To say our team is obsessed with picking out the perfect wine to take home to our family and friends on Thanksgiving Day is an understatement. The options are almost too plentiful to manage, and the pressure to find the bottle that’ll please opinionated Aunt Olivia and finicky Uncle Phil is on. Months are spent on this quest. Months. But we’re happy to do it – it’s wine after all! Here’s what our epic obsession has led to this Thanksgiving of 2018. We think you’ll find something that’ll make you, too, the hero of the table.
(And if you’re looking for a wider selection, visit us in store and look for the sign of the turkey: these small orange “turkey tags” are a sign of a perfect Thanksgiving wine!)
Hillinger “Secco” Sparkling Rosé
A stunning wine that gives so many reasons to be excited! For over 7 years, Austrian producer Hillinger has supported breast cancer research by donating €10,000 annually via their sales of this pink ribbon “Secco” wine. So not only is the wine totally delicious and the pairing for the hors d’oeuvres you’ll serve while the turkey is resting, it’s a reminder to be thankful for the strides made in breast cancer research. Did we mention that it’s also organic?! $19.99
Tire Bouchon d’Ourea
This vineyard, situated around the well-regarded Gigondas in France’s Rhone Valley, produces a killer red blend that punches well above its price. It’s all ripe plums and blackberries accented with black peppercorns and dried herbs. It’ll rock with all those delicious sweet potato sides – and the life-affirming joy that is stuffing. $13.99
St. Cosme “Les Deux Albions”
This white is from an estate that was founded in 1570! Situated in the Southern Rhone of France, St. Cosme always scores high with Wine Spectator, which means it’ll impress the wine connoisseurs at your table (plus it’s biodynamic and vegan!). Its blend of Viognier, Picpoul, and Marsanne tastes like apricots and wildflowers with a super refreshing salinity that can compensate for under-seasoned food (just in case Aunt Liz forgets to add the salt to the mashed potatoes. Again). $19.99 (Regularly $24.99)
This is the no-brainer, oaky, crowd-pleasing California Chardonnay. A classic dry palate with flavors of ripe apples, bosc pear, and crème brulée. Perfect with those supermarket rotisserie chicken dinners on a cold night or a big Thanksgiving feast! Your relatives who love those iconic “oak-bombs” will thank you for bringing this one. $14.99
Somebody pass the cranberry sauce … or this wine! This deeply-hued rosé made from the Zweigelt grape is punchy with flavors of red cherries and crunchy, tart cranberries. Simply put, this wine steals the show when paired with turkey. You may not even realize the turkey is dry because this rosé is super juicy! $17.99
Raisins Gaulois Gamay
Here’s a well-crafted, fun alternative to the standard Beaujolais Nouveau that gets released every year. This Gamay, made in the Loire Valley in France, is fruity and very approachable with a smoooooth finish. Enjoy it with the big meal, or the next day with the beloved Thanksgiving sandwich. $17.99
Maison Albert Pinot Noir
A Pinot Noir is always a go-to for Thanksgiving dinner, especially when it is organic! This affordable French Pinot Noir is easy-drinking and light with flavors of tart cherries and cranberries. The vineyards on which its grapes were grown are right in the Languedoc-Roussillon, near the Mediterranean Sea. I can’t wait to have this with green bean casserole and mushroom dishes! $13.99
Anselmi Ca’Stele Pinot Grigio
One of our newest favorite values! This family-owned winery makes an exceptional dry wine that will impress all your finicky Pinot Grigio-loving guests who won’t drink anything else! The crisp and light texture of this wine is a match for salads, but also your delicious, herby stuffing doused in homemade gravy. $9.99
What really stands out to me about this French Malbec is how smooth it is. This is a special wine to us here at Bottles and has always been a foolproof classic! Lush, dark fruits will warm your soul as the cold weather kicks in. This wine is so versatile and can be enjoyed with any part of a meal, but especially with pigs in a blanket and mini quiche to start the feast! $13.99
Villa Giada “Tre Ponti” Nebbiolo
Villa Giada is a favorite winery of ours, so we decided to feature our absolute favorite wine from them for Thanksgiving! Organic and from a family-owned vineyard (maybe you remember meeting the winemaker Andrea at our store this past summer), this is an awesome, classic Nebbiolo from Piedmont. Small production, exclusively at Bottles, and super delicious! Have this with Grandma’s meat-filled (gizzard) stuffing…or anything else on the table, because sometimes that dish is a little scary. $19.99
Couly-Dutheil Chinon Rosé
As if the bottle isn’t gorgeous enough, this rosé is also delicious. Made from Cabernet Franc grapes grown in Chinon, it has subtle herbaceous notes of rosemary and parsley with juicy raspberries in the forefront. This is such a treat to enjoy with a big feast and all the fixings! Spoil your friends and loved ones with this special bottle.
prices subject to change
They say it’s America’s best-selling unoaked Oregon Chardonnay, and with this flavor, we buy it. It’s full of citrus, honeysuckle and melon flavors, with a rich, ripe and round texture that’s balanced with a crisp freshness. It’s incredibly food-friendly, too. $13.99 compare to $16.99
Oh heavens, where to start. Luscious honeysuckle, lime, elderflower and floral aromas lead to mouth-watering honey, limoncello and pear flavors, all richly textured and ready for pretty much whatever food you want to throw at it – we especially like it with spicy dishes. See the bee on that beautiful bottle? That means that a portion from the sale of each bottle will go to support bee health research. $13.99 compare to $16.99
Crisp. Juicy. Lip-smacking. Smile inducing. Think ripe strawberries, watermelon, and raspberry mixed with herbal aromas. We’re stocking up on this one for Thanksgiving dinner. $13.99 compare to $16.99.
2015 Pinot Noir
What a vintage – it’s widely considered one of Oregon’s best ever. Dark fruit aromas abound out of the glass, leading to red and blue fruit flavors, all balanced with dusty tannins, a juicy acidity and a mineral finish. $17.99 compare to $21.99
2016 Bubbles (Rosé)
A blend of Pinot Noir with a touch of Chardonnay. This lovely sparkler has juicy ripe fruit aromas that lead to raspberry, watermelon and white flower flavors all softened with a hint of creaminess. $13.99 compare to $16.99
2017 Pinot Gris
Mouthwateringly amazing, with peach, apricot, pineapple and lychee aromas meeting citrus flavors, crisp acidity and soft tannins. One of the most versatile food wines in our shop for sure. $13.99 compare to $16.99
Cheers & Enjoy!
Published in September 2018, prices subject to change
It’s an exciting time to be in the beverage industry, especially for our team of buyers who are very cognizant about the quality of what they consume, and the care with which it is crafted. More and more delicious and affordable offerings made using methods that are gentle to the earth – and our bodies – are available to us in Lil’ Rhody. So many in fact that we can’t just relegate them to one small area of the store anymore. That’s why you’ll find new symbols on all of our product tags storewide that communicate various characteristics about how each bottle was made. Here’s what to look for as you browse our shelves:
It’s our hope that the new symbols will lead you to new finds and will help you drink better. Cheers to that!
OK, let’s start with a fact: Despite what the mainstream media, your Instagram feed and your Aunt Jenny are putting out there, this is not the start of Rosé Season. There isn’t anything in the official anything anywhere stating that rosé can only be sipped in the warmer, sunny, cheerful season. There’s no “Rosé Rule” that, like the No White After Labor Day silliness, applies to pink wine. Rosé is one of the most versatile styles in the history of wine, and pairs remarkably well with pretty much anything you can throw at it – cold weather and winter fare included.
What spring does represent is the start of Rosé Arrival Season. It’s when the fresh new batches of rosés made with fruit from the previous year’s harvest are released to us at Bottles, to offer to you. It’s when we get to taste hundreds of new vintages to decide which we think you’ll fall in love with over the coming year, whether enjoyed on your porch on a sweltering July night, or with your family over Thanksgiving dinner.
This year’s feat of selecting was harder than ever, what with the increasing oceans of rosé being produced all over the world. We do our best to bring you the best of the new, while still making available the classics that prove themselves worthy of our precious shelf space — and your wallet — year after year.
A reminder: for many rosés, this Arrival Season is fleeting. Some are made in miniscule batches, meaning once they’re sold out, they’re gone for the year. So if you spark to one bottle in particular, check with our team on its availability so that you can squirrel some away for your November turkey feast.
Here’s a look at five of the rosés that made our short list from the early arrivals:
Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvedre
This is one of the “now you see it, now you don’t” rosés: It’s one of the first to arrive, and because it’s made in incredibly small quantities and is just delicious, it’ll be one of the first to sell out. It has a spicy acidity, ripe cherry and raspberry flavors, and finishes with a touch of white pepper. Get it now while the getting is good.
Radley & Finch
West Cape, South Africa
A super easy-drinking, bright and fresh rosé with undertones of a juicy fruit salad. Its acid level is pretty low, which makes it very crowd friendly and a perfect introduction to rosé for those new to the style.
Tinta Roriz, Alfrocheiro
We’re calling it: this is going to be the sleeper hit of the season. It’s new to Bottles and not yet on the industry’s radar screen, which is why we’re able to offer it at such a great price. It’s lively and refreshing like a bowl of ripe raspberries. It has lovely wildflower aromas, too.
$8.99 (yep. $8.99)
Columbia Valley, Washington
Rosé of Sangiovese
This new-to-Bottles bottle won a huge rosé award last year on the West Coast (The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition), so we’re thrilled that it’s made its way to us this year. It’s dry, packed with fresh watermelon, pomegranate, cranberry and citrus flavors, and backed by a lip-smacking acidity. It’s made from Italy’s most famous grape — sangiovese, the main grape in Chianti — so it’s no surprise that it pairs beautifully with a bowl of spring pasta, enjoyed on the porch.
Beqaa Valley, Lebanon
Cinsault, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon
You’ll be hearing lots from us soon about this really amazing Lebanese winery in the Beqaa Valley. For now, though, trust us that this beautiful bottle will charm you to no end. It’s full of ripe summery strawberry fruit with subtle spice notes, and satisfies with a dry, crisp finish.
Tune in next week for Part II when we share the remaining four rosés that are among our favorites this year.
All prices subject to change
.5 oz bourbon
.5 oz creme de cassis
.5 oz simple syrup
6-8 mint leaves
4-5 oz Angry Orchard Rosé Cider
Muddle the mint in the bottom of a julep tin. Add the remaining ingredients, then fill the tin with crushed ice. Garnish with a lavish mint bouquet, and you’re off!
Last week we dove headfirst into mezcal with the hopes of getting you as passionate about the spirit as we are. This week we’re hoping to help you put your new knowledge into practice by sharing 10 of our current favorite bottles, all stunning expressions of the art, tradition and skill that goes into artisanal mezcal making. Take one or two or more home and taste them side-by-side for a truly instructive (and really, really delicious) tasting experience.
Del Maguey produces spectacular single village mezcals, all with very distinct personalities. The “Minero Santa Catarina Minas” is made in a region of Oaxaca that’s only accessible via a small mountain pass, using clear, clean water and well-fertilized pinas that make this bottling extraordinarily approachable. It has mellow flavors of vanilla, fig, charred honey and a hint of lemon – just delicious. $69.99
The Del Maguey “Vida de San Luis del Rio” is an excellent, soft, versatile and user-friendly mezcal made by mezcalero Marcos Cruz Mendez in Oaxaca. The Espadin agave is roasted over a wood burning pit, which lends a complex array of flavors that include honey, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, burnt sandalwood, banana, and tangerine. A terrific gift for a mezcal newbie, it’s suitable for sipping on the rocks or for cocktails. $34.99
Made by mezcalero Espiridion Morales Luis and his son, Del Maguey’s “Santo Domingo Albarradas” comes from a lush, tropical region in southern Oaxaca similar in many ways to parts of Hawaii. It’s light, with lots of pear and spicy wood notes, with a clean and dry finish. This is the mezcal to pick when you’re looking for something that’s more elegant and refined, but not too dear. Great for sipping either neat or with a single cube. $69.99
Bozal’s “Cuixe.” Sure, it’s a great looking bottle (really) but it’s more than just a pretty package. Cuixe is a very tall, very fibrous agave, which the mezcaleros roast over a wood burning pit. Its flavor profile is a balancing act between fresh and tropical fruit flavors, and earthy, piney, starchy ones. And at this easy price (for a mezcal) it’s a great starting point for those looking to explore. $59.99
The Bozal “Castilla” is made from the Castilla agave, which is a close cousin to Espadin, but is smaller and harder to find. The piñas used in the making of this bottle were harvested deep in the Oaxacan valley, in San Juan Bautista Jayacatlan, and contribute a lush, fruity, tropical nose to an otherwise austere mezcal. It finishes with notes of mint, mocha, and subtle smoke. $89.99
If you’re really into mezcal, grab a bottle Bozal’s “Coyote” while it’s here. It’s extremely subtle and beguiling, with a rich minerality and marked dark chocolate/cocoa notes. It finishes dry and balanced and wants nothing more than an ice cube to liven up. It’s made in Sola de Vega, Oaxaca, in very minute quantities. Very special. $89.99
The Alipus mezcals highlight the regions and terroir of their origins. The San Andreas, made by Don Valente Angel Garcia Juarez in Miahualtan, Oaxaca, is the most well known, with a bright and fragrant Espadin agave characteristic, backed up with a piquant alcohol kick. It’s a very food-friendly mezcal: The bold flavors stand up well to grilled or roasted meats, veggies and spicy dishes. $44.99
This “San Juan” is the smokiest Alipus. San Juan del Rio is made from Espadin grown high in the Oaxacan mountains where it is very dry, by mezcalero Don Joel Cruz. It’s another bold offering, with subtle fruity agave notes balanced by a rich, mouth-coating smokiness. This is the mezcal for that Scotch drinker you know who refuses to try anything but Scotch. $44.99
The Pierde Almas “Dobadaan” is the bottle for the super fan. It’s the only commercially available Dobadaan (a variety of agave) that we know of, and it’s extremely rare. It’s made in San Baltazar by Alfonso Sanchez and Gregorio Velasco. The aroma is of a smoldering autumn leaf fire, smoky and rich, with stewed fruit flavors and a finish of clove and sandalwood. $84.99
Here it is. The King Of The Agave. Tobala is grown in the wild, and yields ridiculously low harvests. A mezcal made from Tobala is something to be prized and savored. Do yourself a favor – if you’re into mezcal, put this El Jolgorio Tobala on your bucket list. It’s made by Gregorio Garcia, Gregorio Hernandez, Valentin Cortes in Oaxaca’s Santiago Matatlan and is worth every penny. Trust us. $124.99
To learn more about mezcal, stay tuned into our newsletter, where we’ll be announcing our May schedule of mezcal tastings. We’ll be opening up a new bottle or more each Thursday in May 2018. We hope to see you in store!
prices subject to change
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!