Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sadly We Say Bye Bye To Both Ripple & Nam Viet Here In The Next Few Days Of June, 2017 : Come By ASAP & Dine & Enjoy A Last Meal Or Two While You Still Have The Time! Nam Viet Closes Saturday, June 24th!

Cleveland Park WineCleveland Park Beer, Liquor & Wine
Featuring a wide, international selection of fine wines, micro-brews and spirit   

We all need to be in more of a cleveland park state-of-mind. we need to spend more time looking around us here in our neighborhood & Appreciating what we have fully.


I was just saying that as patronage goes down here prices usually rise and that makes many of you think we are being greedy and not keeping your interests at heart. NOT TRUE : we have to pay high rents to be here and have to make a profit to keep our doors open as customers come through less and perhaps order more goods on line?


there is more competition, more choices for you all, we know that, we all are trying our best to keep our doors open for you, prices down, and our service to you as good as we possibly can.


that being said we are saddened to be saying ' Bye , Aurevoir, hasta luego, a la prochaine, a presto ' to both the two fine restaurants of Ripple and Nam Viet here on our block that close their doors before the end of june.


What follows below is an old store email I wrote and sent on June 17th, 2014 : read and enjoy it if you have time, here is today's from Tuesday, June 20th, 2017.
HOPE YOU ALL enjoyed a great Father's Day weekend. My family took me to the Sprinfield Manor Winery and Distillery outside of Frederick, MD, to visit their wonderful lavender fields on the hill, drenched in bright sunshine and heat Sunday, but saved by the constant, cooling breeze!
I AM SAD to say that I did not sample anything, either the wines of the distilled spirits, : too hot, and the wines were made from grapes from other states and not Maryland alone. Oh well, felt better as a result on a horribly hot and dangerous day, and was able that evening to enjoy more of the @PaoloCalli wines of southern Sicily that we tasted here with you all this past Saturday night with owner/ winemaker Paolo Calli himself, and importer @RobertKennedy between 6:30-8:30PM. Many of you got signed gift bottles from Paolo, lots of smiles, great cheer and moments to treasure. We even had someone play their harmonica here for Paolo - that was a ' first ' here!
WALKING AROUND the store just now collecting my / our thoughts and seeing what ' goodies ' we need to write about today and share our wealth of riches with you?!? Have found many and will start with them now :
IN BEER From Santos Rivera we have :
      1) Hefeweizen Grapefruit Bier imported from Germany, On Special for $8.99 a 4-pack of 16-ounce cans, that is perfectly refreshing for this hot weather with low humidity today and tomorrow I believe. Come get some, Santos keeps it in our silver cooler up front across from our register.
     2) Pilsner POLESTAR from LEFT HAND Brewing Company, $11.99 a 6-pack of 12-ounce bottles, with 5.5% alcohol by volume, : " a zesty German-style Pilsner with great biscuity malt flavor and a dry, crisp finish. " Yes, love seeing a Pilsner for a change, nice for this heat, too.
          TWO From UPLAND Sour Ales :
     1) Dry-Hopped Sour Ale " Hopsynth " , ale aged in oak barrels with fresh hops, On Special for $8.99  for a 500ml bottle, from Bloomington, Indiana, : " A Blended Work Of Art - We developed HopSynth by blending younger batches of our blonde base sour Basis, then dry-hopping with new and experimental varieties of hops, This non-traditional combination results in a unique balance of tart and hoppy flavors as well as a range of hop aromas including pine, tropical fruits and citrus notes. " YES to all the above!
     2) Limited Sour Ale ' Revive ' , same size as above, On Special for $8.99, : " Let this bottle Revive your beer drinking experience. A unique blend of pineapple and chamomile meets our base sour blob=nde ale. Discover our wood-aged sour with the unique combination of fruit and spice, producing lively aromas of citrus fruit and herbs with tart flavors of apple, pineapple and stone fruits. "

Liqueurs / Liquors From Jagir :
     1) Allspice Dram from ST. ELIZABETH , a tradition of the West Indies, $35.99 a bottle, with 22.5% alcohol by volume : tweek many a drink with a dram of Allspice, yes, from Austria : " From its origins in the tropical hills and valleys of Jamaica, the allspice berry has for generations been prized for its exceptional tastes of citrus, cinnamon and nutmeg and pepper note that dazzles the palate. The allspice liqueur known in classic cocktails as ' Pimento Dram ', brings together the fine pot-still rum and allspice berries of Jamaica. " Enjoy in punches, mulled wine, and with continental and land cuisine, too.
     2) Double Expresso from VAN GOGH , On Special for $25.99 a bottle, with 35% alcohol by volume, , this is a brilliant naturally-infused expresso flavored vodka that may be enjoyed in so many ways : find your own, be proactive and creative, let your imaginations soar.
     3) Dry Rye GIN from ST. GEORGE , handcrafted in California, On Special for $39.99 a bottle, with 45% alcohol by volume, I loved this becasue it has an aroma of mangos and I love mangos, the taste is smooth, bright, rich and lingers in a really pleasing way, too!
     4) Grapefruit Bitters that is ideal as a cocktail flavoring, from BITTER TRUTH, $11.99 a 300ml bottle, all natural, from Germany, with 44% alcohol by volume, this is a great refresher in a cocktail, two-three splashes and your tongue and palate with feel so much more alive and free and happy!
     WINE From Chris & Tony -
     1) A Merlot, A Cabernet Sauvignon , and a Cabernet Franc, THREE reds from the Domaine BASSAC, All three On Special for $9.99 a bottle, all distinctly different, made from organic grapes, all fruit-forward and fruit-centerd : all delicious now for this weather. Tasted here last Saturday by Andrew Stover.
     3) THREE From The MERKIN Vineyards : from Maynard Keenan :
A) " Tarzan ' 2013 New Mexico dry red blend of  88% Tempranillo and 12% Primitivo - a lovely elegance, not heacy, fruit-centered and lighter!$38.49 ..
B) " Chupacabra " 2015 Arizona dry blend of 45% Grenache, 40% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre - a lively frisky and fresh expression of these three grapes, a delight to sip even in this heat,$28.49 a bottle.
C) " Shinola " 2013 New Mexico dry red blend of  44% Sangiovese, 26% Montepulciano 16% Dolcetto, 7% Refosco , 7% Primitivo: a bit fuller with the extra bottle age, still delightful in this hot weather :
ALL THREE should be chilled 40 minutes or so and then enjoyed!
OUTSTANDING French Champagne, Value, Too :
     1) Champagne Lelarge-Pugeot Premier Cru RM ( Recoltant Manipulant - own and do everything themsleves from start-to-finish ), $41.99 a bottle, a Brut dry Tradition, this is amazing : weight, body, bread and dough, complexity, presence, character, and such an amazing low price : love it!
WONDERFUL Portuguese Red Dao -
     1) Colheita Selecionada desde 1990 / in perpetuum, from CABRIZ, $13.49,  a flavorful, complex medley of flavors from the blend of 40% Alfrochero , 40% Tinta-Roriz, and 20% Touriga-Nacional - loved it with food when I first tasted it, fine with things off your grill yes!
WOW : Burgundy French Wines : 3 White Chardonnays, 4 Red Pinot Noirs -
          WHITES -
     1) Chardonnay old-vines / vieilles vignes from the CHATEAU DE SANTENAY, 2015, $27.49 : I was thoroughly impressed with this wine, the flavors, the unique taste, the body and the bright long finish, lovely.
     2) ' Le Jarron ' 2013 Deux Montille from a sister and brother ( soeur - frere ) team : and they knocked it out of the park with this Saint-Romaine Chardonnay with so many levels of flavor, such intense appeal and presence, such an impact , and balanced completely, a jewel always, and one that will improve with more age, On Special for $46.99 a bottle.
     3) Meursault dry white 100% Chardonnay from the DOMAINE Jean-Michel Gaunoux, 2013, On Special from $75.99, a firmer, more lean and muscular, more svelte and mature yet youthful taste of Chardonnay that is so slow to open and reveal all of it's charms, and yet rushing it would be the worst thing that you could ever do! Well-worth the delay, the time, the effort, the patience, the unwillingness to march along to the beat of this very special white Burgundy from the town of Meursault!

          REDS -
     1) 2015 Bourgogne Rouge 100% Pinot Noir from the CHATEAU DE SANTENAY , made from old-vines / vieilles vignes, this is also quite impressive, more body and presence and flavor than I would have expected, and youthful and balanced, slow to open, do not rush it.
     2) " Herbuottes ' Morey-Saint-Denis from Frederic Magnien, a 2013, On Special for $43.99, this is a tasty, youthful, rustic, a meatier, more grip, more girth and a bit of the ' savage - primitive ' cry of these Pinot Noir clones that howl their existences to us in joy, pain, hope and brilliant survival! Yes.
     3)  " Seuvrees Vieilles-Vignes / Old-Vines, from the Domaine Michel Magnien, 2013, $55.99 : I liked the more lean, the more kind-mean texture and attitude here, a stamp of these Pinot Noir feet letting us know that though often considered mor of a lamb, here the wolf or the bull wants to assert itself, too :
a treat with a meal. Slow and steady, steady and slow, like the tortoise,
this wine already is a winner and when it crosses the finish line we will al break out in a big smile that will connect into one representing all of us . YES!
     4) 2013 Volnay 1er Cru ' Les Champans ' No 00470 from the Domaine Joseph Voillot, mis en bouteille a la prprete, from Volnay, Burgundy, France,
On Special for $82.99 a bottle : this is quite backward, quite rustic and still dark, closed, a bit self-centered and less open at this point to the world around it. It might need the most babying/coaxing and coddling, the most patience.
Do not be in a rush, put it away for a rainy special day in five years or so.
Wait and you will be greatly rewarded, leprechans standing by the pot of gold at the endo of a brilliant rainbow of Pinot Noir colors, accents, nuances, highs-to-lows-and-back-again, It will be amazing, now it is partially asleep.

Wednesdays is always SAVE ON WINE DAY @CPWineSpirits!
3 ( THREE ) Ways To SAVE -
TWO Ways To SAVE Up To 20% Off Sticker Price
ONE Way to SAVE Up To 15% Off Sticker Price
CALL ( 202-363-4265 ) and pay if you cannot come, but always SAVE every Wednesday on your wine purchases here.
CALL and ask for Chris or Tony ( me ) for all the details.

ALSO : One Insane Deal -
     1) Viognier 2015 from the Chateau BURGOZONE , their ' Cote de DANUBE ', On Special for $9.99, regularly $15.99 a bottle. This is a lean, greatly impressive dry and structured, lively, jostling, forward-tasting, fresh and enthusiastic youthful Viognier that shows some real maturity of composition and character, too ! Love it, LOVE the low price, only a bit more than two cases here now! Come get some quick!
WEEK'S Tastings :
Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 ( tomorrow, we have Valerie of Winesellers Ltd, an old friend, we have done so many great events and tastings together here and also next door at Nam Viet with her German wine selections ( we have also done the same thing at Dino's restaurant on the corner here before it left to the Shaw neighborhood ), and so tomorrow we will taste here with Valerie the following :
          TWO German Whites -
     1) Dr Heyden 2015 Rheinhessen  Silvaner troken- dry alte Reben - old vines  estate-bottled  from winemaker and owner Frank, a treat, an amazing German white from the Silvaner grape, a beauty!
     2) 2015 Riesling DR. THANISCH Erben Muller-Burggraff , Mosel $16.49, from another great friend Barbara Rindquest , Feinherb, with 10% alcohol by volume, this has got a lilting brace of acids that keeps the whole Riesling taste on our palates very bouyant! LOve it, thanks Barbara.
          TWO Aussie Red Shiraz Wines - HOPE Estate Family Vineyards , Hunter Valley & Western Australia -
     1) Shiraz ' The Ripper ' Geographe Western Australia, from owner Michael Hope that has been here many times in the past. 2013, $20.99, 14.5% alcohol by volume, this is leaner, meaner, more gruff and hearty like one of the trolls under the bridge that insists on being reckoned with! Great food Shiraz.
     2) Shiraz Basalt Block Hunter Valley New South Wales, 2013, $16.49 a bottle : this is rounder, softer, more silky and soft and less bite or tannins, the more mellow and pleasing to sip of the two!
          ONE Fine Port from Portugal -
     1) Ruby Reserve Lote No. 601 Portofrom QUINTA De La ROSA, 500ml bottle, 19.5% alcohol by volume, with extra layers of buffering and calming, soothing and pleasing flavors that coddle and comfort and relieve stress, anguish, despair and worrying ! This is a winner, chill for 40 minutes before serving and enjoy the exotic magic carpet ride this affords our palates and our tongues - true pals to all of us!
Graham Isaac from the Country Vintner will also be here with Valerie : we will rock it here tomorrow. JOIN US.
FRIDAY, June 23rd, 2017 ( 5-8PM ) : We are welcoming Jeff of LVDH to come here and pour some of his fine selections that he represents brought to us by Alan Cohen and Laurent Vonderheyden : French , Italian, Chilean, and more!
We Have JoAnn returning from TWIN VALLEY distributors in Rockville, MD to taste a selection that includes the ' new and small-production - less than 30 bottles each month - JZE Cask Strength Bourbon whiskey , too, what a great treat this will be with  Four-Grain Rye and Thoroughbred and more, JoAnn is great at making these MD spirits come fully alive, too.
We have Sophia of the DR. STONER'S -
     1) Fresh Herb flavored vodka, like non-other that you have ever tasted as it is layered and redolent, thick, viscous and flowing and fragrant and almost exotically perfumed if you can imagine any of this come and taste it, and BE AMAZED! On Special for $29.99 a bottle.
     2) Smoky Herb flavored whiskey, On Special for $29.99 a bottle, with 42% alcohol by volume, : AGAIN_ amazingly thick, the bouquet alone will make you think of none-other than winning the ' pot ' of liquid gold that will not burn up in smoke but will coddle and please, rock and cradle you and your palate and all your senses into a state of total relaxation. Cannot believe this till you try it!
SATURDAY, June 24th, 2017 ( 2-6PM ) : With Andrea Shank of Tradewinds Specialty Imports we will taste a medley of Spain and Argentina here :
          FOUR Sherries from ALEXANDRO : aavailable in 375ml and 750ml bottles - 1) Finos dry, 2) Manzanilla soft silky dry, 3) Amontillade a sharper nitty-honey dry, and ... 4) Cream that rolls around, lulls, languishes, caresses the tongue, throat, wallls of your mouth, teases your lips, a real pleasing tease and symphony of liquid sherry textures to absorb, yes!
     ALSO :
Andrea will taste the FABulous  -
     1) Spanish sparkling Cava from ROSSIGNOL de Moragas , their dry rose, $16.49 a bottle, 12% alcohol by volume, a lovely refresher in this heat, along with the bolder Malbec from CHANARMUYO, a 2014 La Rioja, Argentina dry red of Malbec, their Reserva bottling, $21.49, chill 40 minutes and serve, with 14% alcohol by volume, from the Valle de Chanarmuyo ... a fine food dry red, best with a meal.
JOIN US : ALL these tastings are free and meanto to educate , entertain, introduce you to more wine, people, experiences, expose you and you palate and senses to ' new and exciting ' sensations!
Bring family and friends,
Everyone always welcome here!
THANKS For Everything. You all are the best , the creme de la creme, the top-niveau, the salt of the earth, and we love you.
ON THE NEIGHBORHOOD there is so much to say :
SAD that RIPPLE is leaving us as they have been great neighbors, a great inspiriation and fun and exciting and with such quality and attention to detail, to local, to small-batch, farm-produced produce and always serving up some of the very freshest and the very best. Thank you Roger, thank you waiters, staff, bartenders, chefs and all the staff that have made our lives here all that more special. Good luck to you in your new location. You will be sorely missed, and the void will be impossible to replicate.
SAD, TOO To be losing NAM VIET Restaurant this ame month of June, 2017. Mr and Mrs Toi, son Ricky and his brother and sister have all been a big part of this neighborhood now for twenty years. I have already written a lot about this so go to our Facebook page to read more at : @ClevelandParkWine&Spirits. Cheers,
THANKS To you Ripple and Nam Viet. You have been truly magnificent!
BOTH Ripple and Nam Viet close by this weekend I believe? Maybe next Tuesday and Wednesday are the last days? Check, go by, have a meal, celebrate their food, excellent service and what they have added here. Neither will be replacable : each had their own uniqueness and special qualities, a sad loss indeed for us. Makes me cry almost, I stop short of that, but it is hard.

SHOP LOCAL, find things to try and to experiement with. Participate, engage your retailers and restauranteurs. Do not be silent, tell us your concerns, give us all a second and a third chance, try and be as excited as you can here in your own neighborhood because we need you as much as we need you. Let us work closer together, grow stronger together, flourish, smile, beam together.
EVERY SALE or every meal that we do not get hurts us and makes it harder for us to stay healthy bright alive and completely here and present for you, with the means to truly answer your needs, It takes a village, a neighborhood, a Cleveland-Park-State-Of-Mind and committment.
ALWAYS express your concerns, your issues, what does not work so we may adjust, correct, deal with them while we still can before moving out , away, and out of your lives.
CHEERS, I am by nature a positive and optimistic person, and I say all of this only becasue I care.
THANKS again to you all, TONY 6/20/2017


 LIFE IS HOT HERE NOW IN Cleveland Park & You All Need To Know Why You Should .... be drinking wine for the world cup and not Beer, cider or liquor instead...


1) They make wine in brazil and it's quite good! 

RESPONSE : They make wine all over the world and it's quite good, too!
2) THEY WORLD CUP is being held in Brazil this year!
RESPONSE : It's been held in many other countries like Italy and Greece and the United States and many other countries, so?!?
3) PEOPLE NEED TO DISCOVER the fine quality of wines from Brazil as they are still largely undiscovered, no one knows much about them?
RESPONSE : That  can be said about many areas of the world like Croatia that played against Brazil on Thursday, June 12th, 2014 and lost their match to Brazil. We should have all been drinking their wine to make them feel a wee bit better?
4) THEY DON'T MAKE CACHACA Rum in other parts of the world?
RESPONSE : They do make many other rums in places like Venezuela, Trinidad, Martinique, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Nicaragua,  and so many other countries as well, so?!?
5) THEY DON'T MAKE BEER in other countries like they do in Brazil! I mean, what about another XINGU Black beer from the Amazon, where else can you get that?!?
RESPONSE : Try some GUINNESS Man and get a grip with more bite, more guts and intensity, not so mild as XINGU. The Italians that just beat England make fine beer, too like PERONI and NUOVO BIRRIFICIO NICESE Amber Medea beers in the 1 Pt. 9.4 Fl Oz bottles for example?!?
6) PEOPLE WILL BE GLAD to discover SAO FRASISCO named like San Fransisco, and they both make excellent wines?
RESPONSE : They make fine wines in Lebanon just as they do in New York State at the SHAW Vineyard in the Finger Lakes by father and son, the father being Irish and the son being half Irish and half Lebanese, so?!? And I just tasted them with the son Steve Shaw and will have both the dry SHAW Riesling and the dry Pinot Grigio, both at $19.99 a bottle here in late July!
7) BRAZIL is such a wonderful melting pot and they speak Portuguese and not Spanish which is more widely spoken, and we want others to discover the beautiful language of Brazil and Portugal?
RESPONSE : True, Portuguese is beautiful but so is Spanish and all the other romance languages and all the others, too, so ?!?
8) BRAZIL moved it's capitol into the middle of the country so that it could be made more available as a government to all Brazilians?

RESPONSE : That's a hot bed and talking politics is difficult at best and always brings up issues that are upsetting, so let's all just focus on the games and the incredible athletes playing them.
9) Everyone LOVES Bossa Nova and so we want to celebrate the Soccer World Cup with the products and the music of Brazil?
RESPONSE : True, Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz, Louie Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald all did go to Rio de Janeiro in the the late sixties to perform and share their music as well as learn from Brazil their Bossa Nova and Sambas, I mean, even David Byrne recorded not that long ago much of that more current yet traditional music in Bahia and from various regions of Brazil, so?!?
10) Be current, be ' of the moment ', be Brazilian as the Soccer World Cup games are there and to absorb it all you have to absorb as much of the  here and the now ' and of the culture as possible!
RESPONSE : True, but maybe if we all meet somewhere in the middle it will be great!
AND : Since we have it all that should be no problem, just come on by, hang with us, do not be strangers!



1) BUY ANY sparkling wine bottle over $20 a bottle and SAVE 15% OFF the
marked sticker price ( except for VEUVE CLICQUOT ).
2) Mix six or more bottles and save 10% OFF the marked sticker prices.
3) BUY 12 or more bottles of sparkling or still wine and SAVE 15% OFF the
marked sticker prices.
Includes Port, Sherry, Marsala, Madeira, Sake.


1) BUY ANY Still Wine over $20 a bottle and SAVE 20% OFF the marked
sticker prices.
2) BUY SIX or MORE bottles of still ( non-sparkling wine ) and SAVE 15%
OFF the marked sticker prices.
3) BUY TWELVE OR MORE non-sparkling wines and SAVE 20% OFF the marked
sticker prices.
INCLUDED are Port, Sherry, Madeira, Marsala and Sake.
MIX THINGS UP. Have fun, get more of what you want this way. spread out
your experiences, too.


     1) ' Pink ' WOODCHUCK Hard Cider - Gluten Free, Private Reserve ( On Special for 9.99 a 6-pack of 12-ounce hard cider bottles, 5.5% alcohol by volume, Middlebury, VT ) : " In support of DRAGONHEART'S cancer SURVIVORSHIP ...  " 
     2) ' Family ' Family Reunio  - 5 SHINER family ' favorites ' ( On Special for $7.99 a 6-pack of 12-ounce bottles, est. 1908, SPOETZL Brewery Shiner ) : includes : 1) Bock, 2) Kosmos Reserve 3) Black lager 4) Wild Hare 5) Brewer's Pride 6) Premium ... what a mix, something for everyone. Really nice.

3) CIDRE de Thierache Brut French cider  CLOS De la Fontaine Hugo, Rozoy aux Serre ( $11.99 a 750ml bottle, 5% alcohol by volume, ) : methode traditionelle and dry and what a great value, too!
4) ' Positive Contact ' Dan the AUTOMATOR the presenter from DOGFISH HEAD Brewing, Delaware ( On Special for $10.99 a 750ml bottle, 9% alcohol by volume ) : " ale brewed with apple cider and spices, a positive combination of Fuji cider, slow roasted farro, a bit of cayenne and fresh cilantro. " Love the yellow- earth tone of this label, too : very soothing.

     1) Amaro delle SIRENE traditional bitter liqueur from DON CICCIO & FIGLI ( $41.99 a 750ml bottle, 29% alcohol by volume, Washington D.C. - support local - ) : " We handcraft our amaro based on an infusion of selected roots and herbs." Glad to have this here, really glad!
     2) Grappa Di Arneis from MOLETTO ( $37.99 a 750ml bottle, 43% alcohol by volume, from Livenza ( TV ) Italy, ) : " The result is the finest artisan production processes utilizing the pomace of Srneis grapes, this fine grappa offers an elegant, refined balance that emerges in the delicate flavor and unique bouquet, typical of the varietal." The Arneis grape also makes a great dry white in the Piemonte as well as this superb grappa. Cheers.      3) Distinctive Maine potato COLD RIVER vodka ( $36.99 a 750ml bottle, 40% alcohol by volume , Freeport, Maine, distilled and bottled by MAINE DISTILLERIES, LLC ) : " Discover a new appreciation of spirits by taking a FREE TOUR of the Cold River distillery in beautiful coastal Freeport, Maine. See how we make each handcrafted bottle of super-premium vodka and gin." Sounds like a great idea, let's all go : when can we meet?!?
     4) Trinidad & Tobago Caribbean Rum Aged 7 Years Estd. 1824 from ANGOSTURA ( $24.99 a 750ml bottle, 40% alcohol by volume, ) : " ... we say the sugar cane is only ready for making rum when it's been kissed by a butterfly." LOVE that, love Trinidad and Tobago. Was there in the late sixties when the Vietnam War was going on and I had to go to my father's office at the American Embassy to sign up for the draft ...
     5) Seasonal Spring/ Summer Batch Number from D.C.'s very own GREENHAT Distillery, the Show Hat, the Yellow - not Green label, $34.99 a bottle, 750ml bottle, 45.1% alcohol by volume. For more cocktail and more recipes and more of this wonderful story go to : www.Greenhat.com. Cheers. We love having this here. Why have they not contacted us to do an in-store GREENHAT tasting yet. Must be too busy making it ...

     1) Shiraz-Grenache 2011 Aussie red by the WINE MEN Of GOTHAM ( $9.99 a 750ml bottle, 13% alcohol by volume, go to : www,gothamwines.com.au for more info ) : I like this as it is so balanced, so light and fresh and vibrant and pleasing and a delight to drink, even with all this heat, chill twenty-minutes before serving!
     2) Xinomavro and Moschomavro 70-year-old-vines make this delightful dry Greek rose from DIOFILI, 2013 ( On Special for $11.99 a bottle, 13% alcohol by volume ) : Sotiris Bafitis tasted it here this past weekend and it sold really well as usual. It is from Siatista, Greece, go to : www.diofili.gr for more info, and come get a bottle to enjoy tonight after you get off work.
     3) Estate-Bottled Tannat 2011 dry red Serra Gaucha, Brazil red from the SALTON Harmoniza Vineyard ( $11.99 a 750ml bottle, 12,5% alcohol by volume ) : chill slightly and enjoy during these World Cup soccer matches, what a delight, so forward and smooth and balanced and poised and such a great value, too. Highly Recommended.
     4) 2011 Kisi Orange wine from VINOTERRA in Kakheti, Georgia ( $16.99 a 750ml bottle, 13% alcohol by volume, fermented in Qvevri large earthen jars buried underground ) ... I like this, flavorful, a food wine, you have to give it time and space and care and not rush things ... and I thought about this Kisi VINOTERRA Orange wine because Theresa Morrison came just thirty minutes ago with a TERRE ROUGE 2010 Grenache Blanc from California's Sierra Foothills that has such a deep golden color, not orange, and yet the weight and the texture and the grip of this Grenache Blanc from TERRE ROUGE made me think of the Kisi Orange wine from Georgia's Kakheti region. The TERRE ROUGE will get here in July in time for the 4th of July and instead of selling it for $25.99 a bottle we will put it On Sale for $19.99 a bottle in honor of our great holiday. Come get some, there will be just a couple of cases and we will sell a maximum of two bottles to each person. Cheers ... what fun, how special!!!
     5) ' The Custodian ' Grenache 2009 from the d'ARENBERG Winery in Australia's McLaren Vale ( $19.99 a bottle, 14.5% alcohol by volume ) : it's always such a treat when Jody Jackman our Winebow rep tastes this out here with you all in the store. It's a classic and flavorful and tasty and great when you grill and want to be outside. Chill twenty minutes and enjoy thoroughly ... wax poetic, let yourselves relax ...
     6) 2009 - great vintage in burgundy, France from the DOMAINE De L'EVECHE , a 100% Chardonnay from the Cote Chalonnaise ( $21.99, 13% alcohol by volume ) from Vincent Joussier 0 : we tasted this here this past Saturday with Chris Bartha and it is drinking like a dream - wonderful, just a couple of cases left of this quite spectacular dry and rich white burgundy that is balanced, fleshy and forward and silky and bright and , ahhhhh : ' just right! ' : but don't take my word for it , come and see what you think yourselves?
     7) ASSAF " 4 Seasons Pinotage ' 2009 from Israel's upper Galilee, this dry ASSAF Winery dry red Pinotage from winemakers Assaf Kedem and Soren Kedem  has so very much to offer all of us. It sells for $35.99 a bottle, is 14.9 % alcohol by volume,  ) : " The way the vines grow, the altitude, and the cool, dry climate of the Upper Galilee combined with its rich volcanic soil - the terroir. Everything taken together, directly influences the quality of our grapes. "
BIG NEWS , the ' new ' barbecue restaurant where the old PULPO was , called FAT PETE is it ( ?!? ) will open in a week, on Monday June 23rd if not at the end of this week tells me Peter, one of the owners. This is so exciting for all of us, we need something that attracts a lot of people here and this sounds like it might just be one of the missing key elements here to solidify and ground things even more and keep more people here and bring more to us, too. How exciting! Keep an eye peeled and stay-tuned for more : nice.
     8) Azienda Agricola LA GIARETTA Recioto Classico Delle Valpolicella 2005, $35.99 a 500ml bottle, 14% alcohol by volume , Veneto, Italy ) : This just sounds like something we all need to indulge our taste buds in really soon! Do not delay any longer ...

     Friday, June 20th, 2014 ( 5-8PM ) : WE have :
 1) Fernando tasting from Tradewinds Specialty Imports as well as tasting some great dry red and white wines of Spain and Argentina, and some Moscatel sweet sherry, too  ...
 2)  Gabrielle Rausse, owner and winemaker and tends the gardens at Monticello, too ... of his own Virginia winery GABRIELLE RAUSSE in Charlottesville, VA. here tasting a selection of his wines. What fun, we will have quite the event! Gabrielle is one of the great pioneers here that got the whole Virginia wine business off to a start back when there was only FARFELU vineyards, perhaps INGLESIDE, back in April 1976 I believe he has told me. Cheers, join us, this is an extraordinary opportunity to taste Gabrielle's wines. Gabrielle is from Italy, from Friuli originally and so we will taste an assortment of his wines.
     Saturday, June 21st, 2014 ( 2-6PM ) : We have John Spina here of THE Spanish Wine Importers tasting an assortment of his Spanish and South African wines. 
     JOIN US, NEVER any charge.
     Thanks for everything, you are all wonderful. I know I have forgotten many things and yet it;s time to post this now. Follow us on Twitter at : cpwinespirits as well as at : wineenabler : also LIKE us on Facebook and follow us there daily at : Cleveland Park Wine & Spirits. Thanks again for everything. Call us when you need a delivery. We deliver : 202-363-4265.

WHAT FOLLOWS BELOW is my store email I wrote and posted here for you all on Tuesday, July 17th, 2014 ... enjoy it if you have a chance ...   TONY 6/17/2014 ...

LIFE IN THE HOT, Fast lane in Cleveland Park N.W. Washington D.C.

     Just look outside or stroll up and down Cleveland Park and soak in the sun as it pelts down and strikes us square between the eyes and try and see the balance of things clearly so that you may maximize the pleasure of as many moments as possible. We are here to help you do this.
     The heat can be disorienting : so can the brightness of these sunny, baby-blue skied days as we plod along and try not to shrivel like the grapes left outside to do so in the Valpolicella region of Italy that results in the Amarone dry red wines and some of the very best wines made anywhere in the world!
     STORIES, TIPS & RECOMMENDATIONS to best survive this intense heat, haze, humidity and pounding sunshine :
     This intense heat that we are experiencing here now reminds me of walking the hillside vineyards years ago Azienda Agricola LA GIARETTA with the owner and our small group of five men on a wine-adventure to visit these sites where some of the greatest wine in the world is being made. We have some of the lesser-known, lesser-spoken-of Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2005 ( $39.99 ) LA GIARETTA in stock. It is even denser, even thicker and lusher and darker in hues and riper than the Amarone that everyone knows and loves. It comes in a 500ml bottle, 14% alcohol by volume,  for this very reason : you drink it more slowly, you let it lavish it's concentrated sweet raisin and spice and toasty-roasted flavors that come from the mostly Corvina grapes ( some Molinara, Negrara and others, too ).
     I AM RELEARNING PORTUGUESE. I spent my early years of 2-8 in Brasil and we are now selling so many Portuguese wines. More than ever before : we have three shelves devoted to Portuguese wines in the store and not just to the Vinho Verdes either that we stock up front and sell for less than $10 a bottle. We just got back the more flavorful, thicker-richer-denser, fruitier version of a Vinho Verde - the  Colheita 2011 ENCOSTAS DO LIMA Branco Meio Seco ( $9.99, 10% alcohol ) also has a lovely slight sparkle and it will taste great inside or outside and not go directly to your head. Enjoy it!
     SPEAKING OF PORTUGUESE and Portugal and Brasil we even have the MIOLO wines of Brasil and I have heard through the grapevine that the 2008 MIOLO Family Vineyards  100% hand-selected Merlot, 13% alcohol by volume, is a very fine vintage and made in the southern Vale Dos Vinhedos region. I was given a sample bottle by our local rep and I can attest myself to liking very much this dry, firm, fruit-forward Saint-Emilion style of Merlot that we sell here for $16.99 a bottle. You should check it out sometime : it's really a wonderful surprise and a delight.
     I LIKE TO DRAW and as a result I like to connect the lines, especially between the Eastern and the Western hemispheres. The lines, too are so often blurred today as many of our customers do not know that many of the grapes came from the Eastern Hemishere and were brought here by immigrants from Italy, Portugal, Spain, Germany, France and so on. I have learned by looking at the MIOLO web page , for example that many of the people that settled in the Vale Dos Vinhedos were from both Veneto and Trento, Italy.
     IT ALL CONNECTS SOMEWHERE and this seemingly large world of ours is connected in so many wonderful ways and so I can start speaking about Italy and Portugal and naturally get to Brasil and to Uruguay that we have supported in a big way for many years now. I am sorry that Abel Sauza our Uruguayian connection has moved to Florida. We do have, however a really fine dry red Tannat that is a grape that originally comes from France's Madiran southwest  not that far from the French-Spanish border.
     WE HAVE A REALLY EXCELLENT 2007 dry Tannat Cerro Chapeu " Amat " Tradicion Carrau ( $29.99, 13.5% alcohol by volume,  desde 1752 ; I got to meet the owner recently at a trade wine-tasting of the Downey imports ) that is pretty amazing and well-worth the money if you want something special. You can start with the MIOLO Family Vineyards 2008 Merlot ( $16.99 ) as it is fleshier, rounder, brighter and more fruit-driven and then pass to the " Amat " BODEGAS CARRAU Tannat 2007 that is both earthier, more spicy and with more developed flavors with more oak, too. I ask the question, too whether this Tannat is made from 100% Tannat grapes or is the law there for only 75-85% of the grapes necessary when listed on the bottle? So much to learn, so much to know, so better get cracking!
     THESE ARE TWO WINES made not that far from one another and yet they are so stylistically different and yet for my palate both are really quite excellent and memorable examples of the grape variety and where they come from and I would be delighted to drink either or both along with the bottle of the Recioto della Valpolicella Azienda Agricola LA GIARETTA 2005 ( $39.99, 14% alcohol by volume, 500ml bottle ) to finish off the meal. I would have a bottle of the ENCOSTAS DO LIMA Vinho Verde Colheita 2011almost as a palate-cleanser/refresher at this same meal to give a break between the wines and the courses and to thus also add accent and the proper attention to each and every wine here as well as the accompanying foods.
     FUNNY, and something that caught my attention immediately, the one and only time that I saw the epically long and interesting-fascinating wine movie called " Mondo Vino " it both started and ended in Brasil. I will have to watch it again as I do not remember if any mention was made of any specific wineries there or of any specific wine region. I have to assume that they were filming in the Vale Dos Vinhedos? That makes sense from what little I know. It also makes me really curious as I wonder if one of the people involved in the filming was from Brasil or not? It all deserves more attention and I will be renting a copy of the movie to watch again.

     ANOTHER THING THAT I NOTICE as I connect all the dots is that all these wines are 14% alcohol and less and I like that as especially with all this extra heat and humidity and beating-down sunshine the lower alcohols are so much easier to both enjoy and to absorb. You not only enjoy them better while you are drinking them with your meal but you also probably feel a whole lot better later as a result of this , too as there is less alcohol ( and in better balance with the other components of the wine ) so as not to got to your head so quickly and leave you with a pulsing headache as well. All good if you ask me.
     STAY-TUNED FOR MUCH MORE INFORMATION and many more choices on these wines as here in the United States and here in Washington D.C. very few people know that they even make wine in either Brasil or Uruguay.
     IT'S SO HOT and the haze and the humidity is holding us all down as we walk along this stretch of Connecticut Avenue N.W. here in Washington D.C. People walk a little more quickly as if trying to escape the pounding and that is completely understandable.
     I JUST HAD TWO YOUNG LADIES come to the store and look into our refrigerator with cold sparkling and still wines. When I asked them if they needed any help the one asked me if we had any really deals on cheap white wines? I responded that we had deals on some " inexpensive " white wines and immediately showed them the bottle of ANJOS De Portugal Vinho Verde ( $8.99, 9.5% alcohol by volume, with a slight sparkle for refreshment ) is made from the indigenous grapes of 40% Arinto and 30% Trajadura and 30% Loureiro.
     I TOLD THEM IT WAS THE BEST THING to drink now with all this heat and humidity and I told them that was so because of the lower alcohol and the slight sparkle. They objected immediately to the lower alcohol and I said that they would have to trust me and report back to me if there were any problems on there day-off and as I would be here all day. I told them my name as well. So far they have not been here and so I hope that all is going smoothly and as planned. Vamos a ver ...
          BEER From SANTOS -
     1) IPA from FLORIDA BEER , Indian Pale Ale " Swamp Ape " ( $9.99 a 4-pack of 12 Ounce bottles, 10% alcohol by volume, Melbourne, Florida, www.floridabeer.com ) : " Firsthand accounts describe an intense beast with a potent aroma and bite. ... Or proof that brewing with five distinct varieties of hops creates an unbelievable, relentlessly hopped India Pale Ale? ... ".
     2) Beer called : Lobster Lovers Beer with quite the sensual/funky label ( $10.99 a 6-pack of 11.2 Fl. Oz bottles, 9.5% alcohol by volume, Aiko Importers Inc, Mount Pleasant SC, www.aikoimporters.com, from Rinkuskia, Birzai, Lithuania ) : " Has life ever snapped at you? Grab it by the claws! ". I rarely ever, hardly never would I say this  BUT I might buy this six-pack just from the art on the label. How does the label and the taste relate? Is there a correlation between the two : imagined or real? The power of suggestion is intriguing and I might just have to buy this from the label. I do have a really good sense, however, that this will be a great summer/hot weather beer to help get through, past and away from the heat and the haze and the humidity that dogged me through the day. Worth checking out. Come by this Lithuanian beer and enjoy the taste and telling stories about what the label might mean or suggest? Cheers.
     3) Wheat beer, unfiltered, since 1989 from the BOULEVARD BREWING CO. ( $9.99 a 6-pack of 12 Oz. bottles, Kansas City, Missouri bottle-conditioned ) : " Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer is a lively, refreshing ale with a distinctive cloudy appearance. Bottle conditioning gives it an extraordinary depth of flavor and makes for a beer that tastes fresher, better , longer. If you wish, gently swirl the last inch or so before pouring to enhance your experience of this traditional beer ".
     1) Imported THREE OLIVES Vodka 1.75ml ( On Special for $25.99, 100% neutral grain spirits, distilled from grain, 40% alcohol by volume , from England ) is one of the tried-and-true vodkas that has stood the test of time and all the recent competition and represents one of the great deals today here. GREAT VALUE, really fine vodka.
     2) Whipped Flavored French Vodka from PINNACLE ( On Special for $13.99 a 750ml bottle, 35% alcohol by volume, PinnacleVodka.com ) has got a real following with both our customers and our bartenders. WE sell out of it regularly. How do you like to serve it? On the rocks? Share your ideas with us.
     3) Tequila Gold  SAUZA made from Fresh Blue Agave Gift Set with SAUZA non-alcoholic Margarita mix ( two bottles, each 750ml bottles ( On Special for $13.99, just blend the two together ) to make your very own SAZA-ritas!!! Cheers!!!

     4) Vodka with natural flavors of CUCUMBER, from SKINNY GIRL ( On Special for $19.99, 30% alcohol by volume, Deerfield, Illinois, 75.8 calories, 0 carbohydrates, 0 Fat, 0 Protein per 1.5 fluid oz. skinnygirlcocktails.com ) is new and exciting here at Cleveland Park. Come try some. Various flavors available. Inquire with Ravinder.
          WHITE :
     1) The FURST Gewurztraminer 2010 ( $19.99 , 12.5% alcohol by volume) from Kientzheim , Kaysersburg ( Haut Rhin ), Alsace, France is round and full and generous and smooth, bright and rounded and has a wonderful and refreshing mouth-feel and is a delight to sip with or without food. It showed beautifully this weekend when Chris Bartha tasted it with our customers for Bastille Day! Highly recommended.
          ROSE : Dry -
     1) " La Clape " Classique 2011 dry rose blend of  80% Mourvedre,  10% Syrah and  10% Grenache, famille E. Fabre ) from the CHATEAU D'ANGLES is drinking like another velvety, bright, fresh, rounded, generous yet toned dream that on the very-first-taste is wonderful and pleasing and easing to one's palate! Again, tasted by Chris on this past Bastille Day and highly recommended. Only 13.5% alcohol by volume, info@chateauangles.com.

          REDS - Dry :
     1) Vinho Regional Alentejano from Portugal, this " LOIOS " from J. PORTUGAL RAMOS ( $9.99, 13.5% alcohol by volume ) is named for the Loios monks that dominated this region. Fresh and bright and forward and a great wine to chill slightly and to enjoy even with all this pounding hear, haze, glaze, humidity and heavy sunshine. Great for a picnic, too with the easy-to-open Stelvan closure.
     2) Pinot Noir " Terrazze " Italian Pinot Nero TENUTA MAZZOLINO  from the Provincia Di Pavia ( $16.99, 2011, 12.5% alcohol by volume - low alcohol once again, easier on our systems ) is an absolute pleasure and delight to drink with or without a meal as we return to from where we started this email : Italy! You can enjoy this Pinot Nero/Noir even in this humidity and heat. Chill it thirty minutes and enjoy it even sitting outside here on Connecticut Avenue N.W. in this really hot summer weather. It is worth this $17 a bottle and more. The Frenchman that makes it in northwestern Italy really knows what he is doing. Cheers, sante, salute!!
     Friday, July 20th, 2012 ( 5-8PM ) : We have Arielle Monaco of the Country Vintner coming to taste some great Italian as well as Aussie wines : LA GERLA Rosso di Montalcino:  Chianti Classico, too - both reds  ... and then two whites from Australia, one from western Australia and one from South Australia. Something for everybody.
     Saturday, July 21st, 2012 ( 2-6PM ) : We have Mark Congdon of J.W. SIEG Imports here with the national sales rep of JULES TAYLOR of New Zealand to pour the three wines that Jules makes :  the 2011 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ( $18.99, 13.5% alcohol by volume, www.julestaylor.com ), the 2010 Pinot Noir ( $23.99 ) and the Pinot Gris 2009 ( $18.99 ) ; all from the Marlborough region.
     JOIN US FOR BOTH TASTINGS : NEVER any charge, everyone is always welcome. Bring a guest. Bring an acquaintance, bring some high expectations with you and surprise yourselves and meet some other really interesting people here. Cheers.
     THANKS FOR EVERYTHING, we love selling to you: we love meeting you for the first time and sharing tips, stories , observations and recommendations. That has been what this whole email has been about. Hopefully you have enjoyed it and learned something, too. Thanks again.
     WE DELIVER FOR FREE here in the D.C. area on deliveries for more than $30. Call us at : 202-363-4265. Read more about us at : www.clevelandparkwines.com. Follow us on Facebook at : Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits and on Twitter at : cpwinespirits.
     OUR DOORS ARE ALWAYS OPEN FOR YOU during our business hours. Let us know what we may better do to help you.
     CHEERS,    TONY

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