Review: 2010 Biokult Osterreich Gruner Veltliner

Gruner remains a bit exotic, sure, but this wine is intriguing for its grapes: They’re 100 percent organically grown in Austria, a rarity in Europe presently. The results are less exciting than the grape heritage: Grassy, mild, and a little sour despite the initial flavors of fresh apple and lots of tongue-buzzing lemon. Organic is…

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Tasting Report: Winebow’s Wines of Italy, 2011 Releases

Winebow isn’t a name I expect you have ever heard of, but you’ve surely consumed its wines: The company is the largest importer of Italian wines in America, and as such it has the volume to be able to put on an event where it pours its Italian offerings… and nothing else. (Winebow also represents…

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Review: Graham’s Texas Tea Flavored Vodka

When absinthe essentially went dark in 2009, it handed over the reins to a replacement in the fad liquor department: Tea-flavored vodkas. These bad boys just keep coming and, thankfully, each is just about as good as the last — a claim which absinthe was never able to make. This sweet tea vodka from Austin,…

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Tasting Report: Bonhams Pre-Auction Event, June 2011

Don’t tell anyone but the economy has recovered… or at least it’s recovered enough to allow auction houses like Bonhams to re-institute pre-auction wine tasting events, a great way not just to taste what’s being sold the following weekend, but also to taste some old and rare wines you’d otherwise never see. Bonhams hasn’t had…

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Review: Paul-Marie & Fils Pineau des Charentes, Tres Vieux Fut #3

You may be looking at that headline and saying, damn that’s a lot of French. What the hell is Pineau des Charentes, and what is a tres vieux fut? The easy one is the latter part: Tres Vieux Fut is “Very Old Cask,” and this is the third release from Paul-Marie & Fils of this…

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Tasting Report: Wines of La Mancha, Spain, 2011 Releases

Thanks to Don Quixote, just about everyone has heard of La Mancha, but where is it? And what about the wines? It’s a wide area that encompasses the dead center of Spain, and as the largest winegrowing region in the nation, it is home to a large variety of wines. 75 percent of the grapes…

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Review: Kilchoman Spring 2011 Release

Kilchoman’s quarterly Scotch whiskey releases continue with this Spring 2011 release which is just now hitting our shores. It is a vatting of 70% three-year-old whisky from first-fill Bourbon barrels plus 30% four-year-old whiskey from first-fill Bourbon barrels that has been finished in Oloroso sherry barrels for five weeks. Bottling strength is 92 proof. The…

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Tasting Report: 2009 Vintage Port (and Beyond)

The schedule has gotten in the way of transcribing my notes from a solid half-dozen wine events of late, so over the next few weeks expect a flood of wine tasting reports. I’m starting off with this dispatch from Fladgate’s 2009 Vintage Port event, in which the company poured not just samples of the newly…

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