Who wants to get in the hustle and bustle of a big box store right now? Not me…a few local gems with some great picks here, plus online shopping that ships in time!
ALE JAIL & WINE THIEF
Macalester-Groveland Neighborhood, St Paul
If you haven’t been to the Ale Jail & Wine Thief it’s a must stop for any libation lover. I’m partial because this is my neighborhood walking distance place for the best wine picks, and they even let my best decision-maker (Presta dog) come along, too.
Don’t let their hipster staff in commuter pants with fancy beards fool you, everyone I’ve talked with staff is super knowledgable about both beer and wine, and among the most helpful and friendly folks around. Ask tons of questions, and don’t leave until you’re carrying a box home.
A few picks provided by Nathan Stillwell of the Wine Thief:
Max Ferd. “Zeppelin” Riesling ($18.99)
The estate of Max Ferdinand Richter has been owned by the Richter family for more than 300 years. This particular wine was proudly served on board of the “Graf Zeppelin”. The label is an old promotional poster of that era. It has lively fruit notes of apple, pear and citrus. It is clean and fresh with zippy acidity and a soft finish.
Bonny Doon “A Proper Pink” Rosé ($14.99)
This dry rosé of 61% Tannat and 31% Cabernet Franc is the perfect addition to any holiday meal. It is soft, lush, and just a bit tart. It is reminiscent of biting into a blood orange. There are also subtle notes of rhubarb, celery leaf, raspberry, and and even something apple-y about it. A perfect adornment for any table.
Domaine de la Chanteleuserie Bourgueil Cabernet Franc ($17.99)
A perfect expression of Cabernet Franc! This Loire Valley wine is soft and supple. Bright red fruits are what is initially most pronounced. The finish has a soft, earthy tone. Its slightly lighter body makes this a wonderful pairing for anything as light as turkey, or as weighty as brisket. A glass all by its lonesome wouldn’t be a stretch either.
Get over there: 1787 St Clair Ave, St Paul, MN 55105
WINTER WINE FEST TICKETS
Minnesota Grape Growers Association
Is it a coincidence or what, that you’re still shopping for Christmas gifts AND this is the perfect activity for Valentine’s Day?
Happening on February 18, the weekend just after the day of Saint Valentine Winter Wine Fest includes sipping & sampling from over 40 local winemakers plus artisan food sampling and live music.
Best of all, Minnesota Uncorked fans save $5 with code UNCORKED5 at mngrapes.com.
Purchase your tickets online (no lines or bad customer service, there!) We’ve put together a gift voucher for you that’s prettier than the invoice you’ll be emailed, that you can wrap and give as a gift — download that, here.
If you want to make a weekend of it, book a room at the DoubleTree in Bloomington (the wine fest is happening in their Grand Ballroom), and make a night of it!
The Nitty Gritty:
February 18, 7-10pm
DoubleTree by Hilton at 7800 Normandale, Bloomington
**Physical tickets are not mailed for this event. Purchase online, pick up at will-call. We’ve put together a gift voucher for you that’s prettier than the invoice you’ll be emailed, that you can wrap and give as a gift — download that, here.
MN WINE TASTING PASSPORT
For just $25 you receive 10 wine tastings, at any of 45 regional wineries. Yes, math fans — that’s $2.50 per wine tasting. Order by 10pm Tuesday Dec 19 and you’ll still get it in your mailbox in time.
Ordering after that? No problem. We’ve got a beautiful gift voucher for this one, too that you can still wrap and give as a gift.
Shop at www.minnesotawinepassport.com
TSHIRTS FOR WINE LOVERS
Sport your love for local (and wine) with a $20 shirt – available in tee’s and tanks, for both men and women.
Order by 10pm MONDAY Dec 19, and you’ll still get this one in your mailbox in time, too!
Located on Eat Street in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis, Greater Goods is a boutique gift shop with affordable luxuries from around the world, with a charitable twist: giving back a % of the store’s sales to a local organization.
Lauren Gryniewski, owner of Greater Goods provided a few of her favorite picks:
Once you’ve picked up your wine-gift, who cares about wrapping, when these Modern Lore wine bottle tags are prettier than any package I’ve seen. Retail $7 for a set of 4, available at Greater Goods or www.modern-lore.com.
Greater Goods is located at 2515 Nicollet Ave b, Minneapolis, MN 55404.
“Tasting Minnesota” COOKBOOK
Tom Thulen is a wine rep with Libation Project and a food and still life photographer living and working in Minneapolis, MN. Earlier in his career he spent 9 years in NYC in the food and wine industry where he developed a passion for good food and wine. Wine and food are a passion for Tom and he enjoys photographing them when he can.
Betsy is a native Minnesotan, has degrees in psychology and art from the University of Minnesota. After forging her way through college working food service jobs as a student, she sought her career in the restaurant industry. She spent ten years working through the Twin Cities at a variety of restaurants, including Cafe Brenda, Azur, Tour de France and the Aveda Spa and Retreat. She then made a natural transition to food styling calling upon her art background and experience with food. She also works as a recipe developer and has written recipes for a variety of commercial clients and magazines including Target, Experience Life, Renew and The Viking. She is married to Tom Thulen, who took the amazing photographs in this book, and has two children.