Cote Mas Sparkling Rose Tasting

Vintage 20 hosts a free tasting, featuring Cote Mas Sparkling Brut Rose on Friday 4/12/19 from 4p to 7p.

I think it’s safe to say that I am officially desperate for Spring! Pretty much all of the tastings we’ve scheduled for the next month focus heavily on my desire to drink something chilled and preferably out-of-doors. Anyone else dying to break in their deck and patio furniture? I can’t be alone here!

cote-mas-sparkling-roseMy trusty cell phone weather app assures me that it will indeed be a glorious weekend, so it’s a great time to stop by Vintage 20 Wine and Spirits for a free sample of a new-to-us wine: Cote Mas Brut Rose. It’s pink. It’s bubbly. It’s got some rich fruit flavors. Guys– we deserve this.

Tonight ONLY (Friday April 12th 2019) we’ll have a bottle of this bad boy open to try for free, AND we’ll give you 10% off your purchase of our featured wine if you decide to take it home with you. Good deal! That’s tonight from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Hope to see you there! Cheers, friends!

Spring is in the Air with Blossom Bros.

Spring is in the Air with Blossom Bros. Join us for a free sample this Friday 3/22/19 from 4p to 7p.

I don’t know about you, but I am LOVING this sunshine! It’s mid March, we’re just adjusting to Daylight Savings robbing us of a precious hour of sleep, and we are just about into “fake spring”. If you live in upstate New York, you know that “fake spring” is that glorious trickster stretch of several days to a week where the sun is warm, the birds are chirping, and most of the disgusting dirty snow melts. Usually about a week later the temperature drops again and we all curse the heavens, but it’s a sure sign: ACTUAL Spring is on the way!

blossom-brosThis is the time of year I start to think less about hearty reds, and focus my attention on lighter cocktails, fruit flavors, and chilled glasses. Enter Blossom Brothers Wine Spritzers. Light, refreshing, bubbly, and no added sugar. These guys really hit the spot.

We’ll be sampling them for FREE this Friday, March 22nd from 4pm- 7pm. Stop by and give them a try! Take some home and we will give you 10% off your purchase of Blossom Bros. during the tasting event. Hope to see you there!

Absinthe and More! Tasting this Friday

Vintage 20 hosts a FREE absinthe (and more) tasting featuring products from Saint Lawrence Spirits on 3/1/19 from 4p-7p.

Take a “trip” with us this weekend!

KIDDING. Kinda.

Our friends at Saint Lawrence Spirits are back in town, and we’ll be sampling the usual suspects AND something new to Vintage 20 Wine and Spirits: Absinthe!

There is a lot of rumor and mystery surrounding absinthe and it’s legality here in the United States, so let’s talk about that for a minute because it’s soooooo interesting!

absinthe-albany-nyThe first noted consumption of absinthe was in Switzerland in the 18th century, but it’s popularity grew in 19th century Europe (particularly in Paris) as many famous writers, artists, and practitioners of the bohemian lifestyle considered it their drink of choice. I mean, of course it was. Depending on just how bohemian you were, your absinthe came with it’s own special spoon to melt sugar over it, by adding water or lighting it on fire. Of course. Totally normal behavior for alcohol consumption. Not.

Which Brings Me to the Downer…

Whether absinthe has, or has ever had, hallucinogenic properties is hotly debated. It’s ingredients can include anise, wormwood, fennel, and other botanicals. Absinthe also contains small amounts of the chemical compound thujone, which gives it a trace menthol flavor. This compound takes the blame for the supposed “trip” that we hear about, but it’s teeny tiny amounts are unlikely to cause actual psychedelic effects. Womp womp. It is, however, a high alcohol content spirit and I think we all have a friend or a self that is greatly affected by THAT. absinthe-schenectady

Banned in the U.S. in 1915, absinthe has only been legal here since 2007. All things considered, that is a short amount of time. And with no fanfare or hullabaloo about it’s reintroduction to bars and store shelves, absinthe is a spirit that continues to be a bit mysterious and underappreciated.

No More! Stop by this Friday, March 1st from 4 PM to 7 PM to try TWO great absinthe, lovingly crafted by Saint Lawrence Spirits. Like everything else they do, these are made with high quality ingredients and a passion for creating a superb, locally sourced spirit and it shows! You definitely do not want to miss this free tasting event. Hope to see you there.

Cheers!

Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone

Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone tasting at Vintage 20 Wine and Spirits on Friday 11/30/18.

Are you all tired of talking about the holidays yet?

Cause I’ve kind of got them on the brain, and not entirely in a good way. Retail wine and liquor (or really any retail) be CRAZY this time of year, and I am feeling it big time. Plus, with all of the fun early-winter illness that’s been running around our household (yay, pinkeye!), I feel both exhausted and wired in a way that’s beginning to just feel like late November/ early December to me.

My frazzled demeanor and lack of time to relax has me looking forward to sampling an easy drinking wine this week. Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone has a lot to offer in that department. Food friendly, delicately spiced, and budget-conscious, this one is a great choice to warm you up on a chilly December evening. It’s the sort of wine you might want to have on hand to bring to a holiday party, or as a last minute gift to give a friend or coworker that you have forgotten about in your haze of hurry-up-and-shop. I speak from experience: ALWAYS have a few spare gifts on hand!

jean-luc-colombo-cotes-du-rhone

We will have a bottle of Jean-Luc Colombo Cotes du Rhone available to try this Friday, November 30th, from 4PM- 7PM. As always, it’s FREE to try, and if you decide to purchase this wine during our tasting, we’ll give you 10% off. It’s a good deal any way you look at it.

Now excuse me while I go find my hiding 5 year old and attempt to put a single eye drop in her eye without being jumped.

Cheers, friends!

Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie Liqueur

Vintage 20 will host a FREE tasting event featuring Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie Liqueur on Friday 10/26/18, 4-7 PM.

Having a Halloween Party this weekend?

I mean, I’m not. But I still really enjoy Halloween. Costumes, Jack-o-lanterns, the “candy-tax” that all parents take and never name (I skim at least 2 Reese’s PB Cups right off the top), and of course, FALL THEMED BEVERAGES!!!!

::tosses leaves into the air with joy::

I’m not just talking about PSL’s (that’s Pumpkin Spice Lattes, for the uninitiated). In my world, we have hard cider, apple brandy and pumpkin liqueur. Oh, my! So for this blustery week before Halloween, we’ll be cracking open some Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie Liqueur to get in the spirit! This stuff is sooooo so so good, even just poured over some ice in a rocks glass. However, it’s also an ingredient in one of my favorite cocktails:

The Pumpkin Pie Martini!

pumpkintiniStart with a martini glass, rimmed with a mixture of sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

Then in a blender:

  1. a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream
  2. 1 1/2 oz of Smirnoff Vanilla vodka
  3. 3 oz Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie Liqueur

Blend away! Pour into your martini glass, then top with whipped cream. Add a cinnamon stick or sprinkle some additional pumpkin pie spice for garnish. And watch yourself, because these WILL creep up on you!

This Friday

10/26, we will have Fulton’s Harvest Pumpkin Pie Liqueur open for you to try from 4:00pm- 7:00pm. And probably after then, too. You are DEFINITELY going to want to take this one home with you, even if it’s just for a Halloween party of one.

Cheers!

Ho-Ho-Hold Your Horses!!

Evan Williams Eggnog is in stock at Vintage 20.

So yesterday I went to K-Mart

(yes, I live within driving distance of an actual, real-live K-Mart) to buy my kid diapers, and you know what I saw? Christmas. My god, it was Christmas everywhere. And not just like, cards and stuff, but full on rotating, singing, fake-snow clotted Balsam-branched nightmares.

The curse of retail: The Christmas Creep.

 

christmas-creep
You wait your turn, old man.

Even us fun-loving, inherently reasonable, liquor store folk must fall victim to the unforgiving march of the Christmas Creep. I don’t even have a Halloween costume yet. I wore shorts and sandals less than a week ago!!! And yet, I must hang my head in shame as I tell you, we set up this display yesterday:

evan williams eggnog
I still want to trick or treat, dammit.

Yep. Eggnog.

Don’t get me wrong– Evan Williams ready-to-serve Eggnog is A-MAZING. It’s probably the best eggnog out there, spiked or otherwise (Stewart’s is a close second). But come on. I haven’t even conned my children out of their Halloween Reese’s yet. Have some compassion for the fall festivities.

But also, get the Nog. Get it before it’s gone. Every liquor store I have ever worked in has run out well before Christmas, and I’ve been doing this for 15 years (holy crap!). So there’s that.

P.S. I don’t know what we’re tasting this week, but I promise it isn’t eggnog. 😉

Fall Into Some Stellar Chardonnay

Vintage 20 Wine and Spirits hosts a FREE tasting, featuring Ravanal Gran Reserva Chardonnay this Friday 9/28/18.

It’s Fall, Ya’ll!

On this damp, kinda dreary day, I’m having a hard time remembering why Fall is my favorite season. Hopefully crisp breezes, changing leaves, and the smell of wood smoke are just around the corner. While we wait, I’ll share with you a STELLAR buy:

Ravanal Gran Reserva Chardonnayravanal-gran-reserva-chardonnay

Maybe it just caught me on the right day, but holy hell! This is probably the best, uncharacteristic Chardonnay I’ve had in AGES.

What I mean by “uncharacteristic”: This is not yo’ mama’s over-oaked, fuzzy-tongued, buttery Chardonnay (by the way, I HATE those. I know they are popular and all, but BLECH). This one’s got some actual character. As in, from the grapes, and not just from the wine-making process.

goth-phase
I wonder if Chardonnay is going through it’s “emo” phase.

Here is my totally lame analogy: Chardonnay’s are like middle schoolers. In trying to figure out how who they are, they take on the characteristics of the environments they are exposed to more than they express what is naturally inside of them. So since oak-laden Chardonnay ala California sells well, a lot of wine-makers are happy to help you pour a glass of wood chips by over-oaking it.

Still with me? Good! The Ravanal Gran Reserva Chardonnay is different! A light, almost refreshing Chardonnay that’s easy to drink, with notes of coconut and tropical fruits (really!). YUM. I’d be just as likely to pair this one with dessert as I would with dinner.

And here’s the kicker…

I bought it on a close-out deal. So it is a FANTASTICALLY priced wine, and when it’s gone, it’s gone! In fact…it’s not even here yet. And I’m kinda flying by the seat of my pants, hoping it will arrive before this week’s tasting so I can share it with you (that’s my plan, anyway).

Stop by this Friday, September 28th, so I can put my money where my mouth is! Our tasting of Ravanal Gran Reserva Chardonnay happens from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, is FREE to try, and as always we will offer you 10% off the featured wine if you purchase it during our tasting event.

Hope to see you there!