Tasting Report: 2013 Berkeley Wine Festival

Now in its fourth year, the Berkeley Wine Festival features a series of weekly dinners hosted by California winemakers. The dinners and the big kickoff takes place at Berkeley’s iconic Claremont Hotel, which I attended. Packed with attendees, the opening night featured tastings of over 180 wines, plus a smattering of foodstuffs prepared by Claremont…

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Review: Wines of Portugal’s Alentejo Region

The Portuguese don’t sit around sipping Vintage Port all day. For everyday drinking, they turn to some simple and very affordable wines. Increasingly, these wines have been coming to the U.S., letting us discover new grapes, like Antao Vaz, and new regions, like Alentejo, where these three wines hail from. Alentejo covers most of the…

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Review: 2007 Banfi Brunello and 2009 Sartori Amarone

2007 marks the first year that Banfi’s new Horizon Winery got up and running, featuring new a fermenting system that uses oak cores with stainless steel caps to produce wine. The newly released Brunello, the first wine to come out of this winery, is reviewed below, along with a hot new Amarone from Sartori, one…

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The Drinkhacker Shopping List – 04.26.2013

It’s Friday once again and time for the Drinkhacker Shopping List, our weekly look back at the best and the worst of products we’ve reviewed over the last few weeks. This week we’ve had some new gadgets to test, excellent new whiskey and less than excellent “mangria”. We’ve also covered tastings at the Whiskies of…

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Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Bourbon (2013)

Elijah Craig is a Bourbon brand on the rise, and its latest release is another knockout, this time bottled at cask strength. A whopping 12 years old (the age statement is in the text on the back label of the bottle), Elijah Craig Barrel Proof is an amazing whiskey that should (and will) be sought…

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Review: 2010 Ghost Pines Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon

Ghost Pines is a label produced by Louis Martini, which is itself a subsidiary of the Gallo empire. These two new releases are single-varietal wines, blended from grapes harvested from both Sonoma and Napa counties. Thoughts follow. 2010 Ghost Pines Merlot – Made from 29% Napa County and 71% Sonoma County grapes. An easy-drinking Merlot,…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 04.26.2013 – World’s Oldest Japanese Whisky Available For $19,000

The world’s oldest and rarest Japanese whisky is now available to the general public for a cool $19,000. Bottled in 1960, this 52-year-old Karuizawa was aged in sherry oak and comes in a case fashioned with pieces from the original cask’s head. It’s available in an extremely rare edition of 41 and only at four…

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Review: Schramm Organic Gin

Yes Virginia, they make gin in Canada. This unique gin comes from Pemberton Distillery in British Columbia, where a smattering of products are produced. None seems more highly lauded than Schramm Organic Gin, an organic dry gin made from distilled potato base and infused with a mere eight (organic) botanicals: juniper, coriander, orange peel, rosemary,…

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