Shelf Stars: For great rosé, en Gard!

Welcome to Shelf Stars, The Growler’s cheap wine column in which we discover the best under-$15 bottles in town. This edition of Shelf Stars is brought to you with underwriting support from Central Avenue Liquors. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it can be maddening to find the right rosé. Wine stores often … [ Read more]

Shelf Stars: A Better Vinho Verde

Welcome to Shelf Stars, The Growler’s cheap wine column in which we discover the best under-$15 bottles in town. This edition of Shelf Stars is brought to you with underwriting support from Central Avenue Liquors. Every spring, my good friends down the block host a gathering in their backyard called the Vinho Verde Opener. It’s … [ Read more]

Shelf Stars: The Magic of Montalcino

Welcome to “Shelf Stars,” The Growler’s cheap wine column in which we discover the best under-$15 bottles in town. This edition of Shelf Stars is brought to you with underwriting support from The Wine Thief and Ale Jail. Montalcino is what you think of when you picture a storybook Italian town. It’s a tight cluster … [ Read more]

Shelf Stars • A Cheat Code for Summer: White Wine from Gascony

Welcome to Shelf Stars, The Growler’s cheap wine column in which we discover the best under-$15 bottles in town. This edition of Shelf Stars is brought to you with underwriting support from Central Avenue Liquors. In a mini-fridge in the basement of our home, my dad would keep bottles of a bargain California white that … [ Read more]

Bordeaux Buyer’s Guide

Wine drinkers and non-drinkers alike know the term “Bordeaux.” Images of stuffy cigar lounges filled with haughty white folk come to mind, or perhaps an expansive and expensive cellar full of out-of-reach wines for us, everyday people. An honest look at the whole of Bordeaux, however, reveals a large winegrowing region filled primarily with modest … [ Read more]

Georgia On My Wine

A number of countries claim to be the birthplace to winemaking—Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, etc. However, perhaps one of the richest, oldest, and most relevant histories of modern winemaking comes from the Republic of Georgia. Georgian wine has experienced a great many changes to its political and geographical landscape over the years: facing the phylloxera epidemic … [ Read more]

Wine Time: Heroes Get Remembered, But Legends Never Die

There are some wines that are famous even to the driest of teetotalers. These wines are spoken about with reverence, passed between wealthy hands at auctions for high price tags, and only on rarified occasions opened and sipped as though they are the elixir of life. These wines—like Cheval Blanc, Pomerol, vintage Dom Perignon, and … [ Read more]

Get On Board with Off-Dry Wine

I have been working in the food and beverage industry for over a decade now, as a bartender, cook, server, and so on. I truly care about what my guests enjoy and in each encounter I have with a potential consumer about wine, I inquire what they like in a wine or what flavors they … [ Read more]

Brava! A new North Loop bar is removing the mystique of natural wine

Wine is hard, but natural wine is even harder. What exactly is it? How can we identify it without any help from labels? Why is it sometimes cloudy? Why is there more bottle variation than with other wines? Enter Jill Mott and Dan Rice, two of the forces behind a new natural-wine bar in a … [ Read more]

What We’re Drinking: January 2020

Welcome back to What We’re Drinking, wherein The Growler editorial staff look back on recent remarkable beverages. What are you drinking, Growler Nation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

So you want to open a winery? A guide to starting up in Minnesota

So you’ve decided to make the leap from amateur to professional winemaker. Your fondness has grown so great for the prominent stone fruit flavors of La Crescent or the well-balanced Itasca, that you’ve been coaxed into putting your name onto a bottle and getting it into the hands of grape-indulgent gallivants. The road to professional … [ Read more]

AxeBridge Wine Company opening in Minneapolis’ North Loop next spring

Ashley and Aaron Schram of Schram Vineyards Winery and Brewery build their vision for a new urban winery It’s been a busy year for Ashley and Aaron Schram, the owners of Schram Vineyards in Waconia, Minnesota’s first combination winery and brewery. The Schrams launched their modern German-inspired beer hall and brewery Schram Haus this spring, … [ Read more]

2019 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners

Who better than the readers of The Growler to nominate and vote for the finest of the finest in Minnesota beer, spirits, food, arts, and culture? We had a tidal wave of votes to determine the winners of the 2019 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Awards, and we’re proud to share the results with you. These are … [ Read more]

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2019 Year in Review: Wine & Spirits

Ready, Set, Drink! Local distilleries mounted a full-scale invasion of the ready-to-drink (RTD) category in 2019. Canned and bottled cocktails are up 40% nationwide over 2018, riding the same wave as hard seltzers and canned wine in which drinkers are gravitating towards new flavors in convenient packaging. Vikre Distillery of Duluth launched Frenchie, a pink … [ Read more]

Wine Time: Grapes of Cognac & Armagnac (Or, the virtues of neutrality)

Stay neutral.” Two words designated to Switzerland, minimalist millennials decorating their apartments, and grapes used for distillation—specifically for Cognac and Armagnac. When we think of beverages made from grapes, we immediately rush to wine (especially when reading a wine column.) But, let us take a moment to examine the grapes of the much-loved Cognacs and … [ Read more]