Even though we took wine with us, my Bride wanted to stop and get some more wine, while we were down there. I guess it is the Big Sister Syndrome and she felt that it was the least we could do, as we were part of the team depleting their “go-to” wine at the house. We were making a side trip to Total Wine & More, where we knew that that went to get their “house” wine. Total Wine & More was founded in 1991 by two brothers and it is still a family owned business with over seven-thousand employees and headquartered in Potomac, Maryland; and if there is need for good wine, it would be near our nation’s capital, where everyone has a reason to drink. They operate two-hundred-five superstores with an average of eight-thousand wines, three-thousand spirits and twenty-five-hundred beers, plus a few munchies. We have been to a couple of their stores, one in Louisville and one in Las Vegas during our travels, and they are just opening up their first store in Michigan, but on the west side of the state.
As soon as we walked in to the store, they were offering tastes of a specialty liquor, of which I passed on, but my Bride is much more open to trying new items, if they had been offering a taste of wine, I might have stopped. I also understand that the stores offer classes and wine tastings, but we actually were there for some quick shopping. My Bride tried a sample of Jameson “Cold Brew” and got excited about what she tasted and immediately thought of Irish Coffee for the wee evening hours. Jameson is the largest seller of blended Irish whiskey in the world and the third-largest single-distillery whiskey produced in any country. The company began in 1780 as the Bow Street Distillery in Dublin and initially managed by Scot John Jameson for the Stein family and relations to the Haig family of Scotch fame. The Jameson family took over by 1805 and at their peak, the distillery covered five acres and over three-hundred employees. The company has merged and changed hands with ups and downs of the last century, like two World Wars and Prohibition in the States and since 1988 they have been owned by Pernod Ricard. Jameson “Cold Brew” is the blending of the smooth taste of triple distilled Jameson and the richness of natural cold brew coffee flavor in one bottle. The coffee flavor is made with Arabica beans from Brazil and Colombia, with no added sugar, and they recommend it best served chilled, or over ice, but as I said my Bride will try it in her Irish Coffee.
We were there to get Bonterra Organic Vineyards Chardonnay, California 2018, as quite a supply of it was evaporating while we were in town. At Bonterra, they grow wine organically and sustainably, they plant native flowers to attract insects, chickens and songbirds to eat pests, and they even have sheep to “mow” between the vines. For this wine they ferment seventy percent of the juice in a combination of French and American Oak, and the remaining thirty percent is done in Stainless Steel. Then the juice is blended and aged in neutral oak, with just fifteen percent being new to add a bit of the classic vanilla notes to the citrus notes. A very easy nose of lemons, honey and almonds, with a nice tart taste and finish with some lemon zest at the end. Just a very easy drinking wine, that belies the price.
We almost got out with just the Bonterra and a bottle of the Jameson, when I just asked if they might have a couple of bottles of Aligoté, after all, nothing ventured, nothing gained. They had a few bottles of Cave de Genouilly Bourgogne Aligoté 2018 and we were happy to take those as well. The Cave Des Vignerons de Genouilly was founded in 1932 as a co-operative of family growers in the Cote Chalonnaise region of Southern Burgundy. Today it includes ninety growers with one-hundred-eighty acres based around Genouilly, Fley, Bissy-sur-Fley, Saint-Martin-du-Tatre and Saint-Clement-sur-Guye. Bourgogne Aligoté is an appellation in Burgundy for white wines made from the Aligoté grape and the appellation was awarded in 1937. The grape has been in Burgundy since the 17th Century, but only represent about six percent of the vineyards there, but is grown in about three hundred parishes in Burgundy, basically for the vignerons themselves. The wines are generally made in Stainless Steel to allow the freshness and the crispness of the grape, if anything, some people are surprised at the high acidity and the resulting tartness that can occur, but that is part of the charm that I just recently discovered about this grape. It was a very successful shopping trip, and sometimes it feels like we return from trips with more, than we started with.