Blog

KBS News!

By Saratoga Beer and Wine Manager  •  Friday, March 27th, 2015

Founders KBS

Did someone say KBS?? Yes, it is just about that time of year again where Founder’s releases their annual barrel aged Imperial Stout, Kentucky Breakfast Stout! On March 31st of each year, the delivery comes from Founder’s. On April 1st this product will get put out on the shelf. This year we are doing the same thing we did last year to make sure everyone gets their fair share of KBS. We are leaving the product up at Guest Services, and you can purchase up to two bottles per day.

Comment

Orin Swift Wines

By Saratoga Beer and Wine Manager  •  Friday, March 27th, 2015

Orin Swift

Let’s talk about Orin Swift wines. Who are they? Why are they so popular and highly rated? First, who is Orin Swift? Well, back in 1995, David Swift Phinney traveled to Florence, Italy with a friend to spend a semester studying. During the time he spent in Italy, he was introduced to wine, which then led to his curiosity of all viticulture and vinification. When he returned from Florence to the University of Arizona, he began working in a wine shop. His passion slowly transitioned from political science to the world of wine. When he returned from Florence to the University of Arizona where he was studying Political Science at the time, he immediately began working in a wine shop. A few more years after graduating, he landed a job at the Robert Mondavi Winery as a temporary harvest worker.

Some years went by and David slowly realized that if he was going to make his dream happen, he was going to have to create his own business. 1998 arrived and so did the founding of Orin Swift Cellars! Orin is his father’s middle name, Swift being his mother’s maiden name. Throughout the next decade, David dedicated all of his time into Orin Swift Cellars creating a multinational brand that now includes 300 acres of vineyards in Southwest France, as well as Spain, Italy, Corsica, and Argentina.

The first two vintages, 1998 and 1999 he made Zinfandel and Cabernet, but it was not until 2000 that his claim to fame was born. As many know, 2000 was not the greatest vintage in California. Cool and rainy weather took away some of the weight and ripeness that Phinney looked for in his wines. He found, however, that he could still find quality fruit from some of the more esoteric varietals such as Syrah, Petite Sirah and Charbono. Phinney knew he did not want to make several mediocre wines from each variety, so instead he used only the best fruit to create the first Prisoner. Success came quickly, but production remained low since Phinney was committed to only creating wine from the best possible vines he could. “The demand was there,” he explained. “But if we can’t find that quality of fruit we just won’t make it.”

Curious about the packaging on his wines? Artistic, attractive, and creative, Orin Swift’s labels on his wines definitely cause a double take, or even triple take. Studies show that 27% of all wine is purchased without knowing a single thing about the contents inside the bottle, so Phinney took complete advantage of that 27%. He drove in that extra slew of consumers by showing that edgy creative label on each and every wine he made.

Orin Swift Palermo

Orin Swift Abstract

“There are lots of subtle differences in making wine,” explains Phinney. “But it is finding the vineyards, making sure that they are farmed properly, and knowing when to pick.” Despite the growth, Orin Swift Cellars continues to operate as a small, passionate team of friends and family dedicated to making great wine.

The following Orin Swift wines that we carry at Divine Wines are :

Locations AR- $17.99

Locations E- $17.99

Locations F- $17.99

Abstract- $32.99

Papillon- $66.99

Prisoner (recently sold)- $43.99

Comment

OUR BABY FOOD SELECTION….WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT?

By Katy Lesser  •  Thursday, March 19th, 2015

I was walking down the baby food aisle the other day and saw a mother with the cutest baby boy in her cart.  She was tossing baby food pouches and jars and boxes into her cart.  I wondered how she chose….there are SO many options these days!

“I trust that whatever’s on your shelves will be good for this little guy!” she said.  She knows that we are dedicated to sourcing the cleanest, most interesting baby food available.  “I don’t have to check the ingredient labels at this store, which is good because I’m traveling with someone who might want OUT before I’m ready!  At other stores, I have to take the time to read those labels.”  And she went on her way.

She’s right; our team of buyers are on a relentless pursuit of great food in every category….including baby.  Organic whenever possible.  Lots and lots of options.  Gluten free, allergen free….we look for these options too. The fewest ingredients possible.  Convenient packaging.   Yummy tasting is always important!  And our buying power enables us to sell our baby food at great, competitive prices.

When we’ve visited other supermarkets, we are always amazed at the baby food that is high in sugar, artificial colors and preservatives and the limited selection.

To that mother I encountered in the aisle, TRUST was what was most important to her.  She can trust that we only sell the BEST.

mamatoga_web

Comment

Happy Second Birthday!

By Richie Snyder  •  Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Join us on Saturday March 21st as we celebrate our Second Birthday in Saratoga Springs! We have a full day of free vendor demos, fun giveaways, and a cake sampling! Come celebrate with us.
11am – 1pm - Birthday Cake Sampling: Come visit Christina Davis at the Demo Center to sample some delicious cake from our Bake Shop! You’ll receive a $10.00 off coupon to our store(valid April 1st – 15th) just for stopping by. Don’t miss your chance to win a gift card donated by our friends at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga too! We’ll be raffling off a Healthy Living gift card as well.
There will be Vegan and Made Without Gluten options of cake.
Screen shot 2015-03-17 at 10.17.14 AM
12pm – 3pm – Vendor  Demos: Come meet some of  our favorite vendors, sample  their products, and do some  shopping!
Flour Girl Bakeshop: Sampling  their classic American  Desserts.
Barkeater Chocolates: Locally made chocolates from the North Country.
Vega: Plant based protein powders & bars.
We will also have samples on carts from our Cheese, Refrigerated, and Grocery Department’s for you to enjoy while you shop! 
3pm – 5pm From Scratch Club FOOD SWAP in the Learning Center:
This food swap group, FSC Swappers, is a place where home cooks, gardeners, foragers, food preservationists, DIY enthusiasts and bakers come to swap their homemade food & drink products and garden bounty. Participants come from all over the Capital Region, Hudson Valley and North County to sample items, get inspired, make new friends and of course, swap loot! Registration is required.
For more information and to register: Link to event

Comment

Meet The Staff

By Wine Manager  •  Saturday, March 14th, 2015

Recently we added a new member to our fantastic Beer & Wine Department–meet Nicole Frechette.

Hi! I am new to Vermont, hailing from the Northwoods of Wisconsin. I am delighted to join the Healthy Living Market team as Beer & Wine Associate. I am passionate with a perky personality and a penchant for pontificating on bottled poetry, otherwise known as wine. I have also been enjoying the many expressions of Vermont crafted beers, it is such a different scene than that of Wisconsin where lagers and brown ales reign supreme.  Here, IPA’s, stouts, and saisons tend to rule, and I am loving tasting my way through it all!

A few of my current favorites include:

Honig Sauvignon Blanc. it is bright and clean with peach and citrus notes, beautiful pale straw in the glass, and perfect for summer drinking.

 

honig-sav-blanc-001

 

I adore Washington wines, and my favorite right now is the Owen Roe 2012 Ex Umbris Columbia Valley Syrah.  It is a bold and sumptuous red bursting with plum, black cherry, and peppercorn, layered with dark chocolate, and silky tannins. Easy to drink on it’s own or pair with roasted chicken or pasta.

 

ex umbris

 

As for beer, being new to VT, It’d almost be unheard of for me not to say Heady Topper. So I will! It’s pretty darned tasty, deep and hoppy yet balanced with bright grapefruit. A chewy American Double/Imperial IPA with 8% ABV, it’s juuust right.

 

headytppr1

 

(Did I happen to mention I’m a Green Bay Packer fan and amateur photographer?)

Cheers!

 

Comment

Seafood 101 with Karen Dunham

By Richie Snyder  •  Friday, March 13th, 2015

My wife Denise and I recently attended an amazing Demo Style class in our Learning Center. Seafood 101 with Karen Dunham was so informative and delicious! I grew up working in restaurants in Saratoga and spent lot’s of time prepping shrimp, making crab cakes, and cooking seafood. I love to cook at home and my wife Denise is a huge seafood fan so this class was a prefect date night experience for us! Karen is super knowledgeable about seafood and her presentation was full of helpful information. She discussed the proper ways to store and buy your seafood. Karen also explained to us that 90% of the fresh seafood at Healthy Living comes from Foley Fish out of New Bedford & Boston, MA.  Healthy Living Market also sources their seafood from Black River Produce which is out of Springfield Vermont.  Karen told us that having two seafood vendors is always great because of supply, delivery days, and competitive pricing. Healthy Living typically gets deliveries on Mondays through Saturdays , so there is always something fresh from that day’s delivery. Foley’s fish is bought at auction only one or two days out of the water which insures freshness.

The Evening’s Menu:

Karen cooked three equally delicious dishes for us that night. The first dish was a baked fresh cod cooked with butter and breadcrumbs. It was simple, elegant, and light in taste. A marinated salmon, & seared sea scallop dish rounded out a wonderful menu.

IMG_2381This Faroe Island Salmon was marinated in tamari, orange juice, brown sugar, garlic, scallions and chives. Karen cooked it flesh side down in a hot pan for a few minutes to get a nice brown on top of it.

IMG_2389

The salmon then went straight into the oven at 350 degrees to finish cooking. Karen’s rule of thumb: 10 minutes of cooking per one inch of thinkness.

IMG_2406

When the salmon was done cooking we all enjoyed sampling it. This salmon looked, smelled, and tasted delicious! I can’t wait to try this marinade the next time I make salmon. Below is the recipe which Karen gave to us to bring home.

Asian Style Seared Salmon (serves 4)

4 salmon fillets (about 6oz each)

Marinade

1/4 cup sherry or bourbon

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup gluten free tamari or gluten free soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped scallions

3 Tablespoons of fresh chopped chives

2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

Olive oil, as needed for searing

Cooking spray, as needed for baking(or oil of choice)

3 Tablespoons of scallions for garnish.

Cooking Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine Marinade ingredients in a large zip-lock bag.  Add salmon to the bag.  Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours, turning bag occasionally.  Do a swirl of oil in a large saute pan.  Turn heat on medium to high.  The oil will have a light smoke when you are ready to sear your salmon.  Remove the salmon from the bag, set aside 1/4 cup of the marinade.  Place salmon in saute pan, flesh side down, skin side up.  Sear for 2 minutes to get a nice caramelized coloring on the salmon.  Flip salmon over onto a greased sheet pan, (skin side down).  Cook for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.  Fish should flake easily when tested with a fork. While the fish is cooking in the oven, place the reserved marinade in a sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer on medium heat for 1 minute. When the salmon is cooked, brush reduced marinade onto the salmon.  Garnish with scallions. Enjoy!

IMG_2395

Karen  next cooked some beautiful Dry Sea Scallops! She first put a pan on the burner and added a few swirls of oil. The scallops were simply seasoned with salt and pepper. Karen noted that you should be looking for a for light smoke from the pan before adding the scallops. You should hear a noticeable sizzle when the scallops hit the pan.

IMG_2396

Cooking time depends on the size of scallop, but a good rule of thumb is to make sure that you have nice browned sear on them before turning.

IMG_2397

When these beauties were done we were all able to enjoy them. They were so sweet and delicate. The scallops truly tasted like the sea. I recommend this class to anyone who loves or is curious about fresh seafood.

Comment

Michael Skurnik Tasting!

By Saratoga Beer and Wine Manager  •  Friday, March 13th, 2015

IMG_2301

Not sure what to do to start off your weekend? Stop by Divine Wines at Healthy Living and we’ll start your weekend off with a bang! Today at Divine Wines we welcome our representative, Doug Bernthal, from Michael Skurnik Wines to host a tasting from 3:30 until 6:30pm! We will be opening Charles Smith wines as well as wines from Ole imports from Spain. From traditional Washington Cabernet’s to Spanish Godello’s, we have exactly what you’re looking for! The wines we are opening are as follows: Charles & Charles Cabernet/Syrah, Charles & Charles Chardonnay, Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl (which got rated #43 on the Wine Spectator Top 100 list for 2014!). Also from Ole Imports we are opening Torremoron Tempranillo, Portela Mencia, and Papa Godello. There will also be delicious treats from Healthy Living here as well. Start your Paddy’s weekend off the right way at Divine Wines! See you there! 21+ please!

Comment

Limerick Lane Cellars

By Saratoga Beer and Wine Manager  •  Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Here at Divine Wines, we love to support family-owned wineries and distilleries whenever possible. One that stood out to me recently was Limerick Lane Cellars right outside of Healdsburg, California. Limerick Lane is a small, family-owned and operated 30-acre estate winery that produces cool climate old-vine Zinfandel’s, Syrah and Rhone blends. They have easily become pioneers of viticulture and wine making in Russian River Valley since 1910 when the first grapes were planted.

Lim Lane 2

With almost 5 acres of the original vines planted in 1910 still in production today, their goal is to produce wines that live up to the 100 year heritage. The estate was first planted in 1910 by the Del Fava family. In the mid 70’s, the estate was sold to the Collins family, where both brothers brought passion and dedication to the property. The quality of the wines and reputation of the iconic Collins Vineyard quickly established Limerick Lane as a premier site for growing Zinfandel and Rhone varieties in Sonoma County. The first estate wines under the Limerick Lane label was produced in 1986. The subsequent quality of the wines produced solidified Limerick Lane’s reputation as one of Sonoma County’s premier producers as well.

Limerick Lane 3

Over the years, the wines were struggling to stay consistent, with natural disasters occurring as well as personal tragedies also occurring within the family of the previous owners. In 2009, Mike Collins sold the property to Jake Bilbro, who previously worked at his family’s winery not too far away, Marietta Cellars. 2011 was the first year that Jake Bilbro was able to showcase his wine-making skills in his wines. Every since, the wines have been consistent, bold, and highly rated by Wine Advocate as well as Wine Spectator.

Limerick Lane 4

With the 2012 vintages coming out now, they have all been rated between a 92 and a 96 from both Robert Parker and Wine Spectator as well. As Robert Parker describes one of our newest and dearest Zinfandel’s, 2012 Rocky Knoll, “Full-bodied with muscular tannins in the finish, it displays a deep ruby/purple color, good acidity, and lots of character, spice, meat and flavor intensity. It should drink well for a minimum of 5-6 years.” This beautiful wine is the epitome of a Russian River Valley Zinfandel, with elegance and finesse. Limerick Lane also limits their usage of new oak in order to focus on the beautiful lush fruit that comes from their soil and non-interventionist wine-making practices.

Lim Lane

The wines we currently carry are as following:

2011 Limerick Lane Sonoma Zinfandel- $32.99, 91pts Robert Parker & Wine Spectator

2011 Limerick Lane 1910 Block Zinfandel- $48.99, 95pts Robert Parker

2011 Limerick Lane Grenache/Syrah- $35.99, 93pts Robert Parker

2012 Limerick Lane Grenache/Syrah- $35.99, 95pts Robert Parker

2012 Limerick Lane Rocky Knoll Zinfandel- $46.99, 92pts Robert Parker, 93pts Wine Spectator

We are very proud to carry Limerick Lane Cellars at Divine Wines, and we hope that you will enjoy these beautiful wines as well! About 95% of the 2012 Limerick Lane wines are all sold out, and the 2013 vintage will not be available until February of 2016, don’t miss out on these beautiful wines!

Comment

Front End Fundraiser March: Friends of the IBA

By Richie Snyder  •  Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Healthy Living Market and Cafe is proud to announce this month’s Front End Fundraiser: Friends of the IBA(Important Bird Area). Please donate what you can to this amazing organization. All you have to do is tell your friendly cashier that you want to donate! They will take care of the rest for you! You can even sign your name on a donation card that will be hung near the front registers of the store.

From their website:

Friends of the Washington County Grasslands IBA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to raise awareness of and protection for endangered Short-eared Owls and other at-risk birds and their habitat in the Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area, or IBA.

Education and Conservation remain top priorities as we work to protect our imperiled grassland birds!  Fun and educational events like Winter Raptor Fest create interest in and excitement about at risk birds and their habitat.  Field trips offer residents and visitors the chance to see and explore the IBA – and perhaps encounter some of these amazing birds for themselves!

OWL

GOALS: We are working with interested landowners, nonprofits and state and federal agencies to conserve or acquire critical lands in the IBA from willing owners.  Our planned eco-friendly Nature Center will improve the quality of life for local residents while retaining the rural character of the community.  The Center will allow us to expand educational programs, activities, trails and recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors and serve as a focus of bird and nature-related tourism.

Comment

A Peak Into Douglas Sweets

By Bread Manager  •  Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

We’d like to take a moment to share our love for one of our local bakeries, and Douglas Sweets out of Bolton Valley, VT, is one of our favorites.  Deborah Townsend- whom we love just as much as her delicious products- has taken a traditional family recipe for Scottish-style shortbread and turned it into an eye-popping and mouth-watering array of shortbread delights.  If you haven’t yet tasted the incredible goodies that come from Douglas Sweets, you’re going to have to trust us when we say that they’re practically perfect!  Each bite is truly an ideal shortbread experience: sturdy but delicate, buttery but balanced, filling but addictive.

debra at douglas sweets

Deborah and her staff hand-craft an impressive array of cookies that come in a variety of sizes, all based on the rich, buttery, crumbly, and super-satisfying original recipe. What makes them even better is that Douglas Sweets uses local ingredients when possible, creating a beautiful blend of Old World tradition and New World flavors.

We have the below 3 flavors of Douglas Sweets 5 pack cookies on sale until 3/31/2015 at $1.00 off a pack.  Come on by and treat yourself.

resized doug sweets dark choc cookie

Dark Chocolate

re sized doug sweets rasp cookie

Raspberry White Chocolate

 

Hot Chili Pepper Dark Chocolate

Hot Chili Pepper Dark Chocolate

 

If it isn’t clear already, we really love these sweets, and we love getting to share our enthusiasm for them with you!  If you want to learn more about the company and their delectable treats, check out their website: www.douglassweets.com  (Be sure to check out their wine & cheese pairings as well!  The staff has done a brilliant job of matching up each of their delightful shortbread flavors with equally-appealing cheeses and wines, and though we’re jealous that we couldn’t get in on the taste-tasting, we’re happy they did it!)

 

Comment