This week's list of new and returning products follows a few words about geese, pontoon boats and comets
Preamble by Steve Siciliano
If you own a lake house chances are you own a pontoon. On Big Bass Lake these boxy watercraft are as ubiquitous as the resident geese population. First a few comments on those geese. The ducks are polite enough to do their business in the water but the honking armadas of Big Bass Lake geese will cruise around until they spot a target of opportunity, usually an absent cottage owner’s beach or lawn, and they will then waddle en masse on to dry land to heed nature’s call. Let me tell ya, it's pretty irritating stepping on landmines of goose poop with bare feet.
Now back to the pontoons. On our lake they range anywhere from ancient beaters with lawn chairs for seats to ultra fancy models that are arrayed with neon lights and have dash boards as intricate as a 747's. Our aging pontoon falls somewhere in between. The sides are scratched, the carpeting is worn and the seats are brittle and cracked. Barb insists on covering the cracks with colored duct tape. I tell her she's putting lipstick on a pig.
We like launching our old pontoon in the evening after the no wake regulation goes into effect. We putz around while sipping a cocktail, often waving to our lake neighbors on their decks, sometimes tying up at their docks to chat, occasionally inviting them to join us on a cruise.
One night this past week some neighbors stopped by to show us their new pontoon and we were invited on board. It's a really nice boat. I did my best to suppress my pangs of jealousy because, after all, envy is one of the seven deadly sins and I would rather not spend eternity in hell. Rumor has it that Satan is beastly and I doubt if the damned have access to bourbon and cigars.
The captain of the ship was in no hurry to return us to port so we had a nice long leisurely cruise. When it got dark we could see zillions of stars and the Milky Way was visible to the naked eye. Also clearly visible was the NEOWISE comet just below the Big Dipper in the northwestern sky. According to NASA this particular comet won't return to our neck of the solar system for another 6,800 years. I can't say for sure where I'll be seven millennia from now but I'm praying that the sins of my youth haven't screwed up my chances of passing through the Pearly Gates. Hopefully I'll be assigned to a section of heaven that has a good cigar lounge and a decent bourbon bar.
Featured Wines of the Week
Encostas Do Lima, Vinho Verde Rose, 2019, Portugal, $12.49/750ml- This beautiful, lightly spritzy, strawberry-colored rosé comes from 75% Souzao, 15% Borracal, and 10% Espadeiro.
This Vinho Verde Rose has a bright pink color, fresh aromas of strawberry and raspberry along with subtle notes of citrus. The palate indicates a youthful but elegant, well-balanced and fresh wine with a long, lingering finish. (Source)
Goru Verde, 100% Monastrell, 2015, Spain, $11.99/750ml- This wine is elaborated during the first week of October with Monastrell grapes selected from our certified organic farming vineyards. The vineyards are on average 25 years old. The separation of the grapes harvested ecologically and conventionally is guaranteed, not only by the facilities, but also by the vinification processes. The wine ages for 2 months in american oak barrels. Tasting Notes: Black cherry with purple violet hues. Clean, fragrant with a bouquet of spices, violets and blueberries. Smooth texture, with savoury red fruits, soſt with a round tannins, well-balanced acidity and a pure finish. (Source)
Huglweine, 2019, Zweigelt rose, Austria, $14.79/750ml- Despite its relative youth, Zweigelt is actually an Austrian classic. This variety was created in 1922, when Dr. Fritz Zweigelt crossed two grapes - St Laurent and Blaufrankisch. Originally, it was intended for the new variety to be called Rotburger, referring to the place where it was born, Klosterneuburg. But this name never took hold, and instead, Zweigelt was named after the man who was the key in its development.
Today, Zweigelt is the most widely planted red variety in Austria, growing in nearly 9% of this country's vineyards. It is a robust grape, highly resistant to dryness, frost and various diseases. The wine offers delicate strawberry, cherry and floral aromas. On the palate it is medium-bodied, lively and refreshing, beautifully balanced. A long and pleasant finish. Enjoy as an aperitif or with any light fare with friends. (Source)
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Featured Spirits of the Week
Guild Gin, Watershed Distillery, Ohio, $32.59/750ml- Guild Gin is a delicate, floral gin with a golden hue that comes from the maceration of dried chamomile flowers post distillation. The recipe for Guild Gin was created in partnership with the team from Guild House in Columbus, members of our inspiring local restaurant community. Tasting notes: Delicate, floral gin aromas of lemon, nutmeg, flavors of honeysuckle, tea, honey slightly sweet, warm spice finish. (Source)
Old Tub, Unfiltered Kentucky Straight Bourbon, $26.29/750ml- Old Tub, according to those behind it, is being described by the James B. Beam Distilling Co. as a throwback expression celebrating “bourbon’s true, rustic character.” To this end, among other things, it is distilled without chill filtration just like the original Old Tub recipe, skipping the forcing of the “liquid through a dense filter to remove fatty acids” and resulting in the creation of a “bonded bourbon with a full-bodied authentic flavor.” Official tasting notes for Old Tub suggest a bourbon that is “reminiscent of golden citrine gemstones with shades of honey and has initial waves of oak, followed by ribbons of vanilla and grain. Its robust oaky notes are complimented by hints of grain and warm caramel, with a full-bodied clean finish and lingering warmth.” (Source)
Tequila Ocho, Reposado, Single Estate El Bajio, Mexico, $63.09/750ml- Tequila Ocho demonstrates that “terroir” exists in agave. Ocho’s single estates show through their distinct aroma and character. Tequila Ocho opens up and develops in the glass the same way a fine wine does. Tasting Notes: Nose- Green apricot, unripe pineapple, grapefruit zest, vanilla, orange blossom, tonka bean, butterscotch, ripe peach. Palate- Coffee, white pepper, plum, bitter almond, toffee, yellow stone fruit, crème brulee. (Source)
New and Returning Products
Alaskan Fireweed Blond, $1.70/12oz - Brewed with a touch of Fireweed honey, this light-bodied ale is easy drinking and approachable, with a crisp and smooth character, low bitterness and a light malty finish. (Source)
Austin Bothers Blood Brothers, $1.99/12oz - An unfiltered IPA brewed with blood orange giving a crisp and refreshing citrus nose and flavor profile. (Source)
Austin Brothers Cherry Bomb, $1.99/12oz - Cherry Bomb is developed with a traditional German Pilsner base. We then add Northern Michigan tart Montmorency cherries making it a refreshing beer for the whole year! (Source)
Austin Brothers Murkman, $3.89/12oz - Triple New England IPA
Boulevard Manhatten Social Club, $4.59/12oz - They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. While this hearty rye ale isn’t a Manhattan, it’s aged in fresh bourbon barrels with spices and fruit to give it that signature flavor. Close your eyes and you can almost taste the sweet vermouth, the bitters and the sour cherry. (Source)
Ellison You Can Get With That Juice, $3.29/16oz - The beer pours out of the bomber a bright orange color, giving off a thick white foamy head. As the foam begins to dissipate, it leaves a thin white lacing around the edge of the glass. The nose is straight in-your-face orange zest, and citrus. (Source)
Mikkeller SD Passion Pool, $3.89/16oz - Ale brewed with passion fruit and sea salt
Oddside Mango peach Dank Juice, $2.79/12oz - New England IPA made with Mangos and Peaches. Sweet and juicy. (Source)
Prairie Pineapple Upside Down Cake, $3.29/12oz - Sour Ale with Pineapple
Three Blonds Just Took a DNA Test Turns Out I'm 100% That Beer, $2.99/12oz - New England with rotating dry-hop.