Category Archives: Learn About Wine

Our Top 6 Spring Wines

Channeling our inner Kevin Costner here, and putting out there that If You Drink Them, It Will Come. We’re talking spring wines and spring weather, folks. Who knows if we’re out of the snow  woods yet, but gosh darn it, we’re going to drink like we are. And here’s what we’ll be opening:
Underwood “The Bubbles” Sparkling Wine in a Can, Oregon
Oh where to start with this one. Do we talk about how cool it is to have wine in a can (great for the wine! environmentally friendly!)? Or how cool it is to have sparkling wine in a can (instant party anywhere!)? Or do we talk about just how yummy these bubbles are (oh hello ripe citrus, tropical fruit, and white flower flavors). Or, maybe we should just shut our mouths and drink it, and encourage you to do the same. (The drinking part, not the mouth-shutting part.) 
Underwood “The Bubbles Rosé” Wine in a Can, Oregon
You probably didn’t set out today looking for springtime in a can, but man did you find it. Each of these little aluminum gems are bursting with effervescent wild strawberry and tart cherry flavors that’ll make you look forward to mowing your lawn, weeding your garden, and mulching your beds. We guarantee it.
$6.99 per can (each flavor)
Boya Rosé of Pinot Noir, Chile
And now for a refreshing coastal Chilean rosé with bright raspberry and tangerine notes, and a dry, mineral-y finish. Crack open a bottle, invite friends over for freshly shucked oysters and grilled chicken and vegetables and you win. It’s a food-loving, crowd pleasing blockbuster of a wine for sure, from a super cool female winemaker.
$15.99
Domaine d’Ourea “Tire Bouchon” Gigondas, Rhone Valley, France
Quench your thirst with this juicy, funky, deep and fascinating Grenache-based wine while you slow roast ribs or slather that chicken in barbecue sauce for the season’s first cookout. It’s all dark fruit, with an undercurrent of dried-herb earthiness and some grippy tannins that whip in at the end. It’s super stuff.
$13.99
Foris Estate Grown Pinot Noir, Rogue Valley, Oregon
We can’t stop thinking about salmon when we think of this wine! It’s an Oregonian Pinot Noir with bright Bing cherry, red plum, and floral aromas, and beautifully assimilated flavors of cherries, currant, cranberry gratin, dried strawberries, and barrel spices. Bring on spring!
$21.99
Lelievre Pinot AuxerroisCotes de Toul, Lorraine, France
No really, you need to try this wine! We are so excited about it! It’s from Lorraine, near Champagne and Chablis. Though different from those two wines, if you like them, you’ll love this, too. It’s incredibly, beautifully aromatic, and round with pear and white-fruit flavors, all brought together with a delicate acidity. It’s pure springtime in a bottle (though would be amazing with Thanksgiving dinner, too!). And did you notice the bunny on the label? Could it be more perfect for this spring and Easter? 
$18.99

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!

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!

 -Melissa
(prices 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

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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)

Salut!

***prices subject to change

Great Wines – That Just Happen To Be Kosher!

Let’s face it. The star of the Hanukkah table isn’t typically the wine, but rather the amazing food served at the traditional Festival of Lights dinner. The brisket, the kugel, the salmon. The latkes, the apple donuts.

That said, there’s no reason – none, zilch – why wine should take a back seat to those festive foods. When chosen carefully, a good wine will make your Hanukkah celebration shine even brighter. Here’s our selection of the wines that will do just that. They’re all terrific, and they all just happen to be kosher.

Unorthodox Merlot/ Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
South Africa
$14.99 
This beautiful wine is a brilliant ruby red, and finishes with delightful, soft tannins. It has nice dried-fruit and herb aromas, and flavors of darker unripe cherries that make it a perfect pairing with your brisket.

Unorthodox Sauvignon Blanc
South Africa
$14.99
Forget the big, unbalanced grassy nose that has become so common in inferior Sauvignon Blancs, and instead delight in the bright tropical fruit flavors found in this bottle. We’re thinking salmon and latkes for sure.

La Citadelle De Diamant “Caesar” Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Shiraz Blend
Israel
$29.99
This one had us at Shalom. It’s big, with wonderful spice: think classic Bordeaux with a splash of Shiraz to shake things up. It has kugel and brisket and best-hostess-gift-ever written all over it.

Chag Sameach from your Bottles Family!

*prices subject to change

The Stunning Kelley Fox Wines

One of the first things that Bottles’ new Wine Director Melissa Principe did when she got to the store was ensure that we received an allocation of Kelley Fox wines. The Oregon Pinot Noirs have achieved a cult status over the past few years due to their high-quality and limited production; they’re among the most sought-after wines in the country.

“Anyone who avers that New World Pinot cannot match Burgundy for finesse and complexity has clearly never tried anything from this small, impressively consistent producer. Kelley Fox cut her winemaking teeth at Eyrie (and that influence shows very clearly in the wines she produces under her own name), followed by a 10-year stint (2005 to 2015) as winemaker at Scott Paul. She launched her own winery in 2007 and now produces around 2,000 cases a year of lithe, mineral-driven and strikingly pure Pinots from two of the Willamette Valley’s most highly regarded and meticulously farmed vineyards, Maresh and Momtazi. Native yeasts are used for all of the wines, and anywhere from a third to three-quarters whole clusters have been used since the beginning, but as of the 2015 vintage Fox will be using all whole bunches. She started out by using about one-third new oak for her first three vintages, used a bit for 2010 and 2011 and now uses none at all because she wants her wines ‘to be as pure and unadorned as possible, and oak can get in the way.’ As approachable as Fox’s wines are soon after release, they have the balance to age and, as a bonus, they deliver exceptional value for their quality.”

That’s what Josh Raynolds said in Vinous, and we couldn’t agree more.

Here are Melissa’s notes on the stunning wines of Kelley Fox:

2015 Ahurani Pinot Noir, Demeter Certified Biodynamic

This is a big wine! It has lots of acid and fresh cherry fruit, big iron and a good cherry nose, which is trademark Oregon. Only 607 cases produced.

$43.99

 

 

 

 

2015 Mirabai Pinot Noir

The Mirabai is made from 47-year-old vines and crushed with whole cluster fruit. It opens with a nose of sun-warmed strawberries and a little spice, and finishes with a strong tannin structure and acidity that welcomes fatty dishes. Think duck! Only 495 cases produced.

$43.99

 

 

 

2015 Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir, Demeter Certified Biodynamic

The grapes for this bottle were harvested from three specific sites on the famed Momtazi vineyard; they’re all from Burgundian clones, are hand harvested, and whole cluster pressed. It has aromas of fresh black cherries and ripe black berry fruit, and finishes with balanced minerality and fleshy acid. Only 410 cases produced.

$57.99

 

 

2015 Maresh Vineyard Pinot Noir

The Maresh has a classic silk texture that can only be Oregon. The nose is full of violet and petite rose petals; ripe cherry and dark berry fruit glide on the finish. This wine is made to age. Only 192 cases produced.

$75.99

 

 

 

We hope you’re able to take advantage of these stunning wines this holiday season.

Cheers!

prices subject to change

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Why the Pros Buy Magnums for Holiday Entertaining


Planning a holiday party for more than just a few guests? Do what the pros do, and buy magnums. It’ll save you dough, and the larger size can add drama to your festivities.

A magnum of wine is 1.5 liters, which equates to two standard bottles’ worth of juice. And in most instances, one magnum costs less than if you purchased the two-bottles separately.

Magnums of Bottles’ house wine, Vino di Tavola, are particularly ideal for large gatherings: they’re well made, crowd-pleasers, very food-friendly and highly-drinkable. How do we know? They’re top-sellers here in store, and at our sister bar, The East End.

Both are made in Italy, in the small Piedmontese commune of Castellinaldo. Our Vino di Tavola Rosso is a blend of barbera and dolcetto, the Bianco is a mix of the arneis and favorita grapes.

And while pouring from larger-than-normal bottles can certainly add excitement to your festivities, there are a few folks who find the heavier bottles a bit unwieldy. For them, we suggest simply decanting the magnums into carafes ahead of time, for an easier at-table pour. 

This holiday season we’re offering special pricing on case purchases of our house wine magnums. Regularly $79, we’re offering the 6-magnum case for just $75, and will include a free engraved Bormioli glass carafe.* 

Now if you follow our party math, six magnums will be enough to serve wine all evening for a dinner party of 12. All for just $75. 

That’s something to toast to!

Happy Holidays – and Happy Entertaining!

*while supplies last. additional discounts do not apply. prices subject to change.  
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Top Thanksgiving Wines, Part II

Last week we shared the sparkling and white wines that we’ll be drinking come November 23, 2017. This week we present our picks for the rosé and reds that we think will that will complement your feast. Without further ado:

Charles Bieler Rosé, Provence
After we’ve taken a break from rosé during September and October, it’s nice to revisit a great one for Thanksgiving as a reminder that the pink phenomenon is good all year round. With light berry notes and a zippy acidity, this food-friendly wine will really make your entire feast sing!
$12.99

Primarius Pinot Noir, Oregon
This beauty from the Pacific Northwest has everything we look for in a Pinot Noir. Light in body, but with the depth of flavor and nuance that Oregon is famous for. This is one of our favorite ‘every day’ Pinots, but it really shines at the Thanksgiving table.
$16.99

Nicolas Chamarin “P’tit Grobis,” France
Don’t be fooled by this ‘Little Bear’ from Beaujolais! It’s an under-appreciated wine that carries great depth and weight, but with an extremely light body. It finishes with a wisp of baking spice, clove, and cola that’s an ideal partner for our traditional Thanksgiving spices. We’ll be bringing this one home to share, for sure.
$17.99

Billard Cotes-de-Beaune, France
An elegant wine for an elegant table, this little gem comes from a very small French producer who carefully tends just a few acres of Pinot Noir before pressing them by foot. Aged for 10 months in oak, this nicely-structured Pinot comes to life at the dinner table, and always helps the conversation flow.
$21.99

Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!

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(prices subject to change)

Top Thanksgiving Wines, Part I

November is our favorite time of the year at Bottles, which is why our team spends a good bit of the year thinking about you, your Thanksgiving dinner, and the bottles that will make your dinner sing. Out of the thousands of wines we taste each year, our nine November selections must meet the following criteria:

a) they must taste good
b) they must be agile enough to complement the Thanksgiving dinner as enjoyed on the whole
c) they must represent a good value
d) they must taste good.

Did we mention they must taste good?

Here are the sparkling and white wines that we’ll be drinking this November 23. Stay tuned next week for our rosé and red wine choices.

Terre di Marca Prosecco, Italy
Our favorite Prosecco for the second year running. It’s dry and full of expressive bubbles, it’s organic, and it comes in a cool looking bottle. What better way to toast to your guests’ health?
$13.99

Gérard Bertrand Crémant, France
A velvety soft and creamy French sparkler that’s less acidic and bracing than a true Champagne at twice the price, meaning you can sip on it through the entire Thanksgiving meal. This is the bottle (or two, or three) to have on hand for special company.
$19.99

Pere Mata Cava, Spain
The great thing about Cavas is that they’re bone-dry, elegant, and wallet-friendly. The Pere Mata in particular has terrific citrus and floral notes that will complement everything from that rich turkey and gravy to your after-dinner slice of pie.
$17.99

Dry Creek Chenin Blanc, California
Here’s the perfect choice for an all-purpose Thanksgiving white, satisfying both your aunt who loves Sauvignon Blanc and your cousin Marie who only drinks Chardonnay. It’s dry, crisp, and refreshing with a subtle baked apple and vanilla quality. Yes, please.
$12.99

Michel Caillot “Les Herbeux,” France
Ah, Mersault! From the heart of France, this rich and creamy, understated yet persistent, incredibly floral and expressive Chardonnay will knock your socks off. Mersault is the Chardonnay that even non-Chardonnay drinkers love. It’s. That. Good. Treat yourself!
$34.99

Happy Thanksgiving!

(prices subject to change)

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