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Author: Ken

Annual Grand Wine Tasting at Acton Wine & Spirit Co.

On Saturday, November 3rd. 2018 our Annual Grand Wine Tasting will be held in our Acton Store. Well over 100 wines will be tasted and special discounts will be offered. The event will be catered by Not Your Average Joe’s. Come join us for what has been often called the premier tasting event of the season. The tasting will be held between the hours of 2 and 5 o’clock at Acton Wine & Spirit Co. 305 Main Street Acton, Ma.

The classic Martini

I’ve recently been doing some research on the original recipes of classic cocktails such as the Martini. Now I’m not talking about Vodka-tini, Strawberry-tini, or any of the thousands of other tini’s that you see on menu’s today. I’m talking about the original Martini. It’s made with Gin.
I was in a bar/restaurant just last night and I told the young man who arrived at our table that I was in the mood for a Martini. He asked what kind of Vodka I preferred.
That is just wrong.
What really surprised me was the reliance on bitters in the drinks of the 1920’s. Even in Martini’s. While most modern recipes do not even mention bitters, they were apparently very prevalent in the classic cocktails of the 20’s.
This from Wilkpedia – A bitters is traditionally an alcoholic preparation flavored with botanical matter such that the end result is characterized by a bitter or bittersweet flavor. Numerous longstanding brands of bitters were originally developed as patent medicines, but are now sold as digestifs and cocktail flavorings in the contemporary market.
So anyways back to the classic Martini. After numerous tries (I assure you, not all in the same night, and never during daylight hours) I have arrived at this recipe that I kind of like…
Crushed ice
2 1/2 ounces Green Mountain Organic Gin
1/2 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth
2 dashes of Bitter Truth Old Time Aromatic Bitters
2 Blue cheese stuffed olives
Fill a large Martini Glass with crushed ice. Wait for glass to get cold. Have patience. Fill your shaker with Gin, Vermouth, and Bitters. Pour ice from Martini Glass into shaker. Stir about 25 times vigorously. Stick a toothpick into olives and place in glass. Strain drink into glass.
And dump the ice! I have personally never understood why a bartender would ask if you wanted the ice (quite a few do). It’s done it’s job!
Enjoy. (limit 2)

A must buy in 94 point 2010 California Cabernet Sauvignon

I am REALLY EXCITED to tell you about this wine, so please excuse me for being a little “wordy”, but I have several points to get across.

I have recently written to you about the surprisingly stellar quality of the 2010 Napa Cabernet’s I have recently tasted.  This was based on the better wines that are being released right now.  Indeed, the Wine Spectator in their current issue has rated the 2010 vintage at a whopping 98 points.  This after a string of highly successful vintages.  2006 (95 points) 2007 (97 points) 2008 (96 points) and 2009 (96 points).

It rained in October in Napa.  But there were two heat waves that hit at the end of August (it hit 107 degrees in Oakville).  This intense heat helped push the ripening levels before the harvest.  To say I have been shocked at what I have tasted recently would not be an understatement.  These wines, for the most part, are magnificent examples of age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon.


Now, the question is, what to buy?  You could buy Araujo Eisele Vineyard, which got 94 points in the Spectator. Of course that’s if you could find it, but it would cost you $315.00 a bottle.

Or you could possibly buy Scarecrow 2010 (94 points) if you’re on their mailing list, but that would set you back $250.00.

Or you could buy Colgin IX Estate Napa Valley (94 points) but that would also cost you $350.00.

Or perhaps Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Beckstoffer To Kalon (94 points) but, dang it!  That would also cost you $350.00.

Even Chimney Rock Stags Leap Ganymede (94 points) is going to set you back $120.00.

Or you could do what I would do-buy 2010 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley Reserve (again 94 points) for well under $70.00 a bottle.

This wine was tasted yesterday by a major wine wholesaler in Boston.  It is probably sold out of the local market by now.

But we got the jump on everyone and bought it before the tasting started.

Sometimes timing is everything.

Beringer’s “new winemaker”, Laurie Hook, (I say new even though she has been chief winemaker since 2000 because her predecessor, Ed Sbragia, was so influential) has taken up where Sbragia left off.  With less of an emphasis on oak and crafting more refined wines.

Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve at $160.00 scored the same in the Spectator (94 points) as the Knights Valley Reserve.  And the Araujo.  And the Scarecrow.  And the Colgin, etc.

From now, while supplies last, the 2010 Beringer Knights Valley Reserve will be on sale for $49.99 a bottle.  Or better yet, buy a three pack for $145.00.  That’s 29% off the official Massachusetts book  price of $67.50.

If you would like a quantity of this wine, please e-mail at and I will hold some for you. We only have 20 6 packs coming, and I am taking some home with me.

I’ve tasted it, and this wine is a steal! To quote James Laube of the Wine Spectator, “Strikingly rich and layered, with blackberry, licorice, and currant flavors.”

By the way, 2009 was the inaugural vintage of Knights Valley Reserve.  It is made from select blocks on Beringer’s Knights Valley property, and it was awarded #8 in the Wine Spectators Top 100 issue.    

This wine is ridiculously good for the money.  Buy it.  I am.



Wine Director

Acton Wine & Spirit Co.

Marlboro Wine & Spirit Co.

Long Trail 12 pack special

We have a late addition to this month’s sale! All LONG TRAIL 12 pack bottles are on sale for $12.99 +deposit!