Nov’s Wine Club

wine-beer-store-phoenix-nov-wine-club-the-hitsHello, Club Members!

We hope you all have your TurDucken ready! We’ve got your wine covered (or at least the wine you should keep for yourself and away from that crazy uncle who drives in from Ohio wearing cheese scented cologne).

So what would pair well with a Thanksgiving meal? It’s a question we’ve received a few times recently, and with that holiday pairing question anticipated, we picked two wines that will surely deliver an answer. But as we like to say, “I pair my wine with wine”.

Starting with the red:

2011 Régis Bouvier Bourgogne En Montre Cul. Thanks to the likes of Kermit Lynch and his vast portfolio of great wine, we came across an opportunity that we needed to share with you. We found a beautiful red Bourgogne…or as the French call it, Bourgogne. We believe the best news anchor in the world came from this part of France. The first two people to tell us Ron Burgundy’s German meaning for San Diego will get an additional bottle of the red club selection!

Regis Bouvier sources some amazing fruit from a couple of our favorite appellations in Burgundy (Bourgogne and Marsannay). This selection happens to be from Bourgogne! The vines that produce this 100% Pinot Noir come from steep hillside vineyards. This is usually a sign of higher quality wine. The vines struggle a bit more on hillsides with the roots working hard to find a water source whilst picking up influential minerals. The vines can also be influenced positively by smaller micro climates due to what side the slope faces (north, south, east, or west). The sourcing of this fruit is often said to be of the best in Bourgogne. Check out the label on this great wine and you will see how they try to artistically show the steepness of the vineyard. Enjoy!

And on to the white selection:

2009 Zaca Mesa Roussanne. This was a bit of strategic planning on our part, as The Craig visited Zaca Mesa Winery last week and asked the winemakers for a favor: Hello From Zaca Mesa! Roussanne is what we refer to as the red wine drinker’s white wine. It is a white wine that can and will benefit from a bit of aging. So be excited to get to drink an ’09! In fact, while at Zaca Mesa this week, we tasted a 2013 and 2012 Roussanne and agreed that they were too young to drink and needed another few years in bottle. Also, Zaca Mesa will not be distributing the Roussanne anymore as it will be winery only. So we had to buy up the last 20 cases in AZ! This wine will benefit from being served at the right temperature (55-60 degrees) and will also open up as it begins contact with the air. Rich depth and subtle spice. This is a white wine that will warm you up.

Cheers, and enjoy!

Craig & Danielle


HTBS In Market Watch Magazine

Thanks for the mention, Market Watch Magazine!

Specialty Bottle Shop Opens In Phoenix

Craig Dziadowicz and Danielle Middlebrook opened Hidden Track Bottle Shop in Phoenix, Arizona, over the summer. Tucked into the lobby of a Downtown high-rise, the boutique store features work by local artists on one wall and emphasizes specialty labels. “We offer unique wine and craft beer that you won’t find in big box outlets and grocery stores,” Middlebrook says. The store’s 320 wine SKUs start at $7.99 a 750-ml. bottle of Casal Garcia Vinho Verde and top out at $112.99 for the 2012 Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon. Most wines fall into the $15-to-$25 range. Hidden Track features over 100 beer SKUs, with single bottles and cans starting at $1.49 and six-packs topping out at $14.99. Craft labels include offerings from Tempe, Arizona’s Four Peaks Brewing Co. and San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing Co. Hidden Track also sells specialty food items, such as Italian pasta, locally made sauces and Spanish chocolate, and creates custom gift baskets. The store hosts twice-weekly tastings and has a wine club for $25 a month for two premium bottles, which recently included the 2012 Head High Pinot Noir and 2012 Neyers Vineyards Chardonnay.

New Retail Outlets In Missouri, New York And Arizona


Oct’s Wine Club

October’s Club Wine Is Here!

When you finally take a break from telling all your Midwest friends and family that this temperature paradise is the reason we live in AZ, come pick up your wine club. Interesting selections this month, and we have long distance travel and experience to thank for it.

First, we have to thank our motherly influence from Wisconsin. We got a phone call from The Craig’s mom. She had just gone to a wine tasting and was talking about wine she’d tried from OR and WA, and how much she’d enjoyed it. We asked what it was, and through our interpretation of her wine dialect, determined that she had tried a Mourvedre. Craig was instantly shocked for a couple of reasons. First, that his mother tried a Mourvedre…and liked it. Second, that she was talking about a single varietal Mourvedre from the Northwest. Not the most common wine coming out of this area. She then went on to inform us that the winemaker was from WI. Needless to say, Craig started making more phone calls, and a couple of months later Anne Hubatch is shipping her wine into AZ! Craig is humbled to tell you that you all have his mother to thank for this month’s red selection. More on what that is in a bit.

Our second thank you rightly belongs to Jules Taylor. Jules is the owner/curator of none other than Jules Taylor Winery from New Zealand. Jules stopped in the shop a few weeks ago and shared her Kiwi personality with us. Not only was she the type of person you meet for the first time and instantly feel like you have known for years, but she also steps outside the box of scripted New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Double whammy! If you ever get a chance to meet Jules, she will talk your ear off about the LaCrosse/Field Hockey in New Zealand.

And the vino.

Guild Red 2013, lot 10
A great blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Durif, Grenache, Cinsault, and Counoise out of Columbia Valley, WA. This wine is a cooperative effort from four up-and-coming winemakers in the Northwest. Anne Hubatch owns Helioterra and Whoa Nelly wines (which are on their way to our shop…remember that Mourvedre?) and produces these wines at a wine collective in Portland, OR. Anne and her partner winemakers decided to pool their knowledge and connections to source great fruit and make a wonderful red and white blend. The result is compared to taking four great chefs and having them each make their signature dish for a four course meal.

Jules Taylor Grüner Veltliner 2013
We love some good Austrian Grüner… What?! This is from New Zealand??? Yep, pretty much what happened when we tried this wine. Actually what happened was Jules came in and met with Craig while Danielle was away. Craig tried the wine and immediately negotiated a deal to bring it in for the club… But in a never ending quest to please Danielle, and to be sure she approves of all things wine club, Craig called Jules and arranged for her to meet with Danielle later that day to taste this unique wine together. And – green light! – it worked. Danielle is very pleased to bring you this selection. Damn, The Craig is good… Grüner Veltliner is typically grown in cooler climate terroir, thus the south island Marlborough region presents a great opportunity for Jules to “see if there is life after Sauvignon Blanc.” Apparently there is. When you try this, you might just say it is “grü-vee”.


Danielle & Craig


Sept’s Wine Club

September’s Wine Club Selections!

First, we’d like to thank you all for being part of the awesome journey that has made us the largest buying club in Arizona! …OK, OK, so that might be a little difficult for the 600 square foot bottle shop we call home, but that’s what we’re aiming for anyway – and we’re on our way!

This month’s selections saw us bring in an item not previously available in AZ. You inspire us, club members, and so has this selection – sought out, and with a bit of behind the scenes work, brought to our state with you in mind! Bringing you wines not previously available in our region has been a lot of fun – it’s work that we hope to replicate to continue sharing new experiences with you!

Before we get into detail about September’s wines, let’s talk a little about Spain and Spanish wines. Anybody heard of that guy Christopher Columbus and that whole 1492 thing? Well, Columbus was financially supported via the Monarchs of Spain to find new areas of land that could produce quality wine. Thus when Columbus set sail, Spain (which had pretty close ties with the church, aka the quality control board for wine growing and production) made sure that the New World voyage was complete with plenty of vine clippings in case some quality land to call home was found. Bet you didn’t hear about that in your history books! Spain continued to send missionaries and conquistadors to the New World with grapes/vine clippings used to plant and produce grapes and wine in the Americas. The US, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Argentina…all historic wine producing areas that started with Spain.

Side Bar (a sweet one!): Where is the oldest wine growing/producing area in the US? The Spanish missionaries planted this area and diverted conquistadors away from it when it was ordered that all New World vines be ripped out and destroyed. Be the first club member to answer correctly and get a bottle of Finca Museum and a Spanish dark chocolate bar free!

Alright, back to Spain with a fast forward to present day and a wine region that you may or may not be familiar with.

Spain Wine Quality 101: Quality control starts with the D.O. aka Denominacion de Origen. A D.O. is a determined geographical area of quality wine production. In Spain, there are 79 areas that are D.O. controlled. This basically means some people got together and said, “We agree that this area produces really good juice,” and thus it became wine law. Generally speaking, if you want to drink wine from Spain and are not sure what you are getting into, look to see if the wine is from a D.O. It will say so on the label.

Another quality indicator for Spanish wine is also on the label. Look for the terms Crianza, Reserva, or Gran Reserva… Sounds sexy! And it is. These three terms represent what happened in the vintage and if the grapes produced are worthy of aging.

Crianza – Wine that has been aged a minimum of two years before being released, with at least six months of aging in oak.
Reserva – Wine that has been aged a minimum of three years before being released, with at least 12 months of aging in oak.
Gran Reserva – Wine that has been aged a minimum of five years before being released, with at least 18 months of aging in oak and at least 36 months of aging in bottle.
There are the basics on Spanish wines. Now on to the club selections!

Venica Ronco de Cero Sauvignon 2011
This is a stunning Sauvignon Blanc from the northeastern part of…Italy. Did you know that Italy is the second leading producer of Sauvignon Blanc in the world behind France? If you love SB (and we know many of you do), you probably think it has come from New Zealand, Cali, or Chile because of all that marketing stuff telling you how to live. Well this is a gem of an SB that will make you rethink one of Italy’s most widely planted varietals that you may have never tried.

The vineyard and winery was started in 1929 when Grandpa (or someone from a couple of generations ago) purchased a hill by the name of “Ronco de Cero” in the Collio DOC in Fruili. Collio, not to be confused with Coolio, conveniently translates into “hillside”. Take note of wines that come from hillside regions. They typically get expensive because they are usually pretty freaking great!

Finca Museum 2010
And this is why we went overboard on Spain earlier. When you pick up this bottle, please note that on the back it will tell you the varietal. Tinta del Pais (or Ull de Llebre in northeast Spain), which roughly translates to “Eye of the Hare”…which we think has two meanings. First, someone didn’t really understand how to use “hair of the dog” correctly. Or they did and were too drunk to remember it. Second, someone said that this Tempranillo grape looks like a Tinta del Pais. Thus your wine is 100% Tempranillo.

Finca Museum comes from the D.O. Cigales (you remember what D.O. is?), just north of the famous Rioja region. This vintage is a 2010 Reserva – which was considered an excellent vintage in Cigales. The last vintage in Cigales that came close to 2010’s quality was 1999!

The vines that are used to produce this beautiful wine are all at least 70 years old, and have no trellising. This method of vine management is referred to as “bush vine”, aka the vine does what it wants but should not be confused with 1970’s porn stars.

Pick up whenever you’d like…though we highly recommend combining pickup with one our wine tastings this Thurs/Sat. See you soon!


Danielle & Craig