Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Whats up at Jewel

I haven't made a point of checking the wine section at other Jewel-Osco stores, but I discovered a few weeks ago that my local store has installed a wine cellar, and stocked it with several bottles of very high end California wines. Caymus, Beaulieu, Duckhorn, and others. All of them are in the $60-$100 range, and I just don't get it. I think these bottles are going to sit on the shelf taking up valuable retail space and will have slow turnover. I would be curious to hear from someone with a retail marketing background, who can explain this move. The only thing I can think is that less wine on the shelves means more room for intricate displays, and the hope is that the display will encourage someone to splurge, but it seems an odd move. I'm waiting for the idea to die off and the wines to go on clearance. Then I will hop around to every Jewel in town stocking up. ;) That'll be the day.

Third Coast Wine Turns Thirty

Well at least this author does.

I had the pleasure of opening a 1980 Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet (note: link is to different year) last night. The bottle was past its prime for sure, but this is the first time I have had a bottle from my birth year, and I hope its not the last. It was a treat to be sure. You can read tasting notes by following the link to the right.

In addition to the Mondavi I found a bottle of 1995 Lagrange on In contrast to the Mondavi, the Lagrange was much too young to have been opened. It took several hours in the decanter, but it finally opened up a bit. Wish I had another bottle to hang onto for another 15 years.

Tonight I'm drinking a nice Macon-Village from Louis Jadot that I picked up at Jewel for less than $10. Its much better than most of the stuff on the shelves at that price. A touch of oak, but nothing outrageous. Good melon and even some grassy sauvignon blanc like notes. I guess I'm hanging onto the fast fading summer, because I've been on quite a White Burgundy kick lately.

To continue with the theme of randomness for the post, I had an interesting time at the Binny's Buffalo Grove French Wine Tasting this weekend. Amongst the sea of wines that weren't very memorable, I found a nice Vouvray and a very interesting white wine that I can't seem t o find a link to anywhere on the Internet. It was some sort of White Rhone wine. Unfortunately my familiarity with the region is not making locating the wine any easier.

There are a few tastings coming up of note. One in Highland Park with over 75 California Reds, another major tasting on November 10 at Binny's South Loop with lots of collectible wines for $40. I'm also planning to attend the ERI pre-auction tasting, which I hope will be a good showing of some really special wines.

If anyone knows how I can get a ticket to the Union Des Grand Cru Tasting in January (I think its trade/press only) I would love to go. Just going to throw that out there in case someone happens to be listening.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wine Shop Discovery

I just got back from Lafayette, IN this weekend where I was visiting my in-laws. I've always brought wine with me when visiting in the past, but this weekend I went out to the Village Bottle Shop on Sagamore Parkway in West Lafayette. I went to Purdue, and so I never made it up this way for liquore purchases, preferring to stop in at the Village Bottle Shop on campus, or occasionally make the trek out to Bar Berry. When I walked in the door I was pleasantly surprised to find a fantastic selection of wines. I remember wondering while taking wine appreciation at Purdue "where does our professor buy his wines". Had I asked, I'm sure he would have said Village Bottle Shop. Its packed full of great wines. Prices were fair, selection was vast, and well curated, and the staff knew their way around it. If you happen to be down in Lafayette for any reason. Maybe you are headed south to watch your Wildcats get trounced by my Boilermakers, then be sure to stop in. The beer selection wasn't half bad either.