From the Vine

From the Vine

2016 DIVISION-VILLAGES “LES PETITS FERS” GAMAY NOIR (WILLAMETTE VALLEY, OR)

2016 DIVISION-VILLAGES “LES PETITS FERS” GAMAY NOIR (WILLAMETTE VALLEY, OR)

We are downright freaking obsessed with the Gamay grape at the moment, and we won’t stop until you’re joining us in drinking red wine straight from the fridge at the end of a hot day.

Gamay has it all – a wonderful, fresh, grape-y flavor and lots of acid. It’s a perfect pairing for summer noshing – cheese and crackers, prosciutto, and the like – but also tastes great with pizza off the grill or a big, juicy burger. The possibilities are endless. And yes, it really does taste best with a chill on it.

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SPOTLIGHT WINE: 2015 B VINTERS “BLACK BREAM” PINOT NOIR (WALKER BAY, SA)

There is a lot of really cool wine coming out of South Africa right now. Once known for their dedication to the polarizing Pinotage grape, the country’s winemakers are diversifying their offerings and experiencing with varietal, terroir, and production techniques. The resulting wines are intriguing, palate-friendly, and most importantly, wallet-friendly as well.

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Stroll the South End with Amy of Ser Verde Shoes!

 

South End Spring Stroll, South End Boston

This Friday from 4-9 pm, the small businesses of the South End will be throwing open their doors and welcoming our neighbors for the first annual South End Spring Stroll. Because we have such a tight knit business community, we thought it would be fun for every store to feature products from another business owner in the South End, as well as their own.

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Wicked Weed: Another Perspective?

Wicked Weed Brewing Acquisition

Last week, an incredibly popular craft brewery in Asheville, Wicked Weed, was acquired by Anheuser-Busch, enraging craft beer drinkers, and leading to lots of chatter on Twitter – some of which was vitriolic to put it nicely. The purchase of craft brewers by AB or other “non-craft” entities is not new, and mirrors a trend we are seeing in the wine world too. We were absolutely shocked when one of our favorite family-owned vineyards, Vietti, sold last year to an American family who built their wealth through a convenience store chain called Kum & Go (I can’t even with that name). Francois Pinault has been buying up wineries as well, like Chateau Latour and Araujo. Acquisitions are everywhere, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.

While I am in no way trying to wade into the scrum (craft beer drinkers are fervent!), as small business owners in the beverage industry, TJ and I have what may be a completely different perspective on these sales than consumers do. So I thought I’d put it out there for consideration. I’m not trying to change any minds here, but maybe just ask that people consider all sides before railing against the Wicked Weed founders so hatefully. (And yes, I understand what AB does to try and make it hard for the craft beer industry, believe me…imagine working with them from our side. It’s not fun.),

First and foremost, these acquisitions always suck for the consumer. They really can feel like a betrayal, and I want to acknowledge that people feel this way. That’s absolutely your right, and your right to spend your money on brands that represent your values.

But I think what gets lost in that feeling of resentment is an understanding of what the business owner has been dealing with for years, decades, or, in the case of established wineries, generations. THIS SH*T IS HARD. When you are a small business entrepreneur, every good day is your reward, but every bad day is yours to deal with as well. And the hard days outnumber the easy ones, always. There are constant, stressful funding stream issues, even when your business is in the black. Growth often means foregoing your paycheck in order to plow your money back into your business. There are weeks, months, and sometimes years when everyone gets paid except for you.

You never get to leave work at the door – the phone is always on, the responsibility always hovering over you. It interferes with your marriage, your relationship with your children, your time spent with friends. It’s a constant, never ending pressure. And always there is the expectation of growth, more jobs created, higher salaries given, fresh ideas, innovation, and creativity.

So why do we do it? Because, at the end of the day, we love it. Small business owners love the thrill, the adrenaline, and the hustle – not to mention the sense of accomplishment. We wouldn’t have it any other way because we’re a little bit crazy – in a good way. If, as a group, we have one Achilles Heel, it’s that we crave growth, and growth is impossible without more money, and often hard without investors. There comes a time when for the sake of yourself, your family, your spirit, and your business, you simply can’t self-fund any longer. There comes a time when the right choice for your business and the people that you employ is to take on an investor. We as consumers may not like that reality, but we shouldn’t punish people because they’ve built an incredible business, want to be able to grow it, and maybe take a paid vacation once a year. We don’t really believe that small business owners should never get paid back for the sweat equity, do we? That would be like offering to work for your boss for free, just for the fun of it. I don’t see a lot of us making that offer!

The founders of Wicked Weed have made it clear that they think this investment will help them grow, help them hire more people, help their brand to become one of the best, help them to be more charitable…the list goes on and on. They’ve looked at all sides of the decision and decided that it’s the right choice for their business – key word, THEIR. We might disagree, but shouldn’t we at least give this all a minute before we brand them as traitors and rip our support away while calling them every name in the book?

I know a lot of you will say that other breweries have grown without taking AB money, and that is absolutely true. But there are many different paths in life, and I would simply suggest that until we’ve walked them all, let’s not judge…at least not quite so loudly on Twitter!

Comments welcome below. Thanks as always for letting us share our thoughts!

 

 

 

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May 2017 Urban Sampler

“It’s a Rosé Soirée!

Four great bottles of wine handpicked by our staff, always $50

This May it’s a Rosé Soirée, and just in time for Mother’s Day! The country that comes immediately to the fore, boasting a multi-hued range of pink wine would be none other than France and her Mediterranean Coast! From Roussillon to Rhone, the Pyrenees to Provence – there is no larger garden of rosés. This sampler of Rosé Mediterranée is sure to offer a little something for everyone and all of your spring-time affairs!

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Guess Who’s Back?

steak_salad_UG | The Urban Grape

I am. I am back!

It’s been approximately 365 days since I wrote on this blog in any serious, substantial way. I have hated ignoring the blog, but the process of writing Drink Progressively, our wine education and food pairing book out this fall, was creatively draining. Even on the days when I wasn’t writing the book, it was like a soul-sucking creature looming over my every move (I promise it’s going to be great despite that last sentence!). But it’s done, and I’m free to remember the joy of writing a quick little something every morning on the blog.

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SPOTLIGHT WINE: 2013 HUBERT BOUZEREAU-GRUERE et FILLES “LES TILLETS” MEURSAULT

2013 HUBERT BOUZEREAU-GRUERE et FILLES “LES TILLETS” MEURSAULT (BURGUNDY, FR)

White Burgundy seems to be made for Spring meals. Picture sitting down to a meal of citrusy salmon, barely cooked asparagus, new potatoes, and a glass of chilled, Old World-style Chardonnay. Nothing shakes off the winter blahs like that scene!

Hubert Bouzereau is the 7th generation of winemakers in his family, and he passed his love of farming and wine down to his daughters, Marie-Laure and Marie-Anne. Together they created Domaine Bouzereau-Gruere et Filles in 2001.

Their wines pay homage to the old vines that constitute their estate, and they make wines with well-balanced minerality and aromatic purity. And, of course, vibrant acidity runs throughout their offerings.

While these wines do see some light oak aging, the oak influence is not greatly felt throughout the palate. Instead, they are fresh and bright, with sweet fruit on the palate and the region’s tell-tale peanut finish. This is a pretty wine, and a perfect one to have in your glass to welcome Spring!

We have very limited quantities of this wine. Click the “Buy Now” button now to ensure your order is filled!

Regular Price: $60/bottle

15% per Bottle Discount: $51/bottle

25% 6-bottle Case Discount: $270 ($45 a bottle)

Buy LES TILLETS Now

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SPOTLIGHT WINE: 2014 DOMAINE JOSEPH VOILLAT VIEILLES VIGNES PINOT NOIR

2014 DOMAINE JOSEPH VOILLAT VIEILLES VIGNES PINOT NOIR

(BURGUNDY, FR)

Try as we might, we just can’t drag our taste buds away from Burgundy. The more we drink it, the more we love it. But having a love affair with Burgundy can be an expensive proposition. That’s why we like this week’s Spotlight wine even more – all the quality with none of the price. Especially with this week’s six-bottle case discount of 25% bringing the bottle price down to just $25.50 a bottle!

Domaine Joseph Voillat’s estate has been in the same family for five generations, and their careful winemaking techniques have been passed down with each turning of the guard. The vineyards are spread over twenty acres across the famous Burgundy sub-regions of Volnay, Pommard, Meursault, and Beaune.

This wine sources old vine grapes from Volnay and Pommard. The resulting wine is brightly flavored with fresh herbs and raspberry. Despite being light on its feet, it has a rich and well-integrated mouth feel, meaning you’ll love it on it’s own, but it will pair well with dinner too.

If you’re craving a pop and pour Burgundy that leaves money in your wallet, stock up today’s wine by clicking the Buy Now button below! 

Regular Price: $34/bottle

15% per Bottle Discount: $28.90/bottle

25% Case Discount (Six Bottle Case): $153 ($51 savings at $25.50 a bottle) *That’s like buy 3, Get 1 Free!

Buy DOMAINE JOSEPH VOILLAT Now

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