Creative Juices Wine Blog

Summertime, and the pairing’s easy.

In case you haven’t been outside recently, it’s hot. I’m not just speaking on behalf of where we are, but the majority of the country is feeling exactly what I’m talking about every day. Many of us are experiencing 100 degree plus temperatures on a regular basis, and with it comes a sense of being overwhelmed by drink choices.

It’s too easy to reach for a cold domestic brew after 15 minutes in this heat, which inevitably lead to sweating through two shirts, and virtually passing out. Here are some recommendations for you that don’t start with ‘Bud’, or end in ‘Light’.

If there is on thing we have learned about serving wine, it’s that exploration (for the most part) died with Juan Ponce de Leon in 1521. “I know what I like” is a common phrase from many consumers. That’s not to say that knowing what one likes is a bad thing, but let’s face it, Napa isn’t the only place making wine. Hence, a need for the revival of exploration. This time, with better navigational tools.

For us, hot summertime weather means a break from Cabernet, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel, and anything else that could be used as a club in the event a riot breaks out due to frost-bitten nerve endings during the winter months. It’s a well deserved hiatus for us and all of the abuser friendly wines we love so much. During the separation months, these varietals still see periodic visitation on rainy days, or cool(ish) evenings. In some cases, we get to visit them in the form of Rosés, which is nice. Speaking of Rosés, I feel the need to call men out briefly. It’s ok to drink pink wines. They’re not all sweet. They’re not White Zinfandel or White Merlots. And it by no means makes you look feminine. All you’re really doing is saying, ‘I have a sophisticated palate, and I don’t buy into stereotypes.’ The next time you’re at a wine tasting, give the pink one a go. You may be surprised.

That being said, here are some more heat friendly wines for you to enjoy. The first thing you’ll want to do is avoid heavy oaking. Sorry Cali Chards. Think White Burgundy (Chablis, Côte de Beaune) are great choices, or possibly Viognier from further south in Rhone. Try Sancerre, Alsacian Riesling, Pinot Gris, or Gewürztraminer. These are amazing choices this time of year. Looking for something a bit more crisp, and tropical? Perhaps more floral? How about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, or some Mendoza Torrontes? If you’ve never heard of some of these, that’s okay. That’s why wine professionals exist. If you’re at a restaurant, ask your server or sommelier what they suggest. We still ask for recommendations when we go out. I frequently ask questions like, “what would you pair with 100 degree heat, a pulled muscle, and the shrimp scampi?” If someone can answer a question like that without looking at you like you’re clinically insane, drink what they recommend. They know what they’re doing. You will also find luck with Grüner Veltliner from Austria, and in a multitude of German Rieslings. Try to avoid a lot of sugar though. Lean towards the dry or Troken end of the spectrum. Don’t let me forget sparkling wine, or Champagne. A little bubbly on a hot day is always the right choice. Celebration or not, bubbles will make you smile. On that note, something a little fizzy that we find does the trick is Vinho Verde. They’re usually pretty inexpensive, and tasty.

If you can’t get over your winter Red kick, that’s okay too. Just back it off a notch. Just switch the regions around a bit. If you’re a Cab or Merlot drinker that only drinks Cali stuff, think Bordeaux for a change. If you’re a big Zinfandel drinker that loves the spiciness and high alcohol content the Zin carries, try going with a Spanish Garnacha, or Côtes du Rhône. You may find a new friend that you never knew existed. Tempranillo or Mencia may also be valid options. Malbec from Argentina or Cahors, France are quality picks for this time of year, though, I find myself avoiding  them for the most part. Pinot drinker? Love California, or Oregon? Try Central Otago, New Zealand. More good options for Pinot fans would be a Beaujolais Cru, or a Dolcetto d’Alba. You’ll find a sense of home with these lighter style reds.

All of these wines are pretty easy to find. In most wine shops, and restaurants around the country, there is someone waiting for you to come in and just ask questions. That’s what we live for. We have answers, and it’s rewarding on both ends. We get to talk about wine, which we love to do, and you get to enjoy something new. Worst case scenario, just go online and check out wine.com, 2020wines.com, winelibrary.com, or any number of other online resources. This is, of course, if you cannot find it locally.

Good luck, stay cool, and have fun.

Cheers!

-Zak

Texas Beer Night @ Rulis’

Posted in Announcements, Beer, Texas by CreativeJuicesWine on April 9, 2010

Hello Friends! It’s Friday, and we’re excited to announce that tomorrow night will be Texas Beer Night @ Rulis’ International Kitchen! We will be tasting 7 beers from Texas, eating delicious munchies prepared by Chef Rulis, and having an awesome time. These events are getting more fun every time we host them. We love, and appreciate your support. Thank you all for making these events such a huge success.

We will be kicking things off tomorrow night, Saturday April 10th, at 7pm. We have four beers from Real Ale Brewing Co. in Blanco, TX, 2 beers from Shiner, TX, as well as the classic Lone Star coming straight from Dallas. The event costs $20, and we will be serving all of the beers throughout the evening for $3 if you want to stick around. If you haven’t been to one of these events, what have you been doing with your life? You’re missing out. So, if you like fun, and beer, and Texas…we’ve got your plans for the weekend at Rulis’. See y’all there! Cheers!!!

-Zak

Wine Tasting Reminder

Posted in Announcements, Aragon, Beer, Bierzo, Spain, Texas, wine, wine shop, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on March 31, 2010

Hello everyone! Those of you who have stopped by the shop know that we’ve always got something going on. During April, we will be continuing that trend by hosting our Wine & Beer Events (check the Events Tab) every Saturday of the month! We have also started Thursday Wine Tastings every Thursday evening starting at 5pm. Stop by after work to try a few new wines, and maybe take a couple home with you. You’ll get to share your experience with the only two certified Sommeliers in El Paso, us!

In addition, we will be bringing in over 20 new labels over the course of the month, followed by a meet and greet with 8 Spanish Winemakers on May 5th. Details for that event will be posted the beginning of next week. Bottles from two of those winemakers are already on sale at the shop, with more to come after next week. Come out for dinner Wednesday through Saturday and take advantage of retail pricing on all wine. We also offer 50% the menu price on all beer to go.

See you at 318 N. Mesa Street. Cheers!!!

Zak & Olena

Hunting For African Beer

Posted in Announcements, Beer, rulis international kitchen by CreativeJuicesWine on March 26, 2010

Ok everyone…after making over 100 phone calls to locations in 8 states, it’s official: African beer is just not possible to get without driving to San Diego to get 24 of the remaining 47 bottles of Tusker (Kenya) in the continental US.–The other 23 (that I could find) are in Washington D.C.

I tried to call in some favors from various cities that might have some African Beer available to them, but it turns out that my friends have legitimate jobs that don’t allow for ridiculous beer hunting projects that I assign to them. Sheesh!

The new title of our event is “Beers From 5 Continents Because Antarctica is too cold, and Africa has terrible distribution policies when it comes to United States.” We did our best for you, but it’s not looking as though beer from Africa is going to happen. Sorry everyone. We’ll make it up to you. See you tomorrow night! Cheers!

-Zak

Beer From 6 Continents (Sorry Antarctica) Beer Social @ Rulis’

Posted in Announcements, Beer by CreativeJuicesWine on March 23, 2010

Good morning everyone! Happy Tuesday!

This Saturday marks the kick off of the Lady Bowlers Tournament here in El Paso, and in honor of their arrival (and the fact that it will be Saturday) we’re hosting Beer Night at Rulis’. This time around, we will be tasting beer from six Continents, and tasting delicious treats prepared by Mista International himself, Chef Rulis.

If you have never been to one of these events, what have you been doing with your Saturdays? They are a ton of fun!

–Alex P. we missed you at the Latin American Beer Night. I’m calling you out. You and the family have to be at this one!

Cheers!!! We’ll see you Saturday at 7pm.

Zak

Creative Juices Wine Show: Episode 7-IPA Tasting

Posted in Beer, Flying Dog, Great Divide, Video by CreativeJuicesWine on March 1, 2010

During this episode Zak & Olena switch things up a bit, and taste a Snake Dog IPA against a Titan IPA. Enjoy the show! Cheers!!!

For more information on the breweries mentioned during this show, visit Flying Dog’s and Great Divide’s websites.

Beer Night @ Rulis’ Tonight!!!

Posted in Announcements, Beer, Classes, Texas by CreativeJuicesWine on February 27, 2010

Hey! Do you live in El Paso? Do you like fun? Do you like to drink really good beer? Are you alive? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, come to Beer Night @ Rulis’ International Kitchen Tonight!!! We will be tasting 6 (more likely than not, 7) beers, and serving up delicious snacks prepared by the best chef in the entire city, Chef Rulis! In case you were wondering what to do tonight, this is it! See you there @7pm! For more information, check Local Wine Events. Cheers!!!

Beer 101: Brown Ales & Stouts

Posted in Announcements, Beer, Classes, Texas by CreativeJuicesWine on February 22, 2010

Join us on Saturday to learn a little about these hearty beers. We’ll taste 6 to 7 beers including Pipeline Porter, Gordon, and Ten Fidy Imperial Stout. These beers are rich, yummy, high in alcohol and can put you on your butt if you’re not careful!
$20 gets you education, beer samples, and a snack to munch on.  As always, we’ll provide food suggestions if you want to order more food off the menu. Like what you’re tasting? Take a sixer home with you! Cheers!

Zak & Olena

Beer vs. Wine Follow Up

Last night was our Beer vs. Wine event at DiVino Wine Bar. We want to extend a personal thank you to everyone who attended the event, and made it so much fun.

Just to recap, we tasted the Sokol Blosser Evolution vs. Stella Artois and paired them both with a Portobello Mushroom Pizza. In the end, there were mixed results for who came out the ‘winner’. People liked the way that Stella melded with the cheese and the crust of the pizza, while the Evolution brought out some amazing flavor in the mushrooms. For what it’s worth, Olena & I thought the Evolution (because of what it did for the mushrooms) was the clear winner. Some of the guests may not feel the same, but that’s okay. The good people at Sokol Blosser’s Tasting Room in Dundee, OR were very supportive, and helpful when we spoke to them on the phone yesterday afternoon. They seemed thrilled that we were including their wine in our little taste off. –Thanks for your help, Jennifer.

The second Match-up was Sebastiani & Son’s The Crusher Petite Sirah vs. Duvel. We paired the two with the “Divino Panino”, which is made with Genoa Salame, Spring Mix, Four cheese blend, Artichoke, Olive Tepanade, S. Dried Tomato & Lemon Caper dressing. Delicious on its own, yes, but when paired with The Crusher Petite Sirah it’s untouchable. Sorry Duvel, you fell short on this one. The aptly named ‘Crusher’ did just that in this contest (if you can call it that).

Overall, we had a great time, and are looking forward to our next event at Coco.Miel this Saturday at 2pm. Email us for more details.

Cheers!!!

Zak & Olena

Wine vs. Beer Tonight!!!

Posted in Announcements, Beer, Classes, Food & Wine Pairing, White Blend, wine by CreativeJuicesWine on February 17, 2010

Hey everyone! Happy Wine Wednesday! We wanted to remind you that tonight is Beer vs. Wine at DiVino Wine Bar @7pm. We are going to be having a taste off paired with tapas for $25. The face-off will feature Sokol Blosser Evolution vs. Stella Artois, and The Crusher Petite Sirah vs. Duvel. It’s Ameerican Wine vs. Belgian Beer, and you decide the winner!

This has never been done before, so by coming out, you’ll be making history! Call 915.351.1000 to reserve. Cheers!!!

Zak & Olena