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Minnesota's First Vermouth
By: | Posted: 04/28/2012
This is one of the best times of year to shop for wine, and no doubt you still have some summertime reasons to stock up: parties, weddings, showers, picnics, and impromptu get togethers. The Surdyk’s Summer Wine Sale is in full swing! We hope you’ve laughed at the commercials, perused the catalog, and made your shopping list. Sure, the store is busy, but that’s also part of what makes it fun. Walk down the aisles and you’ll hear someone raving about, say, their favorite Rhône blend and it makes you put one in your cart. We have tasting every day of the sale from 11 am to 6 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays there are more than 50 varieties of top-notch wines to taste.
Even though we are surrounded by wine everyday, everyone on the staff anticipates taking our own turn rolling our cart down the aisle. That should tell you a little something about how good the prices are! I’ve taken the liberty to do a little wine-staff cart snooping for you:
Ask our Wine Consultant Noelle what she is buying and she tells it like it is. She’s in the midst of a serious “Do-the-kids-really-need-to-go-to-college?” Chablis obsession, and during the wine sale prices are low enough for her to stock up (and her sweet daughter can still be a vet.) For something budget friendly, she goes for the Torres Sangre de Toro Red. She tells me to look past the kitschy toy bull! There is some seriously drinkable wine in that bottle. The price makes it easy to have many on hand for a party.
Making the drive from Columbia, Missouri, our former wine consultant Terrence French comes out of retirement like Michael Jordan to work at and shop the wine sale. He’s loading his car up with Calabriga from the Douro in Portugal. He tells me it has a lot of complexity and earthiness, and that this is a great bottle to age. Find it on the back tasting table throughout the sale.
And me? I am still all about effortlessly drinkable and easy to pair with summer-food white wines. I’m having my own moment with the Chateau Haut-Peyruguet Blanc. This is classic Bordeaux blend from Entre-Deux-Mers and one of the staff’s favorite “little” wines. It’s mostly Sauvignon Blanc with enough Semillon to give it some heft and texture. It is medium bodied, well-balanced and has all that typical Sauvignon freshness that, plain and simple, tastes like summer and makes you (and me!) happy. It’s also at the Bordeaux table during the expanded Friday and Saturday tasting. You don’t even have to take my word for it!
Like the cherry on top, this weekend we have a couple of special guest tastings with seriously outstanding lineups! Kevin Lietzau from Vineyard Brands will be here 4 to 7 pm Friday, July 20 with Hamilton Russell and Southern Right wines from South Africa. They are regarded as some of the best in the New World. Pat Kelly is the Regional Manager from the Caymus winery and he will be here pouring the world-famous Wagner family portfolio of wines, including the Caymus Napa Cabernet, Conundrum and the Belle Glos Pinot Noirs all weekend long, 11 am to 6 pm Friday July 20 and Saturday July 21. Those are some tables I’ll be at for sure. So stop in, shop around, and taste through the store. You never know where you’ll find something you love. Happy Wine Sale! - Lindsey Coleman @surdyksliquor
P.S. Speaking of other reasons to stop in, have you been to the Food Cart yet?? The tacos al pastor are to completely to die for. The crunchy cabbage and pineapple slaw on top make me want to squeal with joy. (It takes conscious effort not to sneak out to get a couple more every half hour.) If you’re in the neighborhood for lunch, put it on the must eat list. Follow @surdykscheese for the latest in food cart happenings and taco updates. How nice is it to live in a world with taco updates?
Andrew Zimmern is a columnist for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and the host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.See bio
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