September 22, 2017

Hooray Beer! And Cider!

This week we will be tasting a few things that seem to have been forgotten… and a brand new dry cider!

Rogue Dead Guy AleFirst up is Rogue Dead Guy Ale; if you don’t know, now is the time to find out! “In the style of a German Maibock, brewed using our proprietary Pacman yeast, Dead Guy Ale is deep honey in color with a malty aroma, rich hearty flavor and a well balanced finish.” “Deep reddish amber hue. Generous toasty malt aromas and earthy hops follow through on a moderately full-bodied palate with fruity accents and a long spicy hop finish. A delicious hybrid style with bock-like maltiness but ale-like hopping.” –World Beer Championship Judges (Who are we to argue with them?) 92pts ratebeer

Epic Hopulent IPANext, for our lovers of hop, and with 98pts on ratebeer, Epic Hopulent IPA:

Hopulent IPA is a big beer with lots of complex malt flavor and excessive hops. This beer will have changes to the grain bill and seasonal hop changes. The character of Hopulent IPA is over the top, too much of everything—a real HOP HEADS DELIGHT!

Unibroue La Fin Du MondeAnd now, for a triple: Unibroue’s La Fin Du Monde. This triple-style golden ale is mildly yeasty with a complex palate of malt, fruit and spice notes followed by a smooth, dry finish. With 99pts on ratebeer, it’s hard not to love!

Blackthorn Dry CiderAnd for our gluten free folks, a dry imported British cider: Blackthorn. We recently switched from Strongbow because they are now producing and exporting cider made for the “American” palate; that is to say, sweet. That’s all well and good, but a proper dry cider this is! They press English bittersweet cider apples to deliver its distinctive crispness.

So join us 4-7 to sample what may turn out to be your new favorite!

Spanish Summer Saturdays Continue

All Spanish wine is 10% off… and if you’re a Wine of the Month Club member, this is a fantastic day to stock up! Why? Previous months are not only $2 off (standard member price), but 10% off on top of that! Wines such as LZ, Basa, Aloja, Veleta, Tierras Guindas, and more! And if you buy at least a case (12 bottles) you get ANOTHER 10% off. Can you believe it? Don’t worry; if you’re not a member, you can fill out an application and immediately cash in on the savings!

Alvear Pedro Ximenez de Anada 2011This weekend exclusive includes the mind-blowing Alvear Pedro Ximenez de Anada 2011. Robert Parker gave it 100pts, a perfect score, and has this to say:

“Alvear’s 2011 Pedro Ximenez de Anada is the most amazing Pedro Ximenez I have ever tasted. It may also be one of the first to be vintage-dated. The grapes were hand-harvested in September, then allowed to dry in the sunshine until they began fermentation, which is ultimately arrested by the addition of spirits. The wine spent six months in large American oak prior to being bottled. It is an amazing effort that looks like molasses. Notes of macerated figs, chocolate and caramelized tropical fruits emerge from this full-bodied, unctuously-textured wine. While sweet, it has enough acidity to balance out its richness. This astonishing 2011 Pedro Ximenez will last as long as any reader of this newsletter.”

What price does he list this as? $100-238… Our price? $23.99. Go ahead, indulge, because Spanish Summer Saturdays gets you 10% off!

Most of you were rained out, or simply vacationing, so we’re going another round with “Drunken Goat” from Murcia;

Semi-firm pasteurized goat cured for 48-72 hours in Doble Pasta red wine. A pure white, sweet and smooth paste with a lovely violet-hued rind. Delicately grapey, with a gentle, pliable texture and mild, fruity flavor.

If you passed on the Quicos last week, we’ve literally sweetened the deal: chocolate covered Quicos. These corn kernels are soaked in water, then roasted or fried to make them super crunchy and addictive. To seal the deal, they’re also coated with chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt.

So let your Spanish flair spark you to make it a spectacular summer (all three of these will pair together sumptuously) before it ends!

Wish you had a keg this weekend? We’ve got extra!

Tinnell's Keg ProgramThat’s right, we’ve got a few cold kegs that we’d love to highlight your summer BBQ or pool party! There’s the awesome summer hit Parkway Factory Girl 1/4, and the delicious Roanoke Railhouse Track 1 Amber Lager, in both 1/2 and 1/6! Someone else’s change of heart can be your event upgrade; we’ve got tubs and taps so get ’em while we got ’em!

Fruits of Summer Beer, Cider, and Mead tasting!

We have quite the line-up of fruits (and more) will we sip our way through the still sunny summer!

Bison Organic Honey Basil Beer

Beer brewed with clover honey and fresh whole leaf basil.

Deep copper with amber hues, our Honey Basil Ale is a captivatingly aromatic beer infused with clover honey and fresh whole leaf basil. It is herbaceous, floral and virtually hop-less with soft hints of caramel, a pleasant basil aftertaste, and a crisp, dry finish.

Dogfish Festina Peche SeasonalA refreshing neo-Berliner Weisse, characterized by its intense tartness (some say sour). In addition to fermentation with an ale yeast, Berliner Weisse is traditionally fermented with lactic cultures to produce its acidic (or green apple-like) character. Served as an apertif or summertime quencher, Festina is delicately hopped and has a pale straw color. 

Founder's RubaeusNot another boring summer wheat beer or lemonade shandy—Rübæus is Founders’ way to celebrate the season’s warmest months. Optimizing the flavor of fresh raspberries added at multiple stages during fermentation, this stunning berry red masterpiece is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. No question about it, with a hefty malt bill and 5.7% ABV, this beer is 100% Founders.

Dogfish RosabiThe vivid rose hue of this imperial Pale Ale comes from a combination of Munich and Caramel malts and a touch of red rice from Louisiana, and the star of the show is her go-to ingredient: wasabi. What’s hoppy? … Wasabi. The Japanese root adds bittering and herbal notes similar to hops, with its subtle heat creeping in after the kick of carbonation. 

Foggy Ridge Pippin Gold

  • Pippin Gold is a unique blend of 100% Newtown Pippin hard cider and apple brandy from Laird and Company, the country’s oldest distiller. Pippin Gold is delicious as a dessert cider or sweet aperitif. Some have swooned over peaches soaked in Pippin Gold served with homemade pound cake.


In the Spring of 2011, B Nektar Meadery released an experimental new mead that would change history. Little did wthey know, that the concoction would have a devastating effect on the zombie population that has been plaguing the Earth. When they released this mead to the general public, the lines were out the door. When they ran out, a general panic set in. For the good of mankind, we decided to make this a year-round offering. Apple cider with honey and tart cherry juice. Lightly carbonated.

B Nektar Zombie Killer Cyser

So come taste the line-up, or just the ones you’re curious about, from 4pm til 7pm!

Custom Cheese Platter

Custom Cheese Platter Entertaining a group of cheese-lovers? Or perhaps you just want your spread to be extra delicious for an event? Order a custom cheese platter from the fine folks here at Tinnell’s! We are happy to take your requests, or simply provide the fan favorites. Pictured here, clockwise from the top, are Bayley Hazen Blue, Beemster Gouda, Saint Angel, and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, accompanied by fresh cut strawberries and juicy grapes.

Doesn’t that sound perfect?

Spanish Summer Saturdays!

Happy rainy Saturday!

Did your weekend plans get dampened? Wine a little bit; you’ll feel better!

All Spanish wine is 10% off, as well as this week’s featured Spanish cheese, aptly named “Drunken Goat” from Murcia;

Semi-firm pasteurized goat cured for 48-72 hours in Doble Pasta red wine. A pure white, sweet and smooth paste with a lovely violet-hued rind. Delicately grapey, with a gentle, pliable texture and mild, fruity flavor.

And since it’s so soggy, we’ll toss in another Spanish feature: Quicos!

These addictive snacks are corn kernels soaked in water, then roasted or fried to make them super crunchy, seasoned with sea salt for the perfect snack!

So make the trek in to snag some deals that make for the perfect accompaniment to curling up on the couch and watching a flick.

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Tasting

At our second edition of Thursday beer & cider tastings, we will be featuring Anderson Valley, Bahl Hornin’ since 1987! That is to say, “Good drinking” in their local language of Boontlinging. Now don’t be thrown by the lingo; Anderson Valley works hard to be self-sufficient with water treatment, solar panels, and even goats. And that friendly creature that is there logo is named Barkley, because deer + bear = beer!

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Summer SolsticeFirst up, Summer Solstice, before summer gets away from you! “Summer Solstice is a slightly sweet, malty session beer with a creamy mouth feel and clean finish. With hints of caramel in the nose and a touch of spice, it’s become affectionately known as “cream soda for adults”. The unique flavors and superior drinkability make for the ultimate refreshment on a hot summer day.” We have a limited amount in stock, and this is the end of the season, so grab these cans while you, well, can!

Anderson-Valley-oatmeal stoutNext up is the Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, which is rated 96pts on ratebeer. “The deep ebony color, voluptuous mahogany head and bold, roasty flavors in our Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout are what serious beer drinkers expect from this style. Aromas of freshly baked bread, espresso, chocolate and dried cherries meld seamlessly with rich toffee and chocolate flavors and a creamy mouth feel to create an unparalleled drinking experience.” It’s light enough to make the transition from summer, which makes it a perfectly timed purchase.

anderson valley goseNow for the Gose! This one is rated 93pts on ratebeer. “The Kimmie, The Yink, and the Holy Gose.

Originating in the town of Goslar, Germany in the early 16th century, the Gose style (pronounced “Go-zuh”) was traditionally brewed using salted water and 50% malted wheat and was spiced with coriander and hops.  It was fermented with both traditional yeast and lactic bacteria, giving it a slight tartness, similar to that of a Berliner Weisse.  The brewing of Gose eventually migrated to Leipzig, Germany by the turn of the 18th century and became the most popular style in the region by 1900, only to virtually disappear after World War II brought destruction to the breweries and hard economic times.


With a bright, golden color and tight creamy head, the earthy wood undertones in our Gose develop into a light mineral aroma with a hint of lemon zest and tropical fruit. Before boiling, the wort is kettle soured with lactobacillus, imparting an initial refreshing tartness that gives way to a subtle fullness. Flavors of guava and peach are followed by a slight sea salt dryness and lemon sourness that is enhanced by coriander and post-fermentation additions of salt. The finish is dry, effervescent, and lemon tangy, reminiscent of a fresh sea breeze.”

Anderson Valley Bourbon Barrel StoutAnd now, at a whopping 97pts on ratebeer, we present the only beer with exclusive rights to put the Wild Turkey image on their bottles…

“Aged for three months in Wild Turkey® Bourbon barrels, this luxurious stout has a deep ebony hue and a beautiful mahogany head. The woody, vanilla-like notes imparted by the barrels mingle with aromas of fresh baked bread, toffee, and espresso and envelop the rich chocolate and roasted barley flavors with a fine bourbon character.

Our exclusive partnership with Wild Turkey® gives us a world class, consistent source of barrelage, allowing our brewers to explore new frontiers in barrel-aged craft beer. Since its introduction, Wild Turkey® has maintained a distinctive distillation and aging process that gives it a smooth taste and a lingering flavor. They also use differentiated process whereby the bourbon is distilled at a low proof to seal in its flavors. Very little water is added to the bourbon, resulting in a full-flavored authentic taste similar to what one would get straight out of the barrel. Wild Turkey is a genuine drink with a sought after “burn” that comes from its high proof, an attribute fundamental to the brand and critical in maintaining its authentic bourbon characteristics.”

So come on down and see what makes Anderson Valley Brewing Company so fantastic! We will be sampling from 4pm to 7pm.

August Wine of the Month

Celebrate summer in style with these El Dorado selections!


Boeger vineyards

2013 Pinot Gris

El Dorado, California

Boeger Pinot Gris 2013

Boeger is situated in the Sierra Foothills, where Greg and Sue Boeger planted vines in 1973, and is nowadays a fish friendly farming certified vineyard.

Aromas of apricot, orange blossom, Golden Delicious apple and Bartlett pear are backed up by sharp citrus notes of pomelo and yellow grapefruit. The palate is all Meyer lemon, golden raisins and honeydew. Light with just enough acidity.

The 2013 Pinot Gris won the Silver Medal at the El Dorado County Fair this year.

Club price: $12.99 (Regular price: $14.99)


Boeger Vineyards

2012 Zinfandel
El Dorado, California

Boeger Zinfandel 2012

This 2012 Estate Zinfandel is uber-fresh red-fruit mania; tart red cherry, red plum and black currants with very subtle under-current of caramel. The palate is smooth, balanced and slightly tart. Its fruit is luscious without being ponderous.

This wine won gold at the Sunset International Competition and San Francisco this year.

It is a blend of 87% Zinfandel, 10.5% Petite Sirah, and 2.5% Cabernet Sauvignon that ages in oak for 16mos, with aging potential until 2023.

With a case production of 428, this Zin is ripe for the taking!

Club price: $14.99 (Regular price: $16.99)



If you are interested in joining our wine of the month club, click here!

Beginning Beer Tastings Thursdays 4pm-7pm

Why should the wine lovers have all the fun? Here at Tinnell’s we are bringing back Thursday tastings but we’re switching it up and offering samples of new beer as it comes to the store. This week we will be featuring the following:

Avery Hog Heaven Dry-Hopped Barleywine-Style AleAvery Brewing Company out of Boulder, Colorado has this to say:

Hog Heaven; Or is it Hop Heaven? This dangerously drinkable garnet beauty was designed to satisfy the most zealous of hop devotees. Intense bitterness and the dankest of dry-hopped aromas are intertwined with a rich caramel candy-like malt backbone. Oink!



Woodchuck Hopsation Hard Apple Cider out of Vermont tells this tell:Woodchuck Hopsation Hard Apple Cider

We start with our original small batch hard cider and infuse cascade hops to impart their sensational pine and citrus aromas. The smooth apple character of our signature hard cider balances perfectly against the bitterness of the hops. Some may just call it hopsational cider.

Hops abound, for the beer drinkers and the gluten free alike! So come on down and try these tasty selections from 4pm to 7pm!


Launching Spanish Summer Saturdays with Aged Manchego “Curado”

Kicking off Spanish Summer Saturdays, we are featuring our Aged Manchego “Curado” from La Mancha. This special cheese is aged for over 12 months, giving it a sharper, nuttier flavor and a firmer, more brittle texture than its younger namesake. Made using traditional methods under strict quality guidelines.

Supply is limited this week, so grab your Manchego before we run out!

Don’t forget; 10% off ALL Spanish wine in the store!

Fresh juicy produce new to the shelves

Woods Farms supplies Tinnell's Finer Foods with local fresh produce, including delicious cherry tomatoes.

Photo credit Woods Farms

This just in: a cornucopia of local produce!

To-may-toes, to-mah-toes, no matter how you say it, we’ve got plenty; Cherokee Purple heirlooms, Mr Stripey’s heirlooms, and German Pink heirlooms, along with homegrown cherry and regular tomatoes, all from Woods Farms.

Speaking of new homegrown Woods Farms goodness, Tinnell’s new arrivals are yellow corn, white corn, bicolor corn, green beans, cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, blueberries and peaches.

From Four Oaks Farms in Wirtz, VA we now have Bibb lettuce.

We’ve even gotten our hands on coveted Halifax cantaloupes!

And if you can’t get enough of zucchini, Roselawn Acres baked up a fresh batch of zucchini bread, zucchini cakes, and zucchini brownies.

So come on down and support our local farmers with some fresh gorgeous produce!

Spanish Summer Saturdays!

Celler de Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica Garnacha 2012 is a Priorato red blend wine from Spain rated 94 points by Robert Parker made with 70 year old vines and 30 year old wines.Introducing an amazing Spanish red wine with a Summer Saturday Special!

This just in: Mas Donis Barrica 2012, a 94pt rated wine that everyone can afford. Robert Parker had this to say,

“Another baby Priorato, the 2012 Mas Donis, a custom cuvee from Eric Solomon, is composed of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah aged nine months in both new and used French and American oak. The Grenache comes from 70-year-old vines, and the Syrah from 30-year-old vines. It is difficult to find a better value than this incredibly rich effort. The bouquet offers up a smorgasbord of aromas, including crushed rocks, spring flowers, kirsch liqeur and blacker fruits. Full-bodied with a velvety, voluptuous texture, and admirable opulence, density, purity and texture, it is nearly impossible to believe that something this good could be priced at $12 a bottle. Consume it over the next year.” -November 2013

Now, we can’t give you Mr. Parker’s price all the time, so ours is normally $12.99, but we are launching Spanish Summer Saturdays, which can get you there! Every Saturday, every Spanish wine will be an extra 10% off regular price, in celebration of this fantastic release. In addition, we will feature a new Spanish cheese each week, also 10% off, along with other food products such as olives, almonds, and more. So join us every weekend to tour the delights of Spain; olé!

Be sure to join our mailing list for notice of future offers!

December Wine of the Month Tasting Notes

December, 2013
Wine of the Month Club
Selections and tasting notes


Featuring “The Best-of the Best” Wines!

McPherson Cellars
2012 “Les Copains”

McPherson Cellars is known for creating old world blends with a modern approach and this wine certainly provides no exception.  Les Copains, French for “the buddies”, is a term that symbolizes this exquisite combination of Rhone-style varietals.  This terrific and “taste friendly” white blend was created by Kim McPherson to showcase Rhone varietals grown on the Texas High Plains.  Soft, rich, and balanced, Les Copains emobodies the award-winning wines that Kim is renowned for producing.  Tough day?  “C’est la vie!”  Enjoy a bottle of this beautiful wine with your best buddies!

Les Copains is a proprietary blend of old world cultivars, comprised of 45% Viognier, 35% Roussanne, 16% Grenache Blanc, and 4% Marsanne.  The wine is lovely and versatile with delectable aromas of green apple, Asian pear, citrus, peach and white flower petals.  The Viognier gives it rich floral notes, the Grenache Blanc gave it green and citrus notes, and the Rousanne balances the two to create a fantastic wine.  It’s dry, crisp and easy drinking, soft and round with a lingering finish.  It provides a great match for Asian dishes, seafood salads, grilled fish and chicken and light cheeses.  Only 616 cases produced.

Club price: $14.99 (Regular price: $17.99)


Casa Vinicola Reyter
2008 “F” Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina

Alright… let’s start with the bottle.  The thing is impressively massive.  And the wine inside?  Equal to the container!  It pours a rich dark ruby red with a deep cloudy plum core.  The faint cloudiness is due to the lack of filtration (as is the sediment in the bottom of the bottle).  I have to recommend you decant this wine.  It’s not that it is some tremendous monster, it’s just that it needs to breathe in order to show off its lovely nuances.

The nose treats you to tobacco, bright red cherry, chocolate, cranberry sauce (yes, the ribbed kind from a can) and menthol, all backed by a subtle heat from the alcohol.  Occasionally I seemed to detect notes of vanilla as well.  On the palate a deep, dark, dusky fruit is borne on the back of a spicy undertone with notes of graphite and the fruits from the nose.  Overall, the mouthfeel is a bit lighter then you expect from a wine this large… more of a whole milk feel vs. the half & half you might have prepared for.

As a whole, for those accustomed to the big, bold Argentine Malbecs that are typical of the breed, this wine will come as a surprise.  It is much more nuanced.  It is big, don’t get me wrong.  It’s just that it seems to come across more as an amazing example of an old-world wine than as one from the new.

If you have a little patience, I would suggest letting it air out overnight in a decanter before imbibing… what a difference a day makes!  The medium-weight tannins seemed to soften a bit and I noticed a mid-palate sweetness to the fruit that seemed to be absent the night before.  Also, a faint astringency I had noticed had passed.

I can’t recommend this wine enough.  It is absolutely beautiful on its own, but will pair wonderfully with red meats or spicy Asian foods.

Club price: $14.99 (Regular price: $17.99)


To learn more about our Wine of the Month Club please click on this link:  Tinnell’s Wine of the Month Club

Adam Markham,
Beverage Manager, Tinnell’s Finer Foods
540.345.7334 – work; 540.598.9849 – mobile

February Wine of the Month Club

Selections and tasting notes
Featuring selections from Sonoma

Balletto Vineyards
2010 Teresa’s Unoaked Chardonnay
Russian River Valley, California

Balletto Unoaked Chardonnay

Balletto Unoaked Chardonnay

It’s not often that tank-fermented Chardonnay delivers the depth and texture of Teresa’s Unoaked Chardonnay.  This rich and diverse wine has bright fruit aromas and a nicely balanced mouth feel.  The complex bouquet includes key lime, lemon peel, peaches and apricots which it certainly delivers upon drinking.  The crisp tartness complements the wine’s natural viscosity and creates balance and elegance.  Lemon-lime flavors then kick in for a long, citrusy finish that lasts several minutes and begs for the next sip.  Taken altogether, the aromas and mouth feel create a distinct style of Chardonnay that is made to highlight the grape itself and not the oak and malolactic aromas found in Chardonnay fermented and aged in oak barrels.

This wine is extremely versatile with food. It is textured and plush enough to compliment rich seafood like lobster, crab and scallops, but also has a crisp acidity and fruit flavors that can pair nicely with more diverse flavors like grilled pork tenderloin with a fresh apple reduction sauce.

The grapes for this wine were grown at Balletto’s Occidental Road Vineyard next to the winery and tasting room.  Known as Block A10½, the vines are planted with the “Robert Young Clone 17” clone of Chardonnay. Every year, this block produces a tropical juice that becomes Teresa’s Unoaked Chardonnay.

At Balletto Vineyards they farm more than 500 acres of wine grapes in the Russian River Valley and select the best 10 percent of these grapes to ferment and bottle under the Balletto label. It’s one of the many ways they maintain the high quality of their wines.

 Club price: $14.49 (Regular price: $16.49)

Highway 12

Highway 12

Highway 12 Vineyards & Winery
2010 Sonoma Red Blend
Sonoma valley, California

In keeping with Highway 12’s winemaking tradition and notoriety for Red Blends, this 2010 release showcases a marvelous varietal and vineyard composition that delivers once again.  Comprised of 77% Merlot, 12%, Cabernet Franc, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petite Sirah, the result is a wine that balances power and elegance.  A stunningly vibrant bouquet sets up the entry to a dense and complex wine.  This is where the power takes form showcasing developed tannins and flavors of cherry, chocolate and blackberry.  The ‘jammy-ness’ lingers on the mid-palate for some time leading to a velvety softness on the finish.

Structurally, each varietal component contributes to this wine; Merlot from the Sonoma Valley ‘banana belt’ gives incredible depth and base, while the Cabernet Franc is responsible for the subtle earthy tones and soft mouth feel.  The Cabernet Sauvignon offers the perfect amount of bright acidity which is true to its source in the southern Sonoma Valley.

 Vineyard selection for the Sonoma Red Blend brings together various micro-climates.  This release showcases the mid-Sonoma Valley intensity of Valley’s ‘banana belt’ and the cooler southern reaches.  Each varietal is crushed, fermented and aged separately and blended after 18 months of barrel aging in French oak to achieve the optimal flavor profile.

The winemaking process focuses on minimal intervention of the wine during aging to allow the truest of the varietal characteristics to shine.  This philosophy results in a wine that purely represents the traditional style of the vineyards in Sonoma Wine Country.

Club price: $14.99 (Regular price: $16.99)

To learn more about our Wine of the Month Club please click on this link:  Tinnell’s Wine of the Month Club

Adam Markham,
Beverage Manager,
Tinnell’s Finer Foods

January Wine of the Month Club Tasting Notes

January, 2013vina-chocalan
Wine of the Month Club
Selections and tasting notes

Viña Chocalán has made a mission out of elevating Chilean wines to a level that will be recognized by the world as the equal of any.  They work toward this goal while maintaining a vision of sustainability and social responsibility.

The vineyard and winery is located in the Maipo Valley of Chile a mere 21 miles from the Pacific ocean.  Vines are planted at between 600 and 1,250 feet in elevation close to the Maipo River.  During the “maturity period” of the grapes daytime highs reach 82ºF and nighttime lows average 53ºF.  Average annual rainfall is only a bit over one foot.

The soils range from almost none over a solid bedrock on the hillsides to a mixture of granite and quartz over a sandy base at the foot of the neighboring mountain.  This infertile soil combined with low rainfall is actually an ideal scenario for grape production.  The stress experiences by the vines results in less fruit but the berries have more flavor and intensity.

Viña Chocalán averages about 75,000 cases annually, of which 80% is red and 20% is white.  From the standpoint of environmental responsibility, they bottle these wines in 70% recycled glass and have also been working for years to reduce the weight of the bottles thereby reducing the winery’s environmental footprint.

Viña Chocalán is rapidly becoming a player on the world stage of wine and the quality of these two wines reflects their commitment to the high standards they have set forth for themselves.

vina-chocalan-sauvignon-lgViña Chocalán
2011 Sauvignon Blanc
Maipo Valley, Chile

 Vinified from 100% Sauvignon Blanc from 18 year-old-vines grown in alluvial soils of sandy clay loam, this delightful wine has an alcohol content of 13.0%, a total acidity of 4.56 g/l and a residual sugar level of 0.83 g/l.

The grapes, which are subject to a morning mist and strong maritime influence due to proximity to the Pacific Ocean and Maipo River, were handpicked during the second week of March, 2011.

This wine is intensely aromatic and is bright yellow with green reflections.  It shows notes of citrus (particularly limes) and white peaches mixing with tropical fruits and followed by a smooth herbal finish.  It is very fresh on the palate, medium-bodied with rich acidity and a long finish.  Serve between 45 and 50ºF with seafood, cheese, oysters or salad.

Club price: $10.99 (Regular price: $12.99)

Viña Chocalánvina-chocalan-carmenere
2010 Carmènere
Maipo Valley, Chile

Composed of 85% Carmènere, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, this guy has some oomph!  It is made of grapes from 12-year-old vines that are grown in granitic, clay and loamy soil of medium depth where foggy mornings and a smooth breeze during the afternoon help to refresh the vines.

It has an alcohol content of 14.0%, a total acidity of 3.58 g/l and a residual sugar level of 2.43 g/l.  The grapes were hand-picked during the second week of May, 2010 and the must was initially fermented in stainless steel tanks.  Post-fermentation, 60% was aged for 8 months in a combination of French and American oak barrels while the remainder stayed in stainless.

The wine has a brilliant and deep ruby-red color.  Intense fruit aromas on the nose are confirmed on the palate along with mocha, tobacco, dark chocolate and black pepper.  It is medium-bodied with a pleasingly soft texture.  Serve around 62ºF with spicy stewed red meat, roast beef, grilled lamb or well-seasoned pork chops.

Club price: $10.99 (Regular price: $12.99)

To learn more about our Wine of the Month Club please click on this link:  Tinnell’s Wine of the Month Club

Adam Markham,
Beverage Manager
Tinnell’s Finer Foods

December Wine of the Month Tasting Notes

December, 2012
Wine of the Month Club
Selections and tasting notes

Featuring “The Best-of the Best” Wines!

Whereas my goal in November was to find the best possible Thanksgiving wines for you (within the price limits of the club), my task this month was to find the best wines I could get to our members for $15.00 or less. To give myself a little extra “breathing room” I decided (like last December) to give members $3.00 off per bottle instead of the usual $2.00.
Every month of the year I try and establish a theme of some sort: wines of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo; Southern France; unusual varietals from Argentina. These are a few from this past year. For November and December, however, I let go of those constraints and simply looked for the best wines PERIOD regardless of origin. Consequentially, this month’s offerings are quite different from each other… a Semilllon from Washington State and an Argentine Malbec!
I would estimate that every month I taste over 100 wines. Very few of these are brought into our wine program here at Tinnell’s and even fewer make the cut as a Wine of the Month. When it comes to December I practically drive myself and my wine reps nuts tasting, re-tasting and narrowing down the possibilities. I am quite pleased with this month’s choices and, as usual, I would love to hear what you think. When you are next in the store please hunt me down and give me feedback on this (or any) month’s Club selections. Your input will only help me continue to improve Tinnell’s Wine of the Month Club as we move forward together!
Happy Holidays and Many Thanks,

L’Ecole No. 41 2010 Semillon
Columbia Valley, Washington

L’Ecole has been making Semillon since 1983 and is recognized in the industry as one of the top producers of this varietal. Few Semillons show their richness and complexity as those produced in Washington State. Cool harvest nights help to ensure crisp natural acidity, making this a wonderful food pairing wine.
Remarkably brilliant with vibrant fruit and balanced acidity, this wine shows fragrant citrus blossom and honey aromas, with pretty layers of lemon bar, apricot and keylime expanding on a balanced finish. Pair with grilled or sautéed seafood, cheeses or a simple French salad.
This wine is a blend of 86% Semillon and 14% Sauvignon Blanc, the two most common grapes use in the production of Bordeaux Blanc. Bottled in June 2011 and released in January of this year, it has an acidity level of 6.4 g/l and an alcohol by volume of 14.5%.

Club price: $14.99 (Regular price: $17.99)

Benegas S.A. 2010 Estate Vineyards Malbec
Mendoza, Argentina

This wine is made from grapes grown in the “La Encerrada” Vineyard located at the foot of the Andes Mountains in Uco Valley, Mendoza at an altitude of 4,750 feet. The high altitude, the pure thaw water coming from the Andes for irrigation, the unique soil, and the selection of the best grapes all result in this elegant, immense but balanced Malbec.

Here’s what Mendoza Malbec is all about. From organic vineyards and older vines, this wine opens with a pure perfume of plum and raspberry fruit with floral and spice accents. Round and complexly textured and flavored in the mouth, the fruit stays in the front with accents of stone, coffee, and cocoa. It displays a long and lingering finish over sweet, ripe, tannins. An extraordinary value!

Club price: $14.99 (Regular price: $17.99)

For information on the Wine of the Month Club please visit this link: Tinnell’s Wine of the Month Club


Adam Markham,
Beverage Manager – Tinnell’s Finer Foods
540.345.7334 –

November Wine of the Month Club Selections Have Arrived at Tinnell’s Finer Foods!

November, 2012 Wine of the Month Club Selections and Tasting notes

Featuring “Happy Thanksgiving” Wines!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

What is the perfect Thanksgiving wine?  Choosing a perfect wine to pair with Thanksgiving meals can seem like a daunting task.  The variety of textures and tastes often leave one wondering what the ideal choice might be.  For me the perfect pairings are a Pinot Noir and a dry to semi-dry Riesling.

Pinot Noir, by its very nature lighter than most reds, features good fruit flavors accompanied by a deep earthiness which lends itself to natural pairing with turkey and ham as well as with most typical holiday side dishes.  In particular, it teams up beautifully with fall vegetables, squashes and cranberries.

Riesling, on the other hand, is typified by a bracing acidity followed up by beautiful fruit and mineral undertones.  This combination (combined with affordability) makes Riesling one of the best food wines on Earth.  Salty appetizers, cheese-based dishes, sweet potatoes, maple glaze on the turkey – Riesling handles them all equally well.

Our goal this year – within the price constraints of the Wine of the Month Club – was to find the best wines possible for the Thanksgiving table.  We are very happy to present these two wines to you and highly recommend that you save them for your family’s Thanksgiving celebration!

Waimea Estates 2009 Takutai Riesling
Nelson, New Zealand

Takutai Riesling

Takutai Riesling

Waimea Estates is one of Nelson’s largest producers with over 140 hectares (345 acres) of their own vineyards.  The cool climate and alluvial soils of Nelson’s Waimea plains combined with the longest sunshine hours in New Zealand allow vibrant, fruit-focused wines to be made.  Waimea’s export varieties are based on highly awarded Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, and Waimea has now gathered 99 Gold Medals and 20 Trophies across seven different wine styles – proving the versatility Waimea and the Nelson region provides.

 For the Takutai (“ta-coo-tie”) Riesling, sweet floral aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle mingle with lime and wild honey above a background of mandarin and candied apple.  A very faint touch of residual sweetness makes this wine quite versatile.  You will find what sweetness there is to be beautifully balanced by a bright acidity followed by a mineral-driven edge and a long finish.  The perfect Riesling for Thanksgiving!

 Club price: $13.99 (Regular price: $15.99)

Kingston Family Vineyards 2008 Tobiano Pinot Noir
Casablanca Valley, Chile

Tobiano Pinot Noir

Tobiano Pinot Noir

This Chilean family winery continually makes some of the best vinos Chilenos (Chilean wines) around.  Tobiano is a blend of different parcels within the greater Kingston vineyard, those which meet their standards but aren’t used for their top bottling, “Alazan.”  According to Courtney Kingston, her wines show a “gout de Casablanca,” a distinctly smoky and mineral tinged quality which she believes mark her red wines.  If you’re looking for a Pinot with a wonderful balance between fruit, mineral and earthy/savory flavors, then look no further.  According to Wine Enthusiast: “Common but clean aromas of tea and black cherry give this fuller-bodied Pinot a good start.  The palate is semi-soft and plump, with ripe, fat, black fruit flavors of plum and black tea.  A meaty, round wine with good acidity and structure.”

 Club price: $14.99 (Regular price: $16.99)

For information on the Wine of the Month Club please visit this link: Tinnell’s Wine of the Month Club 

Adam Markham, Beverage Manager,
Tinnell’s Finer Foods – 540.345.7334 –

Lambstock 2012! (Part II)


Mr. Les Moore

Mr. Les Moore

Earlier I had met a gentleman named Les Moore who, like me, was at the event to provide a little musical interlude or two.  Les and his lovely wife “Cookie” relocated to Patrick Springs from St. Louis.  With his porkpie hat he certainly looked the part of an authentic bluesman.  Deciding that perhaps it was time to start earning our keep, Les and I broke out our guitars and played acoustically for a bit.  He has a beautifully slappy fingerpicked style that intersperses blues chords and jazz formations.  I played lead with him for a while to some old standards and covers from artists such as Bill Withers and Stevie Wonder.  Later I got up on stage with my guitar and Les accompanied me with some artfully played harmonica.  Much thanks is extended to Les for the privilage of his musical company.

About this time they lit the bonfire.  When I say “bonfire” that doesn’t begin to convey the scope of this thing.  The basis was two three-quarter ton hay rolls,

Making Charcoal from the Bones of Lamb!

one stacked on top of the other.  Against this was leaned a perimeter of tree trunks about sixteen feet long and ranging from four to ten inches in diameter.  The whole mass was lit using a welding “rosebud” attached to a large propane tank.  When this gadget was fired up it sounded like (and essentially was) a flamethrower.  As an interesting sidenote to the fire, I had earlier noticed a 55 gallon steel drum in the remnants of the previous night’s conflagration.  Upon enquiring I was told the drum was full of lamb bones in a low-oxygen environment.  They were literally turning the bones into charcoal to use for grilling other foods later in the event!

Just to make sure noone went hungry while the spitted lamb was cooking, Rappahanock River Oysters was on hand shucking freshly harvested bi-valves as quickly as the crowd could possibly slurp them down.  If you have ever had half-shells at Lucky in downtown Roanoke then you are familiar with the unbelieveable quality of these oysters.  I have honestly never had better in my entire life.  They were accompanied by a remarkable okra mignonette whipped up by Chef Johnson of The Grocery.

Rappahanock River Oysters

Then the dinner bell rang.  Not only was the filleted lamb served in all its succulent glory, but there were slow-cooked and smoked lamb ribs, smoked heritage turkeys (also raised by Border Springs Farm) and there was pork belly.  Not just any pork belly either.  This stuff was bone-in and skin-on had been smoked throughout the previous day.  It was then slow grilled until the skin turned into golden cracklings.  I have rarely been more excited about a piece of pig flesh in my life and, believe me, I have been plenty excited.  In the overwhelming mass of gorgeous food, however, I forgot about the belly!  This will go down in my life as one that got away.  Amongst the various desserts was a multi-layered chocolate cake baked by a winner of a Food Network Cake Challenge.

Oh Glorious, Glorious Pork Belly…

All in all, Lambstock was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my culinary experience.  I have already been given the nod for next year’s event and await only a firm date to ink it in my calendar… I am counting the days!




Lamb Fresh off the Spit!

Lambstock 2012! (Part I)

Lambstock 2012

Man… talk about being in the right place at the right time!  Two weeks ago I was playing a guitar gig at Foggy Ridge Cider in Dugspur, Virginia.  The owner, Diane Flynt, asked me if I had heard of a gentleman named Craig Rogers.  Nope…  I had, however, heard of Rogers’ business, Border Springs Farm.  For over a decade Border Springs has been supplying some of the world’s best lamb to chefs all over the country.  In fact, there are very few food purveyors out there who can boast of a customer list like Rogers’: it reads like a virtual who’s-who of the culinary world.

Diane proceeded to tell me about this event thingy called “Lambstock” and how Rogers had had two bands cancel on him for the event.  She thought I might be interested.  Lambstock (I learned) is an under-the-radar foodie dream: a celebration of all things lamb with a bit of pork, heritage turkey and other delectables thrown in.  No amount of money can buy you a ticket – you have to be personally invited by Rogers.  The guest list is almost entirely industry insiders: chefs, butchers, food purveyors, brewers, winemakers, cider-makers (like Flynt) and, just for fun, musicians (lucky me!)  Yes, I believe I am interested.  After a lengthy phone conversation with Craig wherein he determined that I wasn’t some kook and was not only qualified musically but, perhaps even more importantly, I “got it” – the “zen” of Lambstock… I was in!

Lamb Corndogs!

Upon arrival my equipment and I were shuttled via golf cart to the stage area.  After unpacking I ventured down to the pavilion where most were gathered to check out the goings on.  My initial priority was to snag a beer.  Fullsteam Brewery in Durham was there pouring Fullsteam Southern Lager and the delicious “Summer Basil” Farmhouse Ale.  I settled on the ale.  Also pouring were Foggy Ridge Cider and Cardinal Point Winery.  In addition, the Virginia Wine Board was on hand pouring offerings from a dozen or so outstanding examples of Virginia wineries.

Beer in hand, I surveyed the goings-on.  The first thing I see is Chef Rob McDaniel from the Springhouse restaurant in Alexander City, Alabama.  McDaniel appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America back in February as Sous Chef to Chris Hastings (incidentally, during the battle they vanquished Iron Chef Bobby Flay).  Rob and his crew were carefully constructing a fire in order to smoke handmade lamb sausages.  After that they put a stick in them and battered and deep fried ’em… LAMB CORNDOGS!  They were absolutely remarkable and served with whole-grain mustard, harrissa, tzatziki and a homemade peach hot sauce.  That was just a little snack.

Pork Charcuterie

I then took a venture into the realm of the pig.  Kevin Johnson, Executive Chef at The Grocery in Charleston, South Carolina produced a wonderful assortment of porcine goodies: I enjoyed a pork liver mousse, pork liver terrine and pork head cheese all served with okra and green bean pickles and a butterbean hummus that was truly one of the best bites I had all day.  There was also a beautiful posole.  While traditionally a hominy and pork stew, this version was made with not only pork but with a handmade lamb chorizo as well.  It was purported to be the best hangover cure ever.  My visit was for Monday only so I had no need of the cure but several of the party-goers who had been there since Saturday evidently enjoyed its benefits greatly.

Next I witnessed a feat that was truly remarkable.  Chef Craig Deihl of Cypress Restaurant in Charlston, South Carolina brought out a field-dressed whole lamb carcass and proceeded to filet the entire thing.  In one piece.  In front of the whole crowd.  Without making any mistakes.  It was beautiful to watch.  He then added fresh rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil and rolled and tied it into one big roulade about three feet long and eight inches in diameter.  He put it on a spit and hung it high above the fire to roast for the next four hours.  Meanwhile he rendered out the fat from the trimmings and used the animal’s own fat (infused with oregano) to baste it during the long, slow cooking process.


NEXT WEEK:  Music, oysters, and charcoaled lamb bones!

Filleted Whole Lamb


Tinnell’s Prepared Foods

Tinnell's Finer Foods

Tinnell’s Finer Foods

I know you are all familiar with Tinnell’s ham biscuits.  Undoubtedly you are all also familiar with our pimento cheese… right?  However, other than these two delectable comestibles, do you know about the wide array of prepared foods and side dishes we offer here at Tinnell’s Finer Foods?

If you are in a hurry on your way home you can pick up (depending on the day) cooked babyback ribs, rotisserie chicken, fried chicken, boneless or bone-in chicken wings or chicken fingers.  On various days we also offer cooked New York strips and roasted salmon.

If you have a few minutes to cook then consider Tinnell’s famous crab cakes – both “everyday” and “jumbo-lump” varieties, salmon croquettes, chicken kabobs or filet mignon kabobs.

We have chicken salads: Thai, Cousin Laurie’s and traditional.  We have ham salad, tuna salad, seafood salad, egg salad, deviled

Tinnell's Specialty Foods

Tinnell’s Specialty Foods!

egg potato salad, pasta salad, zesty bow tie pasta salad, Rusty’s bean salad and pistachio salad.  For side dishes we have a feta-olive past “toss”, roasted veggie pasta blend, roasted baby potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes with maple seasoning, macaroni & cheese, roasted Fuji apples, stewed okra and tomatoes, cole slaw, broccoli cole slaw and carrot raisin slaw.

Of course we have our world-famous ham biscuits and our equally well-known pimento cheese (as well it’s “south-western cousin”, the Tex-Mex pimento cheese!)  We have cheese slaw, roasted tomato bruschetta, black bean dip, trout dip and crab dip.

We also have dessert!  You may choose from banana pudding, Casey’s mud pie, “Ultimate” chocolate cake, Kentucky-bourbon pecan pie or turtle cheesecake.

In short, whatever your mood, time availability or victual propensity Tinnell’s Finer Foods has what you are looking for.  Swing on

Tinnell's Crab Cakes

Tinnell’s Crab Cakes

by this evening and check it out for yourself!