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Summer Moscow Mule

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This summer we’re excited to sip these tasty Summer Moscow Mules by the pool! Raise your hand if agree! Now, don’t get us wrong, we love ourselves a classic Moscow Mule but wanted to put a fresh summer twist on it.  Our recipe includes fresh oranges and soda water… give it a try!

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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Pour 3 ounces of Ketel One Vodka in a glass with ice
  • Add ginger beer and soda water (use as much or as little as you would like)
  • Squeeze oranges and limes into the drink
  • Enjoy! Cheers!

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We hope you love it as much as our Mystic Wine Shoppe team does.  Stop into Mystic Wine Shoppe and grab your vodka for this cocktail.

Thanks!

April’s Cocktail of The Month

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This month we’ve got summer pool parties, bbq’s, Red Sox Games, and other outdoor celebrations on the mind. We’re mixing up something extra special to enhance each and every one of your summer celebrations with this month’s cocktail of the month.  Our owner, Eric Faiola, enjoyed this cocktail while on vacation in Flordia and said: “this has to be our April Cocktail!”  So while this is not a Mystic Wine Shoppe original cocktail, it is still is VERY tasty and as always, easy to make. Enjoy –

Ingredients:

  • Ketel Oné Citron Vodka (find it at Mystic Wine Shoppe)
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Lemonade or Sparkling Lemonade
  • Fresh limes

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Make it:

  • Mix together 3 ounces of vodka, 3/4 cup lemonade and 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • Squeeze lime to taste and use as garnish
  • Enjoy!

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We hope you find this cocktail as tasty as we do!!! Thanks for following along.

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St. Patty’s Day Cocktail

Irish Whiskey Cocktail

Of course, brews and whiskey are bound to be on your menu for St. Patrick’s Day this Sunday. We wanted to shake it up a bit. We held a poll on Instagram, and you voted we listened! We created a yummy, festive Irish Whiskey beverage! Behold our O’Cream cocktail! We can’t wait for you to try it.IMG_9294

The ingredients and creation is simple!

  • on ice
  • 3 ounces of The Irishman Irish Cream
  • 2 ounces Prizefight Irish Whiskey

This delicious cocktail will impress your guests and honor your Irish heritage (I mean… everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s day, right?). Stop into Mystic Wine Shoppe to pick up the ingredients and other Irish choices!

 

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Valentine’s Day Cocktail

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You didn’t think we would pass up a chance to make a festive Valentine’s Day cocktail, did you?!  We love LOVE and are excited to share our Valentine’s Day cocktail with you.  This drink is the perfect way to impress your valentine or galentine this year.  This would pair perfectly with a nice charcuterie plate and maybe the Boys II Men Pandora Station (haha). Stop waiting till the very last minute and head on over to Mystic Wine Shoppe and grab a bottle of Triple Cranberry Vodka and Mionetto Prosecco and get mixin’.

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Ingredients:

Mix it up:

  • Combine all ingredients in a cold glass and enjoy! Cheers!

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Thanks for reading!  Stop into Mystic Wine Shoppe and check out all the amazing champagnes and wines we carry that would also make a great gift for your loved one.

Valle Reale Wine Review

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Everybody in Arlington thinks that they live in the best neighborhood, but I really do. On my street we don’t just get together for block parties, we regularly have backyard barbecues, game nights, afternoons with the Patriots and dinners together. And the food is always extraordinary. But on Friday, after a week at work when everyone just wants to hang out, we often throw together a big green salad order a couple of pizzas and holler to the ‘hood that the door is open.

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Since the venerable Nicola’s closed, we don’t have a regular place for pizza but, as long as there a hot cherry peppers on top, I’m good—so we’ve sampled lots of local places. This Friday, it was two large pizzas from the Northender Italian Kitchen in Arlington Heights. We got a plain cheese and a sausage, onion and hot cherry pepper (my favorite) and put out the call to the neighbors.
I’ve discovered that same way it can elevate a burger from fast food to fine dining, a nice glass of wine can make a takeout pizza feel like a meal in a trattoria. I had a bottle of Valle Reale Montepulcano D’Abruzzo (2010) and when I called in the pizza, I opened the wine to let it breathe a bit. We lit a fire in the fireplace, and the neighbors came in, grabbed a paper plate, a slice of pizza and pile their plates with salad. The fire was roaring and for a while, no one spoke. It was the silence of contentment. Then Dave said “Hey, what’s this wine? It’s pretty good.”  I poured myself a glass and took a sip. He was right.
I like a Montepulcano because it’s bold enough to hold up to hearty food without the strong tannins that I sometimes associate with Italian wine. The Valle Reale Montepulcano D’Abruzzo (2010) was a deep rich red—almost purple. The first sip was satiny and offered notes of blackberry, a bit of mineral and even a hint of chocolate as it lingered on my tongue. I sipped again and swore that I tasted vanilla. I piled some arugula salad on top of my pizza and took a bite.

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While I wasn’t exactly transported to a trattoria in the Italian foothills, it was a delicious combination and made even better by the wine, the company and the prospect of a weekend ahead.

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The neighborhood fun continued on Sunday when my neighbor Nancy, christened her new family room by inviting a gang in for an early supper, followed by football. The Patriots were playing Kansas City— which I think called for ribs, but Nancy made a wild mushroom and pasta dish that felt like pure comfort food. I pulled together another huge salad and brought another bottle of the Valle Reale Montepulcano D’Abruzzo (2010). While some thought that white wine would pair well, I found that the earthiness of the mushrooms was perfect with the Montepulcano. Others agreed and I congratulated them on their ability to cast aside outdated ideas like: “only drink white wine with mushrooms.”  But the real congratulations of the night went to the Patriots. What a great game! What a great neighborhood!

Thanks for reading, Carol Band

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The Huntsman

The Huntsman

The holidays were hectic. Beginning at Thanksgiving (actually, Halloween…) it’s been cooking, hunting for Tupperware tops, laundry, houseguests and dishes. It’s been fun, but I welcome getting back to the routine and a little peace and quiet. That’s why when my husband called at 5pm on Tuesday and said that he’d be working late, I was happy to have a few hours of solitude and meatloaf in the oven.

The week before, with house guests in tow, we had gone to TWK in Winchester for a burger. If I have a burger in the afternoon, I usually get a beer, but at night I’ll order a glass of red wine to elevate the burger to a higher cuisine. That’s what I did at TWK. The burger was delicious, but the wine really blew me away. Served by the glass, The Huntsman Cabernet Sauvignon from Ross Andrew in Washington’s Columbia Valley was silky, smooth and delicious.

I had two glasses and stopped by Mystic Wine Shoppe on my way home to see if they carried it. They do (!) and I picked up a bottle to share with my friends. But, in the flood of New Year’s champagne and morning-after Bloody Mary’s the Huntsman somehow, through the onslaught of guests, remained untouched.

Then, as I pulled the meatloaf out of the oven on that mundane Tuesday night, I wondered…if the Huntsman Cab could make a burger feel special, imagine what it would do for my meatloaf. Ordinarily, I might not open a nice bottle of wine just for myself – but I was savoring the solitude and somehow, it felt like a special occasion. I opened the cabinet, uncorked the bottle, poured a bit and swirled it in the glass. It was a gorgeous color— deep and fragrant. I sipped and tasted blackberries and whiff of vanilla.

I cut a generous slice of meatloaf, buttered a baked sweet potato and served myself some roasted cauliflower. It was a plate of comfort food—a post-holiday celebration of a return to normal. The owner of the vineyard named this wine The Huntsman because he likes to hunt, I imagine that this wine would pair as nicely with venison or wild boar as it did with my meatloaf.

I drank two glasses, corked the bottle and put it in the fridge. I bet it’s fantastic with meatloaf sandwiches, too!

Here’s my meatloaf recipe (it’s not rocket science, so feel free to tweak).

  • 1-½ pounds of ground beef (85% lean)
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 1-½ cups of old fashioned oats
  • Salt to taste
  • A generous sprinkling of pepper
  • Squirt of ketchup
  • Squish mixture until well blended then shape into loaf pan.
  • Frost generously with a mixture of ketchup, mustard and brown sugar.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly and done (about an hour).

Written by one of our wine guru’s, Carol Bend 

Featured Bourbon: Macallan Rare Cask

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Macallan knows a thing or two about whisky, in fact, they know about everything. With their new batch, they sought out to create an experience along with the action of drinking. The November release makes Rare Cask a new member of the prized Macallan collection, but a top tier bottle at that. IMG_6667 2

This carefully mastered bottle contains a flavoring of mahogany-red wood at its heart. That deep wood whisky is then showcased with sherry seasoned oak casks and lightened with natural color. The scent of Rare Cask leaves you with notes of vanilla and sweet citruses.

“Rare Cask combines knowledge, skill, passion, commitment and creativity to create a remarkable whisky worthy of its name. Crafted to showcase complexity and depth, Rare Cask is drawn from the broadest spectrum of casks used in maturation on The Macallan Estate.”

If you aren’t already familiar with Macallan and their collection, here’s a shot of info. Their beautiful distillery is located in Scotland surrounded by a 485 acre estate. The surrounding environment, including the woods, rivers, and plateaus have always been an inspiration to the Macallan flavors. Their obsession with quality and mastery is unmatched, and is a main reason behind being one of our personal favorites.

We have a limited amount left, here, at Mystic Wine Shoppe. This is definitely an addition you do not want to miss out on. A new taste for collectors and connoisseurs, yet also a great introduction into becoming a whisky fanatic. 

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Guess who’s coming to dinner? It’s Ken Forrester – He loves a good meal!

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I am fortunate that when my daughter was in elementary school, she picked her friends well.  What I mean is that she hung out with a group of elementary school girls whose parents I adore.

Best of all, everyone lives within a few blocks of each other. So, twenty years later, the girls have all gone their separate ways, but we parents, now a group of empty nesters, continue to see each other almost every weekend for dinners, election night gatherings, holidays, birthdays and lots of laughs.

This group is bound not just by our parenting experiences but we also we share a passion for politics, travel, the love of a good argument and we are all devoted to creating good food. It doesn’t have to be fancy, (we’ve had amazing hot dog and bean dinners- homemade beans, of course-) but it’s always delicious.
Last Saturday at Andrea and Dennis’ house on Jason Street, was no exception. In fact, Andrea is probably the most serious cook in the group. She worked as a professional caterer and also had her own business providing meals to go that she made at home.  And, she knows wine. So a dinner at Andrea’s means that not only do I agonize over what to make for a dessert or appetizer, I also put some serious thought into the bottle of wine that I’ll bring to share.

Pork and chorizo stew was on the menu. Andrea had suggested a Gewürztraminer
(white and light) but I went with a red and matched the earthy flavors in the stew with a silky yet substantial Ken Forrester Renegade 2013, a blend of Grenache and Syrah from South Africa. I was glad I did.

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This wine did exactly what wine is supposed to do. It complimented the food (not that Andrea’s cooking needs any enhancement!). The slight heat in the stew, along with the green rice, spiced with poblano papers set the wine off perfectly and revealed its subtle notes of plum, black olive and a trace of chocolate that made me pour myself another glass to accompany the bourbon chocolate cake that someone else had brought for dessert. We lingered over the table, went back for seconds on the pork stew, sliced a little more off the chocolate cake, cleaned up the edges of my lemon meringue pie and were reminded again of just how lucky were are to have daughters with such exquisite taste in parents. Here’s to old friends, a new wine and to friends who can cook!

 

Thanks for reading, Carol Band