Northern Italy, in the western part, is the remarkable region known as Piedmont. Whether you try the white wines of Gavi or Arneis, the great table reds made from Dolcetto, Barbera, or Nebbiolo, or the outstanding wines of Barolo and Barbaresco, Piedmont has a little something for everyone. Check out these incredible offerings!
Spain certainly doesn’t lack for great values, and we’ve got some incredible offerings here with 4 tasty reds to get you in the mood for Autumn weather.
I know we’re not exactly in tourist season, but I recently returned from yet another trip to one of my favorite places on Earth and can’t help but recommend Asheville for your next vacation. And if you’re like me, you love to soak in the local beer culture of anywhere you travel. So feel free to take the pointers I’m about to give you and tuck them away until the next time you’re planning a vacation, be it with family, friends, or that special someone.
An easy six hour drive from Cincinnati, Asheville is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, just an hour or so from Gatlinburg. Asheville has been a tourist destination since the 19th century and today features thousands of miles of trails through the mountains, scenic drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a vibrant downtown with a plethora of shopping and countless high quality restaurants all competing for your money and your hearts. The focus of the food and shopping scene here is local, with endless artisans crafting usual and unusual souvenirs and chefs fully embracing the farm-to-table concept for a personal, high quality experience. The highest point in the U.S. east of the Mississippi, Mount Mitchell, is a short drive from the city. The Biltmore Estate is located on the city’s southside and is today a major tourist destination, with golfing, restaurants, hotels and tours all on the grounds of America’s largest privately owned home, built in the early 20th century.
But you’re not here for the tourist broad strokes that you can find in any decent travel book, are you? You’re here for the skinny on the beer scene. Thankfully, I’m a seasoned veteran of Asheville and its many beer-tastic destinations? So where to begin in a city that boasts dozens of breweries and recently overtook Portland, OR as “Beer City USA?” Well, no Asheville beer-cation is complete without stopping in local watering hole The Thirsty Monk. This downtown bar is 3 stories: the recently added top floor features cocktails, the street level is dedicated to American craft, and the basement, with its low ceilings, dim lighting and exposed wood beams, serves up Belgian beer in an environment that oozes old world charm. This is where you’ll usually find me, nose deep in numerous glasses of hard to find Belgian and Belgian style beers all impeccably well curated by their knowledgeable bar staff. If you go here every night, you’ll have a new experience each time.
When you’re ready to dive into the local brewery scene, you’ll need to start at Burial, Hi-Wire, and Wicked Weed, all conveniently located in the small downtown area minutes from one another. While there are dozens of breweries in the city, including stalwarts like Highland, Asheville Brewing Co., and Lexington Ave Brewery, these three breweries have really seized their moment in the sun and captured the attention of drinkers across the nation. Find stellar stouts and IPAs at Burial, fruited sours and lagers at Hi-Wire, and a litany of funky, barrel aged sours at Wicked Weed.
For a slightly more in-depth brewery experience, I can’t recommend Sierra Nevada highly enough. Their eastern U.S. brewery is located a short drive south of Asheville in Mills River. I’ve never been more impressed by a brewery, period. The building is sprawling and features a massive full service restaurant that reliably serves up one of the very best meals I have each time I visit Asheville, which is really saying something given the quality of the restaurant selections in town. Plan to spend the evening here, exploring flights of beer, both widely available and unique to the brewery, dining on plates of shareable entrees, sitting on the back porch by a fire pit, and meandering the wooded walking trails behind the brewery. This is truly a destination; everything is lavishly appointed, no detail or expense was spared in creating a truly spectacular experience.
On your way out of town, don’t forget to stop by world renowned bottle shop Bruisin’ Ales, located on Broadway on the northern edge of downtown. While small and boasting nowhere near the breadth of selection here at the Jungle, they have a stellar selection of hard-to-find bottles from near and far. Plus, their beer guys are almost as friendly and willing to make recommendations as we are!
So there you have it, all the info you need to start dipping your toes in the immense waters of the Asheville beer scene. Feel free to explore beyond my humble suggestions and find what’s perfect for you. You really can’t go wrong drinking craft beer in the mountains.
By Kevin Keith
So to begin, when we talk about Grenache (or Garnacha as it is called in Spain), most often we are referring to Grenache Noir, the red Grenache. It has many names: Alicante, Bois Jaune, Cannonau, Garnatxa Pais, Llandoner, Rivesaltes, Uva di Spagna, Vernatxa, you get the idea… Yet there also mutations of Grenache, resulting in Grenache Blanc, Grenache Rose, Grenache Gris and Garnacha Peluda (or Hairy Grenache). And there are crosses of the grape like Alicante Bouschet (Grenache X Petite Bouschet) and Marselan (Grenache X Cabernet Sauvignon).
Yet for the sake of time, let’s focus on Grenache Noir, shall we?
Grenache Noir is actually one of the most (if not the most) cultivated red grape on the planet, with much of production occurring in France and Spain, though you do find it grown in Italy, Australia, the U.S., and in small lots in other parts of the world. It is red-fruited in its profile, with zesty white spices and usually a higher alcoholic content.
In Spain, you could argue Garnacha is that country’s most important grape variety (even more so than Tempranillo). You find varietal releases in Navarra, Campo de Borja and Aragon, and blends from Priorat and Rioja. In France, the varietal is primarily found in the Southern Rhone where it makes up the majority of blends coming from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Vacqueyras and more. In Australia it comprises part of the GSM blends, and in places like Italy you can find it predominantly in Sardinia (as Cannonau). The U.S. sees Grenache planted primarily in California and Washington State, with Texas having some success with it as well.
We’ve put together a small list of incredible Grenache wines for you to acclimate yourself with this delicious, often-overlooked grape:
This year's Weekend of Fire will be our BIGGEST and BOLDEST yet. More booths, more food options, and we're even expanding the festival and letting it take over the Greenhouse in front of the store.
We're excited, of course, but we wanted to make sure you were as excited as we are! Check out 10 things to get you fired up for the biggest Fiery Foods Show in the region!
Samples, samples, samples... And did we mention samples?
You read that right! Lots of samples can be found throughout the show - try as much as you want. The best part? If you fall in love with something, you can buy it right then and there, directly from the vendor!
It's not just hot sauce!
No way, no how. Sure, it's called Weekend of Fire, but there's so much more to this two day, flavor filled ode to all things spicy! Salsa, mustard, spices, rubs, BBQ sauce... and, of course, hot sauce all get their time in the limelight.
It's hot, hot, hot!
This is a true spectacle of an event... We might even go so far as to call it SPECTACULAR. Look for all kinds of entertainment while you're sampling and enjoying yourselves! Face painters, stilt walkers, a DJ in the Greenhouse, a free photo booth, and more. It's a big, weird, and FUN weekend!
It's big, weird, fun and... family friendly?!
Weekend of Fire is ABSOLUTELY family friendly! In fact, we think it's one of the best events we have to enjoy with family and friends. Seriously, look at that smile!
Over the top displays galore!
Just like the inside of Jungle Jim's International Market, we encourage those participating in our Weekend of Fire to go BIG and BOLD! We love that they're having so much fun, and can't wait to see what they cook up for this year's event!
The one, the only... Arena Of Fire!
Unless you've witnessed these contests firsthand, you have NO idea how much fun they can be! If you think you have what it takes (and like it really, really hot), you can sign up to enter any of the contests we have lined up (as long as you're over 18). Otherwise, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the chaos!
Cool down with spicy drinks (and also regular drinks)!
We'll have a bevvy of beverages available for purchase - keep it spicy with concoctions like the below, or grab a beer from any of the several booths we'll have spread throughout the festival. You have to tame the heat and quench your thirst somehow, right?
Awards! In the shape of fire hydrants?!
Some of those at this year's event have been a part of Weekend of Fire for a long, long time. Papi Joe's is a perennial favorite, and has amassed a sizable collection of ribbons and Fire Hydrant trophies. Want to know how YOU can choose who gets the next big Weekend of Fire award? Keep reading!
WOFi Awards - YOU decide who takes them home!
Tell us who your favorites are by voting for them, and we'll give ribbons and Fire Hydrant trophies to the winners. And trust us - they LOVE them.
Meet the Man, the Myth, the Legend - Pepperologist Don McBride
Really, is there any better reason to go than to hang out and talk hot sauce with our resident Pepperologist, Don McBride? Sure, all the hot sauces you can actually try are great, but Don? Don's one in a million.
So get your tickets TODAY and join us for this year's Weekend of Fire on October 7 & 8 at the Oscar Event Center in Fairfield, Ohio.
We'll see you there!
yard under the moon. Mooncakes and watermelons are essential to any offering, though, so they have always been a part of the ceremony.
Some fun facts about the Mid-Autumn Festival:
We’re celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival with a wide range of mooncakes at both locations, and encourage you stop by and pick one up for a celebration of your own!
Do you celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival? Let us know your family traditions in the comments below!
As we settle into Fall, we enjoy the many traditions of the season – football and soccer, school programs, Oktoberfest, the Renaissance Festival, mums and other blooms, preparing our favorite hearty recipes. What is your favorite Fall pastime?
Gourmet Galeria has lots of special pricing in September, so be sure to take a leisurely walk through our department and discover the savings. Just to name a few – selected Swiss Diamond cookware, Shun Premier cutlery, all grilling and corn ware 30% off, all ice cream tools and popsicle molds 30% off, textiles (aprons, mitts, potholders, and more) 10% off, copper jack-o-lantern Moscow Mule (originally $19.99, now $11.99), Wusthof’s hand-held knife sharpeners. What a great time to shop early for Christmas!
Enjoy our new additions, too. Tervis Tumbler stainless steel insulated travel mugs in lots of colorful designs, the return of Victorinox Swiss Army knives, Demeyer 5-ply stainless steel cookware from Belgium and lots more.
Do come see us and discover all this and more inside Gourmet Galeria.