Holiday 2023 Newsletter
The last several years have been unlike any others, and heading into the holiday season, we are approaching things much like we have for a few years now. Due to the uptick in COVID, we will unfortunately not be having our annual holiday sale and tasting again, but as a loyal customer of the store, we are offering you a special sale price on all items in the store, via on-line only. Use this discount code HOLIDAY2023 from midnight on Friday, December 1st through Midnight on Sunday December 3rd, for 10% off everything on the website, including spirits (which we usually never put any discount on). Speaking of spirits, we have been stocking up this season with Cognac, Rum, Vodka, Aquavit, Bourbon, Brandy and just about anything else you can think of. Dig through the web page, and feel free to stop by the store to check them out in person. We are open with special Holiday hours through the end of the year, so make sure you read this all the way through the last page.
We also have a whole array of wine and spirits clubs to give as gifts and have brought in some special gift bottles and packs, glassware, stocking size bottles etc. Whether you are looking for that special bottle to sip by the fire, to send to a loved one, or the fixings for Glogg or punch, we pretty much have you covered.
Each year at our annual Holiday open house we normally featured a selection of wineries and importers which bring outstanding wines to share as a way to ring in the holidays. In lieu of charging a tasting fee, we have always asked you to kindly donate money and non-perishable foods for our local food bank. Sadly, this year there is no tasting or holiday open house, but the need for donations for local food banks will be greater than ever. Please consider selecting a specific dollar amount item from the web site to add to your shopping cart. We will donate 100% of the money to our local food bank. Your donation will go a long way for those in need this year.
The logistics of shipping during the holiday season are always tough. On top of the legal issues which require folks to allow way more time for delivery than in the past, inclement weather can bring everything to a screeching halt in a moment’s notice. For the best chance of getting your package to anywhere east of the Rockies by Christmas, we are asking for your orders to be in by November 15th. I know this seems early, but Thanksgiving throws in a wrinkle in terms of timing, and Christmas falls on a Monday, so everything needs to arrive several days earlier than normal. There are still no promises, but we don’t have ‘express’ shipping to the East anymore, so please think well ahead, especially if you need something shipped to New York, Boston, Miami, etc.
Happy holidays and pray for decent weather!
Doug, Will, Laura, Sandy, Allyson, Brandon and Theodore
Wines & Spirits
Elijah Craig has restructured its single barrel program, and cask strength is now an option. To whisky collectors and geeks, it is all about the details as to what is ‘hot’. First and foremost are the single barrel bottlings from top producers, then dial it up with cask strength, and to take it up to the highest level of collectability, the exact location in which the barrel was stored. Some rickhouses (aging warehouses) are definitely more desirable than others, and the higher the cask rests in that rickhouse, the more extreme the temperature changes are over the course of a year, so the more complex aging takes place.
When picking our cask of Elijah Craig this year, we were again offered multiple cask samples, from roughly the same age statement, but from multiple aging locations. One sample really stood out. Ironically, just like last year, this 8 year old Kentucky bourbon also came from Heaven Hill’s most desired aging facility, Deatsville warehouse CC, also from one of the upper floors just like last year. What we have here is no basic single barrel, but rather a single barrel, from one of the upper floors of the best aging location Heaven Hill owns, bottled at full cask strength. The pedigree just doesn't get any better than this.
Because we elected to bottle at cask strength, instead of upping production by watering the proof down to 80-90 proof, we ended up with 156 bottles from the entire cask, bottled at 130.7. If history is a judge of what is to come, “collectable” and “impossible to find”, don’t even begin to describe what this bottle is probably going to become. Grab some while you actually can.
A real Champagne to kick off the holiday season at under 30 bucks. What more can you want! We have featured Moutard as our Holiday Champagne several times before, and this one was the feature last year as well. This one is the driest of the bunch, the Brut Nature. 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, it has classic bone-dry crispness, with notes of citrus, lemon curd and mineral driven, lip smacking elegance for a really silly price. We were able to score the same price we ran this for last year, which is unusual in this day and age, but we will hold this price through December, or until it runs out. This is the best Champagne bang for the buck we have seen in a very long time.
Over 30 years ago, Seattle area restaurateur Peter Dow, wanted to source some Italian varietal Washington wines for his Italian themed restaurant, Café Juanita, but none really existed. The Cavatappi brand was born by him to fill that void. I actually sold his first wine, a 1987 Nebbiolo, which he delivered in the trunk of his Alfa Romeo. Flash forward to now and since that time, he has sold that restaurant, opened a wine distributorship called ‘Cavatappi’, sold that, yet this wine brand still continues, and gets better with every vintage. Washington isn’t famous for Pinot Gris, but maybe that should change. Bright and crisp citrus notes, with underlying tropical fruit and maybe a touch of quince. Delightfully tangy and refreshing and a real crowd pleaser.
As everyone on this list knows, we are staunch, maybe the most staunch, supporters of the Washington wine industry, and have been for decades. When we added liquor to our portfolio in 2020, it was only natural that we would take a serious position on Washington spirits as well. Now, we have combined these two elements together in a unique and ground breaking way. Working with award winning Copperworks Distilling Co. in Seattle, we have taken a malted, single farm, Genie barley from Walla Walla and finished it in a stunning Walla Walla Cabernet cask from the legendary Doubleback winery. I actually drove to Walla Walla the day this barrel was emptied, shoved it into the back of my Volvo wagon, and hand delivered it to Copperworks the same day, where it was immediately filled with this incredible whiskey. It rested in this cask for almost a year, intermingling with the luscious Cabernet essence remaining in the French oak staves, before being bottled at a full cask strength of 57.6% (like all real whisky should be treated).
Caramel, baked apples topped with blackberry syrup, candied violets, dates, dried figs and loads of cinnamon and baking spice. Take the best cask strength, non-peated, single malt you have ever tried, add in the unique spice which Washington malt has and then add layers upon layers of the decadent red fruit which Walla Walla Cabernet is known for. I honestly think we have discovered an entirely new category of whisky here: Single farm, single malt, finished in a wine cask used for grapes from the same appellation. I honestly don’t know that it has ever been done before, so get a bottle of this ground breaking elixir while you can.
The name of this festive bubbly would lead the reader to assume that this is a French wine, when in reality it comes from all the way across the planet. This is actually made in New South Wales Australia by the folks at that Italian sounding winery, De Bortoli. Are you confused yet? No worries! We do all the sleuthing, so you don’t have to! A classic Champagne style blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir, is has bright and lively fruit, with gobs of festive effervescence, and packs an incredible amount of joyous character into a bargain basement price. Yes, it has a screw cap, instead of a traditional cork, but at this price, who really cares? It is delicious, looks good on the table and is such a good price, that when Aunt Mabel wants to mix it with her prune juice at brunch, nobody will bat an eye. Load the trunk of the car up with this one!
As the nights get cooler and the food gets richer, the big red wines come out of the woodwork, and Malbec is always a crowd favorite. We have featured the scrumptious wines of Goulart before, and you have probably seen them on the shelf numerous times. Classic Mendoza Malbec with cocoa powder, cherry syrup, cassis, a hint of smoked meat and just a hint of that wildness which sets the better wines apart from the rest. This brand is going through an importer change, so we snagged up the last pallet from the previous company for a steal. How does half price sound? When this is gone, it is gone.
Wine and Spirits Clubs for the holidays
As we head into winter, the nights get a bit cooler, and the allure of snuggling by the fireplace starts to take hold, the need for a tipple or two starts to increase. With that in mind, we have several wine and spirits clubs, which make perfect gifts. As with all our clubs, there is no fee to join, and your selection will always be discounted well below our normal price. Prepay for a year to save even more.
Like Bourbon? How about Irish? Maybe Japanese? This one is for you. Each month, you will get a fantastic bottle from one of the great producers who grace this planet. Maybe a Rye or Corn, maybe a craft Washington producer, maybe India. Again, we like to feature the little, unknown and hard to get bottles. This will average $50-$75 per month, or pre-pay for a year for $800.
If you are into rare and collectable spirits, you are in the right place. The highly allocated Bourbons, Single Cask Malts, Japanese Whiskey, Cognac, rare Mezcal and Tequila will all appear here. Membership is very limited in this club, as we cannot guarantee quantities on these. Priority is given in the order in which folks sign up. Market price per month.
If you love Washington wines, and frankly, who doesn’t, then let us do the work for you, so you can try one or two new wines each month. You can pick from either one or two bottles of red per month, or one bottle of red and one bottle of white. $29.99 for two, or $15.99 for one, or save a bit and pre-pay for a year in advance. $347.99 for two bottles per month for a year, or $179.99 for one.
This is by far the most sought after club we have, and is typically completely full. Occasionally, space opens up and we do these announcements. We have only done this about half a dozen times in the last 20 years. If you are looking for the best of the best from this state, but don’t want to wait for years to get on the winery mailing list, then this one is for you. The following wines are included, and you will automatically get them upon release, but no more than two releases each month: Leonetti, Woodward Canyon Old Vines, Corliss Red, Reynvaan Contender, Weathereye L’Atomique, Trothe Limited, Piolet Cabernet, Gjallerhorn Syrah, Rotie Little G, Andrew Will Ciel du Cheval, Two Vintners Alice, Upchurch Cabernet, Doubleback Cabernet and Passing Time Horse Heaven Hills. Just drop Sandy an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will get you all set up.
Monday-Saturday, in store shopping 10:00am-6:00pm
Thanksgiving Day, Thursday the 23rd- closed
Monday-Saturday, in store shopping 10:00am-6:00pm
Christmas Eve, Sunday the 24th, closed
Christmas Day, Monday the 25th, closed
Tuesday the 26th, closed
New Year’s Eve, Sunday the 31st, closed
New Year’s Day, Monday the 1st and Tuesday the 2nd, closed
If the weather goes really foul, give us a call first as we don’t want to put employees or customers at risk. All hours subject to change per COVID 19 protocols.