Friday, May 29, 2015

Short Work Week Grab Bag

We hope your weekend plans include at least one visit to Joe Canal's. Both stores have wine tastings on Friday and Saturday, and there's a special after hours tasting event on Sunday at our Lawrenceville store.

Upcoming Events

Yesterday's blog post gave an excellent preview of what's coming up over the next few weeks at both stores. Click here for that post. Otherwise, click here for the Lawrenceville Event Calendar. Please click here for the Woodbridge Event calendar.

New Products

Mud House Central Otago Pinot Noir. Fragrant aromas of cherry and dried herbs complemented by scented oak and spice. Smooth on the palate with dark cherry and bramble flavors delivering a long finish with fine tannins and balanced acidity. Pinot Noir is a great summer red, pairing perfectly with salmon and salads.


Ardbeg Perpetuum. Ardbeg celebrates their 200th anniversary with a limited-edition whisky that's sweeter, lighter and more floral than a standard Ardbeg. The palate still exhibits tar and charcoal and spice and peat, but here they’re balanced by sweeter elements like vanilla, caramel and milk chocolate.
Ardbeg Perpetuum contains no age statement, and is made up of very old and very young Ardbeg whiskies aged in both Bourbon and Sherry casks.

A Look Back

It was a busy Memorial Day Weekend at Joe Canal's in Woodbridge.
We had a visit from Eddie Plungerhead, as part of the Plungerhead wine tasting.

We also had free Maglione's Italian Ice available.

Ripped From The Headlines

Will taxes be lowered on distilleries? Click here to read the story.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What to do, what to do?

That's the classic conundrum, isn't it? We're looking to do something interesting outside of work, especially when the weather is nicer. Well, challenge accepted! With an ever-expanding schedule of events at our Lawrenceville and Woodbridge stores, there's something on the agenda for almost everyone. Here's a look at our upcoming calendar:

Events in Lawrenceville

This weekend is two parts regular wine tasting, one part special event wine tasting. We'll have our regular wine tastings on Friday (4-6pm) and Saturday (2-4pm). Click here for the menu.

On Sunday, we'll have our Goodbye Spring, Hello Summer Wine Event. Here, you can sample from more than a dozen different wines, shop both our store and invited vendors, enjoy appetizers and so much more. This after-hours event starts at 7:30pm on Sunday. Click here for details.

Next weekend, our wine tasting schedule gets a shake-up. We'll feature wines from Josh Cellars on both Friday (3-6pm) and Saturday (12-3pm). Customized labeling will also be available during tasting hours. Inquire at Customer Service for complete details.

Highlighting only special events, the next three will appeal to anyone who enjoys Scotch whisky, and also anyone who wants to give a gift of Scotch. Stop in for bottle engravings for The Macallan (June 12, 4-7pm) and Johnnie Walker Blue Label (June 13, 1-3pm). We're also offering wax seal gift tags for Dewar's Higher Marques on June 20, 2-4pm. Since Father's Day is June 21, any one of these three premiums will be ready in time.

June 13 will be a day you'll want to either stop in several times, or just hang out all day. We already mentioned the Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottle engraving. Our events will actually start at noon on June 13, with a tasting of Not Your Father's Root Beer. That's the name of a brand-new product that comes to us from Chicago. NYFRB is an ale, brewed with spices. Click here for more information.
After the NYFRB tasting, we'll have our regular wine tasting, from 2-4pm. June 13 wraps with the nearly sold-out Founders Small Plate Beer Dinner. This will start at 5:30pm, and registration is $35. Your registration fee includes one bottle of the 2015 edition of KBS.

We're not done with our June events. On June 19, we're hosting a tasting of Haig Club Single Grain Scotch. Haig Club has been crafted using a unique process that combines grain whisky from three cask types. This creates a fresh, clean style that showcases butterscotch and toffee for an ultra-smooth taste. Single grain whisky is being predicted by experts as the next trend in whisky. Haig Club is backed by David Beckham and Simon Fuller.

Our final special event for June is a Bourbon dinner, hosted by Store Manager Toni Carver. The only details currently available are that the dinner will begin at 5:30pm on Monday, June 22, at Vidalia in Lawrenceville.

Events in Woodbridge

It's a relatively sedate weekend at our Woodbridge store. We have our regular wine tastings on Friday (4-6pm) and Saturday (1-3pm). Click here for the tasting menu.
Things get really hopping in June. After a regular Friday wine tasting on June 5, we have a special guest visitor on June 6. We're hosting a Skinnygirl Cocktails In-Store Bottle Signing with Bethenny Frankel, the founder of Skinnygirl Cocktails, Wine and Vodka. Saturday, June 6th, 3-5pm.

Next, we're hosting a Bridal Show & Wine Tasting on June 10, starting at 7pm. Please click here for details. We just updated some information this morning.

The following day, June 11, we're hosting a tasting of Troegs beer, from 5-7pm. On June 12, we're back to a regular Friday wine tasting, from 4-6pm.

If you've ever wanted to try a Bloody Mary, or if you like to sample different recipes, then you definitely need to stop in on June 13, from 1-3pm. We're hosting a tasting of Bruce Julian Bloody Mary mix. This is a Southern spin on a classic cocktail. Click here for more information.

On June 14, from 2-4pm, we're hosting the Johnnie Walker Blue Label bottle engraving, with the Dewar's Higher Marques Wax Seal Gift tag set for June 20, from 2-4pm. Both are conveniently placed if you want to gift these items for Father's Day.

Explore the lighter side of Guinness on June 19, as we host a tasting of Guinness Blonde, from 5:30-8pm. Guinness Blonde combines the best European brewing techniques with the finest American hops. The result is a crisp, light and flavorful beer characteristic of the post-Prohibition American Pale Lager style, with an added hoppy and citrus nature and a unique biscuit malt taste.
With our incredible selection, unbeatable prices, great service and very full schedule of events, it's no wonder that we are New Jersey's wine and spirits SuperStores!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Incoming!

It's mid-week, where we have the opportunity to take a look at some of the newest arrivals at Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville and Woodbridge.

Patrón Añejo, Canal's Family Selection

At Joe Canal's, we sometimes partner with others to add outstanding products to our shelves. These partnerships allow us to offer you unique, limited-availability wines and spirits at reasonable prices. The Canal's Family Selection (CFS) designation means that the item was hand-selected for quality, taste and value.

So far, the CFS program has featured Tequila, Bourbon and other whiskies. We also have a number of wines that are exclusive to Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville and Woodbridge. These wines come from some of the best producers in the business, and are available to us because of our buying power.

You always knew that we saved you money. With these branded programs, you can be certain that you're getting the best of our stores.

Patrón Añejo is, for good reason, perhaps the best known ultra-premium tequila. Patrón Añejo combines a variety of tequilas all aged in small white oak barrels for at least 12 months. Similar to winemaking, each vintage of Patrón Añejo is carefully blended to produce a smooth and sweet tasting tequila perfect for sipping. Each bottle is numbered by hand and crafted from recycled glass.

The taste is smooth and sweet, with distinct oak notes complimented by vanilla, raisins and honey, with a hint of melon. Only $50.99 in the Bottle Club®.

Bombay Sapphire East Gin

In response to requests, we're adding this superb new gin from an excellent distiller. Bombay Sapphire East Gin features all of the botanicals from Bombay Sapphire (juniper, grains of paradise, lemon, cubeb berries, coriander, angelica, almonds, orris root, cassia bark and licorice) and then adds lemongrass and black pepper.  These two new botanicals clearly stand out in the nose of the Bombay Sapphire East Gin, giving it a spicier and fuller nose. The lemongrass seems to also boost the lemon in the nose and the black pepper boosts the juniper.

Available for $29.99.

                             Matua Marlborough Pinot Noir

We've noted previously how the New Zealand winemakers have started producing some excellent Pinot Noir. A notoriously difficult grape to grow, the success of Pinot Noir from the Marlborough region (the North end of the South Island) follows the success of Sauvignon Blanc.

Matua had a great 2013 growing season, yielding truly ripe and flavorful grapes. The palate reveals cherry, backed with blackberry notes and sweet smoky oak. The wine is soft and luscious on entry, with supple tannins leading to a savory, lingering finish.

Enjoy this young, but you'll add complexity by cellaring for up to three years. Only $10.49 in the Bottle Club®.

As always, if you're looking for new items in our stores, just ask any team member.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Funky Tuesday

After the long weekend, we're not feeling particularly alliterative. However, with the new wines we're presenting today, the savings will make up for that.

Depending on your palate, we have three reds from Funky Llama that will be the perfect pour. These are the kind of exceptional values that you have come to expect from Joe Canal's. Enjoy them at a cookout, use them as cooking wine or as a base for home-made sangria; you can't go wrong with any of these three wines.

Funky Llama Shiraz. Not your typical Argentine red. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: "It is immediately an extremely juicy and mouth-coating wine, full of crushed black cherries, loganberries, huckleberry sauce, licorice root extract and black twizzlers. There is tremendous concentration through the midpalate that also shows a delineation not normally seen in wines of this level. It is well-structured to the finish that lingers surprisingly long with yet more anise, cherries jubilee and dry extract."

"This is clearly a complete overachiever at this ridiculous price point and worth the time and effort of going to the store for it." Only $4.98 in the Bottle Club® for the 1.5 liter size.

Funky Llama Malbec. Our wine staff in Woodbridge recently tasted this, and called it a "great buy". More: "Brick-ruby color, hints of berries and chocolate on the nose. Up-front fruit with an earthy, rustic, fruity finish. Perfect for pizza, pasta and barbecue. Make a great base for a home-made  sangria !!!"

On many occasions, we've noted our exceptional buying power, and how we pass those savings to you. That's all fully in effect with Funky Llama Malbec, which is available for only $2.98 in the Bottle Club® for the 750ml size.

Funky Llama Cabernet Sauvignon. The Llama is an icon of the high Andes, roaming the snow covered peaks between the pampas and the sky. Grown at 4,000 feet, in the shadows of these great mountains, these wines give a clear expression of the purity of the land where the grapes are grown: lively, fresh, and flavorful. Intense color and pleasantly dry with varietally true characteristics of black fruit and spices setting the stage for a solid Cabernet Sauvignon typically found in examples several times the price. Graceful and balanced on the palate with firm tannin. Also only $4.98 in the Bottle Club® for the 1.5 liter size.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Three Day Grab Bag

Thank you for making our blog a part of your holiday weekend. Of course, we pause to remember those who served and sacrificed.

Over the weekend, we will have our regular store hours on Saturday and Sunday, and both stores will be open from 9am to 6pm on Monday, Memorial Day.

In-Store Events

We listed out the important upcoming events in yesterday's post. Click here to access that post, which covers both stores.

New Products

Edge Cabernet Sauvignon. The winemaker notes: "EDGE is a lush, complex Cabernet Sauvignon produced from grapes which were carefully selected from the great old vineyards in the heart of Napa Valley."

"Produced with Napa Valley fruit, our product is a cutting edge wine without the cutting edge price."

EDGE Cabernet Sauvignon drinks wonderfully now, and will age well for five to eight years. Edge spent 16 months in French oak barrels, of which 35% were new. It is a blend of Cabernet and small amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

We've seen this elsewhere for as much as $27.99 per bottle. We have it on sale in the Bottle Club® for only $17.99.

We reviewed several other new products earlier this week. Click here to access that post. Since this was a holiday week, we didn't have many new product deliveries.

Ripped from the Headlines

Wine Spectator offers wine recommendations for your grilled meals. Click here for the story. We carry 5 of the 10 wines listed. Spoiler alert: Here's a listing of the wines that we do carry:

  • Alamos Seleccion Malbec
  • Bogle Merlot
  • Columbia Crest H3 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône
  • Layer Cake Pinot Noir

Have a great weekend! See you Tuesday.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Events Update

At Joe Canal's, we're not content to only be New Jersey's leading wine & spirits superstore. With our schedule of events, we're ahead of the curve in education and entertainment as well. Here's a look at the upcoming events in our two stores. First, a quick reminder that our store hours on Monday, Memorial Day, are 9am-6pm.

Events in Lawrenceville

We're taking an event break for the holiday weekend. If things slow down, we might have an unscheduled wine tasting, but we're expecting to be pretty busy for the weekend.

May 29 & 30 will see us returning to our regular weekend wine tasting schedule, Friday from 4-6pm, and 2-4pm on Saturday.

May 31 is our Goodbye Spring, Hello Summer Wine Event. This will be after hours next Sunday. Sample from over a dozen wines, enjoy appetizers and more! Click here for more information.

June 13 is the next important date if you're a craft beer aficionado. Starting at 5:30, we're hosting a Founders Brewing Small Plate Dinner. Five small plates courses will be expertly paired with five hand-crafted, quality beers. Seating is limited, and the cost is only $35. Your registration fee includes one bottle of the 2015 KBS.

Up next will be two excellent Father's Day and/or Graduation gift ideas.

June 14, we'll offer complimentary engraving on 750ml bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

June 20, we'll offer Wax Seal Gift Tags for Dewar's Higher Marques.

Click here for our website Event Calendar, a listing of all events, plus explanations.

Events in Woodbridge

We've doubled down on a busy weekend with interesting events.

May 23, we'll have a special tasting of Plungerhead wine. Plungerhead is donating $1 per bottle sold to the Boot Campaign, which benefits veterans. Click here for a more detailed explanation and a link to the Boot Campaign website. The tasting will run from 1-4pm.

You don't have to be an oenophile to enjoy visiting Joe Canal's this weekend. From 11am-6pm on Saturday, May 23, we're offering free Maglione's Italian Ice (while supplies last). It's just not summer in New Jersey without Italian ice, and this is one way we can say "thank you" for shopping with us.

June 6 is our next major event, an appearance by Bethenny Frankel, from SkinnyGirl Cocktails. The In-Store Bottle Signing will be Saturday, June 6th, 3-5pm.

We're hosting a Bridal Show and Wine Tasting on June 10, starting at 7pm. We're experts at saving you money on the wine, beer and spirits for your wedding, and we're partnering with Elegant Bridal Productions for this fun evening!

That very busy week continues the next day, with a free tasting of Troegs Craft Beer on June 11.

You'll have to wait two whole days for the next event, a Bruce Julian Bloody Mary Tasting on June 13. Click here for information on the event, and to find out why this is the must-have mix of the summer.

The week wraps with the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Bottle Engraving on June 14. On June 20, we have the Dewar's Wax Seal Gift Tag. Click here for more information on the Dewar's event.

Click here for our website Event Calendar, a listing of all events, plus explanations.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Here's the Latest

Those of us who grew up around here know that this weekend is really the start of summer. Not the "unofficial start" that the media often refer to, because we can ignore the calendar when we need to. It's the start of weekends (or weeks) either down the shore, or at the beach, depending on whether you're discussing South Jersey or North. It's also the start of cookout season, and we'll all be outside when we can.

There are a couple of things that you'll want to enjoy while you're outside. Sangria is always on the summer list, as is an easy-drinking red wine. Sangria, with its cornucopia of fruit, is the quintessential summer wine beverage. Because we enjoy more meals outside, as well as just sitting outside people watching or star gazing, we tend to drink from plastic, unbreakable containers, so the easy drinking, very affordable red wine is the right call. Fortunately, we have choices for you in those categories.

Mija Sangria. Sure, we still have the old favorites, but we think you'll absolutely love this new sangria, which comes from the team at 90+ Cellars.

Mija Sangria is a fresh and natural bottled sangria made with 100% real fruit juice for a true homemade taste. Crafted without artificial additives or preservatives, it's packed with antioxidants from the juice of popular super fruits including pomegranate, açaí and blood orange. Mija comes in a reusable flip-top bottle, making it the perfect on-the-go beverage.

Mija is sourced, produced, and bottled in New York. And the bottle's 100% screen printing means you won't have to deal with any runny ink or wet labels next time you and your friends are sipping and savoring a bottle pool-side.

Only $9.96 in the Bottle Club®.

For your summer cookouts, we have a couple of incredible values in our stores. Depending on your palate, we have three reds from Funky Llama that will be the perfect pour.

Funky Llama Shiraz. Not your typical Argentine red. From the Las Vegas Review-Journal: "It is immediately an extremely juicy and mouth-coating wine, full of crushed black cherries, loganberries, huckleberry sauce, licorice root extract and black twizzlers. There is tremendous concentration through the midpalate that also shows a delineation not normally seen in wines of this level. It is well-structured to the finish that lingers surprisingly long with yet more anise, cherries jubilee and dry extract."

"This is clearly a complete overachiever at this ridiculous price point and worth the time and effort of going to the store for it." Only $4.98 in the Bottle Club® for the 1.5 liter size.

Funky Llama Malbec. Our wine staff in Woodbridge recently tasted this, and called it a "great buy". More: "Brick-ruby color, hints of berries and chocolate on the nose. Up-front fruit with an earthy, rustic, fruity finish. Perfect for pizza, pasta and barbecue. Make a great base for a home-made  sangria !!!"

On many occasions, we've noted our exceptional buying power, and how we pass those savings to you. That's all fully in effect with Funky Llama, which is available for only $2.98 in the Bottle Club® for the 750ml size.

Funky Llama Cabernet Sauvignon. The Llama is an icon of the high Andes, roaming the snow covered peaks between the pampas and the sky. Grown at 4,000 feet, in the shadows of these great mountains, these wines give a clear expression of the purity of the land where the grapes are grown: lively, fresh, and flavorful. Intense color and pleasantly dry with varietally true characteristics of black fruit and spices setting the stage for a solid Cabernet Sauvignon typically found in examples several times the price. Graceful and balanced on the palate with firm tannin.

Only $4.98 in the Bottle Club® for the 1.5 liter size.

Nebraska Brewing Black Betty Russian Imperial Stout. Black as night and every bit Imperial, this RIS was originally launched to tremendous accolades.  Aged in Whiskey barrels, this barrel aged version meshes the rich chocolates and the coffee-like aromatics with the sweet whiskey nose and drying character of the oak.  Slightly behind on the palate are the hops, held in restraint by the wonderfully full mouth-feel and broad flavors brought on by the perfect blend of so many malted barley varieties. Ready to enjoy now and perfect for extended cellaring. 11.3% ABV. $18.49 for a 750ml bottle. Very limited availability.

Rough Rider Cask Strength Rye Whisky. Locally harvested winter Rye is the cover crop that is planted on the farm land to maintain the sustainable characteristics of the soils, following the harvesting of Long Island's iconic potatoes. Bottled at cask strength (121 proof), this remarkable Rye reveals its true raw spirit with hints of spice, coupled with a touch of malty sweetness, followed by a long, warm and smooth finish.
From Long Island Spirits, the company that brought us Pine Barrens Whisky and LiV Vodka. Priced at $61.49, and available in limited quantities.

Finally, for our Fine Wine lovers, we present the 1964 Francesco Rinaldi Barolo. "The 1964 Barolo presents an uncharacteristically youthful dark red color. It used to be quite common for estates to blend a little Barbera into Barolo and my guess is that this wine is not 100% Nebbiolo. It is a richly structured wine that displays mature aromas and sweet dark fruit with good overall depth of expression, although it is not as well-balanced as the best wines in this grouping." - Wine Advocate, 89 points. $289.99 in the Bottle Club®.
The Rinaldi vineyards