the state

– of wine tasting responsibility. by vastate
Friday, 5 March 2010, 11:06
Filed under: -of drink, -of harrisonburg, -of upcoming, -of vino

as if you needed another reason to go to downtown wine & gourmet’s wine tasting tonight:

College wine tastings can prevent alcoholism among pupils, believe French advisers

the theory being that controlled wine tastings can prevent binge drinking.


so, for the good of our community, it is your duty to attend the wine tastings each week.


5-7p tonight!


– of dry soda. by vastate
Tuesday, 16 February 2010, 23:55
Filed under: -of drink, -of eats, -of harrisonburg, -of jhumphrey

there were some very exciting new foodstuffs delivered to downtown wine and gourmet today…

including the realization of a special request from a very pregnant woman desperate for a grown-up alternative to cranberry gingerale:


you rock.

-of shopping synergy by jgrimsrud
Monday, 15 February 2010, 15:44
Filed under: -of deals, -of drink, -of harrisonburg, -of jgrimsrud, -of localism, -of sound

i made my regular visit to kroger, mainly to get a new round of homestead milk (i miss the eggnog!), and of course the impending-doom-panic of a snow-inspired grocery run.

the $2.00 bottle deposit may be offputting to some, but not only do i believe it to be worth it, but the bottle return cash i get at the front desk leads me & my 3-year-old across the parking lot to goodwill.  with a few milk bucks in my pocket, we’re set to score some toys & books.  today’s crop included:

two mini coopers, one eric carle book about cats,

a recycled frisbee,

and some amazing books.

(today, i believe the Lord would gather his flock around the water cooler.)

i was thinking of using the latter as freebie giveaways for preacher’s show on wxjm live this thursday night (streaming here). 

but we’ll see if i can bear to part with them…

– of bitters. by jhumphrey
Sunday, 24 January 2010, 21:29
Filed under: -of drink, -of jhumphrey, -of politik

and, to top it off, even if we wanted to drink away our tears at the state of the nation, we can’t.

or at least it’s more difficult to obtain the necessary ingredients for a manhattan.

the bitters are suspended.

thanks to the recession, which has reached trinidad & tobago, production of angostura bitters has been halted:

glad we picked up a super cheap bottle (randomly) at teetotaling sharp shopper a few months ago.

-of the season (w/ drinks) by jgrimsrud
Friday, 20 November 2009, 23:03
Filed under: -of drink, -of jgrimsrud, -of localism

i sincerely hope that we have plenty of posts in store to honor holiday-season drinking.  but this first note is to encourage our local readers to head over to kroger (if you’re in harrisonburg; otherwise, give them a call at 540.721.2045, and set up a tour while you’re at it) to get your own bottle of homestead creamery’s eggnog.

on a related note, your eggnog purchase makes for a great excuse to pick up a bottle of wasmund’s on your way home.

here’s to you, wirtz and sperryville, virginia.

and speaking of homestead, check out the shout-out in this thanksgiving article over at edible blue ridge – incidentally, written by the one and only andrew jenner.

now that’s coming full-circle.


– of uncorking the beaujolais. by vastate
Wednesday, 18 November 2009, 20:20
Filed under: -of drink, -of guest blogger., -of harrisonburg, -of jhumphrey, -of vino

remember this guy?

well, the dapper wine fellow has a message for you:

Join us on Thursday the 19th of November as we celebrate the release
of the 2009 Beaujolais Nouveau! Downtown Wine and Gourmet will be
hosting a FREE wine tasting of several producers’ nouveau wines
beginning at 5:00pm and going until 7:00pm. Then head over to
Clementine for a FREE Beaujolais Nouveau release party which will
begin at 8:00pm in the lounge! The event will include Beaujolais
Nouveau for sale by the glass and music from DJ Neals Barkley! So join
the global celebration and keep the tradition alive!

A few fascinating facts about Beaujolais Nouveau:

*Beaujolais [BOE-zjoh-lay] Nouveau is always released the third
Thursday of November, regardless of the start of the harvest.

*All the grapes in the Beaujolais region must be picked by hand. These
are the only vineyards, along with Champagne, where hand harvesting is

*Gamay is the only grape permitted for Beaujolais Nouveau. While
certain California wineries may label their wine “Gamay Beaujolais”
this is not the same grape variety as what is grown in France, and is
quite different in taste and growing habits.

*Beaujolais Nouveau owes its easy drink-ability to a wine-making
process called carbonic maceration – also called whole berry
fermentation. This technique preserves the fresh, fruity quality of
the wine, without extracting bitter tannins from the grape skins.

*Beaujolais Nouveau is meant to be drunk young. In average vintages it
should be consumed by the following summertime after its release.
However, in excellent vintages the wine can live longer and can be
enjoyed until the next harvest rolls around.

Speaking of excellent vintages, Georges Dubeouf (one of the most
renowned producers in Beaujolais) is ecstatic about this year’s
Beaujolais harvest, predicting it one of the best Beaujolais vintages
in the last 50 years. He says, “The grape bunches are small with a
fine purplish black color, and are exceptionally rich in sugar. The
berries are thick, and the seeds are a gorgeous amber color, a sign of
perfect phenolic maturity. Their brightness, intensity, and above all,
their perfect health are something to behold. We have not seen
anything like this for a long time.”

Another bit of information which I think is important is the fact
that, unlike some previous releases, the 2009 Beaujolais that we
feature will be shipped by boat, not by air, to reduce the carbon
footprint of shipping the wine.

why would you dream of missing out?

high drink-ability, turntables, and a sense of global togetherness…

what a way to start the holiday season.

we’ll be there.

– of drinking in the fall. by vastate
Thursday, 29 October 2009, 17:25
Filed under: -of drink, -of guest blogger., -of harrisonburg, -of jhumphrey, -of vino

so.  jason from downtown wine & gourmet is a busy fellow.


it took some seriously annoying behavior on my part to get him to give me input on fall drinking.

but – lo and behold – i got an email full of alcoholic information yesterday.  he states:

o the threats, manipulation, and strong-armed tactics have finally pinned me against the wall of my iniquities.

fall drinks of choice would be:

coffee / breakfast stouts – stouts brewed with coffee are a splendid fall beverage because they are hearty, satiating, and the addition of coffee adds not only a fantastic component to the flavor profile, but also a little pick-me-up.  breakfast stouts utilize coffee as well as oatmeal as the primary grain. this leads to an even richer and more decadent beverage.  delicious!

pick: Founders Breakfast Stout & Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast (awesome website/label by the way)



cider – really, is there a fruit that carries more of a fall-time connotation than apples?

pick: Samuel Smith Organic Cider, Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouche Brut de Normandie (again with the great label)



mead – mead is a beverage using honey as the sugar which fuels the fermentation.  Its origins are lost in prehistory; “it can be regarded as the ancestor of all fermented drinks,” Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat has observed, “antedating the cultivation of the soil.”[5] Claude Lévi-Strauss makes a case for the invention of mead as a marker of the passage “from nature to culture.”[6]  It can be consumed right out of the bottle, but it is also delicious mulled.

pick: Lurgashall English Mead


red wine – the possibilities are endless…

pick: jason refused to even try to pick…go bother him at downtown wine & gourmet for more specific suggestions.

happy autumnal drinking, friends!