Our Top 3 Wines That Just Happen To Be Kosher For Passover

It’s really quite exciting to see the year-over-year increase in the number of excellent wines available to us that just happen to be kosher for Passover. Our 2018 selection is larger than it has ever been, which made our choosing the top three a bit of a challenge. But we did it, and here they are: Our top 3 kosher wines for you this Passover season.

The Butcher’s Daughter Sparkling Muscat
Languedoc-Roussillon, France

Popping open a bottle of this bright, sweet-ish sparkling wine would be a delightful way to kick off or end all spring celebrations. It’s lovely with fresh aromas of honeysuckle, passion fruit, subtle lychee, crisp Fuji apple, and a touch of mango. And its decent acidity assures that the ripe fruit-sweetness never gets cloying. $14.99

La Citadelle de Diamant “Mademoiselle” Rosé
Upper Galilee, Israel

It’s an Israeli rosé done Provencal style and we love it. It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot that delivers grapefruit & melon flavors, with a hint of lychee. Try it with fresh goat cheese drizzled with honey while you wait for your perfectly roasted herbed chicken to come out of the oven. $24.99

Guillermo De Mendoza Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina

A luscious, dark purple wine loaded with big soft fruit, and lots of blackberry & blueberry jam notes that make our mouths water for brisket or a fatty steak. There’s a touch of spice and licorice on the finish, just to keep things interesting. $10.99

Drop by the store to peruse our greatly-expanded kosher section, or call for a delivery anywhere in Rhode Island.

We wish you a kosher and joyous Passover!

3 New Irish Whiskeys

We’ve been really impressed by the number and quality of new Irish Whiskeys hitting the marketplace. We’re big fans of the stuff here at Bottles, and it’s a special day when we’re able to add new offerings to our shelves. 

If you’re new to the spirit, read our 101-style dive into the various styles of Irish Whiskey. Then, read on below to learn about the three new standouts that we’ve selected for the store.
The Sexton Irish Whiskey
Made from 100% Irish Malted Barley, The Sexton is triple distilled in copper pot stills and aged in casks formerly used to aged Oloroso sherry. It has a balance of rich, dried fruits and subtle oak notes with a smooth finish. Die-hards say the only way to enjoy it is straight. For the rest of us, The Sexton’s smooth and rich finish makes it an intriguing replacement for bourbon in a Manhattan.
On sale thru 3/31:
$24.99 (Compare to $29.99), 750ml
Redbreast Lustau Edition
This special treat spends between 9 and 12 years in bourbon and sherry casks before aging one additional year in Oloroso barrels. The result is one of the tastiest, sweet-finishing Irish offerings to come along in a while! This one won’t last! 
$69.99, 750ml
Irishman Single Malt
This is Josh’s personal choice for the holiday this year. (And Josh is a whiskey-loving  guy with strong Irish genes so we suggest listening to him.) It’s a well-developed and layered single malt that finishes with a pleasant, soft burn and drinks well beyond its price point.
$44.99, 750ml

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

prices subject to change

Why We’re Making Such a Big Deal Over the Cedar + Salmon Wines

So a few months back I got wind that there was a crew of really cool folks up in the Pacific Northwest who were about to launch a line of really cool wines. I sat forward immediately – PacNorth wines are near and dear to my heart. Specifically those that come from responsibility-minded producers, using sustainable methods to produce outstanding wines. Which these wines do.
The line is called “Cedar + Salmon,” in honor of the distinctive character of the Pacific Northwest, its spirit, and its abudant natural resources. In keeping with the region’s authenticity, these wines are made in the most natural, unadulterated ways possible: with gentle handling, hand-harvesting, minimal racking and other small-lot winemaking techniques. Only a few hundred cases of these beauties are made and man am I glad that I was able to bring some to Rhode Island. They’re really unique and exciting – particularly their Cabernet Sauvignon. Wait, Cab Sauv from Washington State, you say? Yes, I say. It’s a style that you don’t hear about often – but this team nailed it. I believe it and the others in this line may be the sleeper hits of 2018. So let’s discuss:
The Cedar + Salmon Pinot Gris was made with 100% Willamette Valley fruit from the 2016 harvest, which produced smaller quantities. Smaller yields typically lead to banner wines with lots of acidity, amazing fruit and balanced profiles. This is no exception. It’s a stunner.
$18.99 compare to $21.99
One of the things I like best about Oregon Pinots is the iron and copper profile they give off, which has everything to do with the region’s distinctive red “Jory” soil. The Cedar + Salmon Pinot Noir has a big nose of blackberries and dark berry fruit, and lots of spice and floral notes. It can lay down and age for a few years with ease.
$24.99 compare to $27.99

You really need to try the Cedar + Salmon Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State’s Horse Heaven Hills. As I alluded to before, these wines are just plain underrated. This one has solid fruit and complex tannins, rounded out with just plain awesomeness. 18 months of aging in new and neutral oak finishies this off with finesse and jam. Why yes, I will have another!

If you’re interested in learning more about these beautiful wines, swing by the store on Saturday March 10th, 2018. We’ll be opening them from 4-7pm. And if you can’t make it, just come by anytime and call out my name. You can purchase the wines exclusively in-store at Bottles through the end of the month, at the special introductory pricing above. 

Give them a try – I’d love to hear what you think!

(prices subject to change)

Milk Stout & Chocolate Chip Cookies

photo credit: Stephanie Ewens

It almost seems too simple, doesn’t it. But when brainstorming on what to pair with this easy and delicious Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie from our friends at 
Easy Entertaining, we automatically went to the tried and true standards: Madeira, Port, Moscato. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of those wines, we had a head-slap moment when we remembered one of the most iconic and classic pairings of all time: milk & cookies.

Which is why we opened Hitachino’s Sweet Stout when we made the recipe, featured in the Winter issue of 
Edible Rhody. It’s a 21+ pairing of a sweet milk stout that just loves this hot-from-the-oven masterpiece.
The milk stout comes from Japan’s most acclaimed brewery, Hitachino, and unlike some popular stouts, this one has absolutely no bitterness but all lusciousness. It has notes of chocolate, roasted nuts and coffee that bring out the warmth of this simple, rustic and oh-so comforting dessert.

The Skillet Cookie was featured in Edible Rhody’s wonderful profile of local artisan Matt Cavallaro who crafts stunning cast iron cookware here in Providence via his company, 
Nest Homeware. His 4.5-inch Egg Pans are shown in the photo above. 

Visit Edible Rhody online to find 
Easy Entertaining’s recipe for these individual chocolate chip cookies a la mode, then stop in at Bottles to pick up a bottle or two of Sweet Stout.
Bon Appetit!

The Top 7 “Unicorn” Beers

We take a lot into consideration when deciding which products to bring into our store. Of course we have all of the staples, classics and favorites to form the foundation of the Bottles beer program, but where we really have fun — and what we take great pride in — is finding the bottles that are off the beaten path, unfamiliar and unique – ‘unicorns’ if you will! We believe that bringing in these unicorn products for our customers is what sets us apart from the rest. We want to be that place where you can find that super weird thing you read about in Bon Appetit, or that your cousin heard on a rando podcast about micro brews.

Below are our 7 favorite ‘unicorn’ beers, why we’re drinking them and why you should, too. To find them, just look for the sign of the unicorn in store. (Or, ask a staff member – naturally, the unicorns can be hard to spot!)

ENJOY! -Alex

La Fleurette
This beautiful Italian pilsner is a gorgeous orangey-pink hue, and has fun tart little punches of flavor. Birrifico Italiano added roses, violets, bee honey, elderberry and black pepper (to name a few!) to this brew for pretty floral, earthy notes that will be perfect to drink this coming spring.

Montegioco Bran Reserva
What an intense bottle of suds we have here! This deep brown ale gets aged in Barbera wine barrels for at least six months before bottling. So you’re looking at a very rich, oaky, chocolate brew with tons of plum and raisin flavor. We recommend aging this guy for a bit to let that heat from the Barbera barrels cool off a bit. This one will be interesting to watch.

Proefbrouwerij and New Glarus Absolution
A really fun collaboration between Proefbrouweij and New Glarus brings us this malty Belgian Quad that is velvety smooth due to the addition of lactose. This beer is rich and woody because of its time spent in French and American oak. Get two – one to try now and one to age, and keep notes to see how it changes over time!

Alvinne Cuvee D’Erpigny
This ale has a little bit of everything – which makes it great for everyone! It is strong, yet dangerously easy to drink down. Its sour, but sweet like honey. There are deep, rich chocolate notes, but delicate berry flavors as well.

Uerige Doppelsticke
Dark brown and malty with loads of caramel and yet a slight bitterness from the hops. It is very complex, and trying it while tasting different cheeses will bring out a ton of different characteristics of the brew.

The Bruery Mash & Vanilla
If you’re unfamiliar with Mash from The Bruery, I highly recommend checking it out. It is a sweet, oaky bourbon-barrel-aged barleywine and is super intense and rich and delicious. But it’s what they’ve done to that Mash that makes this bottle next-level. They took that super dessert-perfect barleywine and added a heap of aromatic vanilla beans. As much as this seems like something you’d want to age, drink it sooner rather than later to enjoy that fresh warmth of the vanilla.

Apostelbraeu First Bavarian Pale Ale
In my opinion, this is the underdog of this selection. It is so no-frills delicious and approachable, but at the same time is complex and interesting if you’re looking hard enough. Light, hazy and chuggable. This would love to be on the table for BBQs, weeknight roasts and alongside salty oysters.

Prices as of February 15, 2018 and subject to change

Melissa’s Winter Wine Picks

“This winter I want to share with you the wines that I grab when I am looking for comfort. Like the crackers you still buy when you don’t feel great. The crackers your grandmother fed you when you stayed home from school in January, that immediately made you feel better. Each of the wines are from vineyards I know well, having visited nearly all. Several of them I’ve brought into Rhode Island for the first time, and are available exclusively at Bottles. Each has left a mark on me, and I think lots of them will do the same for you. I encourage you find me to learn more about each, and to let me know what you think!” -Melissa Principe, Wine Director

Dei Rosso di Montepulciano, Italy
Dei is one of the very first vineyards I spent time at in Italy. The owners were just in the process of plotting the land for their new tasting room and winery expansion. It was not a huge winery and I can still smell the cellar where they age their wines. They produce one of the best olive oils I have ever had in my life (unfortunately, they don’t sell it outside of the vineyard). This wine is dirt and roses all at the same time. Amazing. $19.99

Villa Giada “Suri” Moscato d’Asti, Italy
I introduced you to this winery and wine last week, though because I love it so much, I’m including it here. It’s made by my friend Andrea Faccio, who owns Villa Giada. His mom happens to make amazing biscotti, and though we can’t get them here, I suggest dunking any well-made version into this wine for an authentic Italian experience. On sale through February 11, 2018: $12.99 (compare to $16.99)

Tikal “Natural” Malbec, Uco Valley, Argentina
I picked this wine because not only is it outstandingly-well made and easy to drink, but because I think a lot of us try to be healthier in the winter – at least the first few resolution-filled months of it. Tikal is hand-harvested and biodynamic. It’s made from 60% organic Malbec, 40% organic Syrah, 100% of which will change your life for the better. I met winemaker Alejandro Kuschnaroff when I visited Tikal in April 2017 – and I’m not the first nor the last to report that this talented man bears a striking resemblance to our most common representations of Jesus. Which may or may not have any bearing on your decision to buy this wine, but there it is. $23.99

Barros Ports, White, Tawny & Ruby, Douro Valley, Portugal
One of the 2018 goals of the Bottles Wine Department is to get more of you turned on to good Port. If you’ve never experienced one, you’re starving yourself and you don’t even know it. The Ports made by Barros are my favorites, and at this excellent price, you can afford to purchase without ever having tasted one before. Grab any Bottles staff member for a quick primer on these different styles, how to store, serve and enjoy. And stay tuned for upcoming Port tastings in store. $13.99 each

White Knight Prosecco, Veneto, Italy
My pick for winter bubbles is this stunner. It’s perfectly crisp and light, with a creamy mouthfeel, and balanced acidity. The bubbles are soft with an aromatic nose of apple and pineapple. I serve it to start all of my cold-weather dinner parties. Also, because it’s so light, I serve it to myself after a long day of studying. I could make some White Knight puns here, but I’ll spare you. Just buy it and enjoy. $14.99

Mayu Carmenere & Syrah Blend, Elqui Valley, Chile  
I was recently asked what my favorite pairing is. This is the wine, and I love it paired with … drumroll please … The Chicago Blend. For those of you not from Chi-Town, the blend is a mix of caramel corn and cheese popcorn. And the wine is a blend of 55% Carmenere and 45% Syrah – two big grapes that can stand up to all that flavor. The pairing is ridiculous. It’s totally goofy and it totally works. Particularly with all of the binge watching we’re all doing to escape the cold. (PS – you all told me winters here wouldn’t be as bad as they are in Chicago. Thanks for nothing.) $14.99

Mayu Pedro Ximenez, Elqui Valley, Chile
Wait..what? A still Pedro Ximenez??? Isn’t that the grape that’s usually used in sparkling Cava! Yes, yes it is, you smart thing you. And it is yummy and delightful and perfect and you should drink it. It has beautiful fruit and floral flavors, all evened out with good minerals and acidity. Branch out and try something new in 2018. Then be sure to find me and let me know what you think – I’d really love to know! $14.99

Dry Creek Heritage Zinfandel, Sonoma County, California
I love Dry Creek Vineyard! It was one of the first vineyards to go completely 100% sustainable! Oh…and the wines are stunning. I could drink their Chenin Blanc all day. But, we are talking Zinfandel here, and their Zin has some serious chops. It has a stunning depth and richness, with a long finish on the palate. There’s a pepper spice to it, too, that is not the norm in California Zinfandel, so if you’ve been a skeptic before, try this one. Scrumptious. $19.99

I truly do hope that you’ll give a few of my go-to wines a try and will let me know what you think of them. Enjoy!

prices subject to change


The Spectacular Wines of Villa Giada

Villa Giada

We’re so excited to introduce you to the very special Villa Giada wines, which Melissa had imported into Rhode Island just for us. She visited the winery, in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, in the summer of 2017, where she spent time with winemaker and owner Andrea Faccio. To celebrate their arrival, we’ve put them on sale through February 11, 2018.

Says Melissa:

“I learned more about wine in four hours in the vineyard and cellars of Villa Giada with Andrea than I have in the past four years of my intensive wine study.  All of the Villa Giada wines are produced in small quantities, hand-harvested, and sustainable. Just five days before harvest we bounced around in his 1972 Jeep driving through the vineyards and tasting Moscato grapes. (Thankfully, there was a “hold on for dear life” handle in that Jeep.) We then spent time in his cellar, where, walking and at times crawling, I had the most meaningful lesson about WW2: Still in place was a false wall they had built to protect their wines, their history, their lineage and their way of life from the Germans.























Andrea’s 1972 Jeep

The cellar at Villa Giada

“All of Andrea’s wines are special. One of their most critically-acclaimed is the Moscato d’Asti. And truth be told, I was never really a huge fan of Moscato – it was to me just the wine my mother drinks by the bucket with ice cubes. But Andrea’s Moscato has a subtle nuance and complexity that only become more prominent once its opened. All of his wines have similar layers of interesting and alluring complexity and flavor. They really are something.”

Moscato grapes at Villa Giada

Here are the wines that Melissa brought into Rhode Island. We do hope that you’ll give them a try and will let us know what you think:

Suri Moscato d’Asti

Moscato is sweet, there’s no question about it. But the sweet in Andrea’s Moscato is like honeysuckle, not like white sugar. There is a huge difference. There’s a lightness and floral tones in the Suri’s sweetness, compared to the bracing, make-your-teeth-hurt sweetness in other Moscatos on the market today. On sale: $12.99 (regularly $16.99)

Suri Barbera d’Asti

Barbera can be really acidic depending on where it is planted. This Barbera is far more floral and has a softer mouthfeel than most at this price point. Think lavender and cocoa with a soft berry finish. On sale: $12.99 (regularly $16.99)

San Pietro Dolcetto
Oh yes please. As a grape, Dolcetto is taken for granted. Everyone kinda knows it, but really, they don’t.  This is the wine for the California Pinot Noir drinker who is looking for something different. It has spicy structured tannins, and underlying bright red berry fruit, and it finishes with happy. On sale: $12.99 (regularly $16.99)

Tre Ponti Monferrato, Nebbiolo

Unlike lots of Nebbiolos that need years of aging to be enjoyed, this bottle is ready for you tonight. Once you open it, give it some time to breath, and it will show you what it is all about. It has so many layers – it’s very complex. It lures you into letting it stay for awhile, it begs you not to finish the bottle right away. If you have patience, and are able to hold off on finishing it in one day (I can’t), you’ll enjoy its evolution for days. On sale: $19.99 (regularly $24.99)


***prices subject to change

Berkshire Mountain Distillers

This far too under-appreciated distillery, located just 90 minutes up the Mass Pike in Great Barrington, produces excellent spirits that have been true sleeper-hits for us at Bottles. The consistently delicious gins, rums, vodkas and whiskeys are made from locally-sourced ingredients with great skill by dedicated artisans. Each bottle in their line makes a truly great addition to any home bar, especially given the affordable pricing.

Ice Glen Vodka
A grain-based vodka distilled four times in very small batches and brought to proof with clear, clean water from an historic spring located right at the distillery in Sheffield. A little creamy, with subtle fruity flavors of honeydew and citrus. It’s great on the rocks, and also makes an excellent base spirit for your fave vodka cocktail. $29.99

Ragged Mountain Rum
Triple pot distilled from imported molasses, and aged in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels. It packs a ton of flavor — banana, clove, cedar, caramel, and a subtle dark smokiness. It’s a great rum for  rum-lovers and newbies alike. $29.99

Greylock Gin
Distilled in small batches in the traditional manner. The Berkshire team stuffs a gin basket with seven botanicals, including juniper, licorice and citrus, and forces the distilling vapors through the basket to infuse the final product. Extremely delicate and direct, with crisp flavors of mint, anise, cinnamon and juniper. Many who try Greylock never go back to another gin. $29.99

Ethereal Gin
The great thing about Ethereal Gin is its impermanence. Each batch is unique, never to be replicated. We’re on batch No. 14, a super traditional London-Dry style gin, but with a twist. The traditional aspect comes from a pronounced dry juniper aroma and flavor. The twist is the use of Citra hops, which add a tropical citrus note to the mix.  A beautiful gin, perfectly suited to a tonic or classic martini. $29.99

Barrel Aged Ethereal Gin, Expression No. 4
This gin was initially intended to be a one-time release, but was so delicious and popular that it’s now on permanent release. It’s made of 14 botanicals and has spent over 12 months in ex-Utopias barrels (from Sam Adams). The wood adds subtle honey and vanilla notes to the citrus and brown spice flavors of the gin. Not overpowering at all, it mixes extremely well, and adds a welcome layer of complexity to a simple G&T, and a fun nuance to your Negroni. $39.99

New England Corn Whiskey
Made with 100% Massachusetts-grown corn and aged over oak and cherry that the team cuts, mills and chars at the distillery. The corn lends a creamy texture, resulting in a big-bodied whiskey with notes of cherry, smoke, and a pleasant figgy quality on the finish. It takes well to balancing bitter elements (think Campari, Aperol, bitters) but also makes a super Manhattan. Blend it with equal parts amaro for an excellent mid-winter sipper. $39.99

Yes! Yes you can make bourbon anywhere in the states, including Massachusetts! Like any bourbon, this whiskey is made of mostly corn, with some barley and rye for flavor and spice. It’s aged in new American white oak barrels for a few years before release. C’mon – it’s bourbon! You know you love it. $39.99

Give these outstanding Berkshire Mountain Distillers’ spirits a try – and let us know what you think!

Prices subject to change


The Best Christmas Beers of 2017

Have you ever thought that maybe – just maybe – Santa is a little sick of eating cookies at EVERY house over and over and over again on Christmas Eve? Don’t you care about what Santa wants?

To ensure that I end up on his nice list (its been a rough year for all of us, hasn’t it?) I’ll be leaving him one of these holiday craft beers. Some are big bottles (the reindeer do most of the driving), some are small bottles (he’s got to get back on the road, it’s a long night!) but all are fun, tasty and special treats for Christmas. Whatever he doesn’t drink is all mine!

To Øl
“Shameless Santa”
750ml – $14.99
Big, warm and sweet like jolly old St. Nick himself. This Belgian ale is dripping in molasses and rich malts with a creeping ABV of 10%. Drink this one slow and steady by the fireplace (just make sure Santa has already stopped by before you light it!).

“Red & White Christmas”
500ml can – $5.99
An amber ale with heaps of Christmas spice. Pour this one out to get the full whiff of orange peel, clove, allspice and nutmeg. The packaging would look absolutely adorable peeping out of a stocking!

Jolly Pumpkin
“Noel de Calabaza Special Ale”
750ml – $17.99
This bottle would age beautifully for Christmases to come. Deep mahogany in color and an alluring aroma of freshly baked gingerbread cookies with a lingering, delicate fruitiness of cranberries and roasted chestnuts.

Ridgeway Brewing
“Lump of Coal”
22oz – $6.99
An intensely dark brew, about as dark as the lump of coal you hope you won’t get. This stout is richly sweet and perfect to enjoy with a cutout cookie or slice of fruitcake. You’ve been bad, sure, but this “Lump of Coal “is really good.

Prairie Artisan Ale
“Christmas Bomb”
12oz – $9.99
Probably the most sought-after brew on this list and for good reason. Prairie is really good at making stellar products and this is no exception. If you could bottle up all of the Christmas smells you’d get the Christmas Bomb. It is so nutty, slightly fruity and warming on the palate. If you share this with Santa we think you’ll be on the nice list for at least the next decade.

Merry Christmas!

prices subject to change

How To Make French 75 “Jello” Squares

They’re the sophisticated older cousin to the sickeningly sweet and dangerously strong Jello shots of your college days, and we wholeheartedly endorse your serving them this season. Our French 75 “Jello” Squares are incredibly easy to make and are a fun way to add a surprising, delicious and festive treat to your winter holiday parties.

Drink-maker extraordinaire Kayleigh Speck of The East End whipped up a batch for us and shared her simple how-tos. Any well-made gin will work – Kayleigh uses Bully Boy; for the bubbles, she uses Perrier Jouet. Have fun with the recipe by experimenting with various cookie cutter shapes to match your party theme.

The East End’s French 75 “Jello” Squares

2 oz gin
12 oz sparkling wine
1 tbsp freshly squeeze lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
3 1-oz packs of gelatin (Knox is trusted, and widely available in most markets)
Non-stick cooking spray
Optional garnish: edible glitter

Combine all ingredients – reserving 4 oz of the sparkling wine – in a small saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the gelatin is dissolved, approximately 2 minutes. Take off the heat, and gently stir in the remaining sparkling wine until combined. Two turns of the spoon should do it.

Grease an 8×8 baking pan with the non-stick spray and pour the mixture into the pan. Allow to set in a freezer for at least two hours. Cut into squares into the shapes of your choice and sprinkle with the edible glitter.

If using the 8×8 baking pan, this recipe will yield approximately 16 1″ cubes. Double the recipe for a crowd!

Cheers & Enjoy!