Hidden Gems

For this blog we wanted some hidden gems.  These items have been around for quite some time but don’t get all the attention that I believe they deserve.  That is true for all the items listed below except for one.  There is one hidden gem that is becoming fully exposed and recognized for what it truly is.  I’ll start with that on.

Black Box wine is on fire right now, at Family Fare, in the state of Michigan, and across the US of A.  People are recognizing the amazing value these wine items offer.   The value is both in the price and in the juice, a real bang for your buck.  We have this item in our ad this week at 19.99.  At three liters in volume that is 4 bottles of really good juice at 20 bucks, or, 5 bucks a bottle.  The other beautiful thing about Black Box is that the wine stays better quality for a longer period of time due to the oxygen not being able to get at the juice.  As wine is dispensed, the bag inside the box collapses, allowing no air to touch the wine.  Oxygen is what kills the wine.  Normally we don’t drink a bottle wine much past 3-4 days after it was opened, and in the refrigerator.  Box wine can keep up to six weeks, which is very convenient.  The juice is new world wine from quality vineyards and is very good juice.  It is a gem that is getting much recognition. In this weeks ad in Michigan and available at a great price everyday in all Family Fare stores.

The second wine has been around a long time and is delicious.  It is a blended white wine of Gewurztramier and Rielsing from Australia.  The wine is Rosemount Estates Traminer Riesling.  If you are a fan of sweet wine and wish to work your way towards drier wine, this is your next favorite.  There is great yellow and green light in this wine, and great aromas of flowers and minerality.  The front palate of this wine is sweet and finishes semi –dry.  A perfect wine for Asian or spicy dishes.  It is an outstanding sipper and as an appertif.  Makes your mouth water. Available in Michigan.

A new beer that as arrived on the scene at Family Fare this year is Two Hats.  Brought to us by Miller, this product follows the wave of fruited beer that is very popular.  One of the flavors is lime and the other is pineapple.  I was skeptical of the flavor of pineapple but I needn’t be, this pineapple really works in this beer.  Only 4.2% ABV, this beer also plays well with the lower alcohol trend. Available in all Family Fare stores.

Another beer item that is a hidden gem is one of my favorites, Schofferhofer.  This is a German hefeweizen blended with grapefruit juice.  Light, refreshing, and crisp are the words that characterize this gem.  It also has only 2.5% ABV which makes this beer all the better.  It is a very good pontoon boat beer. Available in all Family Fare stores.

Gin is making a comeback.  It is no longer your grandfather’s choice.  Distillers and local distillers are making gin with more than just juniper, that distinctive pine flavor that is traditionally gin’s moniker.  New Holland Brewery and Distiller, Michigan’s largest distiller, has a gin name Knickerbocker Blueberry Gin.  We have two towns on the west coast of Lake Michigan, Grand Haven and South Haven.  Between these two towns, you will find some of the best blueberries grown in the state.  A blueberry gin that tastes fantastic.  We have found the best pairing with Knickerbocker Gin is Simply Lemonade.   Get a glass of ice, add a shot of Knickerbocker Gin and fill with Simply Lemonade.  Find a shade tree and a friend and discuss whatever is on your mind. Available in Michigan.

Greg Vanoverloop Beer Wine Spirits Category Manager


Greg VanOverloop, Beer & Wine Specialist

  • Started in the Grocery business bagging at D&W in 1975.  Worked at D&W for 30 years in various departments.
  • Worked at SpartanNash for 11 years.  Currently the Category Manager for Wine/Beer/Spirits for SpartanNash East.
  • Have been a category manager since 1990 and a category manager of beer  since 1997.  CM of wine and spirits since 2007.
  • Have travelled extensively which provided the opportunity to taste many foods and beverages from Hong Kong to Caribbean, from California to Maine.
  • Love to cook, grill, and bake, snow ski, sail, and read books.    Best baked item – a bourbon pecan pie with rum crust.  Best grilled item – salmon with blueberry onion wine sauce and goat cheese.  Best cooked item – Squash Apple soup with bourbon.  Best ski slope – Go Devil at Keystone.  Best book – Wonder.
  • 1 wife, 3 children, 7.3 grandchildren.