Thursday, December 13, 2018

Wrap Up Gift Shopping


Wishing you Holidays full of cheer!   Stop by and pick up one of our fine spirits, upscale liquors, or excellent wines to wind down your gift list.

For the season,  we also have a nice selection of gift sets, and even some top shelf stocking stuffers!  Here are some ideas:  (click to enlarge)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Pete's Thanksgiving Recommendations

Getting the feast ready?   Here are a few wine selections to compliment a great Thanksgiving meal.

Champagne is festive and goes well with most dishes and definitely desserts!

Try this one:

Etoile Brut Domaine Chandon:  Tiny bubbles elevate an attractive bouquet of ginger and brown spice. Appealing baked apple, honey and cinnamon flavors meld seamlessly with nutty caramel flavors gained from extended sur lie aging. The creamy and seamless structure combined with balanced acidity carries these flavors through the lingering finish. 

This new rose' we have would fit nicely with smoked turkey, ham, and most any holiday food. Lagrein Rose'

Speaking of dessert:  this looks fantastic!  A shortcut would be to purchase a jar of lemon curd.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Liqueur Cabinet: Halloween Treats Edition

Stir up some fun!

Zombie Alarm

2 parts Rum or Orange flavored Rum
1 part Triple Sec Liqueur
2 1/2 parts Pineapple juice
Drizzle of Grenadine 
Add ingredients to an ice-filled shaker
Shake and strain into a glass

Creepy & dramatic but easy

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Liqueur Cabinet: A Series of Libations featuring Madison Cellars liqueur selections; Part 5


Campari is an alcoholic spirit obtained from the infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit in alcohol and water. Many have tried to guess the number of ingredients: some say there are 20 or 60, but others list the ingredients at 80. To this day, alcohol and water are the only known ingredients of its special and secret recipe. Its vibrant red colour, intense aroma and distinctive bitter taste make it extremely versatile, and the perfect base for some of the most famous cocktails around the world.(website)


1 oz. London dry gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. vermouth rosso
cocktail glass

  1. Add the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake well with cracked ice.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Liqueur Cabinet: A Series of Libations featuring Madison Cellars liqueur selections; Part 4


the legacy of Absinthe

A Brief History 

• The first generation of Pernod®, an absinthe, was created in 1792 by a French physician who used the formula as a medicinal remedy for his patients.(Ed. note like so many)

• Henri-Louis Pernod acquired the absinthe formula and founded Pernod-Fils, an absinthe manufacturing company, eventually renaming the drink Pernod.

• The original Pernod consisted of 65-75% alcohol and the notorious hallucinogen, absinthe “Arthemisia Absinthium,” which gave Pernod a distinct reputation around the world. 

• After the imposition of a French ban on wormwood due to its hallucinogenic effects in 1915, the absinthe formula was modified, resulting in Pernod as we know it today – a 40% alcohol (80 proof) anise-flavored spirit. Its distinctive flavor is created through a combination of star anise and fennel and 14 aromatic herbs including camomile, coriander and veronica.

• Pernod is now distributed in over 170 countries, ranking among the top selling anise-flavored spirits in the world.

Cooking With Pernod

• Not only has Pernod become an internationally popular aperitif, but it is also commonly used as a zesty cooking ingredient in kitchens throughout the world.

• It is known to enhance vegetables, flavor any dish with a subtle hint of herb, or lend the perfect combination of sweetness and spice to dessert.

• In France, the vast majority of aniseed spirits are in fact “Pastis,” which is a complex, yet subtle aniseed and licorice combination, produced through maceration. Pernod is made through distillation and contains only a hint of licorice, which provides a lighter taste that makes it extremely versatile for cooking.

• Pernod is used by chefs worldwide for its ability to flavor the meal without overpowering its natural taste.

• It is best added at the end of the cooking process to yield the best flavor.

Pernod Product Description:

Pernod is a versatile, anise-flavored spirit that has been used in cocktails and cuisine for more than 200 years.  This premium liqueur is imported from France and its natural flavor is derived from a distilled blend of aromatic herbs - 40% Alc./Vol.

Tasting Notes:
Brilliant yellow color with radiant clarity.

Nose: The nose reveals waves of anise, fresh garden herbs, carnations, fennel and licorice.

Taste: The exotic bouquet, when tasted neat, is potent and bittersweet. With the addition of water, it turns milky-opaque and has a long, licorice-like finish.

read more My Favorite Summer Drink

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Moselle River Valley - wine region of Germany

Mid Summer dreams

The vine-dresser

Vines must be trimmed for production.

Vineyards are great for touring

Poem in Old German with sentiment "it's work to grow the grapes but easy to get the wine in your glass and forget your troubles"
Even steeper vineyards are to be found

Festival in Trier
Glassware in use with deposit .50 euro!

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.