Chanhassen Haskell’s franchise owner Mark O’Connor is someone worth chatting with if you’re interested in your next best holiday wine. With more than 20 years of experience in restaurants and liquor stores, O’Connor offers insight and knowledge with a creative spin when it comes to wine education. Inspired by watching wine expert James Bond, O’Connor began learning about wine when he was only 12 years old. “When people learn about wine, they become more comfortable with it and enjoy it more. That's what these classes are all about,” he says.
If you can’t make one of his Wednesday night tasting classes (see & for more details), consider one of three wines recommended by John Farrell, vice president of sales and merchandising for Haskell’s.
- For a budget-friendly wine, Nouveau Beaujolais bursts with fresh fruity flavors, best when chilled. Made from 100 percent Gamay grapes, this wine awakens the palate with a distinct zing of berries. This French wine comes out the third Thursday of November every year. $8.99
- Choosing the right wine to go along with a meal can be a challenge, especially when serving food with strong flavors. When you bust open a bottle of Tobias Chardonnay, its rich apple taste complements savory dishes such as chicken, pheasant or even broiled walleye with a soft finish. $24.99
- Sophisticated and elegant qualities drizzle out from bottles of Hartwell Miste Hill, harvested in the prestigious vineyards of Napa Valley. Not only does this fruity wine have deep, complex flavors of black cherry and plum, it also serves as a wonderful companion for red meat, strawberries or chocolate. $39.99
Join Mark O’Connor at the Chanhassen Haskell’s every Wednesday for a free wine tasting class.