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Goodie bag
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For the classic Oktoberfest–Marzen, keep your eyes peeled for Ayinger Oktoberfest

Aaaah, fall is in the air – and the wine trade show invitations are flying!

Last week, I trolled vendors represented by National Distributing Co. and Atlanta Wholesale Wines and found a few goodies you’ll see more of in coming weeks.

Put mine in a box

Don Sebastiani and Sons have a reputation for making very consumer accessible and value–driven wines. They kick that attraction up a notch this fall with a new line of boxed wines. Dubbed “The Big Green Box,” the wines will come in four single–varietal packages which are also entirely recyclable – even the cardboard comes from sustainable forests.
I’ll have tasting notes in a couple of weeks. Also, one of my favorite mass market wines from Don and Sons, Smoking Loon, is sporting a new label. Same great juice, same affordable price tag.

Das Boot!

What’s a good Oktoberfest party without a genuine German biergarten glass boot? Score one at www.patinastores.com. The boot holds one liter of your favorite brew and, as you near the bottom, the challenge is to guzzle the last few ounces without an air pocket blowout. Here’s the trick: Tip the toe to the left or right to allow the bubble to slide harmlessly up the side. No need to spill good beer!

Speaking of Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest beers, also called marzen, are easily drinkable, mass quantity beers made especially for the popular German events that are now an international reason for the season. Our favorites this season come from Highland Brewing Co., Left Hand Brewing Co. and Samuel Adams. Score these great seasonal beers now – they won’t last on shelves until October! For the classic Oktoberfest–Marzen, keep your eyes peeled for Ayinger Oktoberfest. It’s in short supply but is the best example of this beer style, especially on tap.

Spooky thoughts, Part II

Speaking of all things October, I dropped into the Crypt Pub last week for a beer and was pleased to see a nice selection of draft beers available. One shortcoming is no printed list – and a bartender who couldn’t tell me the line–up. The taps are at the back of the restaurant, so I hiked back to eye–ball the taps myself. I settled on a Hobgoblin Brown Ale from Wychwood Brewery Co., a legendary UK brewer. Good beer, service needs to get serious.