Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mid-Week Grab Bag

Your blogger will be unavailable for the balance of the week, so the vote was for a Grab Bag today. There have been more events announced, and plenty of new products to talk about as well.


Tonight is the Weyerbacher Small Plates & Samplings at the Lawrenceville store. Click here for the details, bit you should call the store at 609-520-0008 to see if any spaces remain.

Thursday, there will be a free tasting of three different spirits items: Pallini Limoncello, Clontarf 1014 Irish Whiskey, and Celtic Honey. Click here for details. The tasting will run from 4-6pm.

We'll have our regular weekend wine tasting in Lawrenceville, 4-6pm Friday and 2-4pm Saturday. Click here for the menu.

Click here to visit our Events page, as the calendar will fill even more as the holiday season gets going. And speaking of holidays, we'll have extended store hours in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Please click here to see the schedule.

In Woodbridge, tonight is the Wine Dinner that we're hosting at Dominic's Italian Restaurant in Avenel. Click here for the menu and other details. Please call Dominic's at 732-726-3355, or the store at 732-726-0077 to see if any seats remain.

We're having a Halloween-themed wine tasting this weekend. Click here for the Trick-or-Treat-y menu.

While there are already a number of quality events on the calendar, we wanted to highlight the Kane Brewing Small Plates dinner on November 14. This in-store event will feature 5 small plates paired expertly with Kane products. Space is extremely limited. Click here for more information.

Click here for the Woodbridge Events page. Already on the schedule: Dewar's Higher Marques Tasting on November 15 and the Johnnie Walker Blue Label engraving on December 13, among many other programs. Please click here to see the Thanksgiving week hours for Woodbridge.

New Products

Peligroso Silver Tequila: After countless trips chasing swells, surfers Keith Ross and Bruce Beach set out to create a drink that embodied memories made on the dusty roads and beaches of Baja. Made the traditional way in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico Peligroso® is that drink.

Inspired by the pursuit of big breaks and good times south of SoCal, Peligroso® is handcrafted for those who seek a life traveled off the beaten path. For those who make their own rules. Those who push to live every moment to the fullest. For those hell bent on fully experiencing the ride. For those born to rattle the cage.

Smooth with a bite, this versatile 100% Blue Weber Agave tequila is a bottle that demands a permanent spot on the shelf. A rich blend of agave flavor and enticing heat, Peligroso® Silver has a full body highlighted with subtle hints of spice, white pepper and lemongrass on the finish.

Only $30.99 in the Bottle Club®.

SAVED Red: SAVED Red Wine is a robust, powerful wine with a big personality and a generous finish. It is big, bold and rich, with pedigree sourcing from California's finest regions.

An eclectic blend of grapes deliver rich color and fullbodied flavors: red currant, black cherry and black olive. Soft tannins balance well with distinct oak flavors - French oak for vanilla and coconut; American oak for caramel, créme brûlée and coffee.

This project is a colaboration between Clay Brock, a second-generation winemaker who excels at crafting Californian varietal wine blends and Scott Campbell, a contemporary artist.

A blend of Merlot, Malbec, Syrah, Zinfandel and mixed reds. Only $19.99 in the Bottle Club®.

2010 Boulder Bank Pinot Noir: This is the fifth vintage of the Boulder Bank series of wines. Winemaker Nick Goldschmidt has created this product to showcase one of New Zealand’s preeminent varietals – Pinot Noir.

Having made wine worldwide for many years, Nick has returned to his New Zealand roots to create Boulder Bank. This Pinot Noir comes from a single vineyard on Hawkesbury Road in the Omaka area. As with all of Goldschmidt's vineyard sites, this vineyard faces east and receives soft morning sun, which increases hangtime and ultimately complexity. Planted in 1999, these Dijon clones are cane-pruned to reduce yield and have separate shoots for maximum cluster exposure.

Only $16.98 in the Bottle Club®.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stoli Goes Ginger

Stoli draws on their 80+ years of vodka-making to bring us Stoli Ginger Beer. The flavors of Stoli Ginger Beer have been specifically designed to blend perfectly with Stoli vodka.

Ginger Beer also happens to be a growing category, as anyone who has enjoyed a Dark & Stormy can attest. Please note that the Stoli Ginger Beer is non-alcoholic.

One of the things that distinguishes ginger beer from ginger ale is that the beer tends to have more of a ginger “bite.” But Stoli seems to have found the right balance: Stoli Ginger Beer is somewhere between a beer and an ale — it’s got a little bit of ginger-y fire, but it’s also got a pronounced lemon-limey sweetness (Stoli uses pure cane sugar and real ginger extract in the recipe). Sure enough, that makes it more of a mixing ginger beer than a standalone one, though we wouldn’t object to drinking a Stoli ginger beer on its own on a hot summer’s day. It’s almost like a sparkling lemonade with a boost of ginger flavor.

The Moscow Mule is best served in a traditional copper mug. The recipe can be sized for a single serving or a pitcher.

Here's the recipe:
2 parts Stoli Vodka
1/2 part Lime juice
3 parts Stoli Ginger Beer

See other variations on the Stoli Moscow Mule theme with the social media hashtag #RaiseYourMule.

(Some content courtesy of

Monday, October 27, 2014

Looking for something to do?

With so much going on, not to mention Halloween preparations, this seemed like a good time to review our upcoming events and activities.


A unique event is the Weyerbacher Small Plates & Samplings, coming up this Wednesday, October 29, at 6:30pm. This is an in-store event, and is a "must" for the craft beer lover. Attendees will enjoy five Small Plates, paired with five different Weyerbacher beers, in four-ounce servings. The cost is only $25.

On Thursday, October 30, we have a special tasting, from 4-6pm. Sample Pallini Limoncello, Celtic  Honey, or Contarf Irish Whiskey. Click here for the details.

We will have our regular wine tastings on Friday (4-6pm) and Saturday (2-4pm).

We have a tasting of Hetta Glögg on Saturday, November 8, from 1-3pm. Nordic for mulled wine, Glögg originated in the early 1600s. Traditionally, spices were added to the poor-tasting wine of the time. As flavors improved, Glögg remained popular in Nordic countries, becoming a traditional beverage associated with Christmas and other social gatherings.

Nordic Glögg is similar to other mulled wines such as German Gluhwein and Chilean Navegado. Glögg is often called Grog, a word that refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages that are similar to Nordic Glögg.

Hetta Glögg is produced in Rhinebeck, NY.

Also on the schedule for November are tastings of St. Francis wines, Acacia wines, and Glenfiddich whisky. To know what's going on, click here for our website's Events page.


Tonight is the Bruichladdich tasting. Free with your RSVP, we offer two sessions, to see what the new classics from Islay are all about. Please call 732-726-0077.

Wednesday is the Wine Dinner at Dominic's Italian Restaurant in Avenel. Enjoy a great meal with superb wines, and learn a bit about pairings as well. Please click here for more information.

Our weekend wine tastings are themed for the season. Click here for the tasting menu, and stop in Friday, 4-6pm, or Saturday, 1-3pm.

We'll have our own tasting of Hetta Glögg on Friday, November 7, from 6-8pm.

Please join us for the in-store Kane Brewing Small Plates dinner on Friday, November 14, starting at 6:30pm. We'll pair five small plates with five different Kane products. Please click here for more information.

There's always something good going on at Joe Canal's in Woodbridge. Please click here for our Events page.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Grab Bag

Our favorite blog post of the week! We cover a number of different topics in our weekly wrap-up, so let's get to it.


We offered a pretty detailed preview of our upcoming events in yesterday's blog post. Click here to read that post. We'll give you the headlines here.

Today: wine tasting, 4-6pm. Staff picks.
Saturday: wine tasting, 2-4pm. Lafite Around the World
Wednesday, 10/29: Weyerbacher Small Plates & Samplings, in-store, 6:30pm
Thursday, 10/30: spirits tasting, 4-6pm
Click here for the Events page in Lawrenceville

Today: wine tasting, 4-6pm. Staff picks.
Saturday: wine tasting, 1-3pm. Staff picks.
Sunday: Ladies Night Out, 7:30pm-9:30pm. Free admission with advance RSVP; benefits Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Monday, 10/27: Bruichladdich educational tasting. Two sessions-one at 6:30pm, one at 8pm. RSVP.
Wednesday, 10/29: Wine Dinner at Dominic's Italian Restaurant in Avenel.
Click here for the Events page in Woodbridge

New Products

This category also includes items that may have been out of stock for a while, or are rarities. For example:

Veuve Clicquot La Grand Dame. The color is luminous, sparkling gold with amber highlights.

There is plenty of effervescence. The fine, light bead swirls up slowly and gracefully. The first nose reveals a definite mineral base, with noble fruit (white peaches, bergamot) and remarkable intensity.

On agitating, the bouquet becomes gourmand and voluptuous with hints of brioche, nougat, vanilla, frangipane and jasmine.

We have an extremely limited supply of La Grand Dame in this beautiful wooden gift box.

Neely Pinot Noir. "The Pinot Noir grape varietal inspires unique interest among wine enthusiasts worldwide. The challenge and potential of cultivating Pinot Noir in our unique Spring Ridge micro-climate, at the northernmost edge of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation, was exciting, and in 1997 we planted our first 3 acre Pinot block, Hidden."

Neely Pinot Noir typically scores 90 or more points from the Wine Advocate. Look for the Hidden Block, Picnic Block, and Upper Picnic Blocks.

Also look for:
Hibiki Whisky, 17 year old and 21 year old. Limited availability.
Classic Malts: Specialty packages of Oban, Lagavulin, Dalwhinnie, Cragganmore, and Clynelish.

Ripped from the Headlines

Old school moonshiners continue to distill their unique products in the hills. Click here to read about modern-day bootleggers.
What a modern moonshiner uses. From the article.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Our Events & Activities

At Joe Canal's, there's always something good going on. Sometimes, as we outlined in yesterday's post, we're getting deliveries of great new and/or seasonal products. Sometimes, we have killer drink or meal recipes, courtesy of our industry partners. And then there are the Special Events we're involved in, which is the topic of today's post.


This weekend, Lawrenceville has wine tastings on Friday and Saturday. The Friday tasting is 4-6pm, and features Staff Selections. Click here for that tasting menu. Saturday's tasting is 2-4pm, but will feature "Lafite Around the World".

From the Domaines Barons de Rothschild, Lafite wines are produced in several countries, and offer tremendous value. Click here to see the tasting menu.

A unique event next week is the Weyerbacher Small Plates & Samplings, coming up on Wednesday, October 29, at 6:30pm. This is an in-store event, and is a "must" for the craft beer lover. Attendees will enjoy five Small Plates, paired with five different Weyerbacher beers, in four-ounce servings. The cost is only $25.
Here's the beer and pairing menu:
-AutumnFest, paired with soft pretzels and beer cheese.
-Althea, paired with assorted cheese, figs and crostini.
-Imperial Pumpkin, paired with Curried Butternut Squash soup with roasted pumpkin seeds.
-Last Chance IPA, paired with BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders.
-Tiny, paired with chocolates, brownies, cheesecake and coffee.

For more information, please click here. To RSVP, please call the store at 609-520-0008.

To stay current, please click here and bookmark our Events page.


It's Ladies Night Out this Sunday, October 26, starting at 7:30pm. There's food, fun, wine tasting, and so much more, all to benefit the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Admission is FREE with your advance RSVP. To see the full agenda, please click here.

Of course, Woodbridge will have the regular wine tastings on Friday (4-6pm) and Saturday (1-3pm). Click here for the tasting menu.

We'll also have a special Bruichladdich tasting class on Monday, October 27. There will be two sessions, and they're both free. Please click here for information; the link in the image won't work.

Two days after that, we're sponsoring a Wine Dinner at Dominic's Italian Restaurant in Avenel. Four courses, four wines, forty dollars. Please click here for information.

That just covers the rest of October! We have more great things planned in November (Kane Brewing Beer Dinner, for example) and beyond. To stay current, please click here and bookmark our Events page.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Delivering the Goods

Our buyers present us with two sure signs of the season, as a part of this week's scheduled deliveries.

Pennsylvania Dutch Pumpkin Cream Liqueur

Made with real dairy cream and delicious pumpkin flavor! Perfect holiday drink! Available in the 1.75L size.

Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Nog

Blended whiskey, rum and brandy blended with fresh dairy cream make this a holiday favorite. Just add a little cinnamon and ground nutmeg to create a wonderful holiday cocktail! Available in 750ML and 1.75L sizes.

Dolin Vermouth

Made to the same base of recipes since 1821, Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry has long been the benchmark for fine Vermouth. Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry is made of fine wines and botanicals found in the Alpine meadows above Chambéry. Together they impart a fresh and elegant nose, with a subtle and complex palate. Ideal as an aperitif or in cocktails.
Tasting notes: Dolin Vermouths are notably lighter, drier and less pungent than their larger commercial counterparts. The particular mixture of plants found near Chambéry give a fresh, restrained and elegant nose, with a subtle, complex bittersweet palate. Even the Blanc and Rouge retain great balance, with the sugar never cloying, and just enough bitterness to whet the appetite. Each can be enjoyed as aperitif on ice, with a twist of citrus, or in a broad array of traditional cocktails.

We're carrying the Dry, Rouge and Blanc, all priced at $11.99

Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir Finish

This is the latest in product innovation from Woodford Reserve, and marks the ninth release in the series. The Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir Finish was produced by taking a batch of mature Woodford Reserve and finishing the spirit in Pinot Noir barrels freshly emptied and shipped from California’s famed Sonoma-Cutrer Winery.

Tasting notes:
Appearance: Rich, deep garnet
Nose: Bursting with rich red fruit and berry character overlaying a complex sprinkling of spice (cinnamon, clove), oak and dark caramel.
Taste: Warm and fruit forward with notes of cherry, raspberry, blackberry followed by a crisp spiciness and subtle oak sweetness.
Finish: Long and warm with lingering fruit and earthy oak character.
90.4 proof.

Available in limited quantities for $93.99 in the Bottle Club®.

In addition, these two highly allocated items will arrive within the next day or two:
-Parker's Heritage Collection,8th Edition
-Balvenie 25 Year Old
And not allocated, but available only for a limited time, as in for the holidays, until they're gone from stock, Crystal Head Vodka Gift Sets.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From Casablanca

That's the Casablanca Valley in Chile. No, we don't carry any products from that other Casablanca. The Errazuriz Wild Ferment Chardonnay is our pick of the week, and here's why.

Chile is a land of soaring Andes mountains, a mild Mediterranean climate, and fine wines. From the premium wine producing regions of Chile come the best grapes, and it is here that Viña Errázuriz has been producing the highest quality Chilean wines for more than 130 years.

Don Maximiano Errázuriz founded Viña Errázuriz in 1870 in the Valle de Aconcagua, 100 kms north of the capital city, Santiago. Recognizing that this valley, with its cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes, was ideal for growing grapes, Don Maximiano sent for the finest clones from France and with tenacity and perseverance transformed this barren land into a world-class vineyard.

Today, the tradition of quality lives on with Don Maximiano’s descendant, Eduardo Chadwick. Eduardo is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the wine business.

Over the last five years, Errazuriz’ Chardonnay Wild Ferment has become recognized as perhaps the top Chardonnay from South America.  Errazuriz ferments its best lots of Chardonnay using natural yeasts. Natural fermentation starts slower than inoculated fermentation because the yeasts must grow to sufficient numbers to transform sugars into alcohol. During this period the yeasts produce by-products which add distinctive flavors and complexity to the wine. Some lots start the fermentation and eventually finish, others ferment slowly and do not finish off the sugars completely, leaving more mouth feel. These natural fermentations take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks to complete while the inoculated lots take less than a week.

This 2013 vintage was a big hit with the wine industry's professional reviewers:

"This a phenomenal white with sliced apple, papaya, and chalk with hints of slate. Turns to limes. Full body, with bright acidity and a racy acidity that goes on for minutes with the fruit. Dry austerity at the end gives it incredible character. This was fermented and aged in second and third year oak. Ten months. A triumph. A reductive structured style. Screw cap. Drink now." - 95 Points James Suckling.

"The 2013 Chardonnay Wild Ferment Aconcagua Costa, from vineyards planted in 2004-2005 on schist soils on the coastal part of the Aconcagua valley, 10-12 kilometers from the sea, is fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak barriques (and aged there for 10 months, 0% new). Fifteen percent of the wine went through malolactic fermentation, because it was a cold year and they wanted to give it more volume, with no battonage and only 13% alcohol. The nose is very clean, with well-integrated wood, orange peel, crisp aromas of citric fruits, high acidity, great freshness and minerality. The wine is light to medium-bodied, sharp and delineated, in a Chablis way. Drink 2014-2018."  - 90 Points Wine Advocate.

This great Chardonnay is available at Joe Canal's for only $22.99.