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Ken & Norm’s Liquors is now back on Twitter with a whole new set of Staff Picks, Wine Reviews, and New Release Alerts.
New Wine Releases
We continue to bring in as many spectacular wines from around the world and this week is no exception! Just like Malbec that burst on the scene a few years ago as a single varietal, so too is happening with a few other grapes that have usually been components to regional blends: Albariño from Rias Baixas, Espania; Carricante and Nerello Mascalese from Sicily, Italia. We now have:
- Vionta Limited Release Albariño 2011, Rias Baixas, Spain
- Kentai Albariño 2010, Rias Baixas, Spain
- Tascante Buonora Carricante Bianco 2012, Sicilia, Italy
- Tascante Ghiaia Nera Nerello Mascalese 2010, Sicilia, Italy
Not to be outdone by the release of new varieties, the NxNW Winery has
delivered a chardonnay from a little-known area of Washington’s Columbia Valley: The Benches of Horse Heaven Hills AVA*. This 2012 vintage is hand-picked, whole-cluster pressed and slow fermented on-the-lees° for five months in barrels coopered of 80% American oak and 20% French oak. Luscious and long on the palate with a cornucopia of tropical essences finishes with creamy vanilla and notes of smooth toffee. Our Price: $12.99
*AVA = Authorized Viticultural Area. The governing bodies of wine-making in the USA has recognized an AVA as having qualities necessary for wine grape production.
°Lees = The remnants of yeast cells after primary fermentation is complete. The material can either float about or settle. This imparts a creamy mouthfeel and a biscuit-like flavor. The longer a wine rests “sur-lie” (French), the more intense the effect.
Craft Beer Releases
Many of our favorite breweries are at the peak of releasing new batches as Oktoberfest draws nigh. Available NOW from Ken & Norm’s, we are offering 750ml bottles of:
- 10.8% ABV, 110(!) IBU
Deschutes Brewing of Bend, OR’s “Black Butte XXVI Birthday Reserve Porter”
- 10.8% ABV
- Special Note: Best AFTER 06/16/2015
Indeed Brewing Co. of Minneapolis, MN’s “Mexican Honey Imperial Lager”
- 7.2% ABV, 17 IBU
Ommegang Brewery of Cooperstown, NY’s “Wild at Heart – Brewmaster’s Obsession Series American Wild Ale”
- 8% ABV
- Sergey’s Pick: McNab Ridge Cab Sauv 2012, Mendocino County, CA
Kate’s Pick: Anderra Sauv. Blanc, 2013, Chile
Jason’s Pick: Still the Henry McKenna 10yr Single Barrel
Members Club Rewards are Now Active!
We, here at Ken & Norm’s Liquors, have been hammering out all the details of just how to reward our loyal customers with the relaunched Members Club. Special Tiered Rewards are finalized and active; all of the details and fine print are outlined on the Members Club Info page - if you’ve not picked up your membership card, it is ready for you at the counter. Please present your card before your purchase is entered as previous purchases are not eligible for rewards.
Distillers’ Rep Visits
Representatives from Aviv Vodka and Woodford Reserve have met many of our members and customers over these last few weeks and everyone has been delighted with the personalities of both products. Both of these beautiful spirits are still on Special Pricing; Club Members are invited to sample at your leisure even when reps aren’t here. Your tasting host will be glad to pour you a tasting.
Wine Review Video Series
Jason, your Wine Educator (and oft Tasting Table Host), is working on a new video series for Ken & Norm’s Club Members. Shooting is underway for the first four and will be released to Club Members as soon as management approves the finished product. Stay tuned!!
Special Tasting Event
A representative from the Domino del Plata winery in Argentina will be visiting Ken & Norm’s on Friday August 9th from 4:30pm-8:00pm to offer a tasting of their new releases “Susan Balbo Signature” and “Ben Marco” Special Edition Malbecs from the Mendoza region. KN Club members who have picked up their cards at the counter are welcome to jump the queue to receive a special one-on-one with the representative to ask as many questions as you’d like.
In addition to the above Argentine malbecs, we are pleased to offer our Club Members and customers over a dozen new wines to our selection from all over the world:
- Rio Madre Rose of Graciano 2013, Rioja.
- Vino Dei Fratelli Casa Rossa Dessert Red, Belbo.
- Rizzi Moscato d’Asti 2012, Treiso.
- Alois Legeder “Riff” Pinot Grigio 2013, delle Venezie.
- L’Orangeraie Chardonnay 2013, Pays D’Oc
- Old Bush Vines’ “Waka Waka” Shiraz/Cab 2010, Paarl
- Old Bush Vines’ “Waka Waka” Sauv. Bl./Chenin Bl. 2012, Paarl
- Steve Bird’s “Manu” Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Marlborough
- Baron Phillipe de Rothschild’s “Anderra” Sauv. Bl. 2013, Maipo Valley
- Baron Phillipe de Rothschild’s “Anderra” Carmeniere 2012, Maipo Valley
- King Estates’ “Acrobat” Pinot Noir 2012, Western OR
- King Estates’ “Acrobat” Pinot Gris 2013, Western OR
- McNab Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Mendocino County, CA
We can’t wait to share these super summer wines with you and they will be on tasting at various times during the next few weeks. Your Tasting Table Host, Jason, has tasted both the Acrobat Pinot Gris and the McNab Sauvignon Blanc and he has this to say:
“The Acrobat is juicy and full on the palate with good flavors of peach and apricot, finishing with a gentle whiff of fig. The McNab Sauvignon Blanc is delightfully light with fresh citrus-forward flavors, a bright acidity, and a beautifully clean finish.”
ps – Jason, our Wine Educator, is working on a project we’re very excited to share with you. KN Club Members who have picked up their membership cards or have read our newsletter will receive a sneak peek before everyone else. Stay tuned!!
You may have noticed there was no update for last Monday, July 14. You may also have noticed our Tasting Table has been missing one of its key educators, Jason. He’s been away as a week’s worth of educational seminars to build expertise in both wine, wineries, distilleries and other important activities to better enhance your customer experience here at Ken & Norm’s. He’ll be back for Wednesday and Thursday this week between 4:30pm and 8:00pm to share some delicious wines and maybe a spirit or two for all our guests.
Special Event Alert! Woodford Reserve Tasting & Bottle Etching
A representative from Woodford Reserve will be in the shop to feature our own unique batch of Single Barrel Double Oak Kentucky-Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Our guest will also have a state-of-the-art etching system that will engrave your bottle with a personalized message. It can be a commemorative message to the recipient of a gift bottle, personalization for your home bar, or simply a short inspirational phrase to toast each sip of this amazing spirit. Exact dates and times are published in our Summer Newsletter; If you’ve joined KN Members Club, you’ll have received it in your inbox – if you are a member and haven’t yet received it, send us a note to email@example.com with your information and we will correct our mailing list.
Weekly Update: July 7, 2014
With so many exciting things happening here at Ken & Norm’s this week, we’ll need some extra space to fill you in on all the details! Keep Reading…
Meet the Team Part 4.
The final member of our team that we are featuring here on our site is the most important: your store manager, Sergey, and he really needs no introduction. You’ll most often find him in his office answering emails, making arrangements with distributors, or having a snack. We asked him a few basic questions so his quiet countenance won’t have you thinking he’s unapproachable:
A: That’s easy!! Football!! Not that crazy game you have here, REAL Football as in Soccer!! I love the World Cup and am rooting for Holland team. I try to play every Sunday.
Q: If you could pick one item in the shop over everything else, what would it be?
A: That question is a loaded one! Everyone knows my favorite item in the store isn’t on any shelf – its the person on the ladder, Kate. She’s my wife. I’d be sleeping on sofa if I didn’t say she was my favorite item! (Secretly, though, its Woodford Reserve Single Barrel Double Oak!!)
Q: When you’re not at the shop, how do you relax?
A: I play soccer. try new and different beer, snuggling with Kate and Lilu, and being a lab rat for Kate’s culinary experiments.
So that about wraps it up for the four major staff members here at Ken & Norm’s. The three cashiers taking care of you at checkout are: Dana, John, and Kevin. If you’ve already joined KN Members Club, ask one of them for your Members Card and show them your number before your purchase is scanned – you’ll earn points toward discount rewards!
Wine Release Alerts!!
We are thrilled to present several Special Edition Wines for your summer enjoyment:
From New Zealand’s famous Marlborough AVA comes this featured appellation held in reserve for five years! Luscious and full palate experience carries a racy acidity, plump passionfruit and mango flavors, and a bright finish.
Sug. Price: $29.99 Our Special Price: $12.99
Going deeper into the Marlborough AVA, deeper than a valley within, to a single vineyard, we discover this hidden vale of Taylor’s Pass. Only by keeping these beautiful grapes separate from all the rest can we best appreciate climate, soil, and the winemaker’s mastery! Soft and delicate on the palate with a gentle flavor of perfectly ripened gooseberry, a balanced acidity, and mouth-watering minerality only begins to speak to the essence of Taylor’s Pass Vineyards. Enjoy as a solo sipper, cold from the refrigerator to best take in its elegance.
Suggested Price: $29.99 Our Special Price: $12.99
Archery Summit Premier Cuvée Pinot Noir 2012
Where else would we find America’s best Pinot Noirs but Washington state’s famous Willamette Valley. A masterfully selected batch from each of Archery Summit’s six vineyards is harmoniously blended to give you a snapshot of their heart and soul. A brilliant pop of intense cranberry tartness is followed by a soothingly mellow mouthfeel that brings flavors of cocoa nib, cherry preserves, and a loving embrace of silky tannin.
Suggested Price: $49.99 Our Special Price: $29.99!!!!!
Our Summer 2014 news release will be arriving in our KN Club Members’ inboxes very shortly. We remind all of our members to add ‘kenandnorms.com’ to your list of safe email domains; our systems are secured from threats both viral and other intrusions.
Weekly Update: June 30, 2014
As we continue our series on “Meet The Team”, we’d like to introduce you to the most important and most ‘unseen’ member – important and unseen primarily because he’s sequestered inside either of our two walk-in coolers ensuring every beer, ale, and cider is properly stored and stocked. Jonathan is this unseen hero and is one of those people who doesn’t like his picture taken nor even posted online, so his identity you’ll just have to find out by visiting us.
I’ve only been with the shop for about 8 weeks; before that, I was a distribution hand for a larger retailer. I also like beer, a lot, and have been trying anything new and different I can get my hands on. Sergey liked my organizational skills and wanted me to whip the coolers into shape.
When you’re not here, what fills your time?
I like Frisbee Golf, tinkering with anything that has a motor, and am trying to learn how to play the piano. I work two other jobs, so my free time is rather limited, just don’t call me boring.
If you had to pick just one item in the whole shop, what would it be and why?
Even though I’m primarily a beer snob, that new Woodford Reserve Single Barrel Double Oak is amazing! Right now, it’s the one thing I’d take home – my tastes change frequently, so tomorrow, i might say something else.
Weekly Web Update: June 23, 2014
As we continue our series on “Meet The Team”, we’re sure you already know the member of our staff who can most often be found atop our library ladder. Kate M. is our Inventory Manager and (for as much as Jason, our Wine Guru knows about how each one tastes) can find whatever it is you’re after instantly.
Everyone asks about your ‘accent”. Where are you originally from and for how long have you been in Minnesota?
I’m from Belarus and have lived in Minnesota since we immigrated.
When you’re not up the ladder or behind the counter, what do you like to do?
Baking and gardening are my two main hobbies. I also love animals and welcome all pets into Ken & Norm’s with a treat. We don’t have a dog of our own (yet) but are being taken advantage of by our cat named Lilu.
In your four years at Ken & Norm’s, if you could pick one item from the store as your favorite, what would it be? And be honest!
How am I supposed to pick just one item?! Ok, that’s easy. Meiomi Pinot Noir is my favorite and I like to recommend it to all my customers who are looking for a Pinot that I think is yummy.
NEW RELEASE: La Haudiniere Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2013
Appellation: France, Loire Valley, Sevre et Maine
Contents: 100% Melon de Bourgogne, rested Sur-Lie.
Introductory Price: $9.99
Vintner’s Notes: Fresh and zesty with a hint of brininess – a perfect pairing for shellfish.
Our Notes: “Light and delicate with a nose of nectarine. The palate is ethereal and wispy with hints of honeydew melon and ‘of the sea’ freshness. Unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before!” ~Jason
Weekly Web Update: June 16, 2014
As we stay true to our goal of bringing you the most amazing customer service, it is our pleasure to start introducing you to our team. Wine is a large part of Ken&Norm’s portfolio and it gives us great pride to know our library consists of almost 1000 bottles from all over the globe. Jason Edwards is our wine guy, lets meet him:
How did you get started? I count myself lucky to have lived within the Niagara region of Southern Ontario Canada, renowned for its amazing wines. Through the Wine Council of Ontario, I earned a Certificate of Merit in their oenology courses and have made it a passion of mine to learn everything possible about what makes each wine from each part of the world special.
What’s your favorite? I love pretty much any style of wine; from the fruit-forward whites to the deepest tannic reds, to the most moussie champagnes. Rose wines have been given a bad rap of late and this summer’s list has been… very diverse… to say the least.
We’ve been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to get our hands on single-barrel bourbon-whiskies in the past, but none makes us more excited than this new release from Woodford Reserve. Because every batch is unique and each barrel imparts its own characteristics, a second oaking in a richly-toasted, lightly charred barrel makes for a much creamier texture. Sergey’s (pictured with barrel cap) impression is: “This is the creamiest, richest bourbon-whiskey I’ve ever tasted! Smooth caramel palate with finishes of apple and vanilla. Amazing!”
You are invited to stop to adopt your very own bottle of this very limited supply or simply for a complimentary sample – don’t forget to sign up for Ken &Norm’s Members Club where you’ll receive advanced notice of special new releases just like this Woodford Reserve!
Weekly Web Update: June 9, 2014
We here at Ken&Norm’s are very excited to announce the arrival of another style of Kentucky spirits exclusive to us:
“Brilliant copper in color; mildly sweet with hints of vanilla and honey; flavors of toffee, berries, and fresh mint; a soft finish with notes of warm, elegant toasted oak.” ~The Distillery
This beautiful Winter Wheat Whiskey will be on tasting all week; we encourage you to stop in for a sample and adopt a bottle for your own. Jason, our wine guru, says: “Wow! Such a light and clean palate; the grain’s full expression of refinement is unencumbered by any distraction. A perfect entry-level for those who haven’t tried many whiskies and won’t spoil your palate too quickly.” Sergey, your store manager, simply says: “Mmmmm!!!”
Weekly Web Update: June 2, 2014
You’re probably noticing all these great new improvements to Ken & Norm’s website. The process is moving along as a swift pace and it will take some time before all of our inventory are added to various pages. Stay with us and witness all this wonderful and much-needed growth.
Another major change you may have seen is within our store! We are now offering wine and spirits demonstrations EVERY afternoon – highlighting as many of our delicious offerings as possible.
Ken&Norm’s have secured and bottled our own Distillers’ Reserve Barrel#1221. This Bardstown, KY, Bourbon-Whiskey is 100PF (50% ABV) and carries a distinctive grain-focused palate. Flavors of richly toasted barley, wheat, rye, and oats rises above a lingering finish of brown sugar and vanilla attained by a darkly-charred oak cask. It is unlike anything you’ve ever tasted!
Introductory Price: $26.99 750ml Bottle
Weekly Web Update: May 25, 2014
With the acquisition of some amazing new talent, we have FINALLY gotten to work re-establishing our online presence. The initial changes are very obvious – new look, new way of interacting with us, new Loyalty Club Discount Rewards, yet same ol’ dedication to ensuring your perfect customer experience with all the brands of wine, spirits, and beer you’ve come to expect from Ken & Norm’s!
Stay tuned! We’ll be adding tons(!!!) of new information over the coming weeks – visit the “About Us” tab to learn our story and meet our team, hours and location on its own tab, and a more comprehensive breakdown of our inventory with industry highlights, original reviews, and new releases.
The new Ken&Norm’s Club Members will receive advanced notice of New Releases, Members Only Specials, and Individually-tailored Loyalty rewards exclusive to their membership. Want to sign up for The Club? With your next qualifying purchase at our store, simply ask your cashier to sign you up!
We look forward to welcoming you to our shop soon!
Ken & Norm’s Team.