Shamrock Selections is a monthly subscription service that brings you the best wines from around the world. Each month’s selection is carefully chosen by sommelier Keegan Sparks and his team. He keeps a keen eye out for wines that are unique, rare, and new to our market. Shamrock Selections is ideal for enthusiasts and explorers who delight in finding hidden gems and trying new, exclusive vintages. Each month, you can join us on a journey of sampling and learning about some of the greatest wines in the world. Each selection of wine comes with detailed tasting notes and food pairing suggestions from our team.

This month we’re highlighting exciting new wines that have never been available in Arkansas until now. For the first time, O’Looney’s was able to order wine directly from France specifically for Shamrock Selections. This has allowed us to deliver some really knockout wines to you that we just couldn’t get any other way.

2015 Eric Chevalier Clos de la Butte Muscadet Côtes de Grand Lieu Sur Lie

The nose is subtle but complex white pear, white flowers, chamomile, fresh melon and a hint of ocean brine are all there. At first, there is a lot of tension on the palette. The body is light with racy acidity, but there is also a round creaminess to the texture. The wine is very tart, but give it time to breathe and warm up a bit and that tension is relieved and it becomes really sublime. When it comes to pairing a wine like this I like to go two ways. First is to match the intense acidity with similar dishes like oysters with lemon or sushi. The second path is to pair it with heavier cream sauces. Fried catfish with tartar sauce comes to mind as a uniquely southern pairing. When it comes to serving a wine like this I recommend chilling it ahead of time then decanting it and leaving it out of the refrigerator to warm up just a bit.

2015 Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil "Les Galichets"

The Bretons are one of the most interesting families in wine. They have been farming their twenty-seven acres of vineyard organically for over two decades. The “Les Galichets” is one of their single vineyard wines named for the gravel soil in the vineyard. The nose is bright with expressive notes of green pepper, tart cherries and a hint of smoked meat and spice. On the palate, it is quite dry with light body and refreshing acidity. The tannins are surprisingly fine for Cabernet Franc which can often be very rough and rustic. This will be the wine I pour at my family’s Thanksgiving celebration. It is perfect for pairing with the huge diversity of flavors on a Thanksgiving table. No need to get fussy with this wine. Just pull the cork and enjoy.

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If you’re anything like me, Thanksgiving can seem like the worst best holiday. Of course, there are so many great things – being surrounded by so many loved ones and tables full of wonderful food (and of course the wine to go with it!) But the holiday, especially if you’re playing host, can also be full of stress.

I may not be able to make sure your turkey comes out right, but I can at least take one stressor off your list: choosing wine.

Choosing wine for a big meal like this is harder than you might imagine. With a big group, everyone will have different tastes. Your Aunt Sue doesn’t like to drink anything other than moscato and your cousin Randy loves a merlot but hates all white wine. What’s a host to do? Well, first, you need to accept that you can’t please everyone. The most you can do it to find a wine (or two, I usually recommend a red and a white) that will be three things: tasty, affordable, and will work well with your food.

So, with those three things in mind, what should you actually get?

Well, first, let’s think about how much to get because that will often impact the wine you choose. I think it’s helpful to remember that there are 4 to 5 glasses in each standard sized bottle of wine (10 glasses if you’re getting magnums). From there, think about how much you anticipate your crowd drinking. Some people will have just one glass, and of course, others will have a bottle all to themselves (I am this person in my family and I will not apologize for it.).

So, now that we know how much we’re shopping for, what are we actually going to get? Well, as always, you have lots of options.


Chardonnay can seem like the safe choice and that’s because it is. A good chardonnay, especially one with a little bit oak to it will match savory dishes that contain nuts, wild rice or apples. Chardonnay’s natural fruit flavors and spiced vanilla aroma will also go hand in hand with turkey. Alternately, if you’re not a fan of buttery chardonnays, an unoaked one will still fit the bill with its apple and lemon flavors and full-bodied profile.


Is there a wine more traditionally linked to Thanksgiving than Beaujolais? I don’t think so. The link stated with a marketing gimmick that created “Beaujolais Day” as the third Thursday in November. This is the day that wine shops release the newest vintage of Beaujolais, just weeks after bottling. This weeks-old wine is made from 100% gamay, is called Beaujolais Nouveau, and its quality can vary widely each vintage. It’s not the only wine that carries the Beaujolais name, however. There are many producers in the area whose wines are all of excellent quality and would be the perfect, fruity addition to any Thanksgiving meal.

Pinot Noir

Pinot noir is, for very good reason, one of the world’s most famous varieties. Its flavors range from cherry and chocolate to warm earth and mushroom. For Thanksgiving, it can work with both light and dark meat turkey as well as cream based dishes like green bean casserole. And, of course, it’s the perfect compliment to cranberry sauce!


For those looking for something a little less traditional, a dry riesling or gewürztraminer might just do the trick. These two grapes are widely planted in the mountains of France and Germany and both come in dry and sweet styles. The flavors of these wines can range from the sweet apple and peach of riesling to the spicy floral notes of gewürztraminer. The high acidity of these grapes will help cut through the richness of traditional holiday foods.


What better way to show your thanks than with a toast of Champagne? But in actuality, Champagne would be a wonderful pairing throughout the entire meal. It’s bold enough to stand up to stalwart dishes like turkey and dressing, and, if your meal is skewing fruit heavy with cranberry sauce and the like, you’d find no better match than with a wonderful rosé Champagne. If true Champagne is out of your budget, no worries! There are plenty of option from all around the world that will work just as well.

The temperature is dropping, so check out what we’re drinking to stay warm!

O'Looney's + Loblolly Creamery Limited Edition Ice Cream

If you’re anything like me, ice cream is a year-round treat. I don’t care how cold it is, it’s never too cold for ice cream! We’ve partnered with the amazing Loblolly Creamery to produce a line of alcohol-flavored ice creams and sorbets that are available exclusively at O’Looney’s. In November, we’re debuting two new flavors: Banana Nut Marula and Pumpkin Spice Irish Cream! Banana Nut Marula is made with wonderful African Amarula liqueur, banana ice cream, and candied black walnuts. It’s available in our store until November 15th. From the 16th until the 29th, we’ll be featuring Pumpkin Spice Irish Cream made with Bailey’s!

– Seth

Maquis Cabernet Sauvignon

The cabernet sauvignon is newly available and just in time for the autumnal culinary shift.  Wines from Chile are grown in cooler, mountainous regions and tend to be more austere than one might imagine.  This cabernet has soft, smooth tannin with a slight vegetal note.  Pair with all of your root vegetables, red meats, and stinky cheeses.

– Susie

Michael David Petite Petit

Don’t let the cartoony label fool you, this is fantastic wine. The color is almost black to the rim, the aromas are meaty and peppery, and the flavors are very concentrated. The texture is thick and yet creamy with layered, smooth and bold tannins. For all its density and depth, however, this is not an overpowering monster. The blackberry and black pepper notes are rich and appealing and everything seems in balance for something this robust and full bodied.


2012 Produttori del Barbaresco

This is consistently the best value Barbaresco available. It is capable of aging gracefully for decades but this vintage is particularly approachable in its youth. 2012 is a particular fruit forward vintage that will please lovers of Barbaresco and anyone interested in Italian wine.


Boulevard Rye on Rye Sazerac Cocktail

Cherry, tobacco leaf, baking spice, brown sugar… these are just a few of the notes I pick when putting my nose in a glass of Boulevard’s Rye on Rye sazerac cocktail. This beer is part of Boulevard’s Smokestack series which branches out from traditional beer styles and into the realm of the experimental. The beer itself is a heavy Rye ale with spices aged in Templeton Rye whiskey barrels. Bittering spices and lemon peel were added to mimic the famous New Orleans Sazerac cocktail.

– Spencer

Luli Pinot Noir

The Luli Pinot Noir is extremely vibrant with dark berry and floral scents. It offers intense black raspberry and rose pastille flavors supported by a base of juicy acidity. It contains a long lasting finish with smooth tannins that add to the lush berry fruit. Earing 91 points from Vinous, this is an amazing wine with silky texture and impressive concentration

– Walker

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier

This wine is a great alternative for both Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc drinkers alike. With the first smell, you get a lovely honeysuckle floral aroma mixed with some tangerine. This wine is made completely using stainless steel tanks, so for those looking to venture away from the big oaky Chardonnays, this might just be right up your alley. I love this wine because I find it very refreshing and drinkable without having too much acidity. Something about blending these two varietals together seems to make for a very smooth drink. On the palate, you will definitely get that citrus and floral flavors again as well as a hint of bright Apple. This wine is so enjoyable and easy to drink and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to try something new.

– Carley

In our last post, we talked a bit about the grapes that make up Bordeaux’s red and white wines. This week, we’re going to dive deeper into the ways in which Bordeaux’s unique geography influences its wine.

Choose a Side

The Bordeaux region is bisected by the massive Gironde Estuary which splits at its base into the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. The estuary serves as the dividing line between what wine drinkers have come to call Bordeaux’s Left Bank and Right Bank.

Though the banks themselves are only separated by a few hundred meters, the soil composition of each side is quite different and can have a dramatic effect on which kind of grapes grow best and, in turn, can drastically affect the way wines from each bank taste.

Wines from Bordeaux’s Left Bank (much of which is actually south of the city of Bordeaux), are predominantly made up of cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Here, the soil is quite gravelly with a layer of limestone bedrock far below. The gravel forces the vines to stretch their roots deep into the soil in search of nutrients. The results in wines that exceptionally long-lived and incredibly valuable.

Across the river on the Right Bank, cabernet franc replaces cabernet sauvignon as the most planted grape behind merlot. The Right Bank’s soil is much less gravely than the Left Bank, and the limestone bedrock is buried just under the surface. Wines from the Right Bank are often said to be more aromatic with smoother tannins than their Left Bank cousins.

White Wines

Of course, not all wines from Bordeaux are red. Bordeaux’s white wines are blends of sauvignon blanc, semillon, and sometimes muscadelle. White Bordeaux can come two forms: dry and sweet.

Bordeaux’s best white wines come from the Left Bank region called Pessac-Leognan, just south of Bordeaux city. These are delicious blends that, depending upon the winemaking technique, can be either light or crisp or lush and full bodied.

Perhaps the most famous white wine made in Bordeaux is Sauternes, a semillon-heavy blend that, in some cases, can age in a cellar for decades. Sauternes is made near the small village that shares its name on the banks of the Garrone River. The unique topography of the area causes the ground to be frequently covered with fog. The moisture in the morning fog, combined with the heat of the afternoon sun often results in a special kind of fungus called botrytis (also known as the noble rot) to grow on the grapes. The botrytis concentrates the sugars in the grapes and makes an incredibly sweet wine with complex notes honey, beeswax, and candied citrus peel.

Entre Deux Mers

Between the Left and Right Banks, at the bottom of Gironde Estuary is an area known as Entre Deux Mers or, literally translated as “Between Two Seas.” This is Bordeaux’s least famous region, and most of the wine grown here is made into what is known as Vin de Pays, or a inexpensive, bulk wine that is very rarely imported out of France.