Just Down the Road…

Parley Lake WineryAre you looking for a fun wine getaway that doesn’t include airfare and hotels? 

The perfect escape to Wine Country is right here in our backyard, Parley Lake Winery in Waconia, Minnesota.  Their hand-crafted wines have won 50 medals including eight Gold in National competitions.  The Star Tribune has awarded Parley Lake Winery and Deardorff Orchards  the “Best Tasting Tandem” in Minnesota.

Parley Lake Winery and Deardorff Orchards have 125 rolling, wooded acres that are adjacent to the Carver Park Reserve and offer the chance to experience seven acres of Vineyards, 20 acres of orchards, and locally grown and produced wines. The winery also serves Fulton Beer for those that aren’t fans of wine.  Check out their calendar for a fun day of music, food or just wandering the winery.

8350 Parley Lake Road Waconia, Minnesota (952)442-2290

Tasting Room is open September 6-October, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Plus, the Parley Lake wines are carried at all three Eden Prairie Liquor locations – so if you discover a few you like, you’ll know where to find them in the future!

Tana Wold, Liquor Store Manager

New Vendor to Eden Prairie Liquor Stores

Here is what Tim Tripp, Eden Prairie resident had to say about our stores and Vine Line Distribution, a new distributor to the area!

I have been an Eden Prairie resident and wine club member since 2006. I remember when the store by Kowalski’s was a Snyder’s and the store by Rainbow was much smaller. The renovations certainly made our EP stores more enjoyable and expanded the wine selections. We really like the expanded selection. As wine lovers on a budget, we are always on the search for the ten and under bottle that tastes like a $20 and over bottle. There are some special occasions, like weekends, Thursdays, and some Wednesdays, when one is willing to spend a little more on a bottle of wine; especially if the dinner plans include a ribeye or that homemade red sauce pasta dish.  But when it comes to Monday night leftovers or Tuesday night frozen pizza, finding the value wine is critical. We found some great wines and used the wine club discount to stock up, but invariably the price goes up or the vintage changes, or both, and then it is time to look for a new weeknight wine.

Imagine my surprise when my friends from childhood, Tony and Todd Libby (brothers), let me know that they were starting a wine distribution company that would offer a focus of great wines at prices that would fit in when we were having TV dinners or tenderloin. After a long road of getting set up those first few sample bottles were shipped and I was invited to help them taste the wine line up. There were sweet ones that some people really like and there were some fruity wines that other people like, then there was the Valley View wines. These were exactly what I look for in a wine that can be the week night winners because they fit right in the price range, but they can also hold their own as a guest impresser and I have found some great pairings with a few of my own recipes that I am most proud of.

You can find Valley View wines and more in all three of our Eden Prairie Liquor Stores today!  Vine Line Distribution will be one of the vendors pouring at our Rotary Wine Event on Saturday, October 12.






Tammy Wanchena, Central Buyer

Great Summer Cocktail Recipes!

sangriaI am super excited about Carl, one of our new hires at the Eden Prairie Liquor location next to Rainbow Foods, as he has been a bartender for years and keeps coming up with amazing drink recipes for me!  

Here are a couple he gave me this summer… 

The Ridicule
 1.25 oz. Malibu Coconut Rum
  .75 oz. Midori melon liquor
fill glass with pineapple juice
garnish with a pineapple slice and cherry
Fill a tall glass (14-16 ounce glass) with ice and pour ingredients in the order above.  Enjoy!
Blush Sangria
 3-4 oz. Barefoot Refresh Perfectly Pink wine
1.25 oz. peach schnapps
fill glass with pineapple juice
top with Sprite

Fill a tall glass ( at least 16 ounces or larger) with ice and pour ingredients in the order above.  If you want to make drinks for more than one person at once, the recipe can be expanded for a pitcher.  Fill a large pitcher with ice and pour in the entire bottle of Barefoot along with 5 ounces of peach schnapps. If you don’t have a pitcher big enough you could cut this recipe down to allow for all the ingredients.  Now fill the pitcher with pineapple juice leaving enough room for a topper of Sprite and stir.  Garnishes for this Sangria are strawberries, maraschino cherries, limes, and oranges.  Squeeze the citrus and drop in along with the other fruit.

On a sidebar, if you make a pitcher of sangria, maybe start without ice in the pitcher…instead ingredients only.  Fill 4 or 5 glasses with ice and pour sangria into them instead.  It will give you more room to mix the ingredients.

Thanks Carl, for the incredible cocktails! 

My family really enjoyed them at our last reunion and I can’t wait to make them again.




Tammy Wanchena, Central Buyer


May is Oregon Wine Month!

March was a funny month for me as I believe I may have met every winemaker in Oregon.  And what was funny about that was March is Washington Wine Month!  Now it is May and our friends from the Willamette Valley are far too busy to come and visit.  But I asked Jesse Lange, creator of some of my favorite new wines at Eden Prairie Liquors, to write a little something about his success with Oregon winemaking.  Lange Vineyards was voted “Winery of the Year” for 2012 from Wineland Spirits. 

Here is what Jesse had to say:

Our small family winery and vineyard has operated in the heart of Oregon wine-country- The Dundee Hills, since our first vintage in 1987. We started with a dream to make world class pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot gris. Twenty six vintages later, we are still chasing the perfect pinot! That being said, we still hand-craft all wines from small, focused viticulture on the farm and usher each wine to bottle many months later. In a world of mass produced wines, our philosophy dictates that we make wines that not only have inherently high quality, but also maintain a sense of regional and varietal integrity. While its been superb to garner accolades from respected third parties, our commitment to our customers and our wines remains the same. Like we say at the winery, “Its your palate, its your party!”. -Jesse Lange, Lange Estate Winery

Recent Accolades from Wine & Spirits Magazine

93 Points: 2009 Pinot Noir “Freedom Hill Vineyard”

92 Points: 2009 Pinot Noir “Lange Estate Vineyard”

92 Points & Best Buy: 2010 Pinot Noir “Willamette Valley”

92 Points: 2010 Chardonnay “Three Hills Cuvee”

91 Points: 2009 Pinot Noir “Three Hills Cuvee”

90 Points: 2009 Pinot Noir “Reserve”

90 Points: 2011 Pinot Gris “Reserve”

BLOG Photo-2-100x150 Tammy Wanchena, Central Buyer

Beer Festivals That Make Me Smile!

APN_LogoOn this gloomy April day I was trying to think happy, warm, summer thoughts and I came across these awesome craft beer festivals.

All Pints North Summer Brew Fest

I was so excited to see that tickets went on sale April 15th for the Summer Brew Fest in Duluth!! I jumped online and bought two tickets. What can be better than a beautiful sunny day in July sipping delicous craft beer!! Here are the details…

Saturday, July 13, 2013
3-7 p.m.
Bayfront Festival Park | Duluth, MN
Approx. 2,500 attendees
$30 in Advance (Limit 6) | $40 at the door (if available) | $10 Sober Driver Ticket
Tickets on sale Monday, April 15, 2013 @ Noon CST
For tickets visit tempotickets.com/apn

There is also another really fun beer event in the fall for those of you that prefer the cool, crisp fall air. The Autum Brew Review is in Northeast Minneapolis at the historic Grain Belt Brewery complex. The event will be held September 28, 2013 and tickets go on July 15 so mark your calendars!

ABRAutumn Brew Review 2013

An Outdoor Beer Sampling Festival Dedicated to the Fine Art of Craft Brewing. The 13th annual Autumn Brew Review craft beer festival will take place on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at the historic Grain Belt Brewery complex in Northeast Minneapolis!

Beer and brewers from all across the nation will be on-site for the largest annual celebration of craft beer in Minnesota. This non-profit outdoor festival, produced by and benefiting the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, will feature unlimited beer as well as non-alcoholic samples, a commemorative tasting glass, live music, tasty food vendors on-site, vote for your favorite beer and table display competitions, beer educational sessions & tours, random shenanigans, and a good time to be had by all at this beautiful historic venue on the banks of the mighty Mississippi.

Tickets On-Sale July 15, 2013 at noon. Advance ABR tickets will be available for purchase for attendees of the All Pints North Summer Brew fest in Duluth on July 13!

    Tana Wold, Liquor Store Manager