Our fave wine store, Cellar Rat, owned by one of our fave people, Deano (Waco Brothers, Dollar Store) is closing its doors on November 15th. With the holidays fast approaching, it's the perfect time to run on down and stock up with quality curated libations.
"I'm sad to announce that I'll be closing the doors at Cellar Rat for good. Our last day of business will be November 15th. To be frank, I've been struggling for some time. With a poor economy and ever increasing competition for a slice of a smaller pie, it's time to move on. While the store has been quite a drain on me financially and physically, there is still much of the experience for which I'm so grateful. First and foremost, I'm grateful to YOU, my customers. You've provided my livelihood for 5 1/2 years. Your interest and enjoyment of the traditional styles of wine that are my passion has been invigorating to me. Many of you have become friends, which is priceless. I've also learned a lot about business and myself along the way. It's sad to see a dream not work out but this has been far from a loss. I'll go forward in life much better off and I owe you all a debt of gratitude for the part you played. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I have a personal favor to ask of any of you that are so inclined and in a position to do so. I'll be facing a huge deficit at the end of these 10 remaining days. If you have the need or inclination to stock up for the holidays or even just buy a bottle or two, please choose Cellar Rat. If you like the experience you've had buying wine here over the years and can send a little of your business my way one last time, I'd be very grateful. Any sales I can make before the inevitable "everything must go" pricing goes into effect will help me enormously. There's still a great selection of wine in the store. Obviously, that selection will dwindle as we wind down, so try to stop in during the next few days if you can. Feel free to call or email if you'd like me to put together a selection for you- be it a case of every day drinkers, wines for Thanksgiving or a few gift bottles for later in the holiday season.
I have been in retail wine sales most of my adult life. 22 years and counting. I'll likely end up somewhere doing the same very soon. If so, I'll let you know. I hope to be selling wine to at least some of you for many years to come.
A warm thanks again to everyone. Please stop in and say hello sometime between now and the 15th!
He took some time from his busy schedule foisting merriment upon the masses to talk to the Onion AV Club about good cheap wines for the holidays, over priced champagne and tries to cement the term "breakfast wine" as a legitimate category.
Read it HERE
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Deano Recommends, where ask Dean Schlabowske of the Waco Brothers and Dollar Store for some wine pairings. What makes Deano the man to ask? Well, besides being a rock-and-roller, he's also the proprietor of the Cellar Rat Wine Shop in Chicago, IL.
This week, we ask Dean about the best wines to pair with the greatest part of springtime -- firing up the grill for the first time:
My feeling is that there's no point in getting to "fancypants" with wine
for BBQ. So, in cheap and cheerful mode, here are a few favorite matches -
Burgers - Juicy, spicy reds work nice. Try Shenandoah Zinfandel from Amador
County. Organically grown and only $9.99!
Ribs - If you're just using a dry rub, not a sweet sauce, dry Rose works
great. From Provence, try Figueirasee Gris de Gris for $10.99. With sauce,
a really fruity Aussie Shiraz like Raw Power is great at $14.99.
Brats - While the Milwaukee boy in me would drink beer, a nice off-dry
Riesling is a natural. I have a really tasty German bottling from Kloster
for only $9.99.
Shrimp - Something with a bit of weight but not oak works best. A fantastic
Pinot Gris from Emerson Vineyards in Oregon at $16.99 would be a winner.
Salmon - Bright, clean citrusy white Bordeaux works great. Pick the Chateau
Haut Rian, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, at a mere $12.99.
Happy Grillin' and Swillin',
You can download the new Deano / The Meat Purveyors album for free at deanowaco.com!
I've just put the finishing touches on an album I've been working on with my smart ass friends The Meat Purveyors from Austin, Texas. Imagine a marriage of their bluegrass on steroids, my songs and primitive, crunchy guitar and you'll get the picture. But, alas...you don't have to just imagine because I'm giving it away FREE, absolutely no strings attached! Just go to www.deanowaco.com and it's all there for you to preview and download to your heart's content.
Please do me a favor or two while you're at the site...sign up for my email list so I can send you info about more free tracks, shows, etc. And, if you're so inclined, throw a few bucks (or more if you're feeling flush) in the tip jar using Paypal. Think of it like I'm your bartender and I've just given you a round on the house!
One more thing...I'd love it if this could turn into a chain email, so please FORWARD this info to anyone and everyone you think might like the tunes!
Corporate Wine Still Sucks!
While we think it might be like putting the mouse in charge of the proverbial cheese vault to have a Waco Brother open a booze emporium, things are going well. "The Cellar Rat" was named the Best Wine Shop by the Chicago Reader.
Cellar Rat is a Wicker Park/Bucktown wine shop dedicated to providing the neighborhood an alternative to the factory made wines sold at grocery stores, markets and big box stores. Our selection is focused on small, family owned wineries using natural and traditional techniques. These wines, often priced the same or less than their mass produced counterparts, offer truly distinct flavor and character. Wine should be a fun part of everyday life- not a discipline for snobs. We want our store to be friendly, full of humor and great music. There will be organized tastings and events, of course, but any time you drop in, there will be an interesting bottle for you to try. In short, our mission is to sell you great, authentic wine at a fair price and for all of us to enjoy ourselves in the process!
1811 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
773 - 489 - 2-RAT ( 773 - 489 - 2-728 ) Cellar Rat website
Some words from Dean:
"I have worked in the retail wine trade in Chicago since 1990, most of that time as a buyer for two of Chicago's largest retailers. These positions have taken me to cellars of all the great wine producing regions of France as well as Italy, Australia, California and Oregon. In this time, I've tried to focus on listening to what the customer REALLY wants, then doing my best to put a bottle in their hands that will make them happiest. While I have the knowledge and experience to sell the most expensive wines, I get the most joy from finding great wines at prices people can afford. I sincerely hope I can become your neighborhood "wine guy"!