Archive for the ‘Drinks’ Category


Each month at Zupan’s Markets, we feature 12 wines on special from a certain category, country or grape variety. For this month’s wine specials we are featuring approachable, affordable, mouthwatering French wines.  Each of our 12 selections, which could easily be found in bistros all over France, are wonderfully food friendly, represent their areas of origin, and are great values.

Steeped in tradition and romance, French wine can provide a profound wine experience.  It can also cause a befuddling shopping experience. Unlike New World wines, where grape variety is prominent,  the most important part of the French wine label is the appellation designation, indicating the wine’s quality level and where the grapes were grown. For example, in the U.S. we name a wine “Pinot Noir,” but in France the same wine would be named “Bourgogne” for the place where the Pinot Noir is grown.

This appellation distinction and regulation of wine making began in 1936 when the Appellations d’Origine Controllée (AOC) system was extended to wine making throughout the country. Translated, AOC means “controlled designation of origin” and was first started in the 15th century to regulate the making of Roquefort cheese. The French developed the AOC system to provide protection for specialized products only made in distinct regions, supporting the idea of “terroir” or that certain regions produce products with distinct and consistent character. This system allows for strict production regulations, including wine making techniques, authorized varieties and vine cultivation.

Over the years France’s wine classification system has been reformed and currently includes three categories. Listed from most basic to highest quality they are Vin de France, IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée) & AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée). This year even further changes are happening to replace AOC with AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée), however the new distinction only means minor changes to terminology with no changes to the appellations themselves.

With all that said, what is most important to remember in the discovery of French wine, is that in each bottle is the delicious result of centuries of trial and error, passion and stewardship. It is with that knowledge that we invite you to take the plunge into the wonderful world of French wine.

Check out the full list of wines on special this month.



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For many of you, some early memories of your mom involve seeing her hands in the rich, earthy soil, helping cultivate delicious fruits & veggies for your dinner table.  If she’s one that loves gardening and appreciates the simplicity and wholeness of fresh food, we’ve got a simple, yet stunning fresh salad that is sure to leave a big impact.  Her taste buds will sing for joy and she might even want seconds. 

Heirloom Caprese with Arugula & Walnut Pesto
*recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Katherine Haycox-Case
3 Heirloom Tomatoes – remove brown stem with a jagged edged strawberry huller and slice 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick (choose different colors for a visual treat!)
1 Mozzarella Ovoline – sliced 1/8″ thick top to bottom
1 8 oz. container AG Ferrari Arugula Walnut Pesto
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 t Maldon’s Smoked Sea Salt

1) Layer tomatoes and ovoline onto a white platter or onto individual salad plates.  You can lay down a bed of fresh arugula first if you want some greens in there!
2)  Spoon pesto directly onto plate.  Drizzle EVOO over tomatoes.
3) Sprinkle Maldon onto tomatoes and serve.

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We are proud to host our annual holiday event, The Taste of Zupan’s. Join us on Saturday, November 5th, at the Heathman Hotel from 10:30am-3pm.


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 Whether you’re hosting a casual get together or a formal New Year’s Eve dinner party, we’ve got something for everyone.   Thank you, Chris Denton, our ever knowledgeable Wine & Beer Steward at our Belmont store for these dazzling recommendations! Our top 3 holiday sparklers are as follows.  Happy New Year!

La Marco Prosecco ($15):  Prosecco is more popular than ever, and this one delivers white peach flavors and more character than most other offerings out there.

Roederer Estate Brut ($25):
From the makers of the famous Cristal comes this affordable facsimile of French champagne.   It offers lively bubbles and flavors of green apple and pear.

Clouet Rose ($48):
This is a real treat, a grower Champagne rose from the village of Bouzy.  It is a 100% Pinot Noir bubbly made from estate grown fruit rather than purchased from elsewhere.  Aromas of berries lift out of the glass followed by flavors of raspberries and strawberries, finishing with a hint of mineral.

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Cocktails, anyone?

Sometimes after a long, stressful day you just need to go home, put on some relaxing music , and whip up one of your favorite cocktails.  Want something new to try?  We’re sharing a great recipe that will surely leave you counting down the hours until you can sip it.  Cheers!

Pear Vanilla Sparkler

1/4 of a ripe pear, cut into pieces (Zupan’s has a great selection of new crop pears in right now!)
1/2 oz. honey syrup
1/4 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz. Navan (vanilla cognac)
1/2 oz. light rum
2 oz.  champagne

1) For the honey syrup, add equal parts of honey and water to a small saucepan, then bring to a simmer until the honey has melted into the water then allow to cool.

2) In the bottom of a shaker, muddle the pear in the honey syrup and lemon juice.  Add the vanilla cognac and rum, then stir briefly with ice.  Strain into a chilled champagne flute or martini glass and finish with champagne.  Garnish with a couple slices of pear.

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Get out of the greasy hamburger and hotdog gutter this fourth of July and make your guests eyes pop in wonder with some new recipes.  We have one great appetizer that will be sure to make your taste buds explode in wonder, and a refreshing pair of summery drinks that are perfect for kids and adults alike.
So whereever your celebrations take you this year, indulge in good food.  And most importantly, revel in America’s freedoms.

Marinated feta and olive skewers
Yields 24 skewers

2 t fennel seeds
2 t finely grated orange zest
3 T fresh orange juice
1 t cracked black peppercorns
4 oz. feta cheese, cut into twenty-four 1/2 inch cubes
24 fresh mint leaves
12 green pitted green olives, cut in half
1/4 large English cucumber, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
24 6-inch skewers

1) In a medium bowl, combine the fennel seeds, orange zest and juice, and pepper.  Gently stir in the feta and marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or up to 3 hours in the fridge.
2) To assemble the skewers, push a mint leaf about 3/4 inch up the skewer, then add a chunk of cucumber, and an olive half. Gently place a cube of the marinated feta on the end.

Strawberry-mint tea sparkling punch2 pints fresh Oregon strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and halved
1/2 C plus 2 T granulated sugar
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt
6 regular-size mint tea bags, about 1/2 oz. total
1 liter San Pellegrino sparkling water

1) Put the strawberries, 2 T of sugar, lemon juice, and a good pinch of salt in a food processor or blender. Process until you have a smooth purée, pour it into a container, and refrigerate until needed.

2) In a small saucepan, bring 2 1/4 C water to a gentle boil. Add the tea bags, remove from the heat, cover, and steep for 15 minutes. Pour the remaining 1/2 C sugar into a 3-quart heatproof container.  Remove the tea bags after steeping and pour the tea over the sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Add 6 cups cold water and stir again. Chill until cold.

3) To serve, combine the strawberry purée with the mint tea and stir well to mix completely.  For individual servings, fill stemmed glasses two-thirds of the way with the strawberry-mint tea and top off with sparkling water.

Citrus tea punch3 oz. fresh spearmint
2 large pitcher size tea bags (for iced tea), such as Lipton
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
1 C fresh lemon juice (from 4-6 medium lemons)
1 C fresh orange juice (from about 4 medium oranges)

1) Put the mint in large heatproof pitcher and pour in 6 C boiling water.  Add the tea bags and let steep for 30 minutes.  Remove the tea bags, strain out the mint, and stir in the sugar and juices.  Let cool to room temperature, then put in the fridge until cold.  Stir before serving, then serve over ice.

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Tax Day Woes?

Got the tax day woes?  We figure lots of you do, so what better way to forget Uncle Sam and indulge in a delicious drink. We’ve included a great recipe for one of our favorites — mojitos — so go ahead, you deserve it!  Mix it, shake it, and drink it!

Lemongrass Mojito
1 1/2 oz. light rum
1/2 oz. simple syrup
4 oz. Lemongrass DRY Soda
5 leaves fresh mint
1/2 C ice
1/2 lime cut into quarters

Add ice cubes, lime, and fresh mint into a pint glass or martini shaker.  Using a muddler, crush ingredients until mint is finely broken up.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.  Pour into your favorite glass and garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint.

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