On Wednesday, December 30, 1:PM - 4:PM, come by, and say hi at Lukes Super Liquor Store in Yarmouth, MA . http://www.capecodwines.com/winecellar/location.htm Lukes is one of the premier suppliers of Wine and Spirits on Cape Cod. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff are always available to help you with your selection. We will be tasting Cognac Godet, Cognac Seguinot, Armagnac Marie Duffau, and our new Pearadise liquor, made from pear and cognac.
On Tuesday, January 19, 7:PM - 8:30PM, sign up for our spirits seminar to learn everything you ever wanted to know about Cognacs and Armagnacs, at Gordons Wine & Spirits in Waltham, MA. http://center.gordonswine.com/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/11205 Gordon's unique Culinary Center has a wonderful reputation for sharing and learning and we are pleased to be presenting there. We will be tasting a variety of Cognacs and Armagnacs and finishing with a very special absinthe imported exclusively by Heavenly Spirits. There is a $15.00 fee for this seminar.
We have been busy doing as many tastings as we could fit in to our busy schedule this past week. While at Yankee Spirits on Thursday, Anthony who is part of the helpful staff there in Attleboro introduced me to a real Double Arrogant Bastard (beer). It actually is sold with a little pad lock and key, (I guess to keep other bastards out). We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and keeping it safe by drinking in moderation. cheers!
We are back from our three day stay in Chicago where we met some great folks interested in learning about French Spirits. On Thursday we were at the Grant Avenue Binnys Managed by Ken Jursa. We were invited to set up a table and serve as a kind of finishing point for a fine wine tasting of Grand Cru Bordeaux and a few Sauternes. I even had the rare opportunity to taste a creamy smooth Yquem Sauternes - 1995. Unbelievable! As I was sipping it, I kept thinking, "Where is the foie gras?" At our Heavenly Spirits table we sampled the participants on four different Armagnacs; 6, 10, 15, and 25 year old, all from the Delord distillery in Lannepax, France, and two different Calvados; an 8 year old Roger Groult and a 6 year old Chauffe Coeur, both from the Pays d' Auge region. In addition to that, we had our LaMuse Verte Absinthe Fountain set up and talked to the tasting crowd about the myths and mysteries of absinthe.
On Friday night we were scheduled to give a two hour sit down tasting seminar at the Highland Park Binnys, on French Spirits, featuring Armagnac Marie Duffau 1st Cru along with some of the selections from the previous night. When we arrived at the store, we were happy to find that Manager, David O' Sullivan, and Assistant Manager, Jason Lawrence and crew had sold out the 31 seats available for the seminar and that they were still turning people away only a half hour before we started. It was a lively and good natured group, who asked a lot of pertinent questions. It served as a good reminder to us of why we love this business. One of the attendees, Justin, a wine and spirits writer of Grapevine Consulting told us that he is constantly aware that each one of these fine libations is the result of someone's artistry, passion, and dedication to the craft of distillation. We could not agree more, as this is the exact point that we try to communicate in each of our presentations. Distillation is an Art and we are proud to be representing some Heavenly Masterpieces. Our plan for 2010 is to book more of these tastings and seminars for those who want to learn more about this tasty and distinct Art.
For more photos see our picture gallery page.
Come to Binneys, Highland Park Store in Chicago for a
HEAVENLY SPIRITS SEMINAR
Friday, November 6, 6:30-8:30pm
Sample our wonderful French Brandies, Armagnac and Calvados. Join importers Dan and Christine Cooney, of Heavenly Spirits, for a sit down seminar featuring eight great examples of fine Armagnac and Calvados! Reservations are required. $5 W/Binny's Card / $10 non-members.
|Call (847)831-5400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.|
Cognac Distillerie du Peyrat: organic Cognacs
Distillery du Peyrat produces exclusively organic Cognacs. Located in a small village 10km from Cognac on the banks of a river, du Peyrat produces, distills and ages eaux de vie with the respect of the environment and the intense expression of the “terroir”.
The Cognacs are certified organic by the strict European official organization Ecocert but they are not yet certified in the US. The production of fine natural Cognacs is truly a question of patience, but the Distillerie du Peyrat knows how to wait... the family has been transmitting its know-how generation after generation since 1705!
We selected the VSOP 6 years old.
Available at the end of October.
Spirit Journal founder and spirit tasting expert, Paul Pacult has recently tasted and reviewed our Seguinot Napoleon Grande Champagne Cognac and awarded it with his highest rating, five stars. His review appears in the September 2009 issue of the Spirit Journal, (http://www.spiritjournal.com/).
Also reviewed in the September issue is the Seguinot V. S. O. P. Cognac which earned a “Highly Recommended” four star rating, as well as our Calvados Roger Groult’s 8 year old Pays d’Auge which also earned a “Highly Recommended” four stars. We are thrilled but not surprised at the news. The entire Heavenly Spirits portfolio has been carefully assembled for the unique qualities, and craftsmanship evident in each of the products we represent. It is indeed satisfying to have such an affirmative confirmation from someone as well regarded as Paul Pacult. The Spirit Journal, one of the industry’s most respected review forums, is published in print only, on a quarterly basis and it does not accept advertising. Check back to read the full reviews which we will be posting here on the site.
Christine returned late Friday from a week of Armagnac promotion on the waterways of two of America’s great cities; New York and Chicago. Both events were well attended and the nine Armagnac producers who crossed the Atlantic to share their distillations with America had a wonderful opportunity to do so. The group included: Chateau De Briat, Castarede, Delord /Marie Duffau, Comte De Lauvia, Domaine Du Tariquet, Semple, de Montal, Chateau De Laubade, Darroze, and Cles des Ducs.
Both events, included educational seminars, tastings, dinners and lots of networking opportunities among producers, distributors, retailers and members of the press. Some of the conversation centered on next year’s seven hundredth anniversary of the very first distillation of Armagnac, the oldest French spirit on record. The National Bureau of Armagnac is already in the planning process for promotional celebration events at home and abroad. We will keep you posted.
One of the nicest aperitifs you’ll ever experience is Floc de Gascogne. Made in the Armagnac region of France by marrying approximately two parts regional grape juice with one part Armagnac, it weighs in at 17% alcohol by volume and is a wonderful way to get your appetite started. Very much in the same tradition as the Cognac region’s Pineau de Charante, it is also served as a dessert wine or even as part of the dessert itself. My favorite way to eat a small ripe melon for example is when it is cut in half and filled with either Floc or Pineau. The particular Floc that Heavenly Spirits is bringing in is produced by the award winning Delord House in Lannepax, France. Famous for the quality of their Armagnac, Delord is the second most sold Armagnac in the US. We look forward to sharing this wonderful wine with all of our clients and friends this summer.
In an effort to introduce and educate more American consumers to the pleasures of fine armagnac, several armagnac producers and the National Bureau of Armagnac have gotten together and organized two major Armagnac tasting events in June. Both of these events are geared toward people in the trade ( journalists, retailers, sommeliers, club organizers) and center around a dinner cruise. The first event is scheduled to take place in New York on Tuesday June 2 aboard the Atlantica Yacht. Festivities kick off at 4:00 PM and continue until 1:00 AM. Two days later on June 4th, the tasting party moves to Chicago aboard the Fort Dearborn. Again, the event is designed for people in the trade and is by invitation only. However, If you are a real armagnac enthusiast and are free that night we might be able to get you on the list. Drop us an email and we'll see if we can send you an invitation.
You might soon be hearing more about the Armagnac region in the news, as they are warming up for next year's 700th anniversary celebration of the first traceable origins of the drink's creation in 1310. It should be quite a party.
To learn more about tasting and appreciating French Brandies link to Paul Pacult's web page which offers insightful tips on the subject: http://www.spiritjournal.com/vault.htm
Christine is in NY visiting some of our many spirit clients with Victor and his crew. She will also be participating in a major absinthe tasting at the Beougeois PIG tonight, where she will be pouring samples of our incredible absinthe, La Muse Verte. Depending on how things go she might even show the Pastis La Muse Verte as well. Our award winning pastis which has been available in the states for almost eight years has enjoyed a surge of interest due to all the attention that the absinthe has received. These amazing artisinal products are both in a class of their own and I expect that will be discovered by many at this sold out event tonight. For more info on this DrinkUp NY sponsored event go to: http://www.drinkupny.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=E0004
No joke, we are just back from a real whirlwind trip to Chicago. We had a variety of different projects to attend to and people we needed to visit but whenever we are in Chicago we always find time to visit some of our favorite retailers. During this trip Christine stopped in for a nice visit with Brett Pontoni at the new South Loop Binnys, and we both got to say “Hi!” to David Soto, the spirits buyer at Sams. These two fine establishments have been supporting the Heavenly Spirits product line for over a dozen years and they always seem interested in any new gems we discover and bring with us to share.
The newest of our product line to be shown at Sams is La Muse Verte Absinthe, and Pastis. David reports that sales have been very good at Sams. It does not surprise me that our pastis is enjoying new interested buyers based on all the buzz that the absinthe is making. Pastis of course, is the milder, slightly sweeter and more liquorishy cousin to absinthe. Sans thujone, it was created to take the place of absinthe when all the fuss was originally started back in 1915. Pastis is now standard bar fare in virtually every bar in France. It is taken throughout the day and is especially popular in the summer and in the South. Find out more about La Muse Absinthe and Pastis on our web site.
The Armagnac Delord line, (pictured here with David and Christine) continues to be one of our most popular products in both of these fine Chicago wine & spirit chains.
The final Armagnac numbers are in for 2008 and the news is good for CC and Heavenly Spirits. The Delord Armagnac House, producing both DeLord and Marie Duffau Armagnac is the second most sold Armagnac in the US behind Larresingle. Combined sales of DeLord and Marie Duffau represented 10% of all the Armagnac sold in the US, based on the numbers of 46 producers.
If you combine all four Armagnac brands sold in 2008 by CC Spirits and Heavenly Spirits it makes Heavenly the largest overall importer of Armagnac by 20%.
DeLord / Duffau increased the volume of US sales by 12% in 2008 as did Armagnac Chauffe Coeur, while sales of Armagnac Dartigalongue show an increase of 80% for the same year.
This is indeed good news for our retailers and distributors as well as anyone else in the US who appreciates fine Armagnac.
Here I am, just back from the Boston Wine Expo. We used to attend regularly when Christine was selling wine, but we hadn’t been in a number of years. The Boston event still does not allow spirits. I guess they think the local culture isn’t quite ready to handle it. After all, it has only been twenty-five years or so that the region has been “getting” wine. I think we are ready for spirits and would like to suggest to the expo committee that if they are worried about people getting swacked, perhaps they should start with limited tasting times, say between 10:00 and 12:00 each day. That is the optimal time for tasting spirits anyway.
It was a real pleasure for us being able to casually walk the aisles saying hi to friends old and new. We cleared some goods for the Michelotti winery so they had a booth with Heavenly Spirits written on it. They have a fantastic line-up of limited production Italian wines that retail between $12. - $50. It was great fun tasting the entire stair. Our friend Dick Tosi is the brand manager in the US for these fine products. Check them out at: www.nocetomichelotti.com
We also had the pleasure of seeing our friend Diego De Corte, formally of Tricana in NY, who is now co-owner of Bonhomie Wine Imports. He showed us some very impressive Chiantis, and a wonderful Vernaccia di S.Gimignano, full of grapefruit and green apple.
Finally, on our way out of the expo hall who do I see, but Gary V. That is Gary Vaynerchuck of wine library fame. He is a virtual internet rock star and I had intended on attending his seminar that was held earlier in the day but missed it. So we introduced ourselves, exchanged cards and he graciously offered to take a photo with us. If you do not know Gary and you are in the wine business, you should. Check him out: www.winelibrary.com See more photos on our gallery page.
Heavenly Spirits is now in Tennessee and pleased to be working with Horizon Wine & Spirits. We shipped our first order of Heavenly Spirits to Tennessee in November and just received another order in January. Horizon is working out of their newly built facilities in Nashville, a 138,000 sq ft. facility on a 15 acre site, designed by one of Nashville’s premier design-build contractors.
Horizon certainly seems to have positioned themselves for managed growth in an ever expanding marketplace and that should prove to be good for Heavenly Spirits as well.
If you are in Tennessee look for the following Heavenly products: Delord Armagnac, Marie Duffau Armagnac, La Muse Verte Absinthe
We stopped by to see Vincent at the Cardozas Wine & Spirit Emporium in Dartmouth today. Pleased to see that some of our Heavenly Spirits had been moving off the shelf, we spoke about the possibility of running a French Spirit training seminar. We will keep you posted as to times and dates if it happens. Please let us know via the comment button if you are interested in this kind of tasting / learning event.
Cardozas' chain of wine & spirit stores in the Greater New Bedford area has done a tremendous job in promoting a better understanding and appreciation of the food and wine culture over the past twenty years. We are very pleased to be represented in these fine quality stores. http://www.cardozas.com
Heavenly Spirits is very proud to announce that our Chauffe Coeur Calvados, Hors D'age (15 yrs.) is recognized as one of the top 50 outstanding quality spirits of 2008 as selected by the editors of Wine Enthusiast magazine. In fact, seeing as it was the only calvados selected I wonder if that makes it the top calvados of the year? Read the entire article here: http://www.wineenthusiast.com/winemag/Top50Spirits_TopShelf.pdf
Boston MA – January 9, 2009 – Here I am, just back from visiting the original Brix Wine Shop on Washington Street in Boston, where I had the pleasure of meeting Carri Wroblewski, one of the owners. If you drink wine and live in or near Boston you need to check this place out. Looking and feeling much more like a modern art gallery than your typical ramshackle corner Liquor Mart, Brix takes buying Wines and Spirits to another level, in a clean, clear, oh so civilized way. When we first walked into the store after escaping the frigid gusty winds that were blowing outside, we found Carri cradling a $4,000. bottle of Cognac. Not your typical bottle of hooch by any stretch, it was a special order for a special customer and it had just arrived. Clearly, being able to offer and supply this kind of specialty service for her clients was something Carri was proud of and something not many other liquor merchants were willing or able to do. Before returning to us, Carri shuttled the $4,000. bottle into the back of the store for safe keeping until her client arrived.
After a quick inspection of the store’s offerings, we were pleased to find that Brix already carries two of our products, Cognac Seguinot - VSOP, and Armagnac DeLord - XO. Both products are nicely displayed on the top shelf spirit wall, located behind the main counter/bar. “Our Heavenly Spirits are in very good company,” I thought to myself, here along with the likes of some very high quality whiskeys, rums, vodkas and gins.
One of the design details I noticed and liked while viewing the walls of wine offered at Brix is the way the prices are hand written on a plain and simple hang tag presented on the neck of each bottle. It creates a unifying effect on the wall and makes it easy to remove the price from the bottle after purchase.
The only down side I can imagine to such a clean and efficient presentation of wine and spirit products is if you are the type who likes to rummage through dusty old bins looking for rare and chancy bargains. If that’s what you’re looking for, you won’t find it at Brix. But, if you want clean, clear choices of top rated wines and spirits, reasonably priced with smart helpful people ready to assist you, shop here. You’ll feel right at home. And tell them the Spirit Guy sent you. For more information see: www.brixwineshop.com .
Mike Decicco interviewed Dan and Christine Cooney at the BCS warehouse in Bridgewater, MA and wrote this article for the Brockton Enterprise : http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/x301541579/New-wine-business-brings-a-little-bit-of-France-to-Lakeville/
It was nice of Mike to take the time. Christine set up a nice demo on how to prepare Absinthe and we talked all about it, so just a little surprised that absinthe was hardley mentioned in the article.