time lapse photography of fireworks at night

4th of July

As we celebrate the great victory of the American patriots in 1776 and celebrate the great American culture we need to remember some of the finest wine/beers/and liquors that are 100% American! As the world gets smaller and smaller, the lines are blurring between our countries and cultures.  Overall this is a good thing as we are able to enjoy the finest tastes from people throughout the world!  But on a momentous occasion like Independence Day it is good to commemorate our own great culture of spectacular libations! First lets start with one of the oldest traditions from our predecessors the pilgrims in the Northeast.  Woodchuck Cider is a continuing tradition in Vermont.  People have been producing ciders in Vermont...

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Summer Beer Cocktails

Mixology is not just for Liquor.  Mixology is the Art of mixing fine liquors and ingredients to create a sum that is greater than the parts.   But rather than liquor, Beer is becoming an ingredient that people love.  Beer sales still dwarf wine and liquor on a national and international basis.  Thus it makes sense that the mixology cognoscenti would use beer in their new and older traditional drinks. If you are in a beer rut, drinking the same old thing, day after day—try a beer cocktail.  One of the original is the Radler.  The story goes that an ambitious barkeeper invented the Radler early in the 20th century.  He bought a little bar in Bavaria and helped lead the...

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Holiday White Wine Guide

Nationally red wine is a bigger seller than white wines. Red wine and a big steak is always my favorite meal. However– there is always a time and place for beautiful white wines. Sometimes we get the idea that white wines are sugary sweet, fizzy pop wines that cannot be seriously enjoyed or discussed. Our home state of Minnesota is one of the biggest markets per capita for Moscato. We love our sweet stuff! However there are plenty of great white wines in the world that have tons of character. Believe it or not—I think that the world of white wine has more flavors and types to explore than red. White wine can be fun and frivolous or deep, sexy...

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Oregon Pinot Noir

Only two days left of the big wine sale at Apollo. In my endeavor to recommend great wines to you during the sale, I was trying to think of a wine that is very versatile in food pairings and has broad appeal to red wine lovers. It didn’t take long before it hit me that Pinot Noir fits the bill. Only Pinot Noir has the grace, finesse and complexity to go with the finest seafood meals and still be able to hold up to a hearty steak. When thinking of great Pinot Noir regions in the world, the list is short. Pinot Noir is a finicky grape that needs a cooler region than most red grapes. It can test the...

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Explore Spanish Wines

As the Progressive Wine Sale continues, the discounts are getting even better! This is the perfect chance to try some wines you haven’t had before, or you had your eye on and didn’t feel the time is right. Well with the discounts approaching 30% on any bottle of wine in the store, the time is right now! If you’re a red wine lover and have never tried a wine from Spain, you better march to the store and pick some up! You are seriously missing out on delicious wine! Spain is blessed with near perfect terroir for red wines. To keep things simple, we will discuss two general regions, but keep in mind that Spain has a long tradition and...

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Apollo Is Here To Help This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day for many men can be a very stressful time of the year! The unrealistic world painted by Hallmark movies and romcoms puts pressure on men to deliver the big gift for Valentines Day. Jewelry is best—but in a pinch a great bottle of wine, liquor or beer can melt the most romantic of hearts. Champagne is a natural treat for the big day. Whether sweet, dry, rich or light a good bottle of bubbly will bring a smile to everyone’s face! Champagne and strawberry’s is a great match. Every woman remembers when Richard Gere used the pairing to start his courtship of Julia Roberts in the classic film Pretty Woman. The sweetness of the berry and crisp oakiness...

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Left Coast Is the Best Coast

Left Coast Brewery is a new brewery that is finally available in Minnesota.  Based in San Clemente California, you may have had the pleasure of buying their beers at Oggi’s Pizzeria.  From humble beginnings of supplying beer for Oggi’s and supplying a few other bars in the area in 2004, they are slowly growing to be a powerhouse in the Orange County beer scene. Now available in about 15 states plus as far out as Japan and New Zealand. I count Minnesota lucky to be among the 15 states. Right now there are four full time beers available and one seasonal with hopefully more coming down the pipeline. Their flagship beer is the Left Hand Hop Juice. Hoppy beers are all...

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Tis the Season! Tis the season for the drink that signifies celebration more than any other.  Champagne gained this reputation as French kings were traditionally anointed in the city of Reims and the local wine was served as part of the coronation festivities.  Word spread quickly about this exotic wine served by the rich and powerful and at the same time the emergence of the middle class was happening.  Due to great marketing from the Champagne houses, Champagne quickly became a symbol of the middle class for upward mobility, 200+ years later Champagne still possesses this status symbol. Champagne is simply a sparkling wine typically made up of three different grapes;  Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier although several other...

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Party Planning Guide

Hosting a party can be an exciting endeavor—but also a nerve-wracking evening.  Anytime you have multiple people at your house or venue, you worry about having the right mix of people, music, food, and of course fine beer, liquor and wine!  Choosing a proper alcohol menu is very important to any party plan.  First you do not want to run out!  Second you want to have a good variety of tastes and flavors so everyone can enjoy.  Third you want to make your party a unique and different experience, and fourth you want to make sure everyone gets home safe and sound to talk the next day about your perfect party! Choosing the proper quantity can be hard—but there are...

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Mixology is a hot trend in the world!   With the proliferation of new liquors, new flavors, and new accents bartenders are creating new cocktails and also reinventing old classics! Mixology is basically the fancy term for mixing drinks.  But I compare it to me cooking hot dogs on the grill to a chef preparing a fine 5-course dinner experience.  The same care and skill can go into making a cocktail, as a chef will put into a Chateau Briand! Five Celebrated Rochester mixologists will be teaching the basic tenets of mixology.  It is an event called Mixology 101.  October 26th at the Rochester Civic Center McDonnell Suite.  It is a Fundraiser for The Rotary Risers of Rochester who will take...

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