Emma’s Fabulous Top 10 – Wine, Beer, and Spirits for Sensational Sipping

If you have ever come in to the store and asked me for recommendations, you know how excited I get to talk about the things that I love. I am thrilled to be able to wax poetic about some of my favorite products in the store right now. I have chosen a mix of beer, wine and spirits that are timeless but also particularly great in the midst of summer. I hope you come by and try and please let me know what you think!

Art Wine Ruby Demi-Sec Sparkling Wine – Since my family is Ukrainian, I was so excited when we got wines from Ukraine at The Savory Grape. Art Winery uses traditional Champenoise methods with grapes grown in nearby vineyards. Bottles are fermented for 9-36 months in caves 256 feet underground. The ruby is rich and fruity with just a little bit of sweetness and is a great alternative to Lambrusco! Of course, with the war currently happening in Ukraine, it is uncertain how long we will be able to enjoy these bottles. I hope you have the chance to grab one and enjoy this small slice of a beautiful and resilient land.

El Tesoro Reposado Tequila – I am a huge fan of tequila and this one is my ride or die. El Tesoro is made from handpicked blue weber agave using traditional methods to preserve the quality and integrity of the finished product. No additives are used. The whole line is fantastic but, as a tequila sipper, the reposado is the sweet spot for me. Neat in a glass or with some ice and a splash of lime juice, it is so smooth, well-balanced and flavorful, I never get sick of it.

Campante Mezcal – Speaking of smooth agave products, if you want something a little different than the standard marg or Paloma, I definitely recommend giving mezcal a try! This one from Campante is perfect for newbies and aficionados alike. The smokiness is balanced perfectly with smooth notes of stonefruit, lime zest and minerality. It totally elevates cocktails but is also wonderful to sip neat or on the rocks.

Japas – Anyone who knows me (or has seen the staff pic stickers in the beer cooler) knows I am an unabashed fan girl of Japas Cervajas. Made by three Japanese-Brazilian women, I am continually amazed by the consistent high quality of every style. While I truly love them all, this time of year I find myself reaching for the Kawaii IPA. Don’t worry, this isn’t a fruit bomb. It is a stellar IPA brewed with blackberries and raspberries which adds a subtle and unique take to an arguably over-done style. Also, as a graphic designer/human-that-appreciates-cool-things, they have some of the best branding in the game.

Vi-Ve Carbonic Rioja – I am a huge fan of Spanish wine and this is my go to for the summer. I tend to lean toward full reds but that can be tricky sipping poolside. This one is light yet super flavorful and easy drinking. It is fantastic as is but really great chilled or as a base for sangria.

Old Westminster Piquette can – As a Maryland native, I had to shout out this awesome wine from my state of origin. This natural orange style wine is spritzy and refreshing, perfect for barbecues, sipping by the pool or beach or just enjoying on the couch with Netflix.

Ginrei Shiro Japanese Shochu – While many people are aware of the sweet, flavored Korean soju, less people are aware of Japanese style shochu. This super clean and refreshing rice based spirit has a delicate flavor with notes of rice and tropical fruit. Enjoy on its own or use this in place of vodka or gin in your favorite cocktail recipe.

Writer’s Tears Irish Whiskey – I was fortunate enough to visit Ireland a few years ago and tasted this at the Irish Whiskey Museum in Dublin. It was love at first sip but I was told I probably wouldn’t be able to find it in the States. I cannot describe the joy I felt when I started working here and this was stocked on the shelf! This whiskey drinks like a much more expensive bottle and its worth a try for any whiskey lover!

Chateau Berne Romance Rose – I have been drinking my way through as many of the amazing roses we have gotten in this year and this one has been my favorite! It is full flavored with notes of red berries and watermelon but also light and easy drinking. Definitely a must try!

Herdade da Rocha Amphora Branco – This is a really cool and unique wine made using ancient winemaking methods that date back to the Romans. A unique blend of old vine grapes that are fermented in clay amphora, this wine is rich and flavorful with notes of melon, honey, ripe stonefruit and a pleasant mineral acidity. It is killer with seafood!