Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Transparency , Honesty, Priorities, Telling It Like It Is So We Know What Additives Have Been Included Into The Grape-Juice-That-Becomes-Wine! Cheers! Do Not Be Dumbed-Down By Certain Wines Available To You!!! Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight!! Fight!!!!

Cleveland Park Beer, Liquor & Wine

Featuring a wide, international selection of fine wines, micro-brews and spirits
EARTH DAY , EARTH NIGHT , Earth is our planet our home our gift that we pass on to our children hopefully in the best shape possible, as it is what gives us our ability to exist and to be. Earth Day and Science Day were celebrated here all week last week, and the march on the Mall was a big success and we had many customers returning from it very pleased to have been a part of it. Loved seeing their smiles here as they stopped to make their purchases and to sample the fine wines ( and to meet owner - winemaker Alice Bonaccorsi of her own winery in Mt. Etna, Sicily called Azienda Agricola ALICE BONACCORSI with wine importer Robert Kennedy here, too!
WOW, as I was typing these last few words Robert Kennedy walked in and so we started to talk about Marianna's visit this Saturday from her own winery PIETRAVENTOSA in Puglia, Italy, that will be wonderful, really special! What a treat. Marianna makes great wines from the Primitivo grape in reds and one fabulous dry rose, too.
THIS IS A CLOSE and winderful wine community here and everyone just started showing up , one after the other, Narayan that is scheduled to taste here this Friday, Sotiris Bafitis that was just here this past Friday tasting with you all, Doug that is Robert Kennedy's best friend and was here to say " hi ! " and get together with Robert, then Dianna Richer came with her French supplier from Terrisson Wines, Benjamin Menouret, ... and we met, chatted, took a group picture and here I am now with Sotiris talking Greek wines that are missing from our shelves and so we need an infusion of them here PRONTO that will arrive here this Friday, April 28th, 2017.
SO : this email will be more casual than most and I will discuss some of the issues about wine that are ' near-and-dear ' to me.
TRANSPARENCY : there is none on a large scale.
1) The larger companies that sell wine that do not even own vineyards or have wineries, that buy up wine or grape must and blend and add to it are :
     1) dumbing us all down.
     2) putting many additives into the living grape juice that will become their version of wine, BUT , that tastes NOTHING to me like fresh grape unfermented juice, that ...
- destroys the feeling of drinking something alive and honest, that has both strengths and weaknesses, that is not ' fixed ', changed, altered, muted, dulled, bulked-up, put on steroids I like to say.
     3) we do not need more cute labels that have NOTHING at all to do with the liquid inside the bottle. Nothing wrong with labels that attract, but get the wineries to put on the labels what they are adding to the grape must-juice? Let us know what dead chemicals and additives are being included to ' fix ' into ONE TASTE- a taste that , to me is undrinkabel. That taste tastes to me like ...
- cardboard, like wet straw, like a taste I cannot decipher, that reminds me nothing of real wine that has been fermented and become wine and that has it's strengths and its weaknesses, and is what it is, not altered to be ...
- an international taste ...
-to taste like every other taste that is now called wine ...
- to be international so everyone can appreciate it.
BUT : What are they tasting, what are they appreciating?
3) Many ' new ' wine drinkers have not tasted anything but what is being sold now everywhere, in every grocery store, every supermarket, ever club that offers a few known labels at low prices. These markets,chain stores are offering inexpensive prices on these brand name wines, and are often coming out with their own labels, and sometimes those labels are the same wine-juice that are sold under more recognized labels, and yet many do not know this.
4) What is sold as wine today often is also a blend that includes grape juice-turned-into-wine from many places on earth ...
-like some Chilean wine blended with California grapes.
-some Australian wine blended with California wine,..
- some labelled " American ' that are being sold. for example at the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina, that are most all made from grape juice purchased in California, Washington Sate, or New York, maybe even Virginia?
- confusing all of this at best.
5) Tell us where the grape-juice-wine is coming from?
6 ) Tell us what we are really drinking?
7) Tell us why the additives are being added into living grape juice-wine?
- to what purpose? what do these additives really add or fix or alter or change?
8) Why does the Pinot Noir from California taste so beefy, so hearty, so robust, so thick, so dark in color?
-tell us and write on the label that , in reality, 5-10%, up to 15% has been added to that Pinot Noir to ' bulk it up ' so that it tastes good to many that are dining in a steak house?!?
9) Tell us where the grapes originally come from?
- tell us on labels that many if not almost all of the grape varities are originally from Europe and not from Argentina, for example, where everyone thinks Malbec comes from and not from France.
- I am knit-picking at some of this, I know, but I am trying to make many points, and paint a larger picture for you all that is confusing and never or hardly ever told, spoken, referred to, acknowledged.
- we are all running scared, we do not need to be.
10) Pricing is key, we all have budgets, we get that, really we do.
11) We thank you here for your business.
- without you here we could not exist without your support. Thank you.
- but I feel the tremendous need to share some of this.
12 ) Boundaries are no longer acknowledged or respected. Everyone wants to be everything to everyone, and so the larger retail outlets ( including those that mail to you ) are doing a bit of everything, offering a bit of everything to you all, ...
13) they are not specializing in anything much anymore, just offering whatever they think they can sell to you?

14) SO : let us have some more transparency in the products we buy and enjoy.
15) Let us, too, understand as best as possible our priorities? What is most important? What do we want most? 
16 ) I often think the phrase : " it's good enough. " We all settle so often.
17) We are here to shake things up, to ..
- give your your options ...
- to respect your intelligence and not try and dumb you down.
- to listen to you, ...
- to work with you, your needs . desires, ...
- to try and stretch you some to include ' new ' experiences, as many as you will allow us to offer to you.
ALL IS WELL if we try and understand more of what is really going on, try and understand what we have as options, what we are buying, what we are tasting in this case here at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits.
WE WILL DO everything we can to be honest and transparent with you, to explain and to help you make the choices that best suit your needs.
THANK YOU for continuing to let us do so.
REMEMBER that the door is open and that this is a two-way conversation. If you have any questions about what I have typed here quickly - heatedly, please let me know? If you do not agree, please let me know?
AS SIGOURNEY WEAVER told MELANIE GRIFFITH in " Working Girl " the movue many years ago : " Who makes it happen? " she asks Melanie. " I do. " responds Melanie. Love those words , have taken them to heart always, all ways.
SO : What is exciting this week here at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits for you:
IN BEER and CIDER From Santos Rivera :
     1) " True Couple " Pear flavored hard apple cider . craft-made, from The Standard Cider Company, $13.99 a bottle for a 750ml bottle, with 7% alcohol by volume, with real taste, real character, some good acidity, the pear comes through nicely, I like this with a meal to flesh it out and make it more enjoyable. A treat! From Washingtonville, NY.
     2) " Mischief " Belgian-style ale , golden & hoppy, unfiltered and bottle-conditioned, from THE BRUERY Famille Rue, made in Orange county, CA. On Special for $11.99 a 750ml bottle,  : " Mischief is best enjoyed fresh. Until then, please store in cool, dark place,,.. please pour carefully, leaving the yeast sediment behind in the bottle. Best enjoyed in a tulip or wine glass. "
     3) " Loose Cannon " Hop3 IPA from HEAVY SEAS, On Special for $10.99 a 6-pack of 12-ounce bottles, made in Baltimore, Maryland, ... : " Our Loose Canon Hop3 Ale is opulently hopped 3 times in the brewing process. Aromatic with floral notes, it's an amazingly balanced American IPA 7.25% alcohol by volume. "  ...
AND : " A portion of the proceeds from each case of beer we sell goes to help Clean Water.org a national organization dedicated to protecting the quality of the water we drink and the water we use to brew. ... "
     4) Family-owned, farm-brewed and canned by the MANOR HILL Brewing in Ellicott City, MD. On Special for $11.99 a 6-pack of 12-ounce cans, with 6.8% alcohol by volume. A ' new and exciting ' treat here for all of us.
LIQUOR / LIQUEUR  From Jagir :
     1) Amsterdam Chocolate Liqueur by VAN GOGH , " from the Heart of Amsterdam " , On Special for $10.99 a 750ml bottle, , with 15% alcohol by volume, : " With chocolate as our key ingredient, we made Amsterdam Chocolate Liqueur to mix with VAN GOGH chocolate vodka. " Try some, see what you think? Try it chilled by itself, too, or with shaved ice?
     2) Old Tom Gin from GREENHOOK GINSMITHS , crafted and bottled in Brooklyn, NY, $47.99,  : " The  ' Gin Craze ' was born in Britain in the late 1600's, during a period of tension with France. In an attempt to reduce imports of French brandy, King William III relaxed laws to entice English corn farmers into gin distilling. The gin of this period were pot distilled, resulting in high character spirits that were sweetened and nicknamed ' Old Tom ' and are considered the ' missing link ' between Dutch Genever and modern gins. ... "
1) The owner-winemaker tasting with Alice Bonaccorsi of her own Azienda Agricola ALICE BONACCORSI in Mt. Etna, Sicily was a huge success this past Saturday : Earth Day - Science Day, with Alice's Etna Rosso 2013, a 80% blend of Nerello Mascalese, and 20% Nerello Cappuccio, with 14% alcohol by volume, signed bottles here for gifts by Alice, this On Special at $29.99 a bottle is showing perfectly, really completely balanced, charming, fleshy and firm, generous and gregarious, rounded and rich, ahhhhhh : love it so now. Medium-to-light-bodied : a splendid dry red to chill 30 minutes and serve indoors, outdoors, with a meal or all by itself - you choose.
For the Chateauneuf-du-Pape below check out this label! It  says it all : a small profile drawing of une dame en chapeau en forme! Oui oui oui!
NEWS : a tense time this week with our government budget and we have plenty of things to help you get through the stress and the strain of it all.
MANY PEOPLE come to visit and to taste, to share, to introduce, and so I want to take the time here to thanks Barry Dodds , Ambassador to the FREEMARK ABBEY Napa California wines for coming by and tasting, ... for Michael Honig the President of the HONIG Vienyard and Winery for coming by and personally tasting an assortment of his wines, too from the excellent Sauvignon Blanc  to his Bartolucci Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 : all treats and well-made.
I AM MISSING a Pinot seminar and tasting today of Oregon wines, and that saddens me, but it is important for me to be here for you all, too when you need advice, just like Graham needed as his good friend that loves southern Rhone wines is coming by to visit, and so I recommended a Chateaneuf-Du-Pape made by a female winemaker that Jayde tatsed me on that blew me away for it's seriosness, heartiness, complexity, power, meaty balls, ,,, the DOMAINE GALEVAN , $57.99, 2011, with 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre, with 14.5% alcohol : this packs a big muscular kiss on your tongue, senses and palate : enjoy with a meal, open and let breethe almost two hours before enjoying with a meal now.
WINE By Chris and Tony :

1) " Laika ' 2013 Gruner Veltliner from the OLD MISSION PENNINSULA in Michigan, $18.99 is a real treat : developed, flavorful, chill and serve now : a treat!
2) Poulet & Fils ' Tradition ' Methode Dioise Ancestrale from France's Clairett de Die region of the Rhone valley, this fruity sparkling white, $15.99, chilled nicely is a perfect foil now for this damp , and cold today! Lovely.
3) DAO DOC Portugal dry red Colheita Selecionada, a blend of 40% Alfrocheiro, 40% Tinta Roriz and 20% Touriga Nacional : a robust boquet, deep dark color and yet a an elegant tatse well-knit and polished that is best with some food! At $13.49 this is another Portuguese steal!
3) Karmena a dry Turkish red blend from Anatolia, from DIREN , 2014, of 30% Syrah, 30% Okuzgozu, 15% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Bogazkere, too : with 13% alcohol by volume, I like the honesty, the integrity, the trueness to these wines and when paired with food, chilled slightly to focus and energize their flavors - then they blossom and are a treasure!
4) 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa's Wellington district, David brought me his DIEMERSFONTEIN red, $21.99, and I loved it for it's polish, fruit-forward, silk and steel mesh that are a treat to sip and enjoy with a meal, yes! Yes si oui a Big YES to this.
SAVE BIG ON WINE here each and every Wednesday!
SAVE UP to 20% OFF 2 Ways Each Wednesday!
SAVE UP to 15% OFF on Wednesdays
PAY ON WEDNESDAY, Save on Wednesday,
CALL Chris or Tony for help : 202-363-4265.
     Friday, April 28th, 2017 : 5-8PM : We have Narayan Campbell here to taste an assortment of his fine wines with you all. Narayan will pour some ARCO Malbec from Argentina, some Silvermyn Sauvignon Blanc , some Coteaux dry red French Burgundy, and some Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc that we really like as well made by HIGHFIELD that specializes in sparkling wines.
JOIN US, never any charge.
     Saturday, April 29th, 2017 ( 2-6PM ) : We have Marianna Annio here, owner - winemaker of her own Puglian Italian wines PIETROVENTOSA  pouring one dry rose 2015, $18.99 a bottle, made from 100% Primitivo, ... and three reds : one only made for restaurants as there is so little ( we will only get three cases of it so come taste and buy now! ), and the Allegoria 2014 Primitivo Gioia Del Colle, $21.49, and her Riserva 2008 V.Q.P.R.D. Primitivo, $48.99 a bottle, ... come taste, rediscover or discover for the first time. This will be Marianna's third visit here, and she is a dynamo of energy and power, wonderful charm, fire, personality, a lovely person indeed!
JOIN US, Never any charge, everyone always welcome here!
THANKS For Everything, you are the best, the cream of the crop, le TOP NIVEAU like they say in Franglais! Cheers, TONY 4/25/2017
What Follows Below is an old store email that I wrote and sent back in April 2013 just after the Boston marathon tragedy and Earth Day ... read it if you have the time. Cheers, TONY 4/25/2017

EARTH DAY Yesterday, and glad to see that there was more focus on it this year from all that I have heard and read recently. I was able to work, weed, rake, cut back ornamental grasses and to mow the lawn that sprung up with everything in shades of bright baby greens everywhere and all needing my immediate attention. Oh, and the bird baths got lots of fresh water on two days in a row and the robins, sparrow, cardinals and more all appreciated this from the flutter of their rapid wings and hops in the water before flying off as quickly as they came. Nice.
WE ARE PICKING UP THE PIECES still from the Boston Marathon tragedy last week and that has been really hard to bear. Lots being written about it. I spoke to one of our customers that was here that is working on sorting through everything that has happened so suddenly and so unexpectedly and what I took away from him in our brief conversation that was very positive : he talked about what we could learn from this to avert this happening again.
THEN THE FLIGHT DELAYS I read about this morning from the effects of the sequestration set into motion recently by Congress : lots to deal with. I hear on MPR Radio yesterday talk about this and one of those that called in said that she was just going to be even earlier arriving at the airport to be sure that everything would work as smoothly as possible on her end, expecting the worst and happy when the situation was better than she anticipated!
I DRANK SOME fine 2005 Italian " Super Tuscan " Merlot on Sunday evening with our neighbor that needed some " adult company " after having been with her three children all day. We were happy to have her come and chat and the wine really had lovely overtones of tobacco , tar and leather and creamy spice overtones. It was a food wine and it tasted great with our meal. I am not mentioning the name now as we do not have any to sell anymore and I do not want to tease you all.
HAVING SAID THIS we do have some of the " original " Super Tuscan Carmignano 2009 " Piaggia - Il Sasso  " from MAURO VANNUCCI, $40.99, 13.5% alcohol by volume, from in Poggio a Caiano, Tuscany that pretty much blew Eon and me away when we first bought this 2009 vintage to offer you all. This is a great and a delightful, wonderful splurge for a nice moment.
IT WILL WARM YOU today with this breeze and cool, colder weather that is hesitant to do anything too quickly and is supposed to warm up today and be in the 60's? Are we there yet? I am here inside in our office but will go check soon. ANYWAY: this wine from Carmignano , the " Il Sasso " is a spectacular, classic, world-class Italian red that must be tasted to be believed. Cheers.
RAVI WAS JUST TALKING TO ME, EVERYBODY in the beer, liquor and wine business has been talking , EVERYONE about the Costco that just opened here in Washington D.C. : there's lots of changes, the BEFORE and AFTER of Costco and it has already been very hard on many as they muscle their way into Washington D.C. and start trying to call all the shots here. I wish I could feel good about what I am hearing and saying, I have only heard negative things so far, and really only from people in our business. It is quite upsetting and I know that this is only one side. I do feel, however, that I should let it be known that like many big companies they are shaping a whole new " scene " here that. from everything that I hear and see so far would be happy to have none of us here that have been here for so many years now serving you as well as we could and can and still hope to do so for many years to come. ...  
IT'S SHADES OF  the little pharmacy up the street across from the Connecticut Avenue entrance to our National Zoo that has been effected greatly ( also been there for forever ) by the larger drugstore chains from everything that I hear but that no one wants to admit to, or let known that they spoke of it for fear of recrimination from lawyers and so on. Upsetting. TIMES, they sure " are a changin' " to quote Bob Dylan. What can we all do?
BUT HEY, It's Time Now to talk about some beer for this weather. What does Santos have up his sleeves for you all ?  :
     1)  KULMBACKER Edelberg Legendares KULMBACKER Pils ( On Special for $13.99 a 6-pack, Scho handlich, from Kulmbach, Germany, since 1516, Bavaria ) : I went to their Facebook page and " liked " them and they have already responded on our Facebook page. I asked them for more information and hopefully they will include that soon.
This is, however, A PERFECT BEER with only 4.9% alcohol by volume  when the temperatures decide to finally rise as they surely must?!And NOW FOR FUN : the ingredients are : acqua, malto d"orzo, luppolo, estratti di luppolo ... and in yet another language  :  Zutaten :  Wasser, Gerstenmalz, Hopfen, Hopfenextrakt. I love this : Where are you Gabrielle when I need you? Come and try this delightful Pils.
     2)  TROUBLE DOUBLE IPA Brewed For Us by FOUNDERS Brewing ( On Special for $13.99 a 4-pack of 12-ounce bottles,  9.4% alcohol by volume, Grand Rapids, MI,  www.FoundersBrewing.com ) : " An Imperial IPA that was brewed to turn your world upside down. Hops will have you coming and going ...  ".
     3) Hommel Ale from POPERINGS ( On Special for $9.99 a 1 Pt. 9.4Fl. Oz bottle, 7.5% alcohol by volume, product of Belgium, by NV Van Eecke, B-8978 Watou ) : looks and tastes like the real McCoy! Looks also like it would be PERFECT for this cooler weather now. Cheers and enjoy.
     4) Black Mocha Stout from HIGHLAND Brewing Company ( On Special for $10.99 a 6-pack of 12-ounce bottles, from Asheville, North Carolina, www.highlandbrewing.com, since 1994 ) : " ... having a very malty body with a large, roasted chocolate flavor . ...  ". Taste it, great to have it with the other flavors, too from North Carolina!
     1)  EFFEN Cucumber and Vanilla Flavored Vodka from Holland ( On Special for $29.99/ regularly $33.99 a bottle, 37.5% alcohol by volume, go to : effenvodka.com for more recipes and ideas ) : " Expertly distilled from wheat grain. Deliciously enhanced with natural cucumber flavors. Cheers.
          TWO ( 2 ) Great Single Malt " Values " :
     1)SPEYBURN Aged 10 Years Highland Single Malt Whisky, established 1897 ( On Special for $26.99 a bottle, 43% alcohol by volume, www.speyburn.com, Rothes, Moray AB38 7AG Scotland ) : "  .... created using fresh spring water from Speyside. It's this water which gives our whisky its distinctive character and unique flavour. " Try it, everyone loves it : very smooth and a FABulous value, too.
     2) OLD PULTENEY Aged 12 Years " The Maritime Malt " Single Malt Scotch Whisky ( On Special for $42.99 a bottle, Est. 1826, from Wick, Scotland ) : this single malt spends time on the sea and takes on a distinctive sea-ocean flavoring that is unique and all it's own. Our customers love it. Heartier, beefier than the SPEYSIDE. Another FABulous value for you all!
     We just purchased some of the DACANTUS Aero Wine-Aerating pourers for you all to make it easier to enjoy your wines now and not have to age them or wait for them tom open so slowly when you finally pull the corks. They cost $14.99 and we recommend that you try them to make your wine experiences more enjoyable, especially when the wines do need to be cellared more ans especially when you are in a hurry and cannot wait! Also easy to carry with you and use on picnics, hikes, other camping trips. Also make great gifts and these are so affordable. Come check them out. Cheers. Available at our register.
WINES from MICHEL and from TONY :
     1) 2010 Sauvignon Blanc from JARDIN Stellenbosch, South Africa ( $16.99,14% alcohol by volume, Integrity and Sustainability, synergy between soul and soil ) : " ... produced by California-trained Gary and Kathy Jordan on their Stellenbosch property ". Michel and I both liked this quite a bit.
     2) Viognier 2011 from Virginia from STONE MOUNTAIN VINEYARDS ( $19.99, 12.5% alcohol by volume, Dyke, VA. www.stonemountainvineyards.com ) : located in an area known as Bacon Hallow. Really showing nicely. Had our local rep David of Grappoli Imports pour it here recently on one of our weekend wine-tastings.
     3) 2007 Marsannay " Les Echezots " from the DOMAINE BALLARIN & F ( usually the F would end with " ils " boys, in this case since there are four daughters and no sons it would end : " illes " girls! I like that, I like it a lot : Go Ladies! )... a dry red 100% Pinot Noir red Burgundy that still needs a couple of hours to open up ( use the aerator above for $15 ) and then enjoy it for it's lovely medium-to-light-bodied taste and flavors of bright strawberries and cherries. It's so silky and fine, so elegant. On Special while it still lasts for $22.99 a bottle : regularly $36.99 a bottle. A GREAT BURGUNDY STEAL! Try some, treat yourselves.
     4) Cote de Nuits-Villages " Vieilles Vignes - Old Vines " 2005/ great year in Burgundy- from the DOMAINE HENRI NAUDIN-FERRAND 100% dry red Pinot Noir by law ( On Special for $22.99 a bottle, regularly $45.99 a bottle while supplies last, Margny-les-Villers, 21700 NuitsSaint-Georges, Burgundy, France ) : smells like a strong-scented-perfumed barnyard! It's intense, it let's you know that it is there! The taste is mush rounder, fuller, more appealing and I like it quite a bit. It's a food wine. As Jim Reeves of Comete wines that was pouring it here this past weekend - we both thought it would be a good red meat wine: it's got that presence and flavor and boldness and needs food to " flesh " it out. Great deal, great year, great food wine - get some NOW before we sell out soon. Cheers.
     1) BUY ANY Non-Sparkling wine at $20 or over and SAVE 20% OFF the marked sticker price.
     2) BUY ANY SIX ( 6 ) Non-Sparkling wines or more and SAVE 15% OFF the marked sticker prices.
     3) BUY ANY TWELVE ( 12 ) or more Non-Sparkling/Still wines and SAVE 20% OFF on the marked sticker prices.
     THIS INCLUDES all port, sherry, marsala, madeira, and sake. Mix up the bottles. Stock your home and your various needs and SAVE BIG here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits!
     CALL US if you cannot come in person at : 202-363-4265 and Michel or Tony can help you with your orders. SAVE, SAVE and SAVE some more @ CLEVELAND PARK WINES & SPIRITS.
     Friday, April 26th, 2013 ( 5-8PM ) : We have Theresa Morrison here coming to pour some of her delicious DE MEYE Stellenbosch dry Shiraz rose, as well as some other COMPASS California dry red  Cabernet or Merlot ( $13.99 both ) ; and the PALAIS PRIVE Blanc from Luberon. France that we LOVE : the 2012! Wow, we have some of the 2011 still so you can take your pick? Cheers. Join us. Call if you need more info.
     Saturday, April 27th, 2013 ( 2-6PM ) : We have Jessica coming to pour a selection of the Eric Platt Kiwi-New Zealand portfolio of wines that include a red Pinot Noir Marlborough 2010, $26.99 from FORREST- www.forrest.co.nz ; as well as a dry, flavorful 2012  Pinot Gris, $16.99 and a crisp and lively  2012 Sauvignon Blanc, $16.99 13.5% alcohol, www.ppw.co,nz  from OLD COACH ROAD : BOTH from Nelson, New Zealand and made by SEIFRIED.

     I A SURE I HAVE MISSED SOMETHING important here and yet it's time to get this posted. Thanks for everything you have done for us. We appreciate everything!   Take care, cheers,   TONY

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