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Category Archives: The Wine Wire
Be honest now…we’ve all done it. Has your sweaty commute got you in a funk? Think you deserve a little treat after a particularly grueling work out? Or maybe it was back in college the last time you indulged in a cold one while scrubbing up for a night of youthful debauchery. Either way, it can’t be denied that relishing the crisp flavor of a good beer in the shower is one of life’s simple pleasures. Who says pairings have to always be food-oriented anyway? So this week we applaud this unlikely hero: The Shower Beer.
According to the good ol’ web I’m not really suggesting anything groundbreaking. But, while most of those enthusiasts pictured throughout the internet are surely either in their glory years or WAY past them, I think there’s something the average Joe/Josephina can learn by slugging some brew while you shampoo. Let’s call it “Re-toxing while Detoxing”. Some of the most harmful contaminants we come in contact with daily aren’t chemical in nature, but psychological. Even the most happy-go-lucky of us will find themselves drained due to life’s BS from time to time. That’s when the Shower Beer remedy is at it’s most effective.
I’m sure there are some very opinionated “experts” out there about the right way to enjoy your Shower Beer, but here are the reasons I chose the Victory “Prima Pils” can.
- Safety first! Why introduce potential dangerous shards of glass into your meditative indulgence? Victory introduced their can packaging for “Prima Pils” this June and, for fans of this deliciously crisp lager (like myself), we couldn’t be happier.
- “Cleansing” is an experience of contrast. Refreshing beers served icy cold, like lagers such as Prima Pils, are my choice for the best Shower Beers. Think of it like a little dish of sorbet after a particularly rich course at a fancy restaurant. Your senses need relief from the bombardment of flavor, no matter how delicious. Similarly, as you enjoy the steamy jets, keep your internal temp in check with a slug of beer from time to time.
- It’s not a baby…don’t nurse it! Not to rush anyone’s good time, but Shower Beers are not for sipping and contemplating. They are a functional creature. So put away your tasting booklet and stop preoccupying yourself with your skincare regimen. Drink that beer until your head is clear!
Sound like a good idea? Great! Come on down and grab a 6er and you’ll be squeaky clean all over, including that exhausted space between your ears. -ZM
Victory Brewing Co. “Prima Pils” Pilsner 12oz Cans- $1.99 per Can/ $11.94 per 6PK
Ah, the joys of fried chicken! Simultaneously crispy & juicy, one bite usually sends me into a “Jaws” like feeding frenzy ending with bare bones & crumpled napkins. What wine works with this favorite finger-licking food? Why not one that’s crispy & juicy in it’s own right!
Just over the border with Spain, nestled among the French foothills of the Pyrenees, is the A.O.C. of Jurancon. Vines of Gros & Petit Manseng dominate the high altitude vineyards, many of them trained on pergolas so that strong dry winds keep the grapes healthy. This is where Clos Guirouilh makes their sensational “La Peirine” cuvee of Jurancon Sec. Elevation, calcium rich soil & exposure to the warm wind called the Foehn allows their grapes to achieve maximum ripeness without sacrificing crisp acidity.
The flavors of the 2013 “La Peirine” flirt with the entire spectrum of tree fruit. From crisp green apples to juicy pears, this Jurancon Sec is like a stroll through a late summer orchard. The rich savory qualities of a good piece of piping hot fried chicken provide the perfect foil for the fresh flavors of the wine. So, what are you waiting for?!? Come on by the shop and pick up a bottle, head to your favorite chicken joint, roll out the picnic blanket & pray for a summer full of such simple pleasures. -ZM
Clos Guirouilh “La Peirine” Jurancon Sec 2013- South West France
The Brovia Family works in Castiglione Falletto, in the heart of Barolo. While famous for their Baroli, we do see, from time to time, this delicate and fresh Freisa.
This not often seen grape is a distant cousin of Nebbiolo, and often made in a frothy, drink-me -in-the-afternoon-before-a-nap kind of style. The Brovias make a more serious style of Freisa, with pretty aromatics and a cut, fresh style that would serve richer foods well. This is the kind of thing you wants around when you are eating a plate of raw beef (as you might) or even a curried chicken salad, which is something not found in Castiglione Falletto, but may be found in your home kitchen.
2012 Brovia Langhe Freisa “La Villerina Secca”-Piemonte, Italy
20 Bottles Available
AMERICAN CABERNET FRANC
2014 Halcyon Cabernet Franc “Velo Vineyard”, Templeton Gap, Paso Robles, CA
Beautiful cool-climate Cab Franc. Nice core of fruit, not at all leafy, just under 13%. 125 cases made on their inaugural vintage.
ONLY 8 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2014 Halcyon Sparkling Rosé of Cabernet Franc “Velo Vineyard”, Templeton Gap, Paso Robles, CA
Méthode Ancestral, pure Cabernet Franc, slightly cloudy, refreshing and delicious. A unique sparkler, only 25 cases produced!
ONLY 5 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2014 Broc Cellars Cabernet Franc “Santa Barbara County”, Berkeley, CA
Whole cluster Cabernet Franc, very fresh style with lovely delicate aromatics from our favorite “low wattage” winery in Berkeley. This is a delicious option for all you Gamay and Pinot Noir lovers.
ONLY 9 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2013 Lieu Dit “Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Franc”, Santa Barbara, CA
A partnership from two wine professionals based around Santa Barbara devoted to only Loire Valley varietals. Their Cab Franc says Loire-style from the outset with a good mix of earth balanced with fruit.
ONLY 9 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2013 Ravines “Finger Lakes Cabernet Franc” Finger Lakes, NY
Top notch Cabernet Franc from one of the foremost Finger Lakes wineries. A cool climate here gives a freshness and acidity that cries for food. A blend of their various vineyards gives a varied minerality and complexity.
ONLY 9 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
If you are suddenly feeling yourself overwhelmed by the rigors of heavy red wine- do not despair. A light, fresh new friend has come on the scene, clear and full of verve. In Bavaria, they roll with the lightest of reds and to make it all extra delicious, Knauss’ come in liters. Trollinger is also called Schaiva when it grows across border in Italy. Fresh starwberries, hints of earth a a tiny floral nuance
2014 Knauss Trollinger- Wüttemberg, Germany
The wine industry is nothing if not in constant flux, and this perpetual fluidity often creates the opportunity for better pricing and reductions in inventory. When things shift from one distributor to another, well, we are able to get some nice deals on things.
Such is the case with these three German Riesling Spätleses, all from terrific producers we have loved in the past. Take a look and see if it might be worth your while to add a few of these to your cellar or wine fridge.
2012 Selbach Oster Riesling Spätlese “Zeltinger Sonnenuhr”-Mosel
A great site with a terroir of blue Devonian slate, very steep and difficult to work. Produces a static and crisp beauty, even at this ripeness level.
24 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2012 Weingut Spreitzer Riesling Spätlese “Jesuitengarten”-Rheingau
One of the warmest sites in the Rheingau, this lovely wine bursts with apricot and citrus, with layers of creamy, honeyed textures.
9 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2009 or 2012 Carl Schmitt-Wagner Riesling Spätlese “Maximin Herrenberg”-Mosel
A site with old, un-grafted vines and a red slate terroir. Intense complexity coupled with mineral and the ripest of peaches.
5 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
4 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
Now that the holidays are over, we are going to start to see many new things arrive in the shop. We do not always have enough room on our Friday Features to talk about all the great stuff that comes through the doors- here a small round-up of some delicious things that arrived just last week.
2013 Domaine Petitot Ladoix Rouge Vieille Vigne-Burgundy, France
We are fans of this small estate in Corgoloin, the village that announces the northern parameter of the Côte de Beaune. Ladoix, which neighbors the great hill of Corton, makes very good, and often underrated red and white wines. We had great success with their Côtes de Nuits Villages last year, and this Ladoix is absolutely lovely.
12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2014 Kershaw Chardonnay “Clonal Selection”-Elgin South Africa
One of Craig’s biggest takeaways from his two weeks in South Africa was how good the Chardonnay is there- and he was especially enamored with this bottling from Richard Kershaw in cool Elgin Valley. A pronounced citric profile is coupled with orchard fruit and a hint of hazelnut.
2014 José Antonio Garcia Bierzo Tinto “Unculin”-Castilla y León, Spain
This exciting new winery in Bierzo is re-defining what it is to drink good Mencia. The Unculin is medium bodied, and sports a lovely, velvety texture all the while retaining fresh flavors. Tannins are present but not obtrusive.
Since the 1800s the Mascarello family has been working great terroirs in La Morra. Monprivato is one of their most prized vineyards, a south-west facing jewel that grows upon the classic silt and marl soils, high in active limestone. Only bottled as a cru in outstanding vintages, it remains as one of Barolo’s best offerings.
***We are accepting pre-orders until Friday, January 29th, 2016. Please note only 12 bottles are available.***
Email your requests to:
2011 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Barolo “Monprivato”
12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
We are excited to offer a new-to-Chicago Beaujolais from one of the region’s rising stars, Julien Sunier. A native to Burgundy, Julien honed his skills in Nuits Saint-Georges and Beaune before spending a few years learning the terroir and crus of Beaujolais as a manager of a larger negotiant. In 2008 he took over old vine parcels in the crus of Régnié, Morgon and Fleurie. Sunier’s wines are unique in their simultaneously delicate and soft spoken elegance, coupled with a distinct structure and seriousness. These are wines that are comfortable being guzzled alongside roast chicken, but will also reward you with a bit of attention and time in your cellar. Herbs de Provence and violet dominate the nose, the palate is fresh with cherry fruit and finishes with a firm minerality. Don’t make the same mistake as Sheb, as a recent correspondence included the dire note, “I have no Gamay here and feel sad.“-Collin
2014 Julian Sunier Fleurie-Beaujolais, France
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey’s reputation conitnues to sky-rocket and so does the demand for his wines. We have a few things to offer from 2013:
2013 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Chassagne-Montrachet ‘Ancégnières’
Les Enseignères lays underneath the Grand Cru of Bâtard-Montrachet on both the Puligny & Chassagne sides. Pierre Yves has taken a more ancient spelling of the vineyard (starting with the letter ‘A’). Given the current pricing and proximity of the vineyard to Bâtard, this certainly may be one of last great deals in Burgundy.
18 BOTTLES AVAILABLE
2013 Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Santenay Rouge ‘Ceps Centenaires’
In the lieux dit of Les Champs Claude, there is a particular section of vines that were planted in 1900, thus the ‘Ceps Centenaires’ (century vines) designation. Pierre Yves owns .3 ha of this old vines parcel. We have not had a Santenay produced at this level of quality before.
10 BOTTLES AVAILABLE