Western Whiskey creates a stir at PLCB

Find out what the buzz is all about! This past weekend we attended a the PLCB Wine & Spirit Show at Valley Forge with Western Whiskey Honey Pepper, a hand-crafted artisanal whiskey . We were ranked fifth overall when compared to other brands. Western Honey Pepper…the legend  awaits you. If you haven’t tried it you should!

Here is a link to our Western Whiskey Honey Pepper drink recipes:

Western Whiskey Honey Pepper Drink Recipes

If you need to know where to get it, message us and we’ll share locations close to you!

Some facts about the Ribera del Duero D.O.

We carry several wines from the Ribera del Duero region. Not everyone has heard of them or realizes what great value this wines provide. Today we offer some information about this incredibly fine region.

Ribera del Duero is located in the northwest of the country, about two hours north of Madrid, in the center of Castilla y León, Spain’s largest autonomía, or state and this region is one of Spain’s top red wine–producers.

This the region’s vineyards follow the Duero River valley north and south—from the limestone cliffs to the intersection with the Meseta Central plateau rising from 2200-3300 feet above sea level throughout the valley’s varied widths. More than 22,000 hectares of vines are planted throughout the valley.
The main wine-growing areas of Ribera del Duero include: Burgos, Valladolid, Soria, and Segovia.

Approximately 95 percent of the vineyards are planted with Tempranillo­—known in the region as Tinto Fino or Tinta del País. These names distinguish the regional Tempranillo and its expression of Ribera del Duero’s terroir from the wines of nearby Tempranillo-producing regions. Approximately 35 percent of those vines are 25 years old or older, including about 323 hectares of vines that are more than 100 years old. Older vines have deep roots that help them survive the region’s harsh climatic conditions. They tend to produce even yields and smaller fruit, but they give wines with exceptional structure and balance.

The name Tempranillo is derived from the Spanish word for early, probably due to the grape’s propensity for early budding and ripening. It’s an ideal grape for the sunny, but short growing season. The variety has adapted to Ribera del Duero’s harsh climate, growing conditions, and soils over centuries. It yields wines that are powerful and concentrated but that retain a high degree of acidity.

Evidence of winemaking in this area dates back 2,600 years. The discovery in 1972 of a large 4th-century mosaic in Baños de Valdearados depicting Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, is one piece of evidence that suggests that people have been making wine in Ribera del Duero for nearly two thousand years. In the 12th century, vineyard practices were refined by Benedictine monks who brought a more sophisticated style of viticulture to the region from Burgundy.

In time, a small group of growers applied for Denominación de Origen (DO) status. When Ribera del Duero received its DO status in 1982, there were only nine wineries in the region. The region has been evolving ever since. As of 2016, there were 282 wineries in Ribera del Duero and 8,334 growers. Most of these are of small, family-owned operations—with more than half producing fewer than 9,000 cases annually—and only 14 wineries sell more than 75,000 cases.

The Ribera del Duero appellation pertains exclusively to red and rosado (rosé) wines. DO regulations maintained by the Consejo Regulador (the official board that monitors and regulates Spain’s DOs) do not permit white wines in Ribera del Duero. To be recognized as DO, red wines must contain a minimum of 75 percent Tempranillo, though most are made with 100 percent. Blends may contain up to 25 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Malbec. No more than 5 percent Garnacha or Albillo, altogether, may be added. Rosado wines must be made with a minimum of 50 percent of the region’s authorized red varieties. Designations indicating how long Ribera del Duero DO wines have been aged in oak and bottle have been modeled after those of other established wine regions. They may appear on the front or back label or on the neck of the bottle:
Rosado: Indicates a rosé wine that doesn’t abide by the defined aging specifications but meets or exceeds classification requirements; rosados can only be aged to Crianza.
Crianza: A minimum aging of 24 months, of which one year must be in barrel.
Reserva: A minimum aging of 36 months, of which at least one year must be in barrel and the rest in bottle
Gran Reserva: A minimum aging of five years, of which at least two years must be in barrel and the rest in bottle.

Over the past few decades, Ribera del Duero wines have been redceiving increased international attention. The region sells its entire production of finely crafted Tempranillo-based wines every year and is second, behind Rioja, for total DO wine production in Spain.

We offer some delicious “entry level” Tempranillo Roble and Rosado from a producer in this region.

Our newest additions to our wine portfolio: Gambino Vini

We are happy to announce our new Gambino Vini wines from Linguaglossa, Sicily, Italy.

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean to the very south.  Sicily has nine provinces: Palermo, Catania, Messina, Siracusa, Ragusa, Enna, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Trapani. It’s varied landscapes add to its beauty, charm and character.  Sicily has an amazing coastline (all the provinces have one, except Enna) and mountains, such as the volcanic Mount Etna. Sicily is known for its great cuisine (arancini, pasta alla Norma, caponata, italian ice, spumone, ) which has Greek, Spanish and Arab influences. The region is also notorious for its beaches, such as Cefalu and Mondello.  However, Sicily is not only known for its outstanding food and breathtaking beaches–it is also known for its wine region.

Gambino Winery lies nestled on the slopes of Mount Etna an active Volcano. This family-run winery is located on the northeast side of Mount Etna, close to the Mediterranean Sea and the National Park overlooking the sea of Taormina. Gambino’s vineyards have an ideal climate and soil for winemaking and this natural environment is 800 meters (2,625 feet) above sea level with sunny and airy terraced vineyards offering breathtaking panoramic views. Gambino vineyards represent one of the best models of high altitude Etna vineyards.

Francesco Raciti Gambino, owner and winemaker, learned his craft from his father and today uses both traditional and sophisticated methods to ensure that grapes and quality are their priority, not mass production.  Therefore, Gambino does everything organically— no pesticides or sprays are used—and all harvesting is done by hand. The Gambino Vini philosophy is that “wine equals a mix of knowledge and generation,” in which there is a combination of old and new, of experience with technology.

Terroir plays a huge role in the production of wine.  Mount Etna is active and is in an almost constant state of activity—the lava transports nutrients to the vines. Volcanic ash and rocks facilitate prime conditions for the vines to absorb water and nutrients.  This unique climate, ground condition and fertile volcanic soil  (“ripiddu”) which is rich in mineral salts that naturally supplies an equilibrated sugar content of the grapes and a proper relation between acids and alcohol. The high altitude also helps the grapes retain acidity.  At the highest altitudes, the change in temperature between night and day can be considerable—up to 13-15°C ( 54 -59°F) in July and August—contribute to the distinctive mineral quality and taste of the wines, by allowing a phenol and aromatic ripening that is essential for the color and taste of the red grapes and for the aroma of the white wines.

Gambino maintains that, while their region is not always easy, it is an “interpretation made up of experience, contingency and long-sightedness.”  Gambino Vini absolutely captures the essence of Etna and its scorched earth.

Regarding their portfolio of wines, Francesco Raciti Gambino explained that it is “the small details that must be the expression of the place where the grapes are grown.”

Established in 1968, the Sicilian Wines D.O.C, representing the oenology of Etna, lies between 500 and 1400 meters altitude and is one of the the oldest Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC).,

The wines include:
FEU D’O BIANCO, made from Grillo and Carricante grapes grown in chalky, volcanic soil.
FEU D’O ROSSO, a red made from Nero d’Avola and Nerello Mascalese
DUVANERA, a classic Sicillian red made from Nero d’Avola
ALICANT SICILIA ROSSO a beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon/Grenache blend.
TIFEO BIANCO, a white wine from two indigenous varietals: Carricante and Catarratto.Tifeo Etna Rosso

Each of these wines are delicious and unique. We will be sharing more about these wines in the weeks to come.


Brooklyn Republic Vodka is available at Restaurant Depot

Small-batch spirits have become exceedingly popular and Brooklyn Republic Vodka, made right in — you guessed it — Brooklyn by vodka enthusiast Gary Shokin; his partner, Mark Krupkin; and his daughter, Kary Laskin is no exception. Brooklyn Republic Vodka is a classic vodka handcrafted for a naturally smooth sweetness with absolutely no additives. They claim the secret ingredient to their vodka is the locally sourced New York City water. Brooklyn water makes all the difference—New York City water is exceptional, sweet and delicious, giving this vodka a clean, smooth finish, making it easy to mix with in cocktails.

For much of his adult life, Gary Shokin traveled around the world — Russia, Poland, Ukraine, the Baltics — where he learned traditional vodka-making methods and recipes. His appreciation for vodka became a passion and he began infusing it at home.nHe became a master blender and went to Wisconsin to learn more about American spirit-making techniques.

Brooklyn Republic Vodka doesn’t actually do the distilling in Brooklyn, as the raw grain alcohol first undergoes multi-column distillation in Missouri, near where it’s grown.  Then, different grain alcohols are blended with Brooklyn water before undergoing a seven-day carbon filtration and impurity crystallization — whereit’s then dropped to subzero temperatures to continue filtration — in small batches in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Republic Vodka has developed a unique flavor profile by carefully balancing several grain spirits, including organic wheat and sweet corn, and blending with purified Brooklyn water—giving it a smooth-bodied, subtle sweetness, that makes it perfect to enjoy on the rocks.
One sip will let you share the passion of this locally made high quality spirit.

Brooklyn Republic can noow be found at Restaurant Depot located at 43-40 57th Ave., Maspeth, NY 11378.  Phone: (718) 707-9330.