2018, Saperavi, Georgia, $14.39/750ml- A young juicy style of Saperavi full of life and fruit. Deep red colored with aromas and flavors of fresh red and black fruit and hints of spice. A nice underpinning of acidity followed by lighter and integrated tannins. Great by itself or with food. Pair with friends, burgers and pizza. (Source)
Dila-O, 2019, Saperavi, Georgia, $17.89/750ml- 100% Saperavi fermented in qvevri, large-clay jars buried underneath the ground, unfiltered and low-sulfite for a fantastic value. A lovely dark color, aromas of violets and plum followed by dark brambly fruits, a touch of black pepper and earthiness on the palette. A young fresh Georgian qvevri red with finesse. (Source)
Dila-O, 2019, Rkatsiteli-Mtsvane, Georgia, $17.89/750ml- This is a 50%-50% blend of Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane grapes fermented and made in qvevri (large clay jars buried under the ground). This is an Amber or "Orange" wine style, but made in a lighter style with only 1 month of skin contact. It is a perfect introduction to the style. Tasting Notes: A bouquet of melon and cantaloupe aromas thanks to the Mtsvane, good acidity thanks to Rkatsiteli and lighter softer tannin on the finish due to less time on the skins. Delicious to explore with food. (Source)
Orgo, 2019, Kisi, Georgia, $31.29/750ml- Kisi (Key-see) is a rare variety grown primarily in the Akhmeta district of Kakheti. Kisi prefers higher elevations and sloped vineyards both of which help preserve its natural aromatics. Kisi is the passion of the Dakishvili family, starting from a vineyard planted by Gogi's grandfather in the 1930's. The wine is fermented and aged in qvevri for six months, using skin contact for the entire period of the aging. Small amounts of sulfites are added after malolactic fermentation has been completed, so that final levels are minimal. Tasting Notes: Very aromatic with notes of dried peach, pines, dried flowers, with flavors of black tea, pear are followed by a full-bodied wine with grip and firm tannin (Source)
Buy three or more bottles of wine get 10 % off.
"It's our mission at Siciliano's to sell quality wine at affordable prices."
Featured Spirits of the Week
Camus, Borderies VSOP, Cognac, France, $61.59/750ml- Borderies is the oldest and smallest cru in the appellation, representing less than 5% of the cognac AOC. With its 188 hectares (464 acres), CAMUS owns the largest extension of vineyards belonging to one single producer within the Cru. Thanks to their unique clay-limestone soil rich in flints, our parcels in the Borderies Cru give origin to a very distinctive Single Estate VSOP, with deep floral notes.
Color: Beautiful, consistent orange color with flashes of rich amber.
Nose: Reveals enticing notes of vanilla pods and orange zest, on a bed of soft spice and floral aromas. Palate: Ample and unctuous, with a robust yet elegant structure and a light hint of woodiness. Beautiful, long finish, well-balanced and wonderfully fresh. (Source)
Gautier VSOP, Cognac, France, $36.89/750ml - An amber colour. A generous and harmonious blend, developing intense aromas of candied fruits, combined with spices and oak, and enhanced with elegant floral notes. Well-balanced between its elegant structure and its roundness, with a good length of its aromas on the palate. (Source)
De Luze, VS, Cognac, France, $26.29/750ml, $12.69/375ml - Color: Shiny gold. Aromas:
Floral Notes: Vine Flower
Fruity Notes: Citrus fruits, orange zest
Spicy Notes: Delicate touch of oak
On the palate: Sweet and velvety
The finish: Long and deliciously fruity (Source)
De Luze, VSOP, Cognac, France, $38.89/750ml, $18.99/375ml - Visual-Dark amber gold with hints of brass and copper. Nose - A full three-dimensional experience of summer rose petals. Mouth - candied prunes, cinnamon and vanilla with a back taste of
chocolate powder and liquorice. (Source)
Martell, VS, Single Distillery Cognac, France, $39.99/750ml - Bright and golden in colour, it reveals pleasant notes of plum, apricot and candied lemon on the nose. Its rich fruity flavours on the palate and its luscious mouthfeel make for a great Cognac to enjoy in long drinks or in cognac cocktails. (Source)
H by Hine, VSOP, Cognac, France, $47.39/750ml - A blend of more than 15 Petite Champagne cognacs, none is less than 4 years old. It is Hine's most floral cognac. Jasmine, iris, hint of vanilla, carnation and very fruity; a very vivacious nose and a delicate velvety palate. (Source)
Hampden Estate, Single Jamaican Rum, Overproof, $88.39/750ml- A definitely unique and exceptional rum. The result of an assemblage of different marks, all with a minimum barrel aging of seven tropical years equivalent to 8 years aging in Europe. The nose is impetuous and very intense, every scent is amplified by the higher abv. A delightful scent of cherry is surrounded by delicate touches of woods and spices. Definitely dry, with a very enjoyable bitter taste. This 120 proof version is very armonious. Lightly oaky and spicy, the finish is gentle fulfilled by varnish and incense fragrances. (Source)
Foursquare, Detente, Barbados Rum, $73.69/750ml- A blend of two distinct single blended rums, both 10 years of age. One aged 10 years, entirely in ex-bourbon barrels, and a second double-maturation, aged 4 years in ex-bourbon then 6 additional years in ex-port barrels. Bottled at 51% ABV. No color, sugar, or any other additives with no filtration. (Source)
New and Returning Products
Abita Jockamo, $1.89/12oz - Jockamo has a flavor that entices and excites the palate. The intense hop character adds more spice to the meal and makes it a perfect choice to team up with many spicy dishes. Cheddar and strong farmer cheeses stand up well to Jockamo’s hoppy character. Jockamo goes well with wild game, grilled meats and Thai or Mexican cuisine. (Source)
Abita PB & Jams, $2.39/12oz - With aromas & flavors of strawberry and peanut butter, PB & Jams will immediately take you back to your favorite childhood snack - the peanut butter & jelly sandwich. The flavors meld perfectly resulting in a medium bodied brew with a subtle sweetness. (Source)
Bells No, Yeah, $1.89/12oz - No, Yeah™ is an easy drinking beer that’s bright and fun, both inside and out. The label, design and marketing behind it plays into the meme culture that pokes fun at Midwestern Politeness. Attention grabbing and fresh, this Golden Ale stands out on the shelf and, just like many of the Midwestern phrases we use, demands repeating. (Source)
Big Lake Belgian Wit, $3.79/16oz - Wheat Beer - Witbier
Big Lake Teacher's Pet Dino, $3.99/16oz - A Hazy Double IPA bursting with notes of citrus and tropical fruits. (Source)
Black Project Spirit, $7.39/16oz - SPIRIT is a highly fruited, sour golden ale that was fermented with raspberry and peach. Highly acidic and tart, with a dry mouth feel, SPIRIT is a perfect porch sipping beer. Bold peach flavors give way to raspberry tartness and a seedy dry finish. (Source)
Black Projects Haarp, $5.99/16oz - Sour Ale with Pear
Blackrocks Spaceman, $2.19/12oz - Pale Ale - American
Boulevard Chocolate Ale, $4.69/12oz - Medium bodied and effervescent, the aroma evokes dried fruits, earth and cocoa, with just a hint of spicy hops. Mouthwatering flavors of Valrhona chocolate from Dominican cacao nibs weave seamlessly between layers of honey, brown sugar, caramel and nutty malt, deftly harmonizing and rounding into a luscious, lingering finish. (Source)
Boulevard Giga Hop Space Camper, $1.99/12oz - With hops from both northern (El Dorado, Mosaic, Azacca, Citra) and southern (Moutere, Galaxy, Nelson Sauvin) hemispheres, this heroic IPA hits all the right notes – pine and herbal aromas from the north, balanced by down under varietals delivering passionfruit, mango, and citrus. They all come together beautifully in this extravagant dual hemisphere IPA, highlighting some of the best Humulus Lupulus flowers on the planet. (Source)
Brewdog Triple Hazy, $2.19/12oz - Triple Hazy is awash with a melee of soft ripe fruit flavours spanning from peach to mango to apricot. Beneath the onslaught of juicy hops is a low background bitterness that’s complemented by flashes of light resin and glimmering hints of pine, all culminating in a 9.5% chorus that’s both full-bodied and super smooth. (Source)
Collective Arts Blueberry, Chocolate, Coffee, Vanilla Sour, $4.39/16oz - Stillwater Artisanal, check. Blueberry, Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla, check. You're damn right we're unleashing this flavour bomb with one of the most creative forces in the beer industry. Blueberry is sweet and tart and heightened to new levels with the bright acidity and roasty chocolate notes emphasized by Detour coffee and Cocoa. (Source)
Collective Arts IPA #15, $4.39/16oz - It's back!! We are bringing back the overwhelming fan-favourite IPA #5 for the latest instalment in our IPA Series. This DIPA is made with massive amounts of Simcoe and Citra hops, which are bursting with notes of bright grapefruit citrus, juicy tropical mango and passionfruit, with pleasantly dank, piney undertones. (Source)
Collective Arts Stranger Than Fiction Chocolate & Coconut, $3.89/16oz - The decadent chocolate character of our Stranger Than Fiction porter is turned up to 11 in this limited release brew with an infusion of sweet Cacao! We then paired it with loads of toasted coconut, giving it a whole new level of flavour and creaminess. (Source)
Collective Arts Surround Sound El Derado, $4.39/16oz - The latest version of our rotating-hop DIPA showcases El Dorado, a hop known for notes of mango and pineapple. With Azacca and Chinook hops adding in juicy tropical fruit, citrus and pine resin character, you get the maximum hop experience! (Source)
Great Lakes Conway's Irish, $1.99/12oz - A pint for Pa Conway! Our co-owners’ grandfather and policeman who’d likely uphold that an Irish Ale with full-bodied caramel malt flavors is just the ticket. (Source)
Hoof Hearted Key Bump XXXtra Powder, $5.69/16oz - Triple dry-hopped IPA with 10 pounds of hops per barrel. El Dorado, Mosaic, Motueka, Simcoe hops. (Source)
Short Throw Clan, Posses, Crews and Clicks, $4.09/16oz - Clans, Posses, Crews & Cliks is our take on a 100% Citra hopped IPA. Hazy, abundantly aromatic, and incredibly drinkable. So what's the reason for the treason? Punk you wanna die? My mind crucify those who try to defy. (Source)
Stillwater Premium, $3.79/12oz - Quality malts, choice hops, & wild yeast. Our deconstruction of the post prohibition industrial lager. Fermented with Brettanomyces - heavy dose of Hallertau Mittelfrüh & Blanc, accent of Galaxy. Rustic beer for the future. (Source)
Transient No Third Eye, $5.49/16oz - This version is brewed at Transient. Triple Dry Hopped DIPA. Collaboration with New Image. (Source)
Transient One More Wave, $4.89/16oz - Takin a deep dive into aroma-burg, and this fine fella is the uncontested mayor. One More Wave is our rotating series focused on our favorite hop varietals, and looks to give you a full on experience with their specific and unique beauty. This little guy is our take on Simcoe, and at just shy of 8 percent and delightfully round, you will marvel at its simple complexity. Just try not to marvel! I dare ya! (Source)
Transient Rememberable, $4.89/16oz - DDH Double India Pale Ale
Untitled Arts Florida Seltzer Various Flavors, $3.09/12oz
Untitled Arts/Parish Gulf Coast IPA, $5.19/16oz - Double India Pale Ale with Citra, Wai-iti, Hort 4337 Hops. (Source)
Stay safe. Please wear a face covering in indoor public spaces. Spread kindness not germs!