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Wine Country
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If you know me, you know I travel a lot. While I travel I get to see all sorts of new wine come into our stores. This week I got to work in Tallahassee, and as I was trying to figure out what I should blog about, I saw a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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Yes, believe it or not, I have been called a wine snob! It’s not my fault. I just love good wine, but I am the first person to admit that there are great value wines out there. What bugs me most though, are those people that insist on buying crappy... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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Kara Caffrey, Gus Chinchilla, Kim Nixon, Steve Mungeer and Brian Reynolds in Honduras. Kara Caffrey, Gus Chinchilla, Kim Nixon, Steve Mungeer and Brian Reynolds in Honduras. The last week of January I was fortunate enough to join with some of our fellow ABC team members on a trip to Honduras... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
I was recently honored with the privilege of sampling a top-secret experimental batch of beer from a fairly well-known brewery. Unfortunately, I cannot say which brewery or even the state they reside; I can, however, give a full tasting description of the style. The style was a bière de garde,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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It was something that those of us in the wine business should never do, and I was guilty. I was attending a series of seminars, master classes, tastings and dinners in South Australia before heading out to visit some of the regions. On my last evening in Adelaide I attended... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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This is one of the very first 2014 wines, after Beaujolais Nouveau and couple of Provence rosés, already available. The wine exhibits aromas and flavors of white flowers, ripe citrus and sweet apple, and all the freshness, perfect balance and pure, long finish expected from this best-selling and favorite organic... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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I found out three months ago, that I was going to South Africa to visit a few wineries and to learn about their wine industry, but with everything else going on that time of year it seemed like a long way away. Well, I’m on the plane right now headed... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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In December, Cigar Aficionado released its list of the top 25 cigars of 2014. Number 9 on the list was the Monte by Montecristo Jacopo. We added this cigar to our lineup after the 2013 IPCPR show and it hit the shelves late in 2013 but never seemed to get... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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I'm ruined. I have spent too long in the world of double digit ABV beers. Occasionally I tone it down and enjoy a 9.4% Lagunitas Hairy Eyeball or a 9.8% Mission Dark Seas, but that's about as passive as I'll go. There's something about beers once they cross that 10%... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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Last week, wine fans in the Naples area enjoyed a special treat when Bordeaux chateau owner Jean-Bernard Grenié dropped by our North Naples store. Monsieur Grenié, proprieteur of Chateau Daugay in Saint-Emilion, poured and featured multiple vintages of his signature wine. Jean-Bernard is recognized throughout the wine world as part-owner... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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Just this past weekend I began to plan my next trip into the mountains of North Georgia in search of the elusive… peace & quiet. This trip is a semi-annual event, but my New Year’s resolution was to make it tri-annual, the new addition going in February. Yep, it is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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Say “hello!” to one of the newest wines we will be carrying at ABC…OS 16th St Bridge. Very excited about this one because, honestly, who could say no to a Cab Franc predominant wine for under $20? I know I can’t! Cabernet Franc is one of my favorite “underdog” grapes.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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While I’m a Floridian at heart, there is something to be said about enjoying cool weather. There’s something about curling up underneath a blanket with a nice glass of wine. There is one wine in particular I save for these rare occasions: Port. For clarification, I’m referring to the fortified... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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This week we offer up a double header cigar review! Oliva has entered the world of infused and/or flavored cigars with their introduction of the Café lineup. My cigar brother Chris Gwaltney did a pre-release review back in September of the Café Espresso and now that we have all three... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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What can I say? I love the outdoors. Perhaps this accounts for my bias towards craft brew in cans. While it can be debated all day about 100% light blockage vs. 98% or a host of related subjects, the versatility is undeniably useful for simple instances such as the beach,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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Traveling the world and being part of the process of finding great wines to bring to our ABC stores here in Florida is a fascinating, rewarding and occasionally humbling way of life. Fascinating because if you have an enthusiasm for it, you can’t help become involved not only with the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 22, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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The 2010 L’Esprit de Chevalier Rouge and the 2010 L’Esprit de Chevalier Blanc are in short supply in our warehouse and will soon be gone. They are not to be missed by any serious wine enthusiast! Especially in this 2010 vintage. They can be enjoyed now, after a good hour... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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I cannot tell you how many times a week I hear a guest say to me, “I’m just looking. I tend to shop by the label.” It makes me go a little crazy sometimes. There is a theory that wineries will disguise “bad” wine with a cool label to attract... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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I love sparkling wine and with the holiday season still in our rearview mirror, I have many pleasant memories of the sound of popping corks. I'm an equal opportunity wine drinker so...Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Franciacorta...I find a way to enjoy all incarnations of one of my favorite styles of wine.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 19, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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After fielding phone calls and questions concerning Cuban cigars and their availability, I thought that it might be a good opportunity to address it here today. By announcing that we will be normalizing relations with Cuba, President Obama certainly created one of the largest stirs in the cigar industry in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 17, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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But, wait—yes I do. And what isn’t to brag about a long-forgotten romance between beer and mead? The two have been courting each other since before Medieval times, lending their love to songs, sonnets and the chalices of kings and common folk alike. The epic love story may have stormed... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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Like a clutch baseball player in the midst of a red-hot hitting streak (spring training, anyone?), we here at ABCFWS have been on a figurative tear lately when it comes to piling up the “hits” in captivating finds from South America. Perhaps to frame things using another analogy, one could... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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I’ve never been much of a hunter and I probably never will be. But I do enjoy meat, any kind, preferably rare, more is always better. I grew up in the mountains; hunting was what my family did. I fished, at least and even to this day I put the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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Every January for the past two years (this will be the third) we have had the exclusive opportunity to drink some of the best wines in the world, while mingling with their creators. If you haven’t had a chance to go, let me recommend that you do. This year the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops
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Tannins; you either love them or hate them. Either way, they’re crucial to the texture of a wine, providing the structure and “backbone.” It allows for a drier finish and determines its body. Tannin is a naturally occurring compound found in the skins of grapes and is imparted to wine... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2015 at Brew Hops and Wine Stops