Exploring Price vs. Quality in Wine

“Red Nosed Taster” writes: Tasting expensive but not so good wine on my trip to the wine country last weekend made me think… How do they price wines anyway? A recent study showed that in blind tastings, cheaper wines consistently do better than their more expensive brethren. I was hoping you could elaborate on this…

Exploring Price vs. Quality in Wine

Review: Russian Standard (Original) Vodka

Does price matter? Russian Standard offers an “original” version of its vodka in addition to a “Platinum” bottling and its vaunted “Imperia,” which I’ve previously reviewed. All are made in basically the same way, with a few differences, namely in the filtration systems they employ. But Russian Standard “Original” is just $22 a bottle, while…

Review: Russian Standard (Original) Vodka

Review: Zyr Vodka

How Russian is Zyr Vodka? There’s a picture of the Kremlin on the bottle, that’s how. Distilled from Russian rye and wheat (“made from the rich black soil of Russia’s heartland”) and created with water drawn from deep in Russia’s aquifers, the only way this could be more Russian is if the ghost of Lenin…

Review: Zyr Vodka

Original Recipe: The iPhone Martini

Here’s the recipe that launched this blog, reprinted here from Wired, just for kicks and the sake of completeness. The Appletini, iPhone Edition (aka The iPhonetini, The iPhone Martini) 2 oz. vodka 1/2 oz. Apple Pucker Schnapps 1/2 oz. Goldschlager 1/4 oz. Cointreau (or Triple Sec) Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake well and…

Original Recipe: The iPhone Martini

Original Recipe: The Downtown Casino

Here’s a spin on the Casino recipe that I love so much, adding St. Germain (which I also love so much) to give it an extra dimension of taste. The Downtown Casino 2 oz. vodka 1/2 oz. Maraschino liqueur 1/2 oz. St. Germain liqueur 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice Shake all the ingredients with ice…

Original Recipe: The Downtown Casino

Review: Tenoch Tequila Reposado

As far as I can tell, Tenoch makes only one type of tequila, this reposado bottling that’s lightly golden, aged in oak, and bottled in a stoneware jug designed to look like an agave plant is enveloping it. Tasty stuff, it’s lightly peppery and sweet like caramel, with herbal notes dancing around your mouth. For…

Review: Tenoch Tequila Reposado

Review: Ketel One Vodka (2008)

Mad props to Ketel One. This brand is pretty much singlehandedly responsible for introducing ultrapremium vodka into the market, and it’s still going strong today. Made in The Netherlands from wheat, the 80-proof spirit is very traditional on the whole, and not in a bad way. The taste is clean, lightly citrusy and tinged with…

Review: Ketel One Vodka (2008)

Touring Oregon’s Willamette Valley, March 2008

If it weren’t for the many gravel roads and all the snow, I would have sworn that, while touring Oregon’s Willamette Valley, the crown jewel of its growing wine operation, I was in the heart of Sonoma. Willamette has everything you’d expect from Northern California wineries: Gorgeous tasting rooms, courteous staff, weekday crowds, and even…

Touring Oregon’s Willamette Valley, March 2008