We’re coming to the Bay Area – First store opening in Fremont

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The first Total Wine & More store in the Bay Area opens February 11 in Fremont, California!

As America’s Wine Superstore™, we are thrilled to open up shop near some of the world’s greatest wine regions. We’re also pretty pleased to have landed where many say the craft-beer revolution began.  Given these surroundings, it’s no surprise that folks in the Bay Area have very high standards for the wines, spirits and beers they enjoy. Fremont, we think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

If you’ve never shopped at Total Wine & More, get ready! The Fremont store has more than 20,000 square feet of space, stocked with some 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers from around the world.  But it’s our Team Members who make the Total Wine & More shopping experience so special. We have the best-trained wine team in the business, ready to help whether you’re looking for a rare and cellar-worthy bottling, or a nice wine to have with tonight’s dinner.

David and Robert

Total Wine & More got its start in 1991 when brothers David and Robert Trone opened a wine store in Delaware. Today, we operate 130 Total Wine & More superstores across 18 states and continue to grow.  Learn a little more about us at our website.

Since the beginning, Total Wine & More has been committed to supporting the communities where we work and live. In keeping with our commitment to Fremont, we’ll be working with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra as our local charity partner. Every purchase you make throughout our Grand Opening weekend will help do some good for a great cause in the community.

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Join us 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, February 11, for our Grand Opening extravaganza filled with fun events, tastings and more. The tastings continue all weekend long, so there are plenty of reasons to stop back and see what’s on offer.  Visit our website for more information on upcoming events and tastings at the new Fremont store.

Want to be in the know on the latest news, events, and offers? Sign up to receive emails! We’ll also be posting to FacebookTwitterInstagram and other social media channels, so follow us there to stay up-to-date on everything happening at the newest Total Wine & More.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Something Old, Something New

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At Total Wine & More, we’re often asked what the difference is between Old World and New World wines. Although we hate to generalize about wine, there are a few key distinctions that often ring true when discussing what separates these two worlds.

In wine terms, the Old World constitutes Europe and the Middle East, areas that have millennia of winemaking history and often abide by age-old viticultural practices, many of which have been codified into law to ensure consistency and authenticity. While Old World wines are markedly different from one another, some attributes tie them together.

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Morning vineyard view of the town of St.-Émilion, Bordeaux, France.

In comparison to New World wines, their flavors may seem less pronounced, lower in alcohol, higher in acidity and more tannic. These wines are best enjoyed with food. They’re frequently described as earthy or herbaceous, whereas New World wines are commonly associated with bold and fruit-forward flavors and aromas, often with the fuller body and flavors associated with aging in new oak barrels. As a result, Old World wines are typically considered more elegant and refined in style than New World wines.

Of course, you’d be hard-pressed to find a wine critic who would call a 1986 Caymus Special Selection Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon “unrefined.” In fact, Napa Valley’s remarkable wines were critical in legitimizing the New World wine industry.

In 1976, California wines trumped some of France’s greatest reds and whites in the Judgment of Paris, a now historic wine tasting that opened the door to the New World. Now, the New World is much more than Napa Valley. It most prominently includes the whole of the North America, Australia, New Zealand, South America and South Africa.

Although many of these countries have long winemaking traditions, serious commercial investment has only come in recent decades, which means much of the viticulture boasts state-of-the-art agricultural techniques. New World producers are often associated with a greater investment in technology, which allows for increased production and efficiency.

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The view from Pritchard Hill at Chappellet Winery.

In contrast to the Old World, the New World is known for its drink-now wines, which are often assigned adjectives like big, lush, fruity and ripe. Many of the New World’s greatest winemaking regions are in warm climates that can produce wines with higher alcohol content and riper flavor.

And yet, the lines between one world and another may be fading. Old World wineries have begun producing fruit-forward, New World-style wines, while many New World wineries aim to produce lower-alcohol, unoaked wines that reflect a distinctly European style.

See how it all began and get a taste of the Old World by stopping by your local Total Wine & More or shopping online.

What’s Old Is New Again

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At Total Wine & More, we’re kicking off a two-week celebration of Old World wines in stores and online. While big names like Bordeaux and Chianti may immediately come to mind, we strive to educate our customers on how big the Old World really is, and how much it has to offer.

When we talk about Old World wine, we mean Europe – countries such as France, Italy, Spain and Germany – which are home to some of the world’s oldest and greatest winemaking regions. In short, “Old World” is often applied to places that are known for their age-old winemaking practices, but it can also describe the soil, climate and topography – or terroir – of Old World regions.

And while we love wines from marquee areas (Bordeaux will always hold a place in our hearts), the Old World has so much more to offer.

France has more than 400 officially designated wine appellations, or appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), and many are often overlooked. Alsace is a perfect example. Nestled on the border between France and Germany, the area achieved AOC status in 1962.

Given its close proximity to Germany, it’s no surprise that Alsace produces fantastic dry Rieslings, including one of our favorites, Anne de K. It’s also known for producing exceptional sparkling wines at great values, called Cremant d’Alsace. Next time you’re shopping with us, keep a look out for Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Reserve or Arthur Metz Cremant d’Alsace Brut.

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Much like France, Europe’s other wine titan, Italy, boasts hundreds of winemaking appellations, and many have a similar story to Alsace—producing great wines that are too often overlooked. While Chianti and Barolo share the limelight, the country has so much more to offer, from Lambrusco and Asti, party-perfect sparkling wines, to Dolcetto and Nero d’Avola, red wines that are easy to fall in love with.

And then there are Old World countries like Spain, Portugal, Austria and Germany, where the wines are coming into their own in the modern era. Thanks to Cava, Tempranillo and Garnacha, Spain is no longer the sum of its Sangria. With the rise of Riesling, Germany and Austria have received much-deserved attention, and Portugal’s Douro Valley has become a hot spot for exceptional red blends.

The Old World is a big place and we want to help you explore it. Stop by Total Wine & More or shop online and you’ll have it at your fingertips.

Recipes from a galaxy far, far away: Part II

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You may have heard that J.J. Abrams has a new movie out and we’ve been celebrating its arrival all week. We collaborated with mixologist Beautiful Booze to create cocktails that are out-of this world and today we’re sharing our final two.

If you missed our first set of cocktails, head over to Part I to get the recipes for Paradise on a Desert Planet and the Cantina Cooler.

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Rebel in Red

After vanquishing the galactic forces of darkness, it’s important to celebrate accordingly with your fellow rebels and favorite droids. Here’s a delightfully sweet take on the Tequila Sunrise:

1 ½ oz. of Senor Rio Tequila

4-6 oz. of orange juice depending on serving glass

½ oz. of cherry syrup

Cherries, for garnish

In a serving glass, add ice then orange juice and tequila. Stir cocktail and add cherry syrup.

Yield: 1 serving

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Shots for Smugglers

We’ve developed a recipe perfect for those who spend their days evading space gangsters and transporting off-the-books cargo to the outer reaches of space.

¾ cup Esme Gin

½ cup cranberry juice

1 cup tonic water

2 envelopes Knox Gelatin

Black sprinkles, for garnish

In a saucepan, add cranberry juice and tonic water. Turn heat on low and sprinkle in two envelopes of gelatin. Stir mixture until the gelatin dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in gin. Pour mixture into shot glasses. Put in refrigerator and let shot glasses chill overnight.

Yield: 10-15 jello shots (depending on size of shot glasses)

The 12 beers of Christmas: Silent nights and Great Divide

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Between applying the final tinsel to the tree and tracking down last-minute gifts, you deserve a little down time, and definitely an ale or two. Today, we’re wrapping up Total Wine & More’s “12 Beers of Christmas” series by sharing our final six selections.

If you missed Part I in this series, click here to see our first six selections.

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Photo credit: Great Divide Brewing Co.

Great Divide Brewing Co. of Denver, Colorado, has received a lot of attention, and for good reason. With over a dozen Great American Beer Festival medals to the brewery’s name, it’s no surprise that Great Divide’s Hibernation Ale scored a 94-point rating from Draft Magazine. An English-style Old Ale, it has a malty richness that’s balanced by a complex hop profile. It’s a great beer that’s even better on a cold, winter evening.

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It’s no surprise that Shiner Holiday Cheer holds a place in the hearts of our Texas staff. A Dunkelweizen, it offers hints of Texas peaches and pecans as well as caramelized malts, which makes it a crowd favorite at a holiday get-together.

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Nearly 2,000 miles away in Petaluma, California, Lagunitas Brewing Co. cooked up a mistake that’s become a fan favorite. Brown Shugga’ began as a happy accident, a result of the brewery attempting to save a batch of their Olde GnarlyWine by mixing in copious amounts of brown sugar. Incredibly drinkable, Brown Shugga’ is true to its name to the very last drop with a caramel malt flavor accompanied by notes of dark fruit, toffee and, of course, brown sugar.

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For our next selection, we’re traveling across the Atlantic to the United Kingdom. In addition to its festive, vintage-inspired label, Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale holds a Gold medal from the World Beer Championships and offers a lovely caramel malt flavor that will have you singing “’Tis the season” in no time.

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Woodchuck Winter Chill Cider is a winter warmer of a decidedly different, but delightful and seasonally appropriate stripe. Aged in French and American oak barrels, it offers a rich apple flavor with hints of vanilla and oak.

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Photo credit: Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.

For our final beer, we’re heading to a place that’s celebrated for its craft beer scene. Portland, Oregon, is home to many fine breweries, including Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., which helped popularize the Hefeweizen beer style in America in the late 1980s. Widmer Brrr Seasonal Ale is a bold and hoppy Red Ale with caramel and chocolate malts that produce a malty sweet flavor and smooth finish. It’s a beer deserving of a carol or two.

Take a break from decking the halls to deck out your beer fridge! Shop our winter beer selection in-store or online.

Recipes from a galaxy far, far away: Part I

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It seems J.J. Abrams has caused a disturbance in the you know what. However, according to reviews and nearly universal fan approval, it’s all for the better. Like many of our customers, we’re heading out this weekend to watch the new movie and catch up with some of our favorite characters.

And we couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate such a momentous occasion than with cocktails that celebrate the entire series, even the ones that weren’t fan favorites.

We collaborated with mixologist and rebel leader Beautiful Booze to use the force and create an out-of-this-world set of inspired cocktails.

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Paradise on a Desert Planet

Thanks to its two suns, we can’t imagine what summers were like for Luke on his home planet. That’s why we whipped up the cool and refreshing Paradise on a Desert Planet.

To mix up this recipe, you will need:

1 1/2 oz. George Ocean Rum

1 oz. condensed milk

1 oz. lime juice

3 oz. orange juice

Orange slices and graham cracker rim, for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rum, condensed milk, lime juice and orange juice. Shake mixture forcefully*. Rim glass with graham crackers. Pour mixture into serving glass and make sure to make one for Luke.

*This cocktail needs to be shaken very hard to mix up the condensed milk

Yield: 1 serving

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Cantina Cooler

Whether you’re flying solo or meeting friends to listen to a great house band, the Cantina Cooler is the perfect choice to start your adventure off right.

1 1/2 oz. Veil Vodka

1 oz. cranberry juice

1 oz. lime juice

½ oz. simple syrup

Top with a lager beer

Fresh cranberries, for garnish

In a metal shaker add vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake and strain mixture over crushed ice, then top with beer (we recommend a Helles Lager, but just about any lager will do).

Yield: 1 serving

If you enjoyed getting a taste of the galaxy, make sure to check back coming up for more recipes.

The 12 beers of Christmas: Reindeers and Red Ales

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If you’re looking for a cold one to get you into the holiday spirit, Total Wine & More has rounded up a dozen of our favorite Christmas beers. Today, we’re sharing the first six.

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Anchor Brewing Co. has been producing its Christmas Ale, a perennial favorite, since 1975. The top-secret recipe changes every year, as does the tree on the label. For 2015, this spicy dark brown ale offers richness and complexity that exemplify the best qualities of a winter warmer. This beer always stands out on our shelves thanks to the hand-drawn label, which for this release features the Deodar Cedar, or California Christmas Tree, a fitting choice given Anchor’s San Francisco home.

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From Turbodog to Purple Haze, Abita has been crafting great beers for years. Like Anchor’s, Abita’s Christmas Ale recipe changes from year to year. However, you can always count on this special dark ale to offer a level of malt-driven spiciness that pairs well with holiday staples like gingerbread.

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Although there may not be snow on the ground, a white Christmas is in reach thanks to Samuel Adams’ White Christmas, a refreshing Belgian-style white ale that offers notes of fruit and coriander.

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If you’re looking for something a little hoppier, you won’t be disappointed with Santa’s Private Reserve from Rogue Ales. Boasting an 89-point rating from Beer Advocate, this double-hopped Red Ale has a lovely roasted malt flavor that’s perfect for the season.

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We couldn’t discuss winter beers without mentioning Belgian breweries, which routinely produce some of the very best. World-renowned Huyghe Brewery, which is most closely associated with its flagship beer Delirium Tremens, offers up a fantastic Belgian Strong Dark Ale in the form of Delirium Noël. A smooth and creamy beer, it has delightful flavors of caramel, dark fruit and spice ideal for evenings spent in front of a roaring fire.

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Our sixth beer needs no introduction for many beer lovers, thanks to its outstanding reputation. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, which hails from Watou, Belgium, is the quintessential Belgian Strong Dark Ale with delicious flavors of molasses, apricots, licorice and marzipan. It would be the perfect stocking stuffer for any hopivore.

Check back Friday (12/17) morning for the unwrapping of the final six beers in our 12 beers of Christmas series. In the meantime, stop by our stores or shop online to spread some hoppiness and cheer.

Don’t forget to get in the red

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Red Wine

From holiday parties to New Year’s countdowns, the season’s state of wine is typically all things bubbly. And while we love Champagne, Prosecco and everything in between, we think it’s important to give America’s most popular wine type its proper due. So let’s toast the red-hot reds of Total Wine & More’s top 10 red wines for 2015. Whether you’re taking a break from last-minute shopping, writing up your resolutions or curling up in front of a roaring fire, our list has a red wine for every occasion.

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Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s top wine grapes and for good reason. Aficionados love the wine’s rich and delicious flavors. Winemakers love it for the same reason, and it doesn’t hurt that the hearty skin of the grape makes it resistant against rot and frost and more accommodating to a variety of climates. While it first achieved acclaim in Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed equal if not greater success in California, helping wineries like Caymus and Stags’ Leap become titans in the industry. This year, our top red is Montoya Cabernet from the famed Napa Valley. Like all great Cabernets, Montoya offers an abundance of dark fruit flavors, including blackberry, plum and currant. It’s perfect for a hearty winter meal of grilled steak.

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Why do so many people love Pinot Noir? Thanks to its traditionally light-bodied nature, it’s very easy to drink. Its typical flavor profile of red fruits, such as cherry and cranberry, only add to its drinkability. And last, but certainly not least, it pairs well with just about any food, from beef to poultry to fish. The second spot on our list belongs to Domaine Loubejac Pinot Noir, which hails from the Willamette Valley, one of Oregon’s most talked-about wine-producing regions. With flavors of black cherry, raspberry, sweet herbs and rose petals, it is a delight to drink from start to finish.

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Rounding out the top three, we chose a wine that is a testament to the winemaking power of South America. The Malbec grape made its way from France to the Andean foothills of Argentina in the 19th century and has been dominating the country’s wine industry ever since. Flichman Malbec Tupungato represents the extraordinary value Malbec wines have to offer. An intense, full-bodied wine, it boasts big flavors of black fruits, licorice and pepper with a spicy finish.

Our list also showcases great reds from Marche, Italy; Rioja, Spain; Bordeaux, France and other world-class wine regions. So this holiday season, stop by Total Wine & More and make room in your cart for our favorite reds.

Here’s to Repeal Day

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This Saturday, December 5, marks the 82nd anniversary of Repeal Day, which brought an end to the 18th Amendment and 13 years of Prohibition in the United States. At Total Wine & More, we believe there’s no better way to celebrate such a momentous occasion than with cocktails that defined the era.

Like most drinks, the true origins of the French 75 are murky. Named after the French 75mm field gun of World War I, the cocktail first appeared in U.S. print in 1927 in “Here’s How,” one of the few mixology books to be published during Prohibition. While debate continues over when the cocktail first emerged, historians and mixologists largely agree that its modern form was first shaken up at the famed Harry’s New York Bar, which despite its name is actually in the Second Arrondissement of Paris. It achieved notoriety in the states after appearing at the Stork Club, one of New York’s legendary speakeasies.

Harry’s New York Bar opened in 1911 and has been attracting famous clientele ever since. Past patrons include Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Photo Credit: Time Out

A gin and champagne cocktail, the French 75 may have earned its name because its “kick” was akin to the recoil of an artillery gun. However, the recipe has been refined over time, so you don’t have to be a battle-hardened soldier to appreciate it.

Photo Credit: Liquor.com

French 75

Pour the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup into an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake well, strain into a chilled flute glass and top with Champagne.

Like the French 75, the Bloody Mary was born and bred within the mahogany walls of Harry’s New York Bar, which remains one of the world’s most revered drinking establishments.  By 1920, Russians fleeing the Russian Revolution had started to settle in Paris and began sharing their love for vodka. Ferdinand “Pete” Petiot, the bartender at Harry’s, began looking for ways to bring a little flavor to this flavorless spirit. He decided to experiment with canned tomato juice, which had recently made its way over from America. The resulting drink was first christened “Bucket of Blood” by American singer Roy Barton, in honor of an infamous gambling den and speakeasy in Chicago.

The evolution of “Bucket of Blood” into the mildly more appetizing “Bloody Mary” remains unclear, but Bloody Mary recipes began appearing in print by 1946. While the Bloody Mary may be one of the world’s most complex cocktails, it’s a drink that’s well worth the time and effort.

Photo Credit: Liquor.com

Bloody Mary

  • 2 oz. tomato juice
  • 1½ oz. vodka
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ tsp. freshly grated horseradish
  • 3 dashes hot sauce
  • Pinch salt
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. lemon juice
  • Celery stalk, for garnish

Combine tomato juice, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, salt and pepper over ice in a highball glass. Then pour the drink into a second highball glass. Pour the drink back and forth between glasses several times to ensure the ingredients are properly mixed, and then lightly spray lemon juice over glass. Garnish with celery stick.

Get into the spirit of Repeal Day and stop by Total Wine & More or shop online to get everything you need to mix up some Prohibition-era favorites.

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