Review: Malbecs from Trivento and Concha y Toro, 2012 Releases

These new Argentinean Malbecs come from Trivento and Concha y Toro, the latter of which is best known for its Chilean wines. Here’s how a bumper crop of the fruit of Mendoza shakes out. 2011 Concha y Toro Frontera Malbec Cuyo – Surprisingly tart and slightly sweet, jammy, with strawberry/raspberry jelly character muted by some…

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Review: Breckenridge Vodka and Bourbon

You don’t have to be in Kentucky to make Bourbon. Breckenridge Distillery is found high in the mountains of Colorado, where it creates whiskey and vodka at 9600 feet (it claims to be the world’s highest), using Rocky Mountain meltwater to craft its spirits. We tasted both. Thoughts follow. Breckenridge Vodka – Distilled from grain…

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Book Review: Drinkology

James Waller’s Drinkology: The Art and Science of the Cocktail, aims for the library, with its soft-touch rubber-like coating covering the hardboard backing of this squat but thick tome. As the subtitle implies, there’s plenty of art and science to be found here – complete with stipple illustrations to show you how to rim a…

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Review: Malibu Red

On paper, Malibu Red is a terrible, terrible idea: Take standard Malibu (coconut-flavored rum), and add white tequila to it. The brainchild of R&B artist Ne-Yo, I am here to tell you that, yes, Malibu Red is as bad as you think it will be. Fundamentally these are two great tastes… that just don’t go…

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Review: Wines of Luce della Vite, 2012 Releases

Tenuta Luce della Vite is a Montalcino-based winery, where it makes its Super Tuscan wines from Sangiovese and Merlot. The winery recently reformulated its second label, Lucente, to use only the grapes used in its flagship Luce wine — an Italian requirement for wines to be considered a true “second wine.” (Before, Lucente also had…

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Book Review: The Bartender’s Best Friend

Mardee Haidin Regan’s tome of recipes arrives ready for action. The softbound book is clad in a presumably water-resistant plasticized shell, and a built-in bookmark ensures you won’t lose your place. 850+ recipes are included, and Regan makes the shrewd move to include both the classics and plenty of recently developed material too, with credit…

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Review: Refine Zero Calorie Mixers

Refine says it aims to “refine” the skinny cocktail with these zero-calorie mixers. Flavored with stevia, they’re available in 32 oz. bottles in three flavors. Refine Margarita Mix – Bright yellow, looks supernatural. Tastes very tart, with lots of intense lemon/lime soda character, but with a chalkiness that recalls Crystal Light granules (thanks, I’m sure,…

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Review: Pisco 100

Pop quiz: What’s the proof level of Pisco 100? 84 proof, of course! The origin of Pisco 100’s name is unclear, but this Peruvian Pisco — an “acholado” style blended of distillate from several grape varietals — is a pungent example of the spirit. On the nose, traditional Pisco character — jet fuel, aromatic pine…

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