Vino Classico – Our Biggest Event of the Year!

Our Annual Vino Classico wine and beer tasting is coming up fast!

A lot of grapes and a few hops are among the winning ingredients for “Vino Classico with a Beer Chaser,” a popular wine and beer tasting and silent auction fund-raiser that will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Eden Prairie Community Center, 16700 Valley View Road in Eden Prairie.

The Eden Prairie (A.M.) Rotary Club organizes the annual event to raise money for its many community, national and international programs, including STRIVE student mentoring; service projects in Peru, Africa, India and Honduras; the well-known Golden Eagle Award; and an annual recognition banquet for Eden Prairie High School behind-the-scenes achievers called Above & Beyond Awards.

Vino Classico, which annually draws more than 400 guests, will feature more than 100 varieties of wine and at least a dozen types of beer. Attendees will be able to order specially priced bottles of the beverages through Eden Prairie Liquor Stores. In addition, they can enjoy food samples from local restaurants and stores.  If you are new to Eden Prairie, you will not want to miss this opportunity to meet your new neighbors and share a toast to our great city!

The event features a silent auction, with dozens of items donated by area businesses – including event tickets and sports memorabilia – and a “Wall of Wine” raffle.

Mark your calendar now!  You can purchase tickets at any of our Eden Prairie Liquor Stores for $35 in advance or $45 at the door. 

Jessica Blog Pic 


 Jessica Tapper, Liquor Store Manager


Platinka Vodka is HOT!!!

plantinkaWith our current day variety on wines and spirits, vodka still retains a strong favorite; holding over half of all liquor sales nationwide.  So it is not surprising that new brands emerge every day.  Some of our best known vodkas are considered to be Russian or Polish spirits, but a little country in between those two nations is trying to make a name for itself through Platinka vodka.

Shortly before last year’s holiday season there were no vodkas available that were made in Belarus, when a local resident of our neighboring city of Shakopee, Sergei Gremeniuk, introduced his platinum filtered Platinka vodka that his company imports from Belarus. 

This is what Sergei told us about Platinka:

“I was born and raised in Minsk, Belarus until I moved to Minnesota in 2001.  Growing up in former USSR (and later, Belarus) we did not have a big variety of alcohol products, but always had access to great vodkas.  Naturally, my taste formed and gravitated towards vodkas; However, I always struggled to find an affordable (around $20) alternative to ultra-premium vodkas that would have great taste and can be enjoyed neat without breaking the bank. 

I still have a family in Belarus and visit them from time to time, and every time I went to visit them, the only things I would bring back with me were different vodkas.  After a while, I set on a course to change the situation.  The search took about one year, but at the end we struck a deal with one of the oldest and the best distilleries in Belarus.  They’ve been around for 115 years, used to produce Stoli for export, and know their craft like no one else.  We developed the samples and entered them into the most prestigious competition in the U.S., the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, where every year 33 elite judges evaluate over 1300 spirits using blind tasting. 

I knew we had great vodka, but when Platinka took the Best Vodka of the show along with the highest ranking of Double Gold medal, all our “theories” got validated and we started to import Platinka in the U.S. later in that year.”

Platinka is made with 100% rye that is distilled five times before it’s blended with the finest artesian water and filtered through a platinum filtration system.  This system takes away all extra impurities and makes Platinka a very clean, sippable vodka.  Platinka is the spirit of the month in September at our Eden Prairie Liquor Stores and is only $15.99 ($4.00 off) for a 750ml bottle.  We have Platinka tastings scheduled throughout the month at all three stores so come out to meet Sergei and taste this award-winning, Best Vodka of 2012.




Tammy Wanchena, Central Buyer

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