Top Wines For Fall – Part II

Last week we introduced you to four of the wines that our team’s been reaching for now that the mercury is dipping into the 50s. Here are a few more that we recommend. Give them a try – we think you’ll love them as much as we do.

Ravines Cabernet Franc, Finger Lakes, NY
An adult wine from the Finger Lakes with lots to offer, and just a little chip on its shoulder about how much attention New York City gets compared to the Finger Lakes. Kinda like Providence. Flavors of dusty berries, baking spice & black pepper mean this wine loves pork, red meat & game, with creamy potatoes & wilted greens on the side. You’re welcome.
$19.99

B.R. Cohn Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma/Napa, CA
This is the bruiser of our Fall Wine Picks: it’s a big, straightforward cabernet sucker-punch to the mouth, tailor made for easy-drinking on cool New England fall nights. Preferably with hearty food with some fat. Maybe like a grilled sirloin or lamb chops, you ask? Yeah, that’d be nice.
$24.99

Domaine Maby Rosé, Tavel, France
You know what we say here at Bottles – anytime is a good time for rosé! In the fall, we trade in our whisper-light versions for those with more heft to stand up to a morning frost on the pumpkin. Tavel wines have that weight, along with sultry floral aromas that make it a great dance partner with the roasted chicken, pork or veggies you’ve been craving.
$19.99

Yves Cuilleron Marsanne, Rhone, France
There are few whites that are as food friendly as the under-appreciated marsanne, what with its rich wildflower honey & hazelnut flavors that beg for the grilled and roasty foods of the fall. If you break this one out at your next dinner party, & serve a simple roast chicken, you’ll prove to your pals that you know your wine!
$24.99

Sultana Grillo, Sicily, Italy
If this is “just a simple Sicilian table wine,” then why the heck to we like it so much? Because it’s got bright citrus, peach & almond flavors in spades, is easy drinking and pairs well with virtually everything, especially herb-y, cheesy dishes. We’re crowning it the the ultimate dinner party wine this season. Go forth and drink.
$11.99

Happy Fall!

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Top Wines For Fall – Part I

Fall’s here, gang. Time to explore wines that have a little more to them. Wines that’ll elevate your first rich and decadent pot roast of the season, and those that you’ll want to open when you’re burning leaves in the backyard.

Out of the hundreds of new bottles we’ve tasted over the past few weeks, here are four that we think will be among your go-tos this autumn:

Adegamae Pinot Noir, Portugal 
This rockstar of a pinot noir starts with a big burst of juicy berry fruit, followed by a soft and silky finish. It’s perfect for this transitional season: still light enough for warmer October evenings, but with the right hint of autumn in the finish.
$14.99

Murgo Etna Rosso, Sicily, Italy
Only 5,000 cases of this beauty were made – and we’re darn happy to have many of them! It’s light, but lively with flavors of berry, orange zest, herbs and minerals. We want you to try it chilled: Tuck a bottle in the fridge for 20 minutes, pair it with a good fall meal, and taste the magic. It’s a special one for sure.
$19.99

Domaine Jacky Marteau “Lulu” Gamay, Touraine, France
“Lulu is the kind of chick that’ll convince you to rob a bank with her and only you’ll get caught.” So says the winemaker about this bottle that was inspired by the “quirky pluck” of actress Geena Davis. And you know what? We agree. It’s jammed with ripe blackberry and cola flavors, and goes with anything you want to throw at it.
$15.99

Fiorini “Becco Rosso” Lambrusco Grasparossa, Italy
Our pick for a wine that has “fun” written all over it. If you’ve never had a Lambrusco, start with this one. Think bubbly red wine with flavors of dark cherry, raspberry and plum, enjoyed over a cheese and charcuterie board with friends. Or, with pizza on the couch when you judge whether or not NBC’s lineup really is “Must See” again.
$15.99

Tune in next week for our remaining fall favorites. In the meantime, happy autumn!

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The Bottles Private Barrel Selections, Part II

Last week we introduced you to a few of the newest additions to our private stash of whiskey barrels. They’re the one-of-a-kind barrels from the world’s top distillers that our team hand-picked to be bottled exclusively for our customers. For a look into how these bottles differ from what’s on store shelves all over the world, take a peak at last week’s post. To learn about the rest of our current collection, read on.

1792 Full Proof
125 proof
Selected in March 2017
The good people at the 1792 Bardstown Distillery – Part of the Sazerac / Buffalo Trace family – were kind enough to send three samples up to Rhode Island late last winter. Though it took some time for the guys to agree, they eventually selected the softest barrel of the bunch, one with well-integrated oaky notes under a warm blanket of bourbon. At 125 proof, it’s pretty hot!

Flavor Profile: Bright & zesty. Notes of stewed cherries & clove, with subtle rye spice in the finish.
Serving Suggestion: We like this best neat, with a splash of water. $49.99

Hillrock Double Cask Rye
90 proof
Selected in February 2016
On a very blustery day and after a treacherous road-trip to NY’s Hudson Valley deep in the winter of 2016, our team arrived at Hillrock’s breathtaking estate to taste with Master Distiller Dave Pickerell. After a lot of laughter, chatting and tasting through six freshly drawn barrel samples, they selected this barrel for the pure, grainy rye flavor that Hillrock is known for, along with its subtle caramel coating on the finish.

Flavor Profile: Rich & aromatic. Like running through a field of grain with your mouth open after you had a Hershey’s Kiss.
Serving Suggestion: Good on its own, or with a single cube. Suitable for an expensive Old Fashioned or Manhattan. $89.99

Glendalough Triple Barrel
84 proof
Selected in December 2015
What could possibly make an Irish whiskey aged in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in sherry barrels better? Giving them a final resting in a Madeira barrel before bottling, of course! With only a very limited number of bottles available, we jumped at the chance to add this to our collection.

Flavor Profile: Creamy & fruity. A mouth-coating blast of warm pear and raisin with a subtle warming finish.
Serving Suggestions: Best consumed after dinner, neat or on the rocks. $39.99


Four Roses Barrel #5 OESQ***
127 proof
Selected in April 2017
On a perfect early spring day in Kentucky our team had the arduous task of tasting through 17 barrels at the Four Roses distillery with Senior Brand Ambassador Al Young. They eventually selected one with the “Q” or “Floral” yeast strain, which is not a common choice. Later that day they ran into Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott, who was excited that they had chosen the “Q.” It’s one that he’s most proud of. We hope you like it, too.

Flavor Profile: Delicate and demure. So subtle, with wispy floral and citrus notes belying the extraordinary ABV.
Serving Suggestion: Fine on its own, despite the heat, but does well with a splash of cool water. $59.99

Four Roses Barrel #4 OESF***
107.6 proof
Selected in September 2015
Hailing from Louisville, Eric Taylor, our Director of Operations, is always up for a trip back home to pick out bourbon for us. On this trip, he selected the 3rd and 4th barrels we purchased from Four Roses. Barrel #3 is long gone from our shelves (though we’re still pouring it at The East End!) but there’s still a bit of #4 left. This one-time expression derives its distinctive flavor from the proprietary “F” strain of yeast. They call it the “Herbal” one, and for good reason.

Flavor Profile: Unique and herbaceous. You’ll not find a bourbon like this again. It has a crazy interplay of lavender, thyme, dill, cedar and sandalwood flavors.
Serving Suggestion: Makes one of the best Manhattans we’ve ever had. $59.99

Four Roses Barrel #6 ‘The East End’ OBSV***
100 proof
Selected in April 2017
On our bourbon trail adventure last spring, we decided to select a bottle to commemorate the opening of the new whiskey & wine bar on Wickenden Street – The East End. We tasted through seven barrels of bourbon and finally landed on this expression, given its spicy rye finish and sturdy backbone from older-barrel aging. It’s warm and inviting, and at 100 proof, is perfectly suited to mixing awesome cocktails at the bar.

Flavor Profile: Tried and true. An excellent example at what makes Four Roses so damn good at what they do. This is Bourbon with a capital ‘B’
Serving Suggestions: A workhorse, this bourbon can handle whatever you throw at it – go to town. $44.99

Postscript: What Happens To The Wooden Barrels?

After the distillery bottles the bourbon we’ve selected, they ship us the cases of bottled bourbon with the barrel, still wet inside and soaked with whiskey. Once here in RI, we send them to local breweries to fill with beer, rest for a few weeks, and throw into kegs for The East End. For a truly unique experience, come in for a taste of one of our Four Roses barrels along with Foolproof’s Raincloud Porter aged in the same barrel. Or Elijah Craig, with a barrel aged stout from Grey Sail. We’ll be sure to keep you posted when new barrels and beers are released.

***Deciphering The Four Roses Recipes:

Here’s a handy cheat sheet that will give you a sense of what each bottle of Four Roses will taste like. Keep in mind, though — as readers of last week’s blog post know — that the resulting flavor of each individual bottle will vary based on where within the rickhouse it aged.

1st Letter:
‘O’ = Distilled at Four Roses in Lawrenceburg, KY (this letter never changes)

2nd Letter:
‘E’ = Mashbill of 75% corn, 20% rye, 5% barley
‘B’ = Mashbill of 60% corn, 25% rye, 5% barley

3rd Letter:
‘S’ = Straight Whiskey Distillation (this letter never changes)

4th Letter:
‘K’ = ‘Slight Spice’ yeast strain
‘V’ = ‘Delicate Fruit’ yeast strain
‘O’ = ‘Rich Fruit’ yeast strain
‘Q’ = ‘Floral Essence’ yeast strain
‘F’ = ‘Herbal Notes’ yeast strain

These combinations result in 10 different possible Four Roses recipes: OBSV, OESV, OBSK, OESK, OBSF, OESF, OBSO, OBSQ, and OESQ.

  • All ten recipes are blended to make Four Roses Yellow Label.
  • Four Roses Small Batch is always a blend of OBSO, OBSK, OESO, and OESK.
  • Four Roses Single Barrel is always OBSV alone.

Thanks for your interest in our Private Barrel Selections! We’d love to hear what you think!

Cheers!

The Bottles Private Barrel Selections, Part 1

It’s been a busy year in our spirits department, with the team traveling the country, tasting through hundreds of distinctive whiskeys, in search of exquisite, one-of-a-kind barrels good enough to bring home and call our own. This ever-changing collection meets our strict standards for taste and quality, and highlights the skill of each distillery we visit. We are very proud to offer these exceptional bourbons, ryes and malts — all available only in small quantities — and only to our loyal, whiskey-loving friends, family and customers.

But why do we do this?

For those new to whiskey, you may be wondering why we put such effort into bringing these bottles to Rhode Island. To understand, it helps first to know what gives whiskies their distinctive flavors. If you’re a seasoned whiskey lover and the process is old hat to you, skip to the bottom for a look at a few of our exclusive barrels. If you’re new to whiskey, read on.

Distillers start by making a huge batch of whiskey in one giant vat (we’re talking hundreds of gallons – some, thousands of gallons), using one proprietary recipe. Once distilled, the pure liquid spirit is siphoned off into new charred American oak barrels, which are then set to age for 3 – 10+ years in a rickhouse. (That’s a fancy term for the enormous warehouse lined from floor to roof with barrels at various stages in the aging process.) After years of aging, the contents of those barrels — remember, they contain that one recipe — will vary dramatically in taste.

So what accounts for the variations in flavor? It’s all about the aging. It’s all about how long a barrel is aged and where within the rickhouse it matures.

And here’s where your 5th grade science comes in: As a barrel of bourbon warms up in the hot Kentucky summer, the wood expands, drawing the whiskey through its inner charred charcoal surface right into the grain. As fall and winter approach, the wood contracts, forcing the whiskey back out, filtered through the charcoal and oak. This process is repeated for a minimum of 3 years, and all the while the whiskey is evaporating, evolving into a more concentrated version of itself. Naturally, barrels higher up in the rickhouse get hotter, evaporating at an accelerated rate, while those on the lower shelves are cooler, allowing evaporation – and the interplay with the wood – to occur at a slower, less intense rate. The sweet spot for aging is on the middle shelves: the barrels that age there are often considered superior. These variations in where a barrel ages and for how long dictate, in large part, its flavor profile.

After 3 years (the bare minimum for making what can – or should – legally be called bourbon) a master distiller will start to taste the barrels to see how they are developing, and to start determining which barrels will be married together to achieve the specific flavor profile of each of their various labels. For instance: At Heaven Hill, the bourbons in a bottle of their entry-level Evan Williams Black Label are pulled from all over the rickhouse and blended. Their next-level Evan Williams White Label, is made from bourbon that was aged in barrels for slightly longer, thereby coaxing more refined and nuanced flavors from the wood, and then bottled at 100 proof. These are small variations for sure, however they make a world of difference in the final product. At the other end of the spectrum is the Elijah Craig, which is made from barrels that have been aged only in the middle of the rickhouses. This placement results in a softer, more subtle whiskey, with warm baking spice notes on the finish.

The commonality amongst all of the bourbons is the liquid: It’s all the same going into the barrels, but the duration of aging and the location of where the aging is happening is what makes each final bourbon distinct and suited to fit the standard profiles for each different label.

However, because this is a wholly-natural process, there are barrels that every once in a while stand out as exceptional. They are barrels that due to patience, luck, and alchemy, are deemed by the distiller to be too unique to be blended into one of their house labels and are therefore set aside. When we travel to Kentucky to buy bourbon, these are the barrels that we taste and bring back to Rhode Island and call our own. These “snowflake” barrels are of extraordinary quality and are unique expressions that will never be replicated.

If this process intrigues you, we invite you to pick up an “everyday” bottle of these bourbons along with our selections. Try them next to each other at home, either neat, with a splash of water or a cube or two of ice. See what kinds of differences you can spot. We hope you’ll enjoy our selections as much as we do – just don’t fall in love. Once they’re going, they’re gone forever!

Here are three of our newest additions to our Private Barrel collection:


Knob Creek Single Barrel
120 proof 
Selected in April 2017
We selected this amazing barrel out of the 2 million aging in the Jim Beam rickhouses during a trip earlier this year. Among the samples we tried, there were two barrels that had aged right next to each other for the same amount of time. Despite their proximity, these siblings were as different as you are from your brother or sister. The barrel we chose in the end is a pristine example of the caramel and oak notes you get from the finest bourbons.

Flavor Profile: Hot and uncompromising. We don’t know if you can handle this bourbon. It’s like getting socked in the mouth with a nerf ball steeped in bourbon, caramel, dried fruit and more bourbon.
Serving Suggestion: Best tamed with some water or ice. Also suitable for robust cocktails, like a Reanimator or Boulevardier. $34.99

Old Forester Single Barrel
90 proof 
Selected in May 2017
In making this selection we were looking for a bourbon with the classic Old Forester expression: caramel on the verge of burning with just a hint of baking spice on the finish, along with those difficult-to-put-your-finger-on nuances that come with bourbons that have aged longer. After tasting through 3 excellent samples, we chose this single barrel, realizing it hit the nail on the head!

Flavor Profile: Direct and stalwart. A little dark caramel, a little chocolate, a little roasted fruit, a little dusty oak, a little toffee. A little bit of everything in this well-balanced bourbon.
Serving Suggestion: Well suited to fruitier or sweet cocktails. A sour. A Bourbon Bramble. A Julep! $44.99

Elijah Craig Small Batch
94 proof 
Selected in March 2017
We selected this barrel in Rhode Island back in March, based on samples that distiller Heaven Hill sent. Then, in a moment of bourbon kismet during our trip to the Heaven Hill distillery in Kentucky a month later, we stumbled upon – among the 1.5 million then aging at Heaven Hill – the very barrel we had selected in March! Against staggering odds. But there it was, sitting on the bottling floor, just waiting to be emptied. Unlike the core expression of Elijah Craig Small Batch, the juice from this barrel has a more pronounced oakiness, and less clove on the finish. We prefer it to the “everyday” Elijah, and at this price, it won’t last long!

Flavor Profile: Savory & satisfying. Like a warm cherry pie where the crust is just a little dark in places.
Serving Suggestion: Great on the rocks. More than suitable for any classic Bourbon cocktail $34.99

Tune in next week for a dive into our remaining collection. In the meantime, our entire Private Barrel collection is available at our sister bar, The East End . Stop in for a taste and let us know what you think!

Cheers!

Our Fall Beer Preview

That time of year again, folks! Though fall beers may have developed somewhat of a negative reputation over the past few years, I truly believe that autumn brings out some of the best brews we get all year. I’m not talkin’ pumpkin stuff (though, some of it is really done well, I swear), I’m talkin’ the beautifully malty, nutty Marzen and brown ales that pair perfectly with sitting by the campfire and telling ghost stories. Below are some of the suds I’ll be drinking over the next several weeks and why.

 

Two Roads Ok2berfest:
Every time I have to make a list of favorite beers, Two Roads always makes the cut! They’re doing great stuff, and it shows with this toasty, caramel Marzen-style lager. 

Citizen Cider ‘B’ Cider:
This cider adds fresh honey, so you’re looking at a sweeter juice here than the others on this list. Keep one in your fridge for a treat after apple picking!

Dogfish Head Punkin Brown Ale:
Hear me out, guys. Pumpkin beers can be done really, really well. This one from Dogfish takes their already delicious brown ale and simply adds roasted pumpkin, brown sugar and cinnamon. Give pumpkin a chance.
Weihenstephan Festbier:
Just a classic, delicious & traditional Oktoberfest beer. Light and fresh but creamy at the same time, with some hop spice and great honey sweetness.

Eve’s Cidery Beckhorn Hollow:
A funky, all-natural cider that is bone dry with a zip of acidity. Bring this to the table when your experimental wine friends stop by! 

Ayinger Oktoberfest:
Lots of sweet, hazy bubbles and a nose of toasty granola and fresh baked bread. One of our beer geniuses, Tom, recommended this to me and I am so very grateful he did!

Ein Prosit!
-Alex
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How To Throw A Blind Wine Tasting Party – New And Improved!

A few years back we published a step-by-step instructional on how to throw a blind wine tasting party that featured a selection of red wines. It’s been such a hit – year after year it’s our most popular blog post – we’ve decided to reprise the original with the addition of a few new themes for your tasting pleasure.

The wines in each of our new tastings are related, though distinct enough to allow you to differentiate them from one another. By tasting similar wines side-by-side, you can really learn how to focus your impressions and perfect your tasting chops. By tasting them blind, you’ll lose any preconceptions you have about particular labels and styles, and really allow yourself to understand what you like.

You can use our guided tastings, or you can just select a few bottles that you like, and use our free, downloadable WINE SCORECARD and WINE TAGS to create your own tasting.

1. To get started, pick one of the tasting themes below, make your way to Bottles, and have one of our team members help you select the wines to match the theme and your wallet.

2. Have at least 1 wine glass for each guest, with a bottle of water and dump bucket nearby so they can rise out between tastings and easily dispose of tastes they’re really not into.

3. It’s also a really good idea to have light snacks on hand. Not only will a few bites keep your pals from getting too tipsy, they’ll also provide the opportunity to taste the wines with various flavors. Cheese is the natural wine pairing partner – and it’s easy to find a good selection at most all grocery stores these days. Look for a wide variety of cheeses, such as a mix of something soft (brie), something spreadable (fresh chevre), something aged and hard (aged gouda), sharp cheese (aged cheddar) and a blue (gorgonzola).

4. Put each wine in a brown paper bag (ask for them at Bottles!), and afix our numbered WINE TAGS to identify each bottle.

5. Use our printable WINE SCORECARD so that guests can record their thoughts on each bottle. Be sure to have a few pens/pencils on hand. Share with your guests the theme of each tasting so that they have a general sense of what they’re looking for.

6. Once you and your guests have tasted each wine, take turns guessing what each bottle is before you do the big reveal.

7. Once you’ve unmasked each wine, feel free to use our guide and general descriptions to see if your guests’ impressions are in sync. BUT: It’s incredibly important to note that this is not a graded test! If what you taste doesn’t match what we’ve written – that’s ok! What’s most important is that you and your guests explore different wine styles and enjoy each other’s company.



 

A Rosé Tasting!

This is a great, fun tasting to have with friends at a summer barbecue. Just open a handful of delicious rosés and see if folks can guess which is which! Here’s a hint: with rosés, look for color as a good indicator of weight. Typically the darker the color, the heavier/more bold the wine.

Wines to Purchase
1. A light rosé from the Cotes de Provence – It’s the birthplace of rosé, and experiencing Provence is essential to getting to know good rosé. Made from a blend of grapes, Provencal rosés can range wildly in terms of style and quality, but a good mid-teen priced example should do just fine. Provence is in the South of France, and these wines will be light, dry, lean and minerally.

2. A heavier rosé from Tavel or Bandol – Now Bandol is actually sub-region within Provence, so this may seem silly to be listed in here, however the folks here make a very distinct style of rosé.  Bandol rosés tend to be fuller and more bold. They are, however, somewhat pricey. An alternative that will still deliver the heavier body would be a wine from Tavel. Both Bandol and Tavel tend to be darker in color.

3. Rosé of Pinot Noir – These can be really fun, as they tend to be light and easy drinking. They can be pricey as most pinot noir is, but in a blind tasting they can often act as a curveball.  Look for some out of Oregon or California.

4. A rosé from the Loire Valley – These delicious wines are made from cabernet franc which creates a unique rosé that should stand out from most other styles.  Look for a touch of weight with less acid than the others.

5. Your favorite – Select your ‘go to’ rosé that you already love and see if you can pick it out from the field, and see if you still love it more than the others!

 

White Wine!

Have fun with this tasting, where you and your guests will try to tell one classic white wine from another.

Wines to purchase
1. Chardonnay – This classic white can have many different faces. For this tasting, you’ll want to select one that has been oak-aged. Tasting Tip: You’ll find round, buttery flavors in this wine, all due to the oak-aging.

2. Pinot Grigio – This one may give you the most trouble to nail down. It’s a bit of a chameleon, and can have lots of the characteristics of other whites, but you should be able to place it, given its light body and restrained fruit flavors.

3. Sauvignon Blanc – These tend to have higher acid levels than most, and you will know this because they will make the back sides of your mouth water after your first taste.  New Zealand examples tend to have very pronounced grapefruit-like flavors so may be another give away.

4. Chenin Blanc – There are many grapes you could pick for this fifth spot, but we like to use chenin blanc, the main grape in like Vouvray in France or Steen in South Africa (or just “Chenin Blanc” in the USA). Its floral aromas and light body are delicious — this is a curveball bottle, for sure!

5. Riesling – Look for one with a medium sweetness level so as to further differentiate this wine from the others. You’ll likely find floral notes and ripe fruit flavors like peach or lychee.  

 

Old World vs New World – A Red Wine Tasting

This is a classic blind tasting that can really sharpen your skills. The idea here is to take two wines made from the same grapes, though from different regions of the world, and taste them blind, side by side, and to guess which was made where.

Here are a few clues:

Old World Wines are typically from countries that have been making wine for millennia, and adhere to strict wine-making rules (Italy, France, Spain). The wines are usually drier, earthier, with balanced fruit, acidity and tannins. Old World wines dazzle you with elegance and finesse.

New World Wines are generally from countries that discovered wine making during a more recent century and are not typically bound to traditional wine-making methods (USA, New Zealand). They tend to be bigger-bodied, and have much bolder fruit flavors. New World wines blow you away with their power.

Wines to purchase:
1. Pinot Noir from the Old World. We suggest a relatively youthful ‘Bourgogne’ style from Burgundy, France. The trick here will be price point, as Burgundy can get expensive, but you should be able to find a good bottle for around $20 – Bottles is a great place to look! Tasting Tip: In the Old World pinot, you’ll find more earthy, leathery and restrained notes.

2. Pinot Noir from the New World, either California or Oregon would be great picks, as long as the wine is made from 100% pinot noir grapes. Tasting Tip: In the New World expression, you’ll find brighter, fruiter notes.

3. Old World Red Blend. The classic to look for here would be a Bordeaux blend, ideally one from the Left Bank, which will tend to be more Cabernet Sauvignon based.  All Bordeaux wines are blends, and each sub-region has its own style, but for your tasting here that shouldn’t make a difference. Tasting Tip: This wine will be more fuller bodied than the pinot noirs, with lean fruit flavors, balanced by fresh tobacco and earthy notes.

4. New World Red Blend – California has a tremendous amount of red blends, but Australia and South Africa will have lots as well. Try to find one that has a good amount of cabernet sauvignon if you can. Tasting Tip: This wine will have more pronounced fruit flavors than the Old World red blend.

5. Old World Nebbiolo-based wine. This is a fun curveball, as it has flavor profiles similar to both Old World and New World styles. You’ll find fruit notes, as well as earthy, floral aromas.

We hope you have fun with your party – tag us with your photos!

Cheers & Enjoy!

Rosé Popsicles!

It’s mid-August and summer is nearly over (don’t shoot the messenger). We might be sick of tomato sandwiches, sick of already seeing Halloween decorations and sick of seeing school supplies (why does that still make me anxious when I’m not even a student or a teacher?!) One thing that we are definitely not sick of, however, is rosè. It’s been the star of the summer and for these last couple weeks of sweltering August heat, we recommend serving it up all icy and on a stick, or in a good ‘ole push-up bag.

Below is a recipe for our rosè popsicles. Since the batch we make yields a large amount, we should tell you to serve them at your next BBQ or picnic, but there is no reason you couldn’t scale this down and whip up a batch to keep in your freezer for any night of the week. You deserve it.

PS. Any leftover unfrozen rosè juice makes a delicious drink to sip over ice!

Alex’s Famous Rosè Popsicles

Ingredients

One 750ml bottle rosè of your choice (we recommend something dry but with a good boost of fruitiness. Ask a Bottles team member and they’ll steer you in the right direction.)

One 750ml bottle sparkling water

8 oz. simple syrup

16 oz. fruit juice (we recommend watermelon, berry or grapefruit. Take a sip of your rosè and see what flavors you think would match best.)

Tools

Mold of choice (we’ve used things from loaf pans to muffin tins to plastic cups to inexpensive plastic bags easily found on Amazon.)

Popsicle sticks, if using

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and stir vigorously. Pour your concoction into your desired molds, freeze for at least12 hours (it’ll be worth it). If you’re using the push-up bags, be sure to leave an inch or more at the top, as the popsicle will expand as it freezes.

Serve ’em up and enjoy those last licks of summer.

xoxo Alex

El Diablo – An Easy Late-Summer Cocktail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re not entirely sure why this iconic tequila-based cocktail isn’t more popular among the general drinks-lovin’ public. After all, it’s easy to make, distinctive, delicious and a perennial bartender favorite.

To right that wrong we’ve teamed up with our friends at The East End to concoct an updated spicy take on the classic El Diablo. Bar Manager Kayleigh Speck swapped out tequila for mezcal, and amp’d up the spice with the addition of a habanero shrub. She shakes it with creme de cassis, and lime juice, adds ginger beer and presto: the  iconic cocktail gets the attention it deserves.

More on that mezcal: We’ve chosen the Mezcales de Leyenda given its superior taste and its commitment to quality and the environment: its business practices are responsible straight through farming to bottling. For this recipe we’re using the Oaxaca Blanco for its lemongrass aromas and flavors of lemons, herbs and cooked agave.

Head to the store to pick up your bottle — $5 off through August 2017 — for this cocktail (or just for sipping – it’s that good) then head to The East End to taste their El Diablo on tap!

The East End’s El Diablo

1½ oz Mezcales de Leyenda Oaxaca
½ oz Merlet Creme de Cassis
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
2 Dashes Habanero Shrub (Bittermens Hellfire is a good one)
Approx. 4oz Ginger Beer
Lime wedge for garnish

Combine all ingredients, except ginger beer, to a shaker with ice and shake. Fine-strain into highball or Collins glass with fresh ice, top with ginger beer and garnish.

Cheers!

Which Rosé is Right For You?

It’s midsummer and the wine world is swimming in a sea of rosé. Let our life-raft of a chart help you pick the one that’s right for you and your palate.

Do you solely drink light whites? Stick with those in the lower left quadrant. Like reds and wines with savory notes? Make the bottles in the upper right your new BFFs.

Enjoy!

Prices subject to change

The Bottles Guide To Surviving Summer: Tip #4

We’ve saved the best for last, in this, the final installment of our “Summer Survival” series. So while you’ll want to remember to drink light (Tip #1), keep cool (Tip #2), and make it refreshing (Tip #3), the most important words of advice we can share is to have fun. ‘Tis the season, after all.

TIP #4:
HAVE FUN!
Because it’s summer!

“Tiki drinks, such as Pina Coladas, Mai Tais, Zombies and others, are pure summer fun in a glass (or coconut). Privateer Rum is my go-to mixer for this season in particular: it’s priced as a well-crafted, locally-made mixer, but delicious enough to enjoy on its own, too, up or on the rocks, at the end of a long summer day.” – Josh

“Celebrate summer sunsets by popping open a bottle of the Mirabella Franciacorta Rosé. It’s made in the same method as is Champagne but it’s a fraction of the price. And it’s pink. AND it’s great with grilled steaks.” – Michael

 

 

 

 

 

“Can their be a more fun way to enjoy wine than when it’s in a can? Take it with you to the beach, to the ball park, on the boat. Just take it easy – there’s typically more than 2 glasses of wine per can!” – Alex

 

 

 

 

 

Missed last week’s tip?

Click here

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen – and happy summer!

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