Review: Kanon Organic Vodka

Kanon combines the old world with the new. Made in Sweden (and heralding 1580 as the distillery’s date of opening and the fact that it was founded by the King of Sweden), it’s old-world tradition meets nouveau chic: It’s organic, distilled from local, organically-grown wheat. Sounds good, but how’s it taste? Kanon has a distinctively…

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Review: 2008 un4seen Red Wine California

This wine represents the debut of this Lodi-based winery, premiering with an oddball blend of Zinfandel, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Merlot. un4seen’s debut is intensely raisiny, with serious menthol notes. It’s jammy and more Zinfandel-like in its character (out of the four grapes in this blend) but ultimately it’s decidedly plain, not the complex beast…

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Review: Bossa Nova Juices

Bossa Nova juices are now well entrenched among the Odwallas and Naked Juices of the world. These 80% to 100% juice blends — all heavy on superfruits and antioxidant-laden goodness — come in right-sized, ergonomically-shaped, 10 oz. bottles. Many of the blends are 100% juice, but some are sweetened with agave nectar to improve the…

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Roundup: AlcoHAWK Personal Breathalyzers

How drunk are you? No, really? How do you know? If you’re a regular imbiber, it’s a good idea to test yourself once in awhile to make sure you’re OK to drive. 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) is the maximum legal level in most states, but knowing if you’re over that threshold can be…

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Review: 2006 Hugel Pinot Gris Classic Alsace

Now featuring label artwork by Ralph Steadman, this is not your father’s Hugel, the wine with the iconic yellow label. Tart with minerals up front, Hugel’s Pinot Griss “Classic” is light in body and reveals peach, mango, and vaguely tropical notes before fading into a more alcohol-driven, lightly bitter finish. Otherwise it’s an easy-drinking summer…

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Review: Cordina Mar-Go-Rita Wine Cocktail

The mercury has topped 90 in San Francisco today, and in a city with no air conditioning, that means retreating to whatever means necessary one can dig up to stay cool. Cordina’s goofily-named Mar-Go-Rita has been in my freezer for weeks, so what better time than now to bust it out. What is it? Imagine…

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Review: BlackBeard Spiced Rum

Rum — especially spiced rum — is on the rise again, and BlackBeard is the latest, a Puerto Rican rum being imported by Don Q’s parent company. BlackBeard offers aromas not of the spice box but rather of a traditional aged rum, with strong caramel, some wood, and toffee notes. This continues into the body.…

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Review: Jim Beam Black Double Aged Bourbon 8 Years Old

I’m on record as saying that Jim Beam is one of the most underrated bourbons on the market. It’s not just a quality product, it’s also dirt cheap, and even its higher-end products, like Distillers Series, are crazy inexpensive. As the label notes, Jim Beam’s new Black Label is “double aged” — double the age…

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