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GR Now: Summer Wine Frappe Recipes

Summer is meant for frozen spiked beverages, right?

Ok – Summer does include other things but they are all much more enjoyable with a beverage of the alcohol variety.

Sweeten up your summer by trying our unique, thirst quenching, wine frappe recipes (Hint: Frappe means “slushie” in Italian).

Even if you are not a wine drinker, you need to try Russo’s has a wine frappe recipe. All recipes call for minimal ingredients, yet pack loads of freshness (and fruitness) making these recipes perfect for West Michigan’s fleeting summer.

Strawberry Frose Frappe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of dry Rose (Russo Recommendation: Domaine Lafage Miraflors Rose)
  • 2 cups of frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • Ice

Instructions:

*Blend all ingredients together. This will allow the ingredients to form a thicker consistency, similar to a frappe or slushie. Garnish the beverage with a mint leaf. Serve.

 

Peach Pinot Grigio Frappe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bottle of Pinot Grigio (Russo Recommendation: Benvolio Pinot Grigio)
  • 2 cups of frozen peaches
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Ice

Instructions:

*Blend all ingredients together. This will allow the ingredients to form a thicker consistency, similar to a frappe or slushie. Garnish the beverage with fresh strawberries. Serve.

 

Raspberry Cabernet Frappe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle Cabernet Sauvignon (Russo Recommendation: Fourteen Hands Cabernet)
  • 2 cups of raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Ice

Instructions:

*Blend all ingredients together. This will allow the ingredients to form a thicker consistency, similar to a frappe or slushie. Garnish the beverage with fresh raspberries. Serve.

To view one of the largest wine selections in West Michigan visit our location at 2770 29th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512. Don’t want to leave the house? Don’t worry. We also offers wine delivery (Yes, wine can be delivered right to your doorstep). For more information on wine delivery services, call (616) 942-2980.

*If the mixture is too thick, add a splash more liquid. If it’s too thin, add a few ice cubes.

This article was originally featured on GRNow.com. To view this article in its original state, click here.

 

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A Twist on Caprese Salad

The summer heat calls for light meal options. Try out our delicious and unique caprese salad recipes for your next meal-in, or gathering with family and friends! These dishes can be made in a matter of minutes, and are sure to be a fan favorite: 

(Hint: All of these ingredients can be found in our store, too!)

The traditional Caprese Salad:

  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella
  • Cracked pepper
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Add either: Fresh basil, truffle salt and extra virgin olive oil -or- Villa Russo homemade pesto, drizzled onto salad
  • Serve with French Bread, sliced or crostini

 

Caprese di Frutta:

  • Peaches, sliced
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella pearls
  • Cracked pepper
  • BLiS Tahitian Vanilla Infused Fleur de Sel sea salt
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Fresh basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil

 

Spiedini Caprese:

  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh mozzarella pearls
  • Fresh basil
  • Truffle salt, lightly sprinkled
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Skewers
  • Optional: Villa Russo homemade wine & cheese sausage

 

Pasta Caprese:

  • Farfalle pasta
  • Portobello mushrooms, sautéed in Riesling or Pinot Grigio, olive oil and onions
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella
  • Cracked pepper
  • Acetum blaze glaze
  • Add either: Fresh basil, truffle salt and extra virgin olive oil -or- Villa Russo homemade pesto, drizzled onto salad

Cooking Instructions:

  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
  • Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  • In a food processor combine the first 6 ingredients and process until smooth. This is the pesto sauce. 
  • Combine the cooked pasta with the pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella. Serve chilled.

 

Caprese Pizza:

  • Villa Russo traditional pizza dough
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Burrata or fresh mozzarella
  • Cracked pepper
  • Acetum blaze glaze, drizzled
  • Roasted garlic cloves
  • Add either: Fresh basil, truffle salt and light extra virgin olive oil -or- Villa Russo homemade pesto, drizzled or used as base sauce

Our expert wino, Dave Russo, also recommends pairing these fresh salads with a glass of (2015) Stefano Massone Massera, Gavi, wine. Russo says, “This is a gorgeous, textured white; laced with perfumed apricots, peaches, mint and flowers. This soft, caressing Gavi shows wonderful finesse in a soft, generous style that has a nice mineral-like finish.”

For more delicious food and drink recipes, visit our blog page. For updates on our expansion to downtown Grand Rapids, visit: russosgr.com/downtown.

 

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*Grocery and Restaurant To Open This Summer In Downtown Grand Rapids

It’s official: This summer we will be expanding to a 4,500-square-foot second store location, located at 241 W. Fulton St. Our second location will feature catering, grocery, delivery, curbside pick-up and a 60-seat indoor and a 40-seat outdoor restaurant. For 112 years our family has been committed to the Grand Rapids community by offering one of the largest selections of wine, gourmet food, craft beer, liquor, kitchenware, homemade Italian entrees and more. We also plan on hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony and community celebration once construction is finished! 

“Since opening in 1905, my grandfather made it his mission to serve the Grand Rapids community. Our first location was on Division in what was known as ‘Little Italy.’ When we needed more room, we opened up on 29th Street. We always knew we would return to our roots and this second location will allow us to serve the downtown community as we once did 112 years ago.”

-Phil Russo, President, Russo’s International Market

For the past two years, Grand Rapids has been recognized as one of the top metropolitan areas in the country for economic development. According to Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., 183 residential units were added to the downtown Grand Rapids area in 2015, with an additional 1,437 proposed units to be developed shortly after. With the addition of the proposed units, downtown Grand Rapids would house 5,201 residential units. Downtown Grand Rapids’ goal is to reach 10,000 residential units within the downtown area by 2025.

With the growing number of downtown residents, the need for retail options within the downtown area is evident. Because of this growing need, we will offer much-needed grocery and deli items, fresh produce, wine and beer, pre-made meals and more at our Fulton Street location. The store will also be open later to better serve customers – something that is also a current issue within the downtown area.

“The Grand Rapids community has been so devoted to our family-business throughout the years, and our goal is to continue to serve the community to the best of our ability. We realized the lack of offerings for downtown residents, and this gave us the opportunity to return to downtown Grand Rapids and serve the growing residential population.”

-Phil Russo

We are proudly run by the 3rd and 4th generation Russo family members. In addition to a second store expansion, our store(s) offer the following services:

  • Catering for events, business meetings and more
  • Custom corporate gifts
  • Alcohol delivery
  • Grocery delivery
  • European deli
  • A large selection of Michigan and Grand Rapids products
  • Extensive selection of wine and beer
  • In-store educational events
  • Private label Russo’s brand products
  • **Dine-in eating options
  • **To-go menu items
  • **Curbside pickup
  • **Coffee, espresso and cappuccino bar
  • **Gelato bar
  • **Fresh produce

**only offered at Fulton Street location

The Fulton Street location is in addition to the our existing 18,000 sq. ft. location on 29th Street, which was purchased in 1976, and expanded in 2008. The 29th Street location will continue to offer its 45-foot deli case, with over 300 meats and cheeses from around the world, olives, fresh baked breads, oils, pastas with Russo’s sauces, our own homemade Villa Russo frozen entrees, a vast selection of craft beers and liquor, thousands of wines, kitchenware and more.

The expansion comes nearly two months after a rebrand to commemorate our historic 112 years in Grand Rapids. For more information on the opening of our second location, visit: russosgr.com/downtown, and follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter.

Show this at our 29th Street store and receive 10% off Russo’s homemade frozen entrees and pizzas – try our brand!

*Pending project approvals. Once finalized and renderings complete, expect follow-up with further details.

 

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Have you seen us in the news?

It’s been an exciting couple of months for Russo’s International Market! Since launching our rebrand last month, we’ve received great feedback from the Grand Rapids community. In addition to this, we’ve had numerous engagement opportunities with local media (and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon).

Just in case you’ve missed us, here’s a recap of our recent earned media:

WZZM13 – My West Michigan
Thirsty Thursday

Our store offers the largest selection of wine in West Michigan, and therefore consider ourselves professional winos (We’re not ashamed). Watch Eric Russo explain the importance of wine pairings to WZZM’s Jennifer Pascua.

WZZM13 – My West Michigan
Pizza Time!

Who doesn’t love pizza? Nate Follette dishes on how to master the art of making homemade pizza. If this doesn’t savor your taste buds, we’re not sure what will.

WOOD Radio

Talk of the Town

Are you an avid Russo’s International Market shopper? Listen to Nate discuss all things Russo-related with WOOD Radio.

GRNow

Wine & Pairings, Part One

Ben from OGO Initiative breaks down the importance of wine pairings, specifically wine and pasta pairings — Two of our favorite things. Delicioso!
For more information on our expansive product offerings, visit: gbrusso.com/products.

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Spring Drinks to Enjoy Outdoors

Spring is finally here! With the change in season, it’s the perfect time to change your choice of beverage too. Whether you prefer wine, spirits or beer, we’ve chosen our favorite spring drinks to enjoy at your next night out, family gathering or cozy night at home.

Here are our top picks:

White Wine Spritzer: Made with True Myth Chardonnay & Fever Tree Club Soda

True Myth Chardonnay is a classic-style Chardonnay crafted within the Paragon Vineyard in the historic Edna Valley, CA. Known for its aromas of pear, white peach, pineapple and wet stone, along with its tropical fruit flavors and mineral undertones, True Myth Chardonnay will pair perfectly with your favorite club soda (our favorite is Fever Tree Club Soda.) Be prepared for an ultra-refreshing beverage that will quench your thirst on even the hottest of days.

 

West Michigan-made spirit: Made with Gray Skies Utility Vodka, Fever Tree Ginger Beer, & Musette Sparkling Lemonade

If you’re looking for a sweet and satisfying beverage, we recommend this West Michigan-made spirit. Distilled from one of our favorite local distilleries, the Gray Skies Utility Vodka is smooth and versatile, unlike most vodkas on the market. The smoothness of this spirit allows for a “clean” feel that pairs perfectly with your favorite ginger beer and sparkling lemonade.

 

Rosé: Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé, Domaine De La Fouquette Rosé

We can’t pick a favorite between the Domaine Lafage Miraflors Rosé and the Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé! The Domaine Lafage Miraflors is a French Rosé that tastes as good as it looks. It is a soft, dry Rosé, with hints of cranberry and strawberry.  Our second pick, the Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé is handcrafted in the Pfalz region, the “Tuscany of Germany,” allowing this Rosé to have a unique and bold taste. With light and refreshing tastes, blended with bright berry and fruit flavors, this Rosé will certainly come as a (pleasant) surprise. 

 

Roak Blow Your Face Out Double IPA

For the IPA lovers, the ROAK  Blow Your Face Out Double IPA is crafted in Royal Oak, Michigan. This beer has a whopping 10.10% alcohol by volume (hence, the ‘Blow Your Face Out’ name) and is known for its malty, hop flavors. This makes the perfect summer drink for any Michigan beer connoisseur.

 

Aperol + Prosecco

 

Known as the Aperol Spritz and “Italy’s Favorite Cocktail,” this wine-based cocktail is pleasantly citrusy and slightly bitter. To avoid bitterness, try adding club soda to the mix as well. Otherwise, we recommend mixing half Aperol and half Prosecco to create this deliciously bubbly drink.

 

Oberon

A Michigan-staple brewed by Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Oberon is a wheat ale blended with spicy hop and fruity flavors. Although Oberon is only made with four flavors, do not underestimate this beer’s distinct and thirst-quenching taste. Bell’s Brewery quotes, “Oberon is the color and scent of a sunny afternoon.” We recommend pairing Oberon with an orange pieces for an even greater refreshing taste.

 

Blood Orange Cider

You can’t compare apples to oranges, which is why we had to include a cinder in our list of spring drinks. Handcrafted on a fifth-generation family farm located in Hudsonville, Michigan, Farmhaus Cider Co. blends local ingredients to create a cider you’ll love. Farmhaus’ Blood Orange Cider is a crisp, tart, delicious drink ideal for a day spent outdoors, lounging on the deck with family and friends.

All of these beverages can be found in Russo’s International Market. To view the largest selection of wine in West Michigan, in addition to our plentiful spirits and beer options, visit the store from Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

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Wine and Sauce Pairings

The age old question, “What do I pair with ….”

And if there is anything in the wine world that has been overwritten about, it is experts telling you what food to pair with what wine. So we too, decided to put pairings to the test. We gathered eight people to taste six different pasta sauces with nine different wines. We’ll share the highlights, draw some conclusions and make some suggestions for your next meal: 

First, sparkling wine is versatile.

Ours was a Prosecco from Northern Italy. It had the most positive pairings, except for the Mushroom Alfredo. The Albarino, a light bodied, zesty white had the fewest negative pairings. Only the Pesto dish scored poorly. The heavier style of our Russian River Valley Chardonnay paired wonderfully with the Mushroom Alfredo and Bolognese sauce, but fell flat with all the other dishes. The aromatic, slightly sweet white, a Kabinett Riesling from the Mosel River Valley in Germany, scored highest on the two spicier dishes, the Thai Curry and the Bolognese. 

The Rose we chose, from the Savoie region in Eastern France, was probably the hardest to pair with the six sauces, striking out often, but not the Puttanesca sauce with its briny, olive and caper infused flavors. The light bodied Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon brought out the best of the Mushroom Alfredo and Puttanesca dishes, but the higher acid made it struggle with the Curry, Pesto and Pomodoro sauces. 

Secondly, the medium-bodied.

Of the two medium-bodied reds we tried, the Merlot based Bordeaux Blend from France stood out as the best pairing with the Pomodoro sauce, offering nice, juicy flavors that complemented the bright tomatoes. It had enough body to match the weight and richness of the Alfredo and Bolognese sauces, but, like most of the reds, the tannins and alcohol were too overpowering for the Pesto and Curry. The other medium red, a Sangiovese from the Chianti Rufina region of Tuscany, Italy, was the ideal partner for the two richest dishes, the Mushroom Alfredo and Bolognese, with its acid, spice and tannins. 

And finally, full-bodied.

The final red wine was a full-bodied Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from California. It paired well with the meaty Bolognese sauce, but, in the biggest surprise of the tasting, it also paired beautifully with the Pesto sauce as well! Besides the Curry, which the group universally declared was not meant to be eaten with any red wine, the Cabernet performed “ok” with its other dance partners. 

What kind of conclusions can we draw from this? 

The stronger the flavor of the food, the harder the pairing. The Pesto and Curry, with their intensely focused herb and spice presented issues with all but a couple wines. The bright, acidic Pomodoro tomato sauce didn’t produce as many bad pairings, but had few winners as well. 

Lower acid wines need low acid foods. Every time we paired the oaked Chardonnay with food that didn’t have enough fat to balance the acid in the dish, the wine came out tasting flabby. 

The higher the spice, the lower the tannin and alcohol should be in the wine. Wines with a lower alcohol level and a little residual sugar (Riesling, Prosecco & Albarino) paired best. 

So, what are our suggestions?

If you’re picking both food and wine:

  1. Start by matching the “weight” of the wine and food. Big Food=Big Wine. Chardonnays, Cabernets & Syrah are bigger varieties. 
  2. Make sure the acid in the wine is at least equal or greater to the acid in the dish. A good rule of thumb is that if you would squeeze a lemon on the dish, serve a bright, white wine. 
  3. Finally, the greater the spice of the food, the higher the sweetness and lower the alcohol and tannins should be in the wine. Think Chenin Blanc, Riesling & Gewurztraminer. 

If you’re charged with bringing wine to a dinner and don’t know what is being served:

  1. Leave the big, high alcohol and overtly oaked wines at home. Remember rule number two above: pick a wine that has an acid that is equal to or higher than the food. 
  2. In red wine, light to medium body wines that have red fruit flavor profiles work well. In white wine, light bodied wines like Albarino, several Italian whites, Chenin Blanc, dry Rieslings from Alsace, France, or Chablis-style Chardonnays that have little or no oak. 
  3. Don’t forget about Sparkling! Our group found these to be incredibly flexible wines that paired well with most food. 

If you’re cooking a meal and guests are bringing a mystery wine:

  1. Keep the spice at a minimum and make sure there is enough richness to balance whatever acid the dish has. This will minimize the chance of creating a difficulty pairing. 
  2. To reduce any awkwardness, have a backup wine ready and ask your guests when they arrive, “Would you like to open this tonight or was this meant for another day?” 
  3. If the gift is meant for tonight and you are certain the wine will be an awful pairing with the meal, suggest that we enjoy the wine before or after the meal, and have a different beverage during the meal. 

Whatever pasta you find in front of you, and whatever wine you are served, remember that at the end of the meal, it isn’t really what’s in front of you that matters; it’s who you find across from you. So, enjoy, make it meaningful, and make it memorable!

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Tips for a Great Red Sauce

The foundation of any delicious, homemade red sauce is easy: quality ingredients. Whether you’re picking items fresh-from-the-garden, or purchasing in-store, quality ingredients will ensure mouth-watering red sauce that will highlight any pasta dish (homemade or store-bought)!

 

Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are you best bet. We may be bias, but we love heirloom tomatoes because they’re a variety that has been passed down, generation to generation. Roma tomatoes, also known as plum tomatoes, are small in size but mighty in flavor. Grab a can of Cento San Marzano tomatoes – another variety of plum tomatoes, with the convenience of being peeled and chopped. These tomatoes are from the San Mrazano region of Italy, grown in volcanic soil from Mount Vesuvius, giving these tomatoes a unique flavor.

Russo family tip: when using canned tomatoes, drain the tomatoes out of the juice before adding into your sauce.

 

Herbs

If you’re using dried herbs, add them in early in the process to really pick up on the flavors in your sauce. We have a full-range of dried herbs for you to choose from, so you can stick with your traditional flavors or take a walk on the wild side with some new and exciting flavors! If you choose to use fresh herbs, they should be added in towards the final minutes of cooking. Because of their subtle flavors compared to dried herbs, you’ll risk losing the flavor of fresh herbs if they’re added in too early.

Russo family tip: add in basil after the sauce has cooked and has been taken off the flame.

 

Wine

While you’re picking up a bottle of wine to enjoy with your homemade pasta sauce, use some to cook with. Better yet, pick up a separate bottle! The type of wine you pick up can depend on the type of sauce you’re making and the foods that are being paired with it, but the most important factor is what makes your taste buds dance! Visit our wine section to get advice for our experienced wine department.

Russo family tip: If you choose a Chianti, you may see two kinds available – Chianti, and Chianti Classico. A Chianti Classico is produced from grapes that are harvested in what are considered the best vineyards in the region. But, we don’t play favorites!

If you’d like to use a less expensive, but flavorful wine, try Tavernello Vino Rosso in your pasta sauce!

 

At the end of the day, you have one rule: enjoy yourself! A red sauce can take time and practice, so turn on your favorite album, pour yourself a glass of wine (or two), and have fun! 

 

Sources:

https://www.tomatofest.com/what-is-heirloom-tomato.html

http://www.cento.com/sanmarzano/sanmarzano.html

http://vinepair.com/wine-101/chianti-italian-wine/

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Straight from the Russo’s: Our favorite dessert wines

Valentine’s Day falls on February 14 every year, but sharing and enjoying a delicious bottle of wine can – and should – happen all year round. We carry lots of options to keep things sweet for dessert or anytime you’re craving something different than your ordinary go-to wine varieties. Below are some of our favorite picks for wines to accompany dessert at the end of a meal. Or, just let the bottle be dessert!

 

RED

Pedro Ximenez 1983 Gran Reserva Bodegas T Albala

Stored in oak barrels, this red wine is aged to perfection. The vintage has a rich mahogany color which plays well with the flavors of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and smoke. A dense red, you’re left with notes of spice and caramel that linger, leaving you with a sweet bite in the after-taste.

 

Six Grapes Graham’s Reserve Porto

Fruit with chocolate is a dessert that will never go out of style. This wine will pair perfectly with an aroma of fruits including plums and cherries mixed with chocolate notes. It’s full-bodied and complex but leaves a satiny, long finish on your palette. If stored in a cool, dark place the wine should stay fresh up to two months, giving you more time to enjoy!

 

Trentadue Chocolate Amore red dessert wine

This is decadence at its best. Produced from Merlot grapes, neutral grape spirits are added to stop fermentation. This act blocks a percentage of sugar in the wine from escaping. When the wine is finished aging, a small amount of natural chocolate extract is infused. The chocolate flavor is exceptional with a simple vanilla bean ice cream.

 

WHITE

Hores de Climens Barsac 2010 grand vin de sauternes

If you love desserts with a hint of honey, don’t pass up this wine. The palate is layered with honeysuckle, apricots, and grape. A French Bordeaux wine with great maturity, you’ll love the delicate but strong nature of this vintage.

 

Petit Guiraud 2011 Sauternes

Peach cobblers and pies are great all year round but especially when they are in season. Get a head start on testing your peach wine pairing with this wine. A forward and open taste that combines the flavors white peach, apricots, toasted almonds, and piecrust, you’ll notice a slight hint of freshness and sweetness. The finish is creamy, with the slightest trace of ginger to add a little zing to your taste buds.

 

Chateau La Tour Blanche 2010 sauternes

Take a trip somewhere warm and exotic without leaving the comfort of your home with this sauternes wine. Enjoy aromas of kiwi, apricots, and minerals work surprisingly well with a smoky palate that includes orange marmalade, ripe citrus, and saffron. Even if it’s cold outside, let your mind drift to a sunny beach.

 

ICE

Ice wines are dessert wines are made by freezing the grapes while they’re still on the vine. The sugars don’t freeze but the water does, creating a more concentrated grape that makes for a very sweet wine.

 

Frost Bitten Ice Riesling

Cookie fanatics will love this wine. Combining the flavors of vanilla and butter cookies, you’ll feel indulgent without a high price tag. You’ll also note honey and peach tea that softly settle on your tongue as a gentle reminder of this smooth wine.

 

Black Star Farms Sirius Cherry Dessert Wine

Nothing screams ‘Michigan’ like a cherry dessert wine from a Traverse City winery! Black sweet cherries strengthened with Black Star Farms cherry brandy and sweetened with a tart cherry juice. Barrel-aged for nine months to get a slight toasted oak mixed with the warmth of brandy. The ultimate wine for cherry lovers!

 

Chateau Chantal Ice

Incredibly sweet and delicate like a traditional Riesling wine, but provides a balanced of flavors of apricot, toasted caramel, and baked apple to delight the palate. For political junkies, this wine was served at the 2016 White House Canadian State Dinner for the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau!

Source: Detroit Free Press

 

42 Ice Wine – Sweet White Wine made with frozen grapes from Michigan’s 42nd parallel

This sweet wine is made from grapes frozen at Michigan’s 42nd parallel. A wine that is best enjoyed by sipping, you’ll pull flavor notes of peaches, mango, apricots, honey, and raisins with the slightest hint of violets. The sweetness of the fruit marries nicely with the sweetness of the ice wine without being overpowering.

 

Bowers Harbor Vineyard Ice Cider

Think outside the box with this sweet ice cider. Using the same technique as traditional ice wines, frozen apples are pressed to create this sweet treat. This sweet and slightly tangy ice cider is made with Michigan apples, and best paired with any apple-based dessert. The perfect gift for an out-of-town guest or to keep all for yourself!

 

SPARKLING SPIRITS

Rosa Regale Banfi Sparkling Red

The luscious scent of rose petals meets the delicate flavors of raspberries and strawberries. This sparking red is a great alternative to champagne, there are less bubbles to tickle your nose but you still get to enjoy some bubbles for a special occasion or a special treat on an ordinary day.

 

Codorniu Anna Blanc de Blancs

Enjoy the tastes of apple pie without using up your manpower on homemade dough. You’ll quickly find a nutty personality that goes well with the flavor of apple. Top it off with a finish of clove and nutmeg. This is a dry drink but if soft and smooth, due to its composition being 70% Chardonnay.

 

Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava Seleccion

Sparkling wine with a clean palate of ripe pear, apple, and citrus that flow into a long, smooth finish. You’ll notice a touch of ginger in its finish to bring a little more excitement to the experience. It’s extremely versatile and can be easily paired with any dessert.

 

J.P. Chenet Ice Edition

Small, delicate bubbles fill your glass of this lovely drink. Your nose will fill with the scent of white flowers, citrus, and tropical fruits. An energetic palate with classically smooth creamy makes a refreshing delight that’s ideal for summertime, or anytime!

 

VIN SANTO

Belcaro Vin Santo Del Chianti Classico 2008

This Belcar Vin Santo has an amber color that will make your mouth water and warm your heart. Delicate notes of honey dance with a hint of almond, tied together by the slightest touch of spice. Perfect with a carefully cultivated cheese board with a mixture of nuts, fruits, and cheeses.

 

A.D. MDX Vin Santo Lanciola 2008

Luxuriously gold in color, complex notes of dried apricots blend with acacia honey and orange peel. A bouquet of yellow flowers enhances this dessert wine. Sit back and relax while you enjoy the aftertaste of candied fruit.

 

Fattoria Il Lago

Deeply intense in color with a dark yellow base and amber undertones, the aromas are equally intense with honey and dried fruits. Somehow this dessert wine is both complex and delicate at the same time. The finish is nutty and has a long-lasting taste. Best served slightly chilled.

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Soups and Pairings

Beef Chili

Soup is great for the winter, but beef chili is good all year round. We don’t want our spoon to stick straight up in the bowl, so our chili has the perfect ratio of meat, vegetables, and broth. Shave some aged cheddar cheese over the top and have it melt into the chili. We suggest using a Microplane rasp grater – it’s another great use beyond zesting fruits

 

Broccoli Cheese

Some soup fans prefer this soup to be as thick and cheesy as possible. We make our broccoli cheese soup with Welsh cheddar cheese. Sprinkle in some coarse black pepper and shred EVEN MORE CHEESE onto the top of the bowl. Make this crowd-pleaser for the kids and pair it with Dankalicious India Pale Ale for the adults.

 

French Onion

Just because this soup has simple ingredients doesn’t mean you should cast this soup to the side. Beef broth and carmelized onions work harmoniously in this soup. Traditionally this soup is served after baking or broiling a topping of croutons and a semi-hard cheese, like gruyere. To really get the flavors to compliment each other, shave some cave aged gruyere over the top to get the perfect combination with each spoonful. You can probably tell we love French Onion soup – in case you missed last week’s blog, we have the perfect French Onion handled ceramic bowls with a top to warm you up.

 

Hunter’s Soup

Hunter’s soup is similar to a minestrone in its broth. Just add in your favorite vegetables to make this soup hearty. We recommend shaving Italian fontina over a fresh bowl to make the soup pop. We almost always recommend adding cheese whenever possible! It’s exactly what your outdoor enthusiast will crave when they’re de-thawing by the fire or straight out of the thermos in the middle of a picturesque outdoor scene.

 

Don’t forget the wine!

No matter what soup you make, 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel (2014) from California is exactly what you’ll want to enhance your meal. You’ll notice aromatic red fruit scents, and complex black fruit flavors that combine with white pepper spices. This batch is rounded off with a hint of smokiness, due to the bourbon barrel aging.    

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Top Wines to Ring in the New Year

New Year’s Eve is our last chance to indulge before the resolutions and post-holiday guilt kicks in. Don’t let a bad wine choice ruin your night.

We’re dedicated to helping you make solid wine picks year-round, especially as we get ready to close out 2016. Toast this year’s final moments with the perfect glass, whether it’s a red, white, or bubbly. If you’re not sure which wine to go with, we’ve got you covered. Here are five wines we recommend to ring in 2017.

  1. Route Stock – Route 29, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a crowd-pleaser for any Cabernet Sauvignon lover. Route Stock is a “negotiant” brand, which means it purchases finished wines from existing wineries and puts its label on the bottles. The wine offered at G.B. Russo is from the Stag Leap’s district and has the classic flavor notes of the area. You’ll notice a blackberry taste that is reminiscent of crème di cassis, as well as hints of mushrooms and herbs. Because of their negotiant brand status, the prices have not risen like many other cabernets in Napa Valley, making this wine a great value.

  1. Raeburn, Chardonnay, 2014

For a fancier affair (think ball gowns and penguin suits) the go-to Chardonnay is Rombauer. Looking for something at a lower price point? An excellent alternative is the Raeburn Chardonnay, which is half the price. This is a classic California Chardonnay that has a buttery flavor with white pear, apple and nectarine fruit tones that are complimented by soft vanilla. A toasted-oak finish works with the fruit flavors, leaving an easy finish.

  1. Ayres, Pinot Noir, 2014

This pinot noir comes from Willamette Valley in Oregon, one of the USA’s most popular destinations for non-California wines. Ripe dark cherry and blueberry mingle with baking spice flavors to create this spectacular medium-bodied pinot noir. It’s rich and balanced with a smooth finish. This is an ideal wine for a cold wintery night.

  1. Roederer Estates, Brut

Glitz up your glass with this bubbly treat. World-renowned Champagne producer Louis Roederer has developed California’s first sparkling wine. The addition of oak-aged reserve wines added to each year’s blend makes this brut truly unique. Complex notes of pear, spice and hazelnut enhances the crisp and elegant flavors. Light, fresh and fruity with a great depth of flavor.

  1. La Caña, Sauvignon Blanc

No New Year’s fiesta is complete without La Caña Sauvignon Blanc. A varietal native to Spain, this is truly a hidden gem. You will taste aromas of lime zest and ginger work cohesively with flavors of peach, apple and blanched almond. In this wine, you get the tart Sauvignon Blanc flavors without the grassy undertones. It’s clean and simple, accented by hints of mineral, toast and fresh herbs.

These wines are just five of the thousands we carry at our store. Stop by and pick up one of these recommendations or find your new favorite with help from our knowledgeable staff.