Staff Favorites

By Alison Miner, Beer and Wine Department

The weather is changing and we are transitioning to some nice versatile Portuguese reds this month. Not too heavy, not too light, these wines are great with food or on their own. União Vinho Regional Beiras is a lighter style, fresh and fruity red with smooth tannins and good structure. União reminds us of a young Pinot Noir. Casa Santos Lima Bons Ventos is from the makers of the popular Casa Santos “Lab” that we also feature. Bons Ventos is a delicious Portuguese blend of Castelão, Camarate, Tinta Miúda and Touriga Nacional that is a bit more full bodied. It has spicy, floral, and fruity aromas, lively acidity and fine, fresh tannins. Rich black and red fruits are concentrated and balanced with light oak notes.

By Alison Miner, Beer and Wine Department

Vinho Verdes are young, fresh Portuguese wines that are great warm weather sippers. We enjoy these light, crisp wines so much throughout the summer that we feature them all year long! For summer’s last hurrah we have two new Vinho Verdes that we are featuring this September.

Gateway Vinho Verde has hints of green apple and grapefruit with floral and fresh herb aromas. Bright and lively with a touch of effervescence, Gateway Vinho Verde pairs beautifully with white fish, delicate salad greens, or while savoring a sunset on the porch.

Gateway also has a delightful rosé Vinho Verde. Lively strawberry and red currant flavors are balanced by tangy acidity. Try some strawberries in a salad with Vermont chèvre, or bake a late season berry tart and pair with this refreshing rosé.

Pinot Grigio is known for mild, pleasant, and easy-drinking characteristics. At its best Pinot Grigio is light and balanced and very convenient to pair with a wide variety of foods, especially chicken, fish, or veggie dishes.

Tiziano Pinot Grigio has apple blossom and honeydew melon aromas, leading to juicy pear and apricot flavors, with a touch of honey and vanilla. The finish is dry with a nice hint of spice. Great with spicy fare!

Porta Sole Pinot Grigio is crisp and clean with floral and citrus aromas. The palate is round and fruity with tropical fruit flavors that are balanced by notes of tart green apple. Bright lemon & lime on the finish with stony minerality – a lovely compliment to grilled fish.

We are sipping two exquisite whites this month that make us feel like we are on vacation! Hailing from the Abruzzo region, La Pumia Pecorino is loaded with almond and hazelnut aromas with a touch of white pepper. The flavors are lean, crisp, and citrusy with a zing of ginger.

Evolucio Tokaj is a unique white made from the Furmint grape. The Tokaj region is known for sweet dessert wine, but this Hungarian white is crisp and not a bit too sweet. It is richly aromatic, with apricot, pear and mineral notes, and the flavors of ripe stone fruit and citrus are smooth and round with a dry and fresh finish. Both of these easy drinking whites are aged in stainless steel and are versatile food wines. Pair them with a variety of salads, fruits and cheeses, or with just about anything summery!

Los Nuevo is in fact new! These Spanish wines are prefect for early summer, with fresh, lively BBQ friendly reds and whites. Lo Nuevo “Lunares” Verdejo is aromatic and bright with pineapple, peach and floral aromas. It is subtly creamy and ripe with tropical fruit and fresh herb flavors that are balanced by vibrant acidity. Its lovely mineral qualities compliment grilled fish or grilled veggies, but this fun white is also great on its own. It’s not your typical mild mannered Verdejo!

“Sorbo a Sorbo” Garnacha has aromas and flavors of ripe cherry, raspberry, and currant, with balsamic glazed strawberry and mineral notes that add complexity. This wine is a great example of old world and new world characteristics combined. It is a fresh and accessible wine with lingering, bright fruit on the finish. An elegant summer red at a great price - $9.99!

Barbeque season is here! Spanish wines are our go-to barbeque wines and we will have plenty of BBQ friendly wines throughout the summer. Spain’s fruity, spicy reds are great with local burgers and grilled veggies and Spain’s mild and crisp whites are very refreshing on a warm day. In May we are featuring wines from our friends at Olé Imports – Ludovicus Red & Zestos White.

Ludovicus is a Garnacha/Tempranillo blend with additions of Cariñena (Carignan,) Syrah, and a touch of Merlot. Ripe and juicy with big fruit flavors, Ludovicus is a bold red wine that is great with red meat or pork and is also smooth and tasty on its own as you wait for the coals to fire up! Blueberry and blackberry aromas and flavors are warm and expressive. At $8.99 Ludovicus drinks like a wine twice its price.

Zestos Blanco is a delightfully fresh summery white with crisp, clean aromas and flavors. Made from 100% Malvar, this grape is widely unknown outside of Madrid. Zestos Blanco uses no oak in production so the light floral aromas and fruit flavors of citrus and lychee are unencumbered and bright. Hints of white pepper and fennel on the finish pair well with grilled fish or asparagus. Feeling adventurous? Try Zestos in white sangria! It’s a steal at $7.99!


This early spring we’re looking to France for some nice “every day” wines that are a little lighter than our “cold weather reds.”

Acclaimed French producer Charles Bieler has produced a new red called Lou Ven Tou. The name is a play on the Cotes du Ventoux region. Subtle aromas of cherries, figs, and Herbs de Provence lead to clean and bright flavors on the palate of black tea, forest, and black cherry. The finish is long with great texture. Absence of oak aging results in a brilliant and well balanced wine.

Chemin des Papes is a delightful Rhone that is a bit more intense. Long lasting dark berry and candied spice aromas and flavors are well structured with smooth yet firm tannins. The Grenache in this traditional blend lends warm, ripe notes. Very food friendly, great with everything from pizza to lamb!

Beer and Wine Department

New from Victory, this aromatic  pale ale is smooth and crisp with a great balance of hops and malt with nice herbal notes. A bit less intense than some of Victory's other offerings, Headwaters is highly drinkable and a great spring beer!

Beer and Wine Department

Regularly $16.99. An elegant sparkling wine from New Mexico made in a traditional French style! A versatile staff favorite made from 100% Pinot Noir.

Beer and Wine Department

This English style Pale Ale is the newest member of the Long Trail family of beers. Crisp and highly drinkable with moderate piney and herbal aromas and a balanced taste. If you like Long Trail IPA you'll love this one too!