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Beau Farrell

Recent Posts

Sophisticated Sommelier: The Basics of Wine Tasting Etiquette

Posted by Beau Farrell on Sep 21, 2017 4:12:43 PM

Autumn means many things, and the season is ripe for trips to wine tastings and wineries. Whether you are a novice or a natural in the tasting rooms, there are always questions that we're asked about —what to expect, what to do, and especially, what not to do at a wine tasting.

We've put together an easy cheat sheet of basic wine tasting etiquette to make your next visit an experience you'll remember.

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What Are Hops? A Lesson on Beer Fermentation.

Posted by Beau Farrell on Sep 19, 2017 4:57:18 PM

The ever-growing craft beer movement in the U.S. means an explosion in the demand for hops and that rings true for beer producers around Minnesota, too. Much of it can be directly attributed to the highly popular, wildly successful, blazing intensity of West Coast IPAs. Those India Pale Ales bring the hops, and the country's thirst followed.

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What Is Cognac? Understanding this French Brandy, from VS to XO.

Posted by Beau Farrell on Sep 13, 2017 1:21:39 PM

"All Cognac is brandy, but not all brandy is Cognac."

What is Cognac? Yes, it's complicated. Named after the town of Cognac, France, Cognacs are made from white wine – mostly from the grapes of Ugni Blanc (or Saint-Emilion) – then double distilled in copper pots, and lastly, aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac then matures the way whiskeys and wines do.

It's not easy to become a Cognac, and once you experience the beauty of a Cognac, you'll appreciate the rigorous methods to create this distilled French brandy. Experience the nose of a beautiful Cognac, then settle in your favorite quiet place to sip and savor.

The first thing you'll notice on the labels are the different classifications.

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New to White Wine? Here's a Crash Course on Finding Your Favorite.

Posted by Beau Farrell on Sep 7, 2017 3:19:02 PM

Picking the right white doesn't need to be a fright. Looking at the miles of choices can feel overwhelming and we don't blame you for feeling bleary eyed as you try to discern a Pinot Gris from a Chenin Blanc. But don't let that stop you from experimenting and enjoying white wine.

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3 Vikings Party Must-Haves for Game One

Posted by Beau Farrell on Sep 5, 2017 6:05:51 PM

Hey Vikings fans, are you stoked and stocked for game one? Do you have your Minnesota Vikings party essentials? That means you need your beer, your booze, your food and your friends to cheer your home team to Vikings to Victory. We've come up with a short list of ideas that you must-have to make your Minnesota pride shine, including some great party recipes to pair with your drinks. Go Vikes!

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5 Cocktails Perfect For Labor Day Weekend at the Cabin

Posted by Beau Farrell on Aug 31, 2017 5:54:07 PM

Labor Day Weekend signals the seasonal change from summer to, well... not summer. Depending on the mood of Mother Nature, the weekend can be our last hurray of G & Ts or our first big dip into our hearty porters and ales.

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Tailgating Season: Pack Your Cooler With These Pre-Game Essentials

Posted by Beau Farrell on Aug 22, 2017 5:32:31 PM

Football season is around the corner and nothing says team spirit quite like a good tailgating session before a big game. Midwesterners have it down to an art and packing the cooler is like a ritual. Beer? Check. Ice? Check. More beer? Check.

But there is more to a party than beer. We also know cocktails made with the right kind of liquor can be equally as refreshing. We vote for your favorite bottle of whiskey, or two.

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Haskell's to Judge Amateur Winemaking Contest at the MN State Fair

Posted by Beau Farrell on Aug 17, 2017 5:45:58 PM

If you’ve ever been to the Minnesota State Fair, you know you’re bound to find just about any food on a stick, and a lot of competition. From arts and crafts, to livestock and garden fresh foods – every year, hundreds of Minnesotans enter their talented work for a chance at the blue ribbon. That’s also true for the amateur winemaking competition, which has been a part of the Minnesota State Fair for decades.

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What's the Best Rose Wine for Summer? Here are Our 7 Top Favorites.

Posted by Beau Farrell on Aug 10, 2017 5:22:44 PM

A rosé by another name would still be delicious, and still be the perfect summer sipping wine. Americans are drinking more rosé wines than ever, but the French continue to eclipse us, as they should. Rosé wine has become so popular, Fortune magazine says the sales are up more than 57 percent in the last year. We can't tell you why but we can tell you about some great wines to buy and try for yourself.

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Ready To Drink: 3 Pre-Mixed Cocktails That Aren't Half Bad

Posted by Beau Farrell on Aug 8, 2017 5:31:25 PM

Everyone loves a little convenience once and a while, and there are some terrific options on our shelves and in our coolers when it comes to "ready to drink" (RTD) cocktails or premixed drinks. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the diversity and the quality of offerings when it comes to premixed cocktails out there today. We're even talking Manhattan's, folks. It's a new world when it comes to cocktails, so why worry about bringing all the fixings when you can have great taste in one single bottle.

These aren't your premixed cans from your college days. Not even close. In fact, these are high-end cocktails worth sipping anytime, anywhere. 

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