Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Madison Cellars Celebrates 30th Anniversary

(Madison, Miss., April 12, 2018) Madison Cellars Fine Wines and Spirits is celebrating its 30th anniversary on April 17 from 2 to 3 p.m. Stop by to help proprietor Pete Clark and his staff commemorate 30 years of success and service to the Madison community.

Pete worked as a geological aide and driller for the Mississippi Geological Survey for seven years before he made the decision to open a business alongside his brother Jim in 1988.

“At that time, there was not much retail in the City of Madison, but we saw the potential for growth,” Pete said. “Madison Station Shopping Center with Jitney Jungle had just opened in 1987, and there were a few retail spaces available. After doing some research, we decided a wine shop next to the grocery store would be a good fit for us as well as the Madison community.”

The store began as a 400 square foot shop with just two wine racks and some liquor. With no other shelving, Pete often had to use empty boxes from other area wine stores to stack product for display.

“I didn’t know much about wine and liquor in the beginning,” Pete said. “I was more of a beer drinker. I began doing research and taking courses to become a sommelier. Luckily the business grew at such a pace that I was able to take the time to really learn more about and appreciate wines.”

Today, the store has expanded to over 4,000 square feet and offers a large selection of fine and unusual wines and liquor. For three years in a row, the store has been named to the Best liquor store in Mississippi by the Clarion Ledger's readers.

Over the years, Madison Cellars has managed to remain one of the top retailers in the state.  Currently, it ranks 12th overall out of 600 package stores and 8th in wine sales. The store is constantly growing and evolving with new people and products showing up every day it seems.

Pete said the best part of his job is the relationships he has created with the Madison community as well as his employees.

“My employees are considered part of my family, and they genuinely care about the business and developing relationships with our customers,” he said. “With our regular customers, we are often able to anticipate their needs because of the personal relationships they have built with them. I aim to build loyalty with both my customers and my employees.”

Pete said that while big box stores who carry similar products have started to crop up in the area, his customers realize the value of shopping local. “The advantage of shopping at a locally-owned business is that we are able to care for each customer’s needs and are knowledgeable about the products we are selling,” he said. “A smaller retailer is far more focused on the individual customer and providing quality products and service. At Madison Cellars, we appreciate each customer and want to make them happy about where they have decided to shop. “

Pete said there are also some misconceptions about pricing at traditional shops compared to the stack to the high roof stores. “I have shopped around and found prices do indeed vary depending on the individual item,” he said. “I know a few items will be slightly higher or lower depending on where it’s bought, but to drive all over to find a cheaper price is self-defeating. Locally-owned businesses will usually make efforts to bring the price in line if it is way off, and that’s not something you’re likely to discover at warehouse stores.”

Pete strongly believes in giving back to the community he serves. Whether it be raising money for Alzheimer’s of Mississippi by the auctioning of the very rare Pappy Van Winkle bourbon to mentoring young people at church, work and in the community, Pete always looks to support and lift others.

“Madison Cellars donates to just about every local charity, fundraiser, community golf tournament, school and church function that requests donations,” Pete said. “The people who work here live in Madison and send their children to the public and private schools in the area. It makes a difference in where you live if you know where your money is going after it hits the register. Small shops do not get big tax breaks or incentives to open or send their deposits to billion dollar corporations. It all stays local, and I like that. ”

One unique way Pete uses his business to give back is by donating scotch to the Gravediggers Guild at Chapel of the Cross. This group digs all of the graves by hand of those who are to be buried at the Chapel.  There is an old Celtic tradition of consecrating the ground with spirits as the grave is being dug. At the finish, the remaining scotch is poured into the ground and prayers are offered up.

“I have learned over the years that Pete uses his work as a ministry alongside it being his livelihood,” said Corey McKnight, a long-time employee of Madison Cellars. “Through celebrations, times of relaxation, and even grieving, he uses his work to add a human touch for others during both the significant and mundane moments of life.”

By serving the community and working hard over the last 30 years, Pete Clark has created a thriving business with Madison Cellars and hopes to continue serving the people of Madison for many years to come.

Madison Cellars is located at 1038 Highway 51. You can visit Pete and his two dogs Sugar and Lou on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 601-856-0931.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Liqueur Cabinet: A Series of Libations featuring Madison Cellars liqueur selections; Part 3

Featuring  Patrón Citrónge Orange

Sweet and smooth Patrón Citrónge liqueurs are a Simply Perfect addition to any cocktail.


Citrónge Paloma

Sparkling soda and grapefruit juice blend with smooth Patrón Silver and Citrónge Orange for an enhanced take on the classic, citrusy cocktail.

Ice: Standard
Glass: Highball
Garnish: Grapefruit wedge


.5 oz Patrón Citrónge Orange
1.5 oz Patrón Silver
2 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
2 oz Club soda
1 Pinch of sea salt
Grapefruit wedge for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, shake spirits, grapefruit juice and sea salt.
Strain onto fresh ice in a highball glass and top with club soda, stirring gently.
Garnish with a half-wheel slice of fresh grapefruit.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Liqueur Cabinet: A Series of Libations featuring Madison Cellars liqueur selections; Part 2

The Martinez
(featuring Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur)

1 oz - 30 ml London Dry Gin
2 oz - 60 ml Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Maraschino Luxardo
1 dash bitters

Stir ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice, strain and serve into a chilled cocktail glass.

Lemon peel and olive.

Originally, the drink was shaken and served up with a slice of lemon.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Liqueur Cabinet: A Series of Libations featuring Madison Cellars liqueur selections; Part 1


Peach Potion

1 Part(s) Peach Liqueur
1 Part(s) Orange Liqueur
1 Part(s) Pineapple Juice

Serve as a chilled shot or over ice.
(Source: Gran Gala website)

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Valentine's recipe

red wine chocolate fudge brownies

March 4, 2012

What do you do with that last little bit of wine?
Do you save it for the next day, knowing it will be so-so?
Do you pour it out, but feel guilty because you are a resessionista and waste nothing?
Do you go ahead and drink it, just for the sake of it?
These are my life questions at this very moment.
Next time you find yourself in this situation – shake that bottle for every last drop and bake your little bit of wine into a pan of deep, rich, and fudgy chocolate brownies.
These brownies get a double-hit of chocolate from both semisweet chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder but you could go all triple-threat and fold in chocolate chips to the batter if you had them on hand.
The wine intensifies these little buddies and brings out major chocolate flavor.
These are brownies that are not messing around.
I also suggest not skipping the glaze – you can make it while the brownies bake – but the thin spread of red wine chocolate goodness is well worth the extra step. As the layer of fudge sets the wine flavor becomes more pronounced and turns a humble pan of red wine brownies into an ultra-decadent and fancypants glazed dessert.
Red Wine Chocolate Fudge Brownies
Makes one 8×8 pan
For the brownies:
4 ounces (120 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine
2 eggs
1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar
1/4 cup (53 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) vanilla
1/2 cup (62 grams) flour
1/4 cup (25 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
For the glaze:
2 ounces (60 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon (21 grams) butter
2 tablespoons (30 ml) red wine
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter an 8×8 pan and line with two sheets of parchment paper, then butter the parchment. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate and the butter together in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, sugars and vanilla. Whisk in the chocolate mixture and then the wine. Add the flour, cocoa powder and salt and stir until the batter is smooth and has thickened slightly. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a tester comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs attached. You may need to bake the brownies for a few minutes more, but set your timer for 15 minutes and then hang out in your kitchen for the last few minutes of baking time just to make sure they don’t over bake. An underbaked brownie is better than an overbaked one.
While the brownies are baking make the glaze. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water until melted. Add the butter, wine and salt and whisk until smooth. Pour the glaze over the warm brownies and spread it to the corners so the top is evenly coated.
Cool completely and cut into squares.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Enter your bid for the Great Pappy Van Winkle silent auction!
Madison Cellars is joining forces with Alzheimers Mississippi in an effort to raise money for dementia research. All the money raised stays in Mississippi.
Come by the store to fill out your contact information and bid for this once in a lifetime opportunity to score the entire line of Van Winkle bourbons.
Drawing will be New Year’s Eve 12-31-2017.
See store for more details..

Monday, November 27, 2017


Try our selection - always something new!

Where would we be without liqueurs? Well, there’d be no Cosmopolitan, no White Russian and no Kir, for a start – all classic cocktails that people keep on mixing. Liqueurs may be in the shadow of spirits; the second in line after some of the most famous brands, but we’d be lacking some great drinks without them. It may be the second ingredient to go in but, yes, sometimes it’s the liqueur that makes the cocktail. 

So they’re often overlooked, and frequently mistaken too. In the U.S. the word ‘liquor’ means any kind of alcohol, including beer and wine as well as any kind of spirit. A liqueur, on the other hand, is a spirit that’s sweetened and flavoured with fruits, herbs and spices – or indeed cream, coffee and chocolate. So get that one right or you could be in for an unusual-tasting drink!

However, like most classic forms of alcohol they also go back a long way. Some believe the liqueur is the direct descendant of herbal medicine. That could be true, although at the same time that spirits were invented, people may well have been quickly adding herbs, fruits and spices to the resulting liquid too. Some artisans would surely have had to disguise their not-yet-perfect distilling techniques with a few strong flavors.

It took a group of monks, however, with the time, inclination and space to grow and distil, to produce liqueurs on something resembling scale – that is a few 100 or so bottles. All those extensive walled herb gardens couldn’t go to waste! This was some time around the 13th century when just the monks and their visitors could enjoy the products of their distilling and cultivation. Moving into the 17th, we find liqueurs cropping up in recipe books, being valued for their culinary qualities as well as their sipping suitability.

Then 100 years later, the penny drops. The monks realise there is money and reputations to be made from liqueurs. They release their products beyond the monastery walls and people begin to snap them up. The secret is out: liqueur companies appear, flavoured with fruits, nuts and herbs. By the late 19th century the market for liqueurs is worldwide. The ‘crème de...’ (cream of...) description was commonly used in French name for fruit liqueurs, despite the fact none of them contain cream. There’s crème de menthe and crème de cassis, which are both delicious and popular.

Liqueurs aren’t only about taste however. They are also prized for their texture. Thanks to what is often a thicker consistency, liqueurs are used in layered drinks – Baileys, orange liqueur and coffee liqueur in a B52 for example. These drinks are about serving thick stripes of different colour liquids in a glass. It looks mighty impressive – and this heavier texture could be where the ‘crème de’ prefix comes from.

However ‘crème de’ was given a twist towards the end of the last century. A new kind of cream liqueur appeared, with a thick creamy texture, driven by the ‘Irish Cream Liqueur’ known as Baileys. It has since spawned new flavors, and a whole host of exciting drinks.