Friday, May 27, 2016

After This, Close the Computer

It's a holiday weekend and the unofficial start of summer. You have our permission to shut the computer down after reading this and leaving work, although your boss may think differently. From this morning's commute to the office, lots of people have already started their weekend, so maybe our permission wasn't even needed.

If you need some ideas for the weekend, click here for staff suggestions.

For both Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville and Joe Canal's in Woodbridge, our weekend hours are as follows:
Friday, 5/27: 9am-10pm
Saturday, 5/28: 9am-10pm
Sunday, 5/29: 9am-7pm
Monday, 5/30: 9am-6pm
That means regular store hours today, tomorrow and Sunday, with holiday hours on Monday.

In Store Events

Click here for yesterday's blog post, where we went in-depth on our upcoming events.

New Products

Knob Creek Bourbon, Father's Day Edition. We have some in-store engravings on the schedule, but nothing for bourbon. The metal plate on the bottle indicates the barrel number, along with a "Happy Father's Day" note from Fred Noe. This single barrel bottling is 120 proof, and was aged for 9 years.

Color: Our darkest and deepest amber and henna color
Taste: Deep and complex flavors of vanilla, nuts and oak
Aroma:Robust vanilla and caramel notes; slightly smoky
Finish: Long and full; perfect for easygoing sipping

Available in limited quantities.

Cline Cellars Cashmere Black Magic. Cashmere Black Magic is an alluring blend of grapes that were spirited away from ancient vines rising up from the dark, rich loam. You’ll be spellbound by the resulting libation with its notes of dark berries, chocolate, hints of black pepper and plum. Experience the dark delights of Cashmere Black Magic.

With the inaugural vintage of Cashmere Black Magic, we set out to build upon the fine, balanced flavors of our enchanting Cashmere Red blend and create a wine that was dark, rich and satisfying.

Food Pairing: Incomparable with grilled meats flavored with big sauces.

Flying Dog Numero Uno Agave Cerveza. This beer was originally released in the summer of 2014 as part of our Brewhouse Rarities series. It's the artisanal answer to the easy-drinking, south-of-the-border light lagers. Flaked maize makes up one third of the malt bill and highlights the distinctive corn and cracker flavor traditionally found in Mexican lagers. Agave is added at the end of the boil and the lime peel post-fermentation to impart a distinct, zesty character and a crisp, clean finish. Drink up; there's no beach required. 4.9% ABV, 20 IBU.

Looks like a little something for everyone today. Have a great weekend; please celebrate responsibly, and honor those who sacrificed for our freedom.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Staying Local? Hitting the Road? Stop Here First

We're not really sure when the weekend getaway starts this year. A radio report this morning said that many people started their Memorial Day holiday this past weekend. If you've got the time off available, why not? If you're hitting the road this weekend, we'll give you reasons to stop in at Joe Canal's as you travel to your destination. If you're staying local, we think you'll want to stop in as well.

Events in Lawrenceville

There are no scheduled events in Lawrenceville this weekend, other than the usual amazing sales. That being said, there's always a chance for an unscheduled tasting. Just stop at our Customer Service desk to inquire.

Next weekend, we'll have our regular wine tasting on Friday, with a special Beringer wine tasting/bottle engraving on Saturday. Click here for details. An engraved, personalized bottle can be a very thoughtful gift for Father's Day, college graduation, or for no occasion at all. In addition to the Beringer engraving, look for engraving for The Macallan on June 11, and Johnnie Walker Blue Label on June 18.

On or about June 1, we'll begin accepting entries for the Harley-Davidson drawing, being held at the end of the summer. Scroll down for more details.

To see the full schedule of events in Lawrenceville, please click here.

Events in Woodbridge

We're sure that the holiday weekend starts today at our Woodbridge store. Stop in between 4-7pm for a tasting of HABARITA cocktails. HABARITA habanero craft margarita mixes are made with real fruit juices and natural flavors. Our sampling will include the Original flavor, as well as Peach and Watermelon.

On Friday, we're offering samples of Dark 'N' Stormy cocktails, made with Gosling's Dark Rum and Gosling's Ginger Beer. In addition to the cocktails, you can also sample Silvato Bros. Bakery's Dark N' Stormy cakes.  The cakes will be available for only $7.99/each.

We are scheduled to take delivery of a brand-new Harley-Davidson on June 1. It's not ours to keep, but we're going to help give it away. The Harley will be on display in our store throughout the month of June, then it will be on display in only three other stores before being given away at the end of the summer. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing.

We'll also be busy next weekend. Things kick off on Friday, with our regular wine tasting, from 4-6pm. On Saturday, we have a special tasting to note Hendrick's Gin's unofficial takeover of the official National Cucumber Day, which is June 14, along with the entire cucumber celebration season. Sample Hendrick's Gin Cucumber Lemonade, from 1-3pm. Saturday then wraps up with a Leinenkugel's  tasting, from 4-6pm.

To see the full schedule of events in Woodbridge, please click here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

New for Memorial Day

We'll preview several new products today-a little something for everyone. ICYMI, click here for additional staff recommendations for your Memorial Day weekend activities. Please note our holiday weekend hours:

Friday 9am-10pm (regular hours)
Saturday 9am-10pm (regular hours)
Sunday 9am-7pm (regular hours)
Monday 9am-6pm (holiday hours)
These hours apply to both our Lawrenceville and Woodbridge locations.

New Products

New Amsterdam Apple Vodka. The story behind our premium vodka and gin isn't a history. It's a story that celebrates what's next. It's not about where you've been as long as you make an entrance.

We craft spirits for the places that move fast and don't look back. The places where the city is celebrated.

Available in 750ML and 1.75L sizes.

Sean Minor Four Bears Chardonnay. Golden straw color with aromas of apricot, apple and honeydew, with subtle notes of butter. On the entry, tropical fruit notes with green apple flavors are framed by nice acidity
which integrates well with the medium body mouth feel. A portion of the wine went through malolactic fermentation, which softens the wine and provides a perfect balance.

This had been exclusive to our Woodbridge store, but we've had so many requests for this that we are now stocking it in Lawrenceville as well. And everybody gets the new, lower Bottle Club® price of only $11.66.

Joel Gott Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2012 Washington blend has aromas of ripe berries, cherry pie, and cola with hints of sweet oak. On the front of the palate rich black currant flavors are followed by a sweet mid-palate with soft tannins and a juicy finish.

To make this well-balanced red wine, we blended Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a small amount of Malbec from the Red Mountain and Wahluke Slope appellations located within Columbia Valley, a sought-after location for red varietals. The wine was aged for 14 months in new and 2-year-old American oak barrels, helping to complement the tannins and soften the mid-palate. Only $12.99 in the Bottle Club®.

Dogfish Head Bière de Provence Saison. Inspired by the fields of Provence in
southern France, Bière de Provence begins with 2-row wheat and rye malts, and Jarrylo hops. A bounty of herbs, including lavender, bay leaf, marjoram and chervil, gives it a floral and spicy nose. With a hazy golden appearance, Bière de Provence is fermented using a Belgian yeast strain lending to a sweet and malty flavor profile. This summer saison has a smooth finish with a flavor that’s just as complex as it is crisp and refreshing. Dogfish Head officially calls this a "Limited Release," so please check with our beer team for availability.

Locations P-4. The concept of Locations is quite simple but ultimately made complex while retaining fun at the core. Simple in that the ethos is to make the best possible wine from a given country or location. The complex is tracking down vineyards that contribute
to the blend while keeping the soul of the wine in place. The fun is traveling around the world and meeting incredible people while tearing down the "rules wall" and making the wine the way Dave Phinney (of Orin Swift fame) wants to.

The inaugural release of Locations Portugal: A blend of Touriga Naçional, Trincadeira, and Touriga Franca sourced primarily from the northern region of Douro, with the remainder coming from the Alentejo region to the south.

The glass opens with a triple layered aroma of savory peppercorn and cocoa, jasmine flowers, and black fruit. The immediate dark chocolate structure provides the canvas on which black cherries, roasted lamb, and exotic spices intermingle. It finishes with the tapering dark chocolate structure and culminates with hints of vanilla. $15.96 in the Bottle Club®.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Six Pack Plus

If 13 baked items are called a "Baker's Dozen," then what do we call 7 craft beer selections? We don't know either, but we thought you'd want more information in this pre-Memorial Day week. Please note that we will have regular hours this Saturday (9am-10pm) and Sunday (9am-7pm), and holiday hours of 9am-6pm on Monday, Memorial Day.

We're offering money-saving coupons on two of the items we're featuring today. The Uinta Hop Nosh Tangerine is included in our weekly coupon page (Lawrenceville coupons are here, and Woodbridge are here). The Harpoon Big Squeeze coupon will be Tweeted on Thursday. Click here for the Lawrenceville Twitter feed, and click here for Woodbridge. We do follow back.

As of this writing, the first three selections below are available in both stores.

Harpoon UFO Big Squeeze Shandy. When we first started thinking of a UFO summer seasonal, we knew we had our work cut out for us. We loaded up the vans for the beach and spent days "researching" every combination of fresh fruit juice and beer we could think of until we discovered a combination that made our decision easy.

Sweet with a hint of tartness, UFO Big Squeeze Shandy is perfect for all of your summer adventures! 4.5% ABV, 13 IBU.

Appearance:  hazy, slightly orange, fine foamy head
Aroma:  clean citrus, some crackery notes from the wheat malt
Mouth feel: light bodied
Taste:  sweet malt, sweet / tart grapefruit        
Finish:  quenching, refreshing

Uinta Hop Nosh Tangerine IPA. Uinta Brewing Company takes a fresh approach to their signature IPA, Hop Nosh, introducing a Tangerine variant of the product. Uinta’s new seasonal twist on their top-selling product, Hop Nosh Tangerine IPA, is brewed with real tangerine juice adding a tartness that compliments the notable tropical hop characteristics of the classic Hop Nosh.

"The R&D process for this product was a fun one" said Isaac Winter, Head Brewer of Research and Development at Uinta. "We played with several fruit variants ultimately landing on tangerine as
the citrus flavors and aroma was harmonious with the natural characteristics of the new-world hop varietals used in this product. This beer is refreshing and tart, yet still boasts hop bitterness expected from an IPA."

Ballast Point Watermelon Dorado. Our Watermelon Dorado Double IPA is not one to back down from big flavors. Mash, kettle, and dry hopping blend to create a huge hop profile that is balanced with a blast of watermelon. The result is a refreshing brew that is all summer and no seeds. 10% ABV, 90 IBU.

Pair with Shrimp Po Boy, Pineapple Custard, or Asiago & Manchego Cheese.

Currently, the following two items are only available at our Lawrenceville store:

Kona Big Wave Golden Ale. Our brewers wanted to make a beer that went down easy after a day out on the water. Big Wave Golden Ale is just the ticket. Big Wave is a lighter bodied golden ale with a tropical hop aroma and flavor – a smooth, easy drinking refreshing ale. The use of caramel malt contributes to the golden hue of this beer and our special blend of hops provides bright quenching finish. 4.4% ABV, 21 IBU.

Big Wave is an excellent choice after a day of snorkeling, surfing or just hanging out. Its lighter body and bright hop aroma and taste makes it a natural to enjoy with seafood, poultry, salads and light pasta dishes.

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace. Named after the Sorachi region of Hokkaido, Japan, the Sorachi Ace hop was developed by a large Japanese brewery in the late 1970s. A cross between British Brewers Gold, Japanese "Beikei No. 2" and the famed Czech Saaz, it had a unique lemony, herbal scent, but this hop was deemed "odd" and ended up quickly banished to a laboratory.

In 2008, the Sorachi Ace hop was quietly revived by a family farm in Washington State. Less than a year later, we made it the star of its own titular beer. Originally a member of our limited Brewmaster’s Reserve series, Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a beer we just couldn’t let disappear. Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is a classic saison, an unfiltered golden farmhouse ale, with a clean malt flavor and the quirky Sorachi Ace hop standing front and center. Dry-hopping releases Sorachi Ace’s bright, spicy aromatics to tickle the nose before ascending into a fine harmony between pilsner malt and playful Belgian ale yeast.

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace is sunshine in a glass, a shining example of the versatility of one of the world’s most intriguing hops. This beer is a superstar at the table, and we enjoy it with seafood dishes, fresh cheeses, poultry, barbecue, and even tomato-based pasta sauces. All by itself it puts on a great solo performance too, and we can honestly say that you’ve never tasted any beer quite like it. Go ahead, pour yourself some sunshine.

Food Pairings: Pork buns, fish tacos, shrimp, smoked salmon, sushi, prosciutto, curries, salads, grilled meats and fresh goat cheese.

And our final two beers are currently available exclusively at our Woodbridge store:

Fort Collins Red Banshee. A Red Alt Ale.
Aroma: Classic German Noble hops and caramel malt aroma.
Appearance: Dark ruby hue with foamy white head.
Flavor: Created with German malts for a rich, nutty sweetness, while Noble hops provide an herbal spiciness. A strong, bitter backbone balanced by an intense maltiness and moderate caramel notes.
Cooking tips: Homestyle dishes will enhance the caramel and toffee tones. Ideal for braising and roasting.

Pair with Cheddar mac & cheese or creme brulee. 5.3% ABV. 37 IBU.

Avery Vanilla Bean Stout. A double dose of vanilla derived from both fresh Bourbon barrels and the trio of Tongan, Ugandan, and Mexican whole vanilla beans is complemented by essences of chocolate, caramel and molasses to round out this luxuriously silky stout. 10.8 % ABV.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Catching Up

It's an odds-and-ends kind of blog post today. We need to clear out the inbox, but there are other things you should know about.

Dark N Stormy Tasting Event. Please join us at our Woodbridge store for this special tasting this Friday, 5/27. Sample the classic Dark 'N' Stormy cocktail, made with with Gosling's Dark Rum and Gosling's Ginger Beer. Then, sample Silvato Bros. Dark N Stormy cakes.  The cakes will be available for only $7.99/each. We added this event to our calendar late in the day last Friday, so we didn't have the chance to properly talk about it.

That's Friday-did we mention Thursday? Stop in to our Woodbridge location for a sampling of HABARITA habanero craft margarita mixes. Between the two tastings, you'll have some great new options for the Memorial Day weekend.

Memorial Day store hours. Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville and Woodbridge will be open from 9am to 6pm on Memorial Day Monday. We will have regular hours otherwise, which is 9am-10pm six days per week, and 9am-7pm on Sunday.

New Products

Wines like Apothic Red and Cupcake Red Velvet have been extremely popular because they arrive at the intersection of great flavors and exceptional value. With Bottle Club® prices that are under $10, they are accessible wines that can be enjoyed every day.

We've just introduced a new wine in that same category, The Industrialist. It's a crowd pleasing red blend filled with bold flavors of black cherry, juicy plum, cassis, vanilla and a dash of spice. The complex, medium-bodied palate is lush and round with the balanced acidity, smooth tannins and a long finish. Enjoy on its own, or pair with hamburgers, BBQ and pizza. At only $8.27 in the Bottle Club®, it's the low-price leader!

The movie Sideways came out in 2004, and the reputation of Merlot took a beating. Maybe it was deserved, maybe not. But in the decade plus since the movie's release, Merlot has staged a comeback.

We've been selling the James Wyatt Red Blend for a few months, and it's become a popular choice. We've just added the James Wyatt Merlot, and we think you'll enjoy this classic Bordeaux varietal even more.

James Wyatt Merlot is ruby red in color with a classic bouquet of Bing cherry, blueberry, mocha, vanilla and white pepper. Smooth and round on the palate with elegant fruit flavors, ripe tannins and a long finish. This wine will pair well with peppered steak, mushroom sauces and fragrant cheeses. It's available in both stores for the Bottle Club® price of only $14.97.

Special Events

National Cucumber Day. The folks at HENDRICK’S GIN have officially taken unofficial responsibility for this year’s Cucumber Season — 44 SPECTACULAR DAYS of events, amusements and botanically-inspired aerial transport, laddering up to the June 14th holiday.

Celebrate with Joe Canal's and Hendrick's Gin with a sampling of Hendrick's Gin Cucumber Lemondae. This will be at our Woodbridge store on June 4, 1-3pm, and at our Lawrenceville store on June 17, 5-7pm.

Since June 1 is next Wednesday, we wanted to mention this again. We take delivery of a brand-new Harley-Davidson motorcycle that day.It's not designed for home deliveries and, unfortunately, it's not ours to keep. But it is being raffled off. The HD will be on display all during the month of June, then it will be sent to only three other stores in New Jersey. At the end of the summer, there will be a drawing, and one lucky winner will get to take that bike home. Entries will be accepted at both the Lawrenceville and Woodbridge stores, and no purchase is necessary to enter the contest.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Welcome to Your Weekend Grab Bag

While it doesn't yet feel that way, we are pretty darn close to the start of summer. We don't go by the equinox; we use the calendar. And when it rolls around to Memorial Day, we all know that's the real start of summer.

Summer always means rose wine and seasonal craft beers. We know many of you will visit our store over the coming week, in advance of the Memorial Day holiday, so our staff put together a shopping list that makes for a great start to your summer sipping. Click here for that blog post.

Searching for something new? You may find a new favorite at one of our tastings. We have a weekend full of tastings at both stores. Click here for the details.

New Products

Click here for this week's Craft Beer Corner, our weekly feature devoted exclusively to craft beer. Here's a look at some additional new items.

A few weeks ago, we introduced you to Underwood Pinot Noir, packaged in aluminum cans. We are in the early stages of increasing choices in wine packaging; some places offer wine growlers, and some restaurants now have small, modified barrels for their by-the-glass programs. We have just added two new canned wines from the largest wine brand in the world, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly. Barefoot Refresh are vibrant, light-bodied spritzers, and are priced at only $1.99 each.

Barefoot Crisp White Spritzer. Featuring aromas of peach, lemon-lime, and crisp apple. Chenin Blanc and Riesling make a perfect pair in this standout sipper.

Barefoot Summer Red Spritzer. Featuring aromas of raspberries, oranges and ripe berries. Moscato, Zinfandel and Pinot Noir join
forces to make one deliciously fruity spritzer.

Kendall Jackson Vintner's Reserve Pinot Gris. From one of the best-selling brands around. The wine is blended with a touch of the Rhone varietals – Rousanne and Viogner along with Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner and Albariño, w`hich contribute layers of richness as well as a subtle floral note.

"This wine contains ripe citrus flavors with rich aromas of tropical mango, melon, and juicy peach. The bright fruit flavors and layered texture contribute to this wine’s versatility. Great by the pool, on the dock or before dinner," according to Winemaster Randy Ullom. Only $11.39 in the Bottle Club®.

Crown Royal Honey. To create this extraordinary blend, Crown Royal whiskies are carefully selected by our master blender and infused with the subtly sweet taste of honey. The harmonious notes of wild clover and sunflower honeys complement the richness of Crown Royal Blended Whisky. The result is a vibrantly delicious whisky with the sophisticated and distinct smoothness of Crown Royal. Enjoy straight, on the rocks or in a cocktail for a uniquely smooth experience.

On the nose: Oaky whisky aroma with honey and a slight brown spice. On the palate: Sweet, real clover honey with a smooth whisky finish. And the finish: Moderately viscous and tingly mouthfeel with a warm honey finish.

Available in very limited quantities. Please call the store to verify availability before making a special trip.

Founders Rubaeus Cube. Sometimes a six-pack isn't quite enough, so Founders has packaged Rubaeus as a nine-pack, cans. Optimizing the flavor of fresh raspberries, Rubaeus is Founders’ way of celebrating the joys of summer year-round. This stunning berry-red masterpiece is the perfect blend of sweet, tart and refreshing. No question about it, this beer is 100% Founders.

Please note that our store hours on Memorial Day Monday are 9am-6pm. Otherwise, we'll be on a normal schedule. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Not Busy Work

Our weekend events are pretty much the exact opposite of busy work. The various tastings, engravings and other activities are designed to give you the classic "try before you buy" opportunities. Since there are a gazillion choices in our stores, we can call these educational events as well.

Speaking of education (see what we did there?), congratulations to the graduates of TCNJ and MCCC; both schools have their commencement exercises today. We've had quite a few students from both schools working part time at our stores, and we're happy for their successes.

Events in Lawrenceville

Look for wine tastings at our regular weekend times, 4-6pm on Friday and 2-4pm on Saturday. Our Saturday tasting will feature summer wines (rose and Sauvignon Blanc), and that's pretty timely. Click here for the tasting menu.

Also on Saturday, from noon-2pm, we have a scheduled tasting of Strongbow Cider. Looking for something refreshing and different? Stop in for a sample.

Because we expect more shoppers than usual during the Memorial Day weekend, we will not have any scheduled tastings. You never know when we'll do something unscheduled, so stop at Customer Service to see if there's anything unofficial going on.

We have bottle engraving events coming up on the first two Saturdays in June, along with wine and Scotch tastings and more. Included in the "more" is the Harley-Davidson motorcycle raffle. Details on that are below. Click here for the complete Events Calendar in Lawrenceville.

Events in Woodbridge

We ease into the weekend with a special tasting of Jim Beam Kentucky Fire and Jim Beam Apple on Friday, from 4-7pm. But we're just warming up.

The tastings seemingly don't stop on Saturday. We start with our usual wine tasting, from 1-3pm. All of the selections are priced as everyday values, with all the sale prices being under $10.50. Click here for the tasting menu.

Up next is a re-scheduled tasting of beer from the Bronx Brewery, running from 4-6pm on Saturday. If you're not familiar with them, here's what they want you to know: "We’re a small team, with a big mission: to craft the absolute  best pale ales on the east coast. That’s why we are manically focused on brewing  this one style of beer. No nonsense, no pretense, no silly  names – we simply strive to make great beer for people that love great beer."

Saturday wraps up, at least in terms of events, with a tasting of New Belgium beer, from 6-8pm.If you're a Twitter follower, we just posted a coupon for additional savings on Fat Tire. We'll post that coupon again this afternoon, so you have time to follow us here:

Lawrenceville Twitter or Woodbridge Twitter.

We take delivery of a brand-new Harley-Davidson motorcycle on June 1. No, it's not designed for wine deliveries and, unfortunately, it's not ours to keep. But it is being raffled off. The HD will be on display all during the month of June, then it will be sent to only three other stores in New Jersey. At the end of the summer, there will be a drawing, and one lucky winner will get to take that bike home. Entries will be accepted at both the Lawrenceville and Woodbridge stores, and no purchase is necessary to enter the contest.

In the coming weeks, we have many more tastings, plus engravings and gift wrappings, with Father's Day in mind. Click here to see the full Events Calendar in Woodbridge.

We look forward to seeing you this weekend!