Friday, June 24, 2016

Finally Friday

We hope you're ready for the weekend. With great events and low sale prices, we're ready as well.

In-Store Events

Click here for a list of what's on our agenda for this weekend, and that includes an early start. Please note that this is the final weekend that the Sailor Jerry Harley Davidson will be on display in our Woodbridge store. There is, of course, still plenty of time to enter the drawing for the motorcycle give-away. Inquire at Customer Service. No purchase necessary to enter the drawing.

We don't have the exact time yet, but will be back at our Woodbridge store today to record another "Cocktail of the Week" video segment. As soon as we have the stream available, we'll post it to our Facebook pages and link it here. Our Cocktail of the Week, courtesy of Woodbridge Store Manager David Rudd, is the Monkey Mule.

2 oz. Monkey Rum with Toasted Coconut
4-6 oz. Gosling's Ginger Beer
Fresh Lime

Fill a copper mug with ice and build cocktail. Pour in the Monkey Rum and top with the ginger beer. Squeeze a slice of fresh lime on top and serve. That's simple and refreshing!

New Products

River Horse Hippotizing IPA. Our American IPA is a cross between the West Coast and New England styles. It’s brewed with a pale malt profile to allow the hops to shine through, then dry hopped with over two pounds per barrel worth of Mosaic. This is a great amped up IPA for hop lovers. 7.5% ABV.

Poggio Siresa Amarone. An elegant wine with enticing aromas of black cherry, ripe plum and hints of mocha. The palate is full-bodied and concentrated with refined ripe dark fruit flavors balanced with spice and velvety tannins, which ends in a long finish. Enjoy with rich meats, game dishes or pasts with meat sauce. From the Veneto region. Only $49.97 in the Bottle Club®.

                                                   Ripped from the Headlines

Pitman, NJ had been a "dry" town for over 100 years. Not anymore. Click here for the story.

Single Malt Scotch On Pace For All-Time High. With all its top brands in growth mode, the single malt Scotch whisky category looks poised to mark a major milestone this year and cross 1.5 million cases in U.S. volume for the first time. Overall, the single malt segment climbed 7% in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank, capping a run in which it has grown by about 50% since 2010, and nearly tripled since 2000.

A look at the top single malt players in the U.S. shows a rising tide lifting all boats. Each of the top six single malt brands in the market (The Glenlivet, The Macallan, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, The Balvenie and Laphroaig) displayed solid progress in 2015, combining for an average growth rate of nearly 10%. Among the standout performers were Glenfiddich and Laphroaig, which posted gains of 16% and 14% respectively.

Data courtesy of Shanken News Daily.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

We're Keeping Busy

We're busy planning events, that is. Here's what's coming up at Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville and Woodbridge, including some just-announced events.

Oh, wait. Before we get to that, please note that this is the last full weekend before the 4th of July holiday 3-day weekend. take advantage of our sales and coupons to save even more money as you stock up for any holiday parties that you might host or attend.

Also, this is the last weekend for the Sailor Jerry Harley-Davidson display in our Woodbridge store. There's still plenty of time to enter the drawing, as the Harley is not being given away until the end of the summer. Ask about entering the drawing at Customer Service. No purchase is necessary.

Events in Lawrenceville

It's a relatively low-key weekend in Lawrenceville. We'll have our regular wine tasting on Friday, from 4-6pm. On Saturday, look for a Strongbow Hard Cider tasting, from noon to 2pm. Hard Cider is a refreshing addition to your cooler, so if you haven't yet tried Strongbow, here's you chance.

The newest addition to the Lawrenceville schedule is a tasting of Palm Breeze Sparkling Alcohol Spritz. The flavors of Palm Breeze Pineapple Mandarin Orange and Ruby Red Citrus are light, refreshing and perfect for girl time!

Click here for the complete Event Calendar in Lawrenceville.

Events in Woodbridge

One new addition to our calendar helps us start this weekend a little early. Stop by on Friday, 1-3pm, for the Netflix and Chill Tasting, with Charles Smith Wines.

A premier winery from Washington, the Charles Smith portfolio includes Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Boom Boom! Syrah, and many others. During the tasting, enter to win a $50 Netflix gift card (no purchase necessary). That's how you start a weekend. Click here for details.

We will host our regular Friday wine tasting as well, from 4-6pm. Click here for the tasting menu.

On Saturday, we begin the end of the Sailor Jerry branded Harley Davidson display with a tasting of...Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy Rum. That will run from 1-3pm. Don't forget to ask about the drawing to win the motorcycle.

We close the month of June on Thursday with a return of the Dark N Stormy tasting. Sample the cocktail, as well as the Dark N Stormy cake, made locally by Silvato Bros. Bakery in Woodbridge.

As usual, there are tons of events already on our schedule. Click here to access the full Event Calendar for Woodbridge.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wine Wednesday

With #WineWednesday being a regular thing on Twitter, we thought we'd get into the hashtag game too. And that makes us wonder why there aren't any wine brand names that have incorporated the # yet. But we digress. Here's what's new at Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville and Woodbridge.

Donnachiara Ostinato Greco 2011. There's a particular podcat that we listen to where the host often declares that Americans talk dry, but drink sweet. Well, here's a great way to indulge your sweet tooth and get an outstanding bottle of dessert wine.

Here's the 93-point Wine Spectator review: "Golden yellow, this delivers exotic dried pineapple, juicy peach, honeycomb and spice notes on a full-bodied frame. This is rich, with a firm finish of baking spices, chalk and candied grapefruit zest. Best from 2014 through 2018. 250 cases made."

The release price was $25 for the 500ML size, but it's in the Bottle Club® for
only $14.98. Limited availability.

Bodegas Tandem Casual Rosado 2015. This is, after all, the first official week of summer, so we ought to celebrate with a new rose rosdao. This is a classically styled Rose from Navarra, Spain boasting ripe, lip-smacking red fruit flavors. Juicy raspberry fruit mingles bright cherries, lifted by cleansing acidity. 50% Garnacha, 50% Graciano. Only $10.96 in the Bottle Club®.

Ghostrider Ungrafted Red. If you enjoy Zinfandel-centered reds (think Apothic Red and others), you should grab a bottle of this. It's a great choice for anything grilled.

The 2014 Ghostrider red blend includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Zinfandel. It shows a dark ruby color with an aroma that’s rich in mixed berries and black cherry preserves. Hints of spice including black pepper and bacon carry through on the palate. This decadent red blend finishes with soft tannins, dark fruit and elaborate oak. The 2014 growing season was generous is length and consistent temperatures. Flavors were strong at harvest and we think 2014 will prove to be a terrific vintage.

It rated 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, which is an excellent score for something that's only $12.99 in the Bottle Club®. Their review: "Spicy, meaty flavors like black pepper and beef broth blend with substantial fruit flavors in this medium-bodied, dry and rather sophisticated wine. It's almost a meal in itself, and well-balanced."

Starborough Sauvignon Blanc has layers of citrus and tropical fruit with hints of fresh green characters, which make the wine a true expression of the Marlborough region. Flavors of passion fruit, guava and kiwi layered over a citrus framework culminate in a crisp, approachable palate.

The Marlborough district of New Zealand's South Island has set the world standard for crisp Sauvignon Blanc wines. Marlborough is on the east coast of the island, with a ridge of mountains to the west, limiting rainfall and making it one of the sunniest areas in the country. The landscape is pierced by deep, fjord-like bays, called "sounds," which enhance the maritime influence and extend the growing season for wine grapes. The long, cool growing season helps the wines of this region to develop rich layers of flavor with a distinctive, refreshing character.

Due to arrive tomorrow, and priced at only $10.99 in the Bottle Club®.

A red, a white, a rose, and a dessert wine. Looks like a nice distribution here. A couple of other notes:

-Looking for craft beer updates? Click here for yesterday's Craft Beer Corner, our regular Tuesday feature.
-The 2014 vintage of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon is in stock, in both 750ML and 1L sizes. Caymus is perhaps the most accessible fine wine, and always sells out. If you enjoy wine, you should treat yourself to Caymus at least once.
-We'll have wine tastings at both stores on Friday, from 4-6pm. We'll detail all of our upcoming events in tomorrow's blog post.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cornered Up

Thank you for joining us here in the Craft Beer Corner, where we offer you an early look at our freshest craft beer deliveries.As always, the items listed here are available in limited quantities. Here's what's new at Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville and Woodbridge.

AleSmith Lil' Devil is an unfiltered Belgian-Style Pale Ale pours a hazy gold with a creamy white head. Ground coriander seeds and two kinds of orange peel added to the kettle contribute pleasant citrus notes to its Belgian fermentation character. Lil' Devil's light body and effervescent finish make for a refreshing beer that will have you coming back for more. 5.75% ABV, 24 IBU.

This delicate Belgian-Style Pale Ale is a match made in heaven with lighter seafood and the spicy coriander complements Thai food excellently. Its flavor profile makes it a great pairing with tangy cheeses.

Savings alert: We will Tweet out a coupon for AleSmith Lil' Devil on Thursday. Follow us on Twitter, but only if you like to save money and have up-to-the-minute information.

Smuttynose Blueberry Short Weisse gets its refreshing tartness from lactobacillus, an acid-producing bacteria that’s responsible for some of our favorite fermented foods like yogurt, pickles and salami. Of course, in Berlin, these mouth-puckering wheat beers are commonly offered mit schuss, which means the bartender may add a shot of raspberry or woodruff syrup upon the customer’s request. We’ve done the work for the bartender and added real fruit to our
brew. For this particular release, we wanted to shout out a fruit that screams New England and one that, in the 21 years since Smuttynose has been open, we’ve never found a use for...until now.

Ballast Point Brewing Pineapple Sculpin. Our Pineapple Sculpin IPA came from one of many small-batch cask experiments to enhance the flavor of our signature IPA. With so many tropical hop notes in Sculpin, how could we not try adding some sweet, juicy pineapple? The combination of fruity flavors and hop intensity definitely packs a punch. 7% ABV, 70 IBU.

The Bruery/Bruery Terreux Beret. Beret is as artistic as those who wear its namesake cap.  Our brewers developed a silky, full-bodied wheat ale which we began fermenting with a Belgian-style witbier yeast strain. To finish the fermentation, we added our collection of barnyard bacteria, intended to slowly sour the ale, bringing out a slight funk and refreshing piquancy.  Finally, a small dose of pureed raspberries were added for just a hint of fruity tannins, putting the berry in Beret.

Food pairing: Sartori Raspberry BellaVitano cheese, raspberry crepes, spinach salad with warm brown butter dressing, grilled root vegetables, dark chocolate.

Left Hand Extrovert IPA. A hoppy attitude and a mouthful of dynamic flavors give this IPA a big personality. Assertive, fruit-forward hops with aromas of orange blossom
and pineapple mingle with flavors of wet pine and sweet malt with a dry finish. 7.1% ABV, 75 IBU.

The next selection is currently available exclusively at our Lawrenceville location.

New Belgium Tart Lychee. According to Lauren, the imaginator of this pucker-pleasing ale, Lychee fruit is so insanely sweet and flavorful you almost can’t stand it alone. Sour to the rescue! Tart Lychee is brewed with exotic lychee fruit and cinnamon, and then blended with sour Felix from our wood cellar for a citrusy, tropical sip that attacks with an invigorating tart bite.  Explore the tropics, but brace for the wild. 7.5% ABV, 12 IBU.

VISUAL: A foggy, glowing golden straw hue with nice white foam.
AROMA: A blend of peach, apricot, green apple, lemon, white grape, some woody notes, vanilla, strawberry, grapefruit, orange, subtle floral and funk.
FLAVOR: Sourness up front is quickly met with fruity sweetness and a mild bitterness, and finishes with a mild sourness.
MOUTHFEEL: Starts puckering and mouthwatering, with some coating sweetness in the middle, and finishes quite dry.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mix N Match

Today might be the official first day of Summer, but you know that it's been Summer for quite a while at Joe Canal's. We thought a good old Mixology Monday was the right way to start the week.


1 ripe kiwi, peeled
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
3 ounces of fresh lime sweet and sour mix (see below)
2 ounces of PatrĂ³n Silver Tequila
Fresh mint leaves

To make fresh lime sweet and sour mix: combine 2 parts fresh lime juice with one part Patron Citronge orange liqueur and one part simple syrup. Stir to combine.

In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle the kiwi with the simple syrup. Add sweet and sour mix, tequila, and ice. Shake well and double-strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.

Watermelon Sangria

4 cups cubed watermelon
1 750ml bottle Cupcake Moscato
1 cup Bacardi rum
Juice of 4 limes
Zest of 2 limes
1 tbsp sugar
lime slices, for garnish

In a blender, combine watermelon, Moscato, rum, lime juice and zest, and sugar and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until chilled. Garnish glasses with lime slices and serve.

Raspberry Limoncello Prosecco

3 cups Merum Prosecco, chilled
1 cup Caravella Limoncello liqueur, chilled
1 cup frozen raspberries
6 sprigs fresh mint

In a large pitcher, whisk together prosecco and limoncello. Serve over raspberries, garnished with mint, if desired. This also works nicely with strawberries or blueberries in addition to, or instead of, the raspberries.

Blueberry Lemonade Sangria

1 750-ml bottle dry white wine, like Acre Twenty One Chardonnay
1 cup lemonade
1/4 cup Camarena Silver tequila
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 cup cold seltzer

Into a pitcher, pour wine, lemonade, and tequila and stir until combined. Add fruit and top off with seltzer and serve.

With the arrival of summer, we predict there will be some oppressively hot days and warm, sultry nights. These recipes are the perfect antidote to those weather conditions.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Happy Friday

Making it to the weekend is always a good thing. If you're in a celebratory mood (Father's Day is Sunday, after all), we have just what you need.

In Store Events

Click here for the rundown of events at both Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville and Woodbridge this weekend. Hint: tastings and Father's Day gift ideas are on the agenda.

Woodbridge Three-for-One

We needed a better title for this segment, but we'll go with what we have. There are multiple levels here, all interconnected.

For Cinco de Mayo, our friends at visited our store for a live video stream. Store Manager and resident mixologist David Rudd spoke with about Tequila and more. If you missed that, click here for the archived video. Things went so well with that video that will be back, every Friday, all summer long.

Today, David will offer the Sailor Jerry Spiced Mojito as the Cocktail of the Week. That also ties in the final few days of the Sailor Jerry branded Harley-Davidson display in our store. The HD will be at the Woodbridge store only until the end of June. While you're in the store, find out about how to enter the drawing, as we'll help Sailor Jerry give away that motorcycle at the end of the summer. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing.

Here's how to make the Sailor Jerry Spiced Mojito:
3 parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
1 part sugar syrup
4 lime wedges
5-8 mint leaves
Small slice of fresh ginger
Dash of aromatic bitters

Muddle ginger with lime wedges, mint and sugar syrup in a highball glass.  Fill with crushed ice and add other ingredients. Churn and top with more ice.  Garnish with a mint sprig.

Today's video stream with will be posted to the Woodbridge store's Facebook page as soon as it's available.

UPDATE: Click here for the video.

New Products

Terlato Vineyards Pinot Grigio Friuli 2015. When your blogger worked in the Lawrenceville store, shoppers were frequently looking for something new and tasty in a Pinot Grigio. We think we have the next big Pinot Grigio in stock now.

The Friuli Colli Orientali region in Northeastern Italy is ideal for creating this elegant terroir driven wine with more flavor and a crisp finish. The Terlato Vineyards Pinot Grigio is 100% Estate grown, farmed in small blocks, each with different soil compositions and expositions, with low yields and handcrafted winemaking.

Aroma: Bright aromas of white peach, pear and spring flowers.

Taste: Complex and layered with ripe peach, apricot, and pear, a mouthfilling texture and crisp mineral finish.

At only $19.99 in the Bottle Club®, it's an exceptional value.

Stone Go To IPA. The hop-heavy IPA for the everyday. Since Day One, we've been abundantly forthright and fully transparent about our lust for hops. It's led us to craft many an IPA, most of them imperial—some intense for their time and all timeless in their intensity. For Stone Go To IPA, we embrace our hop obsession in a new way, funneling an abundance of lupulin-borne bitterness into a session IPA that delivers all the fruity, piney character of a much bigger IPA. To accomplish this, we employ hop bursting, a technique wherein an irrational amount of hops is added during the final phase of the brewing process to bring out extreme flavors and aromas while also imparting a burst of desirably pleasant bitterness. The result is an alpha-acid-rich beer that fans can enjoy more of without missing out on the assertive hop character you, like us, crave. So, sit back and go two with your new everyday go-to IPA and bask along with us in the glory of the almighty hop. 4.8% ABV, 65 IBU, 96 RateBeer.

In 16 oz, 6-pack cans and 12 oz, 6-pack bottles.

Ripped From The Headlines

Many of us have seen, or at least heard of, a champagne bottle being opened with a saber. How about opening a bottle with a golf chip shot? Click here for the video (on YouTube). We'll note that the trick shot artist seems to have used a bottle of California Champagne. He must have broken a few before finally succeeding.

Happy Father's Day, and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Best Laid Plans

At Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville and Woodbridge, we work hard to be able to claim that we host the best store events in New Jersey. And while we have fun with these programs, we want you to enjoy them as well. Here's what we're up to.

Events in Lawrenceville

The weekend starts today in Lawrenceville. Today, we offer you an opportunity to acquire a really unique gift item. From 3:30-5:30pm, stop in to create a custom, personalized label for your bottle of Josh Cellars wine. We carry four different Josh Cellars reds, along with two different whites, so there's sure to be a selection for the person you're gifting.

National Cucumber Day was June 14th, in case you missed it. To continue the celebration, we're offering samples of Hendrick's Gin Cucumber Lemonade on Friday, from 4-7pm. Hendrick’s wondrous botanical signature consists of flowers, roots, fruits, and seeds from the world over. They function to complement and set the stage for our delicious duet of infusions: rose petal and cucumber.

Saturday will be a full day at the store. We start with a tasting of Bud Light Lime-a-Rita Splash, from noon-2pm. Lime-A-Rita Splash is a refreshing take on the traditional margarita, but with all the great taste you’ve come to love from Bud Light. It’s made with a careful mix of barley malt, non-malted cereal grains and subtle hopping before undergoing a uniquely special filtration process. It’s then blended with the classic taste of Bud Light Lime, and additional ingredients, to give you that refreshingly easy-to-drink margarita flavor. Lime-A-Rita Splash offers the same great taste as Bud Light Lime-A-Rita, but with a lower ABV rate, so that you can enjoy those margarita moments more often!

From 1-3pm on Saturday, we have a tasting of Sailor Jerry Spiced Navy Rum. The Sailor Jerry recipe is based on the tradition of sailors improving the flavor of their on-board rum rations.  Generally there were two ways to take the edge off rum. One was to age the liquid in wooden casks, which sailors rarely bothered with. The other way was to blend in spices. This is what most sailors did and it's what we do. This tasting is in conjunction with the Sailor Jerry Harley Davidson promotion. The branded Harley is on display at our Woodbridge store until the end of June, and it will be given away via a drawing at the end of the summer. No purchase is necessary to enter the drawing. Details are available at the store.

We wrap up Saturday with a Father's Day favorite: custom engraving of bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label. We'll have an engraving machine in the store, ready to put your message right on a bottle of an amazing whisky. That's available from 1-4pm.

Click here for a complete listing of all of the Lawrenceville events.

Events in Woodbridge

And the weekend also starts today in Woodbridge. Please stop in for a tasting of Shiner beers, from 4-6pm. Until the recent hype over the introduction of New Belgium to New Jersey, Shiner was the most in-demand, out of state craft beer.

On Friday, first look for a tasting of Ommegang, from 3-6pm. Included in the sampling is Nirvana IPA, one of their newest releases.

The Friday fun continues with a special gift wrapping and sampling of The Macallan Single Malt Scotch, from 5-7pm. This is another great option for Father's Day.

It's almost anti-climactic, but we are having a wine tasting on Saturday, from 1-3pm. Click here for the tasting menu.

We have plenty of great events coming up. Click here for our full schedule.