Spirits Unlimited is the one stop shop for all of your beer, wine and liquor needs in Monmouth and Ocean County New Jersey. With the help of our knowledgeable staff, we would like to share with you the latest news in wine, beer & liquor, recipes, food pairings and more. Check here for the latest in-store and local events, growler tap updates and anything else Spirits related!
This weeks post will be a collection of “odds & ends” – things I want to mention but there’s not enough to write an entire story about.
From the interesting new wine department…
1) Hey Mambo Sultry Red -a very interesting blend of red grape varietals (Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zin and Malbec) that was so impressive when I ordered a glass to go with a pizza that I immediately sent an e-mail Continue reading
It’s a well known fact that a large majority of you are attracted to lists. Top Ten Lists (as made famous on Late Night with David Letterman), command your attention and provoke thought. After all, if I were to suggest that we create a Top Ten List of movies that adult beverages played a key role – what’s the first movie that pops into your head? Continue reading
I had to pick up a couple of bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon last night to bring to a friend who was grilling up some steaks for dinner. I’m in Florida so I went to one of my “go to” wine merchants to browse their selections.
I admit, this is something I do quite regularly, but this time I realized something about myself as I was shopping. It seems I become very critical of my own purchasing decisions when I see wines on the shelves at other stores that I’ve already sold out of in New Jersey. I second guess my inability to keep great vintages of good, popular wines in inventory for “a long time”.
They say hindsight is 20/20 and my vision couldn’t be any clearer than it was right then in that Cab aisle. I feel guilty when I discover a great wine and talk it up to my customers to only see it sell out quickly. The guilt of “why didn’t I buy more” doesn’t keep me up at night, but it sure gets me thinking. Continue reading
When I fly, I write. There is something about the adventure of travel that brings out the best in my creativity. I’m on my way to Florida as I write this and I’m sure that I’ll be able to email many blog posts to my “editor” for uploading onto our website during this trip. Truth is, I’d do it myself, but I am a complete idiot when it comes to technology and computers. I’ve been told that I’m gonna have to learn all this stuff and do it myself EVENTUALLY. So, the more I write and submit while on this “working vacation” the easier to delay the dreaded eventuality of teaching this old dog a new trick. (wasn’t sure eventuality was even a word, but it showed up on my auto-correct on the iPad, so I’m going with it).
One of the best parts of being in the beverage business is the opportunity to taste and evaluate the products I sell. Now that I’ll be writing about wine, beer and liquor on a regular basis, I expect the floodgates to open and become inundated with new wines to try and if there is anybody that’s up for the challenge – it’s me!
Where to begin? Since we are in the middle of summer, let’s assume you are eating lots of seafood. In that case, I’m gonna talk a little bit about Sauvignon Blanc.
To me, Sauvignon Blanc is an underdog. In a white wine category dominated by Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, it’s easy to overlook Sauvignon Blanc. However, when there are scallops, shrimp, ceviche, and lighter fish dishes in your dinner plans it is a great time to bet underdogs! Sauvignon Blanc generally offers a nice dose of acidity (making it much more food friendly than Pinot Grigio in my mind) and it’s mineral and tropical fruit notes compliment, and more importantly, doesn’t overpower these delicacies of the sea. It’s also a great wine with a summer salad, especially when it’s got some goat cheese or bits of fruit in the bowl.
New to the shelves is the 2010 Avalon Sauvignon Blanc. It offers up many of the textbook Sauvignon Blanc characteristics in a very affordable price range. About $12
Everybody I’ve ever recommended this to has come back to thank me. I’m talking about Honig Sauvignon Blanc. Michael Honig has been making this wine in the heart of Napa Valley’s “Cabernet Country” for seemingly as long as I’ve been in the business. It’s like a farmers market in a bottle – grapefruit and citrus aromas, subtle melon, mango and pineapple flavors in the glass and a crisp, clean mineral finish. About $16 a bottle.
Last, but not least is Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc. Fume Blanc is another word for Sauvignon Blanc and was first coined to give this wine a little (well deserved) prestige. This one deserves it! F-C is from Sonoma County, California and, according to Wine & Spirits magazine, is the number one wine by the glass poured in restaurants (results of their restaurant owners poll). Quite a few local eateries do have this available, but we’d prefer it if you bought retail (about $16) and enjoyed it at home, by the pool or bring it to your favorite BYOB restaurant.
Welcome to the first blog posting of Donny’s Cork & Fork Report.
This will be my outlet to share stories about wine and food and the places I go to “do research” and the people that cross my path while doing it. Make no mistake about it – I consider this to be my dream job!
Honestly, my job description is so varied, I’d need a business card the size of a sheet of plywood for all the job titles I have at the moment. After 28 years as a wine merchant (sounds fancier than “liquor store owner”), I am enjoying myself more than ever. When I joined Spirits Unlimited, I gained two great bosses, wonderful colleagues, and a job description that changes almost hourly. Bottom line – I’m having fun and never know what’s next!
The name of the blog is a twist on an attempt years ago to bring together a group of wine enthusiast customers and some “foodies” I knew. That group, The Cork & Fork Society, had a lot of fun together – eating and drinking and enjoying each others company. Now I’m looking to take that synergy to the Internet. With Donny’s Cork & Fork Report, I’ll be writing about wine and food, restaurants, beer, travel, and lifestyle topics related to those things. I’ve got some good stuff “in the hopper” and ready to post.
I welcome your feedback and hope you’ll tell your friends about this. If you like what you read here, please like me on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/spiritsunlimited) and follow me on twitter (www.twitter.com/spiritsnj), or send me an email (Donny@spiritsmail.com).
In vino veritas~
P.S. – it’s Latin for “in wine there is truth”