When I go shopping for wine, I'm fairly focussed. I know
what I want, I purchase it, and get out of there (I'm not
a good shopper). Today, my wife went with me, and while
I was doing my "focussed" stuff, she was cruising the beer
aisle. Eventually, with a shopping cart that could rival
Mt. Everest, we went to the checkout. I think my checkbook
actually shed tears (but they could have been mine).
I would never have thought to pick up a six-pack of
Moose Drool Brown Ale (Missoula, Montana), or a sampler
pack of beer from Tommy knockers in Idaho Springs, Colorado.
I haven't tried the beers yet, but small breweries usually
make a good beer.
Should you bring your wife to the liquor store?
BTW, if Ed is listening, have you tried Tommy knockers
restaurant and pub?
Our situation is almost 180° from your own. If I'm alone in the
store (especially if it's Sam's in Chicago) I'm likely to emerge with
3-4 cases of wine in a shopping cart and a bill running into the many
hundreds of dollars. Jean, OTOH, is a much more disciplined wine
shopper ("Do we REALLY need 6 bottles of '29 Yquem?") and usually gets
impatient after 30 minutes of scouring the shelves of Sam's, so we
typically emerge with only a case or two. ;-
Hi ... e?
Thanks for the reply. I love "local" brews, and haven't found a bad
one yet. When we're in Hayward, Wisconsin, I'll opt for a "Floppin'
Crappie" on tap. No thanks for the Bud light, I'll have a Coke
instead! :-) Looking foreward to tasting the Moose Drool.
In article ,
I guess that I'm in the middle of the bunch, as my wife does the "artsy
labels" thing, but doesn't mind my purchases. She does have a habit of reading
the "shelf-talkers" aloud, and that can be distracting, when one is trying to
remember if it's the Dogtown Flats, the Dogdrool Flats, or some other single
vineyard Zin, that they are seeking.
As for Tommyknocker, all that I have sampled have been very good. Which brews
came in the mixed pack? For Ed, Tommyknockers were actually protruding rock
formations in mine shafts that would hit the miners in the head. A mythical
character, rather like a Leprechaun , arose from the miners not wanting to
admit that they had knocked themselves unconcious on a rock in the roof of the
mine shaft, kinda' like a Colorado Minihune with a mallet, if you catch my
In article , firstname.lastname@example.org says...
Dick, of the lot, I've tasted the Butthead, Pick Axe, Alpine Glacier, and the
Maple Brown. All were quite good. While we do see a lot of the New Belgium
Brewing Co products in AZ, most of the other small-brew (micro doesn't seem to
fit NBBC any longer), the Tommyknockers, and so very many others just don't
get down here. Most of the micro-brews in the desert seem a bit lacking in
character, compared to the Pacific NW, the Upper East Coast, and all of CO.
Have you tried any CO wines? In years past, there were a few surprisingly good
I just got back from Colorado, where I sampled some of the local wines. I had
wine from "Two Rivers", "Bookcliff", and "Canyon Wind" wineries. I went to the
"Canyon Wind" tasting room and the owner/winemaker for "Bookcliff" was hawking
his wares at the farmer's market in Vail. I had "Two Rivers" at a restaurant.
I would agree that the wine is "surprisingly good" in that it is quite
drinkable. The varietals that tend to do best there are cab franc and cab
sauvignon, although some of the Rhone varietals like viognier and syrah do okay,
too. In the colder AVA (there are only two in Colorado) they claim to make nice
riesling, but I never got to sample any.
Some things I learned:
1. A lot of vines die. In the spring it is not a given that all the vines will
leaf out. It can get very, very cold!
2. Colorado does not have phylloxera. In fact, it does not have a lot of
problems with pests and disease, because the cold winters are unforgiving.
They grow vines own-root. In fact, one winemaker was telling me that grafted
plants are not really an option, because they always die back in the cold.
This would worry me as a Colorado winemaker. I hope they can stay
3. Most Colorado wine doesn't make it out of Colorado.
4. You must purchase wine in Colorado at a liquor store or wine shop, unless it
is being served at a restaurant or bar. All alcohol in Colorado (even beer)
is subject to this. You will not find liquor at the grocery store, for
instance. Further, these wine shops and liquor stores are not allowed to be
open on Sundays. What a drag! However, there is an exception for wineries!
Wineries and tasting rooms are allowed to be open and pouring on Sunday. This
is because the State is trying to promote its wine industry.
We have a similar situation in Minnesota. However, we can purchase alcoholic
beverages at the grocery store, 7 days a week, but these beverages can't
contain more than 3.2% alcohol. Recently, there was an attempt in the
Legislature to allow grocery stores to sell wine ... didn't pass.
Minnesota might make progress on the "Sunday" and grocery store issues in
the next hundred years or so, but in the mean time we can take a scenic
trip to Wisconsin on Sundays to purchase beverages. :-)
BTW: There are a few Minnesota wineries, but I haven't visited them and
I don't know if they pour on Sundays.
D. Gerasimatos wrote - (abridged)
And "Dick R." wrote in message
OK - how is this for some lateral thinking - a suggestion and business
opportunity which "could" apply in any state which allows Sunday trade at
(1) Purchase a small block of land (say 2 acres), chosen solely on its
location for a hospitality/catering/tourist/visitor appeal.
(2) Plant half in grapes - nope - not for harvest or winemaking; but
visual appeal (colour in fall etc)
(3) Choose a very marketable name and design an eye catching design.(For
this example I will use AFW Rocky Mountain Wine Estate)
(4) In the industrial part of town, rent suitable premises to set up a
wine making operation (no need for ultra high capital input - just real
basic fermentation and bottling plant)
(5) Set up AFW Rocky Mountain Fruit Juice Company in Mexico or other
country with whom the US has a free trade agreement
(6) Through this subsidiary -
Import 45,000 litres of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc **unfermented
grape juice** from New Zealand
Import 45,000 litres of Riverina Shiraz **unfermented grape juice**
Import 45,000 litres of Cabernet Sauvignon **unfermented grape
juice** from Chile
Import 45,000 litres of Chardonnay **unfermented juice** from
Import 45,000 litres of Pinot Noir **unfermented grape juice** from
Central Otago, New Zealand.
Make wine within State; market wine within State
Clearly label wine as being "Made in *Colorado" (or wherever!) from grapes
sourced from AFW's Rocky Mountain Wine's subsidiary, including country of
origin (to comply with any labelling requirements - if they exist?)
100% compliant operation without the need to grow grapes in unsuitable or
marginal environment, with instant local appeal.
I will put up the first $US10,000 as my share.
I don't know whether this plan could succeed legally or not, but it
presents some practical questions. How to ship 45,000 liters of juice
from the country of origin without fermentation taking place
spontaneously. I suppose it could be frozen or dosed with SO2, but
would it then be possible to make decent wine? (Of course, you didn't
mention anything about "decent", "drinkable" or similar. ;-) ) Also, in
the case of reds, it would have to be imported as must. Would any
winemaker be willing to let the decision about cold-soaking be dictated
by a shipping schedule? I am not an experienced winemaker -- perhaps
there are reasonable answers to these concerns.