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News from the Good Spirits Co. Wine & Beer
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Good Evening Dear Customers

For this week's wine and beer news we've picked out what you might call the Christmas classics. So we've got white Burgundy and Rioja, Sauternes, port, and sherry. On the beer front there are some very food friendly sharing bottles plus a selection of Christmas ales. We've also thrown in a couple of food friendly ciders.

You'll find everything mentioned here in our shop at 105 West Nile Street, much of it at our West End branch at 21 Clarence Drive, and some things on our website. If you'd like some recommendations for Christmas wines, we'll be delighted to help - just pop into any of our shops and we'll sort you out.

Our opening hours are extended in the run up to Christmas. Full details are available on our website or via Google; here's the summary version:

105 West Nile Street
Tuesday 17th-Saturday 21st: 10am-8pm
Sunday 22nd: 10am-6pm
Monday 23rd: 10am-8pm
Christmas Eve: 10am-5pm

21 Clarence Drive
Tuesday 17th-Saturday 21st: 10am-10pm
Sunday 22nd: 10am-9pm
Monday 23rd: 10am-10pm
Christmas Eve: 10am-5pm

See you soon,

The Good Spirits Co.
 

White Burgundy


Domaine Belleville Rully Premier Cru La Pucelle 2017 (£32.20, 75cl/13.5%)
A complex Chardonnay, buttery and peachy, and an ideal pairing for the turkey.

Domaine Belleville Puligny-Montrachet "Les Boudrières" 2017 (£53.50, 75cl/13.5%)
Flinty minerality is softened by a thread of hazelnut. This one will make you grin.
 

Château Musar


We've recently started listing the full range of wines from Château Musar, the legendary Lebanese winery known for its old fashioned, full bodied wines. There's a strong French influence, but the Mediterranean climate gives a bit of oomph, turns the volume up to eleven.

Château Musar White 2010 (£29.20, 75cl/12%)
A blend of indigenous Lebanese grape varieties which is aged for at least seven years before release, and can age well for many more. A good partner to spicy food.

Hochar Père et Fils Red 2016 (£18, 75cl/14%)
Made with a slightly different grape blend to Musar's first wine, featuring Cinsault, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon, this 'junior' version is softer and ideal for early drinking.

Château Musar 2012 Magnum (£72, 150cl/14.5%)
Ideal for family gatherings and festive feasts.

Château Musar 2012 (£30.50, 75cl/14.5%)
A more recent vintage of the Château's first wine, ideal as a gift or to lay down for future enjoyment.

Château Musar 2002 (£32.40, 75cl/13.5%)
Cabernet Sauvignon leads, supported by Carignan & Cinsault. A bold, plummy, spicy wine, fully mature, soft and mellow, but definitely worth decanting for a couple of hours before you drink it.
 

Rioja


La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2009 Magnum (£62, 150cl/13.5%)
From the highly-esteemed La Rioja Alta, this is Rioja in the modern mode, fruit forward, soft and ripe. Oh yeah, and it's in a magnum too (a good thing considering how drinkable it is).

Viña Tondonia Reserva 2007 (£35, 75cl/13%)
Tondonia, on the other hand (or, to give it it's full and impressive title, Bodegas R Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia Tinto Reserva) is proper old school Rioja. Chewy, leathery, dense, oaky. Lopez de Heredia is the oldest winery Rioja Alta, and they continue to make their wines in an ultra-traditional way. Long may they continue.
 

Bottle O' Ridge


One of us fondly remembers a customer, back when we were starting out in the booze trade, who would regularly come in on Fridays at teatime, come up to the counter, and ask for, "A bottle o' Ridge". Even after we had learned just how high in the pantheon of Californian producers Ridge stands, we still loved that customer's casual attitude. These are expensive wines, but they're so laid back and easy-going, they're a joy to drink. Plain labels, no fuss, no ceremony, simply a fantastic glass of masterfully vinified grape juice. There's nothing to beat it.

Ridge Lytton Springs 2017 (£47, 75cl/14.5%)
Mostly Zinfandel with some Petit Sirah, Carignane, and Mataro, this is bright, fresh and full of dark berry fruits. Zin with Zing!

Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (£65.50, 75cl/13.5%)
Although labelled as a Cab Sauv, this is a Bordeaux-style blend, with Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc in the mix. Cassis and Cedar wood and violets, all wrapped up in a soft tannic structure.

Ridge East Bench Zinfandel 2017 (£37, 75cl/14.5%)
100% Zin from Dry Creek valley. Lush, full bodied, and packed with ripe, jammy fruit. And lush. Did we mention lush?
 

Cider


2019 has been the year to #RethinkCider, so we're going to try to start a new Christmas tradition and suggest that you explore some of the amazing liquids being produced now.

Oliver's The Mayflower Third Voyage Into Uncharted Territory (£12.60, 75cl/8.8%)
An intense, rich expression of Herefordshire terroir made by fermenting apple juice on dried fruit, and then blending the resulting cider with a partially fermented ice cider.

Little Pomona Art of Darkness 2016 (£9, 75cl/7.2%)
The silky tannins in Art of Darkness will pair very well with the rich array of flavours on display at the Christmas table. AoD also loves hard cheeses (believe us, we've checked).
 

Sharing Bottles


Lindemans / Mikkeller SpontanBasil (£19, 75cl/6%)
A blend of 12 month and two year old lambic was fermented on oak with fresh basil. Sour and aromatic.

Lindemans GingerGueuze (£19, 75cl/6%)
This one follows the same recipe as the SpontanBasil, but replaces the basil with ginger. 

Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van Der Keizen Whiskey Infused (£16.70, 75cl/11.7%)
Gouden Carolus Imperial Dark is infused with their own malt whisky for a strong, rich, heady brew.
 

Christmas Beers


We've got lots of beer gift packs - this one features three from Traquair House, the oldest inhabited house in Scotland and brewers of traditional dark Scottish Ales.

Traquair House 160/- Ale (£3.50, 33cl/9.5%)
160 shilling ale because it's strong, and hence would have been taxed at 160 shillings per barrel back in the 19th century when these designations for beer were first used. Goes very well with Christmas cake.

Traquair House Vintage Ale (£4.50, 33cl/7.2%)
This beer has a best before date of 2029. Bet you can't keep it 'til then.

Traquair House Ale (£3, 33cl/7.2%)
Traquair's 'standard' beer, a very fine wee heavy.

Next up we have three Belgian Christmas brews. Belgium has a long tradition of producing stronger beers for the festive period, and these are three old favourites of ours.

Bush de Noël (£5.20, 33cl/12%)
Strong, dark, sweet. A sipping beer. Mince pies anyone?

St Bernardus (£4.50, 33cl/10%)
Although not actually brewed in an abbey, St Bernardus uses a recipe and yeast strain taken from the monks of St Sixtus. Another strong, dark, bottle-conditioned beaut.

Delirium Christmas (£4.30, 33cl/10%)
A strong red Belgian ale.

Osborne Sherry


Osborne Quinto Fino (£7.40, 37.5cl/15%)
A bright, youthful fino, bracingly dry and very refreshing. 

Osborne 51-1a 30 Year Old Amontillado (£39.50, 50cl/19%)
Outstanding thirty year old wine, with notes of dried apricots and a panoply of nuts - cashew, almond, and chestnut.

Osborne Sibarita 30 Year Old Oloroso (£39.50, 50cl/20%)
Another nutty one, but this time it's hazelnuts, plus raisins and oak spice.
 

Osborne Port


We all love a glass of port (who doesn't?) and here we have a selection for you from the Osborne range.

Osborne 10 Year Old Tawny (£23.20, 75cl/20%)
A sweet, nutty, port with notes of caramel and red fruits.

Osborne 20 Year Old Tawny (£37, 75cl/20%)
Sillky smooth tannins and concentrated fruit flavours of dried figs, orange peel, and dates.

Osborne Late Bottled Vintage 2012 (£17.50, 75cl/19.5%)
If you're fond of the classic combo of port and stilton and walnuts, then this is the boy for you. Or, it would work equally well with a chocolate tart.
 

Dessert Wine


Sweet treats to round off a festive feast or complement a cheese board. These three examples are all made from grapes which have undergone noble rot, whereby the grapes lose water and the sugars and flavours become ever more concentrated and intense.

Haider Welschriesling Beerenauslese 2016 (£17.20, 37.5cl/10%)
Not to be confused with Riesling, Welschriesling is widely planted in Austria and at its best as here, when used to make dessert wines.

Haider Sämling 88 Trockenbeerenauslese 2016 (£42.50, 37.5cl/9%)
All you need to know is that Shane says this is "****** amazing stuff". (Oh yeah, Sämling 88 is perhaps better known as Scheurebe. But you knew that, yeah?)

Château Lamourette Sauternes 2010 (£17, 37.5cl/13.5%)
Perfect for drinking right now, this is classic Sauternes, with notes of honey, marmalade, and sweet spices.
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