Rated D/F

Reviews of spirits, wine, and beer (and various errata like mixers and garnishes) comprise more than 80% of the content at Drinkhacker. This category is a catch-all for everything rated D+, D, D-, or F, our lowest rating. These products should be categorically avoided by everyone (and preferably discontinued altogether). On a five-star scale, these products would score 1.5 stars (for D+ ratings) or 1 star (for D, D-, and F ratings). On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores 68 or below.

Dr. McGillicuddys Schnapps

Review: Dr. McGillicuddy’s “Intense” Schnapps

By Christopher Null | December 23, 2011 |

I am starting to question this “Doctor’s” medical credentials. Apple Pie Schnapps? Hmmm, color me suspicious. Designed as “party shots,” Dr. McGillicuddy’s offers a range of traditionally flavored Schnapps… plus these four new modern additions. We braved our way into the quartet (in this order) with as open a mind as possible. All are 42…

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Review: Simply Naked Wines, 2010 Vintage

By Christopher Null | July 27, 2011 |

Wine and wood go hand in hand, but Simply Naked’s experiment takes the oak out of the equation. All of these wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel. For some of these wines, like Pinot Grigio, that’s normal. Chardonnay: OK. But Merlot and Cabernet? Interesting experiments. Here’s how the wines — all budget bottlings…

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Review: Wines of Alex Elman, 2011 Releases

By Christopher Null | May 15, 2011 |

Sometimes the wines we get aren’t our favorites. But we review them anyway, especially when the story behind them is so lovely. This line of inexpensive whites and reds from Argentina are created by a young, blind winemaker (Alex Elman, of course) and are produced sustainably (and affordably). The inaugural releases arrive this month on…

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Tasting Report: Red Wines of Chile, 2011 Releases

By Christopher Null | April 20, 2011 |

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a live, online tasting event featuring the red wines of Chile. While Chile is primarily known as Cabernet country, I was surprised to find that it is home to several other widely-planted grapes. Its Pinot Noirs shocked me with their sophistication and quality. Its Syrahs, however, were another…

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Review: Hangover Gone (aka Hang On)

By Christopher Null | March 1, 2011 |

I’m not saying I had a hangover, I’m just saying that perhaps the words “another bottle of Slovenian* wine” aren’t necessarily a good idea. Another shot-based hangover remedy, Hangover Gone — “Powered by Cysteine” — claims to cure your hangover in “three phases.” First it helps to metabolize acetaldehyde, “alcohol’s main and most toxic byproduct.”…

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Review: Wines of Hannah Nicole, 2011 Releases

By Christopher Null | February 23, 2011 |

Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area includes Oakland… as well as, apparently, a good number of vineyards. Hannah Nicole, in “the shadows of Mount Diablo,” is a relative newcomer to the business. We tasted four of the winery’s recent releases. 2009 Hannah Nicole Sauvignon Blanc Reserve Contra Costa County – 12.5% Viognier…

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Review: 2008 & 2009 Mouton Cadet and Cadet d’Oc Wines

By Christopher Null | November 17, 2010 |

Now on its 80th year, Mouton Cadet is a venerable budget label from the venerable Baron Philippe de Rothschild. (If your supermarket carries any French wine, it’s probably this.) The brand is now extending the line but instead of blending a selection of grapes, traditional with all Bordeaux wines, the new Cadet d’Oc wines (pictured)…

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Review: 2008 and 2009 Monthaven Boxed Wines

By Christopher Null | October 26, 2010 |

Monthaven’s 2008 Chardonnay didn’t exactly impress us. Today the company is back to try again with its 2009 release, plus two new reds from the 2008 vintage, all served up in convenient 3 liter boxes. Yes, that’s 9 liters of wine. No, we did not drink it all. (Not possible.) 2009 Monthaven Chardonnay Central Coast…

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Review: Southern Comfort Lime

By Christopher Null | October 11, 2010 |

It says on the bottle: “The classic reinvented.” I suppose Southern Comfort is a classic. It’s got its own well-established nickname — SoCo — and the peach liqueur is called for in more cocktail recipes than you’d think. What then to make of Southern Comfort Lime? Take some sweetened lime juice (like Rose’s) and add…

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Review: Wines of Deep Sea, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | September 10, 2010 |

Under its Deep Sea label, Conway Family Wines produces a passel of products. In our sampling, quality was all over the map, with a couple certainly worth a try. 2009 Deep Sea Sea Flower Dry Rose – Strawberries and perfume in this rose of Grenache (68%) and Syrah (38%), though the finish is a bit…

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