Review: 2009 Sonoma Coast Vineyards SCV Pinot Noir Freestone Hills Sonoma Coast

This Sonoma Coast Pinot comes from three vineyards on the coast. The results are just plain fancy: This wine exudes pepper on the nose, then kicks into a palate that offers tons of rich cherry character, more pepper, cinnamon, and a touch of mint. Big body, lots of intensity. Finish is savory, not at all…

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Review: The Bruery Black Tuesday

Drawing allusions to the Stock Market Crash of 1929, The Bruery experienced its own “Black Tuesday,” which eventually led to the naming of this massive imperial stout. While brewing, one of the assistant brewers left a mash paddle in the tank, causing scalding water and grain to slowly flood the brewery and burn those trying…

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Review: Icelandic Glacial Spring Water

We’ve resisted reviewing bottled water on this blog, but finally we’re caving in. Water from Iceland doesn’t sound entirely eco-conscious, but Icelandic says it is a carbon neutral product — in fact, it says it this the first CarbonNeutral (a private certification) bottled water in the world. Sourced from Iceland’s Ölfus Spring System, this protected…

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Tasting Report: Simply Italian U.S. Tour 2011

This recent wine event featured a collection of all-over-the-map Italian wines, from well-known brands like Antinori and Donnafugata to obscurities (and lots of cheap stuff) seeking an importer on our shores. No guarantee that you’ll find any of these for sale, including, tragically, the perfectly-formed 2007 Tenuta Carretta Cannubi Barolo, perhaps the best Italian wine…

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Review: Hawaiian Vodka and Hawaiian Coconut Vodka

Hawaii is a land of rum and super-sweet frozen concoctions, but lately it seems that more vodka has been coming off the island than anything else. Hawaiian Vodka is distilled from sugar cane and filtered through lava rocks. Hawaiian Vodka – The nose offers distinct candy character, with a moderately alcoholic undertone. This follows through…

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Drinkhacker’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

Happy Thanksgiving! While you’re enjoying your turkey, stuffing, and pie, many a thanksgiver’s thoughts turn to booze. Specifically, what one might buy for a favored loved one come holiday time. I’ve collected all my favorite spirits from 2011 here for you, but this is just a small sampling of what’s worthy on the market right…

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Review: 2007 Stoller SV Estate Pinot Noir

Stoller Vineyards is an organic and eco-friendly winery in Oregon’s Dundee Hills region of the Willamette Valley, specializing in Chardonnay and (of course) Pinot Noir. With this 2007 SV Estate Pinot Noir, Stoller pumps out a textbook Oregon Pinot, stuffed with dried herbs, licorice, and dark berries. It’s almost unripe, really, as if the grapes…

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Tasting Report: Bonhams Pre-Auction Event October 2011

Apologies for how long it’s taken me to get around to typing up my notes on the latest tasting from the auctioneers at Bonhams, but hey, these wines aren’t going anywhere. The most recent event featured a quintet of Champagnes, lots of old French Burgundy and Bordeaux, and finished up with some interesting New World…

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