More on Duty Free Shopping

My post “Is Duty Free Ever a Good Deal?” generated a bit of discussion, and quite by coincidence, I just found that this quarter’s Malt Advocate magazine has a lengthy look at duty free (aka “travel retail”) shopping, too. The story can be found here on page 52 (registration required if you view too many…

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Review: 2006 Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon

A perennial favorite “splurge” wine, BV’s epically-named Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Private Reserve remains a winner in its 2006 vintage. Amazingly soft for a Napa Cabernet this young, it’s a wine inflected with cocoa powder atop a deep blueberry and raspberry core. It is drinking just about perfectly right now, with a…

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Recipe: Chocolate Chile Bohemia Ice Cream

I’m not one to spend hours making ice cream at home, but God this recipe from Mexican beer outfit Bohemia sounds good. Chocolate Chile Bohemia Ice Cream 1 large pasilla negro chile, stemmed, seeded, deveined 1 1/3 cups half-and-half 2 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped into small pieces 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into ΒΌ-inch pieces…

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Review: 2008 Vionta Albarino Rias Baixas

Crisp and alive, this Spanish white (from the north of Spain on the Atlantic coast, directly above Portugal) offers a nice balance of fruit and minerals — not as light as Sauvignon Blanc but not as overpoweringly perfumy as, say, Viognier. Minerality is big to start, and then the berries kick in: apple, some fig,…

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Review: Smirnoff Dark Roasted Espresso Vodka and Spiced Root Beer Vodka

A new flavored vodka is not normally cause for celebration or alarm, but kudos to Smirnoff for doing something a bit different. These flavors may have been done before but the alcohol level has not. With its new espresso and root beer renditions, Smirnoff is releasing overproof flavored vodkas that hit a full 100 proof.…

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Review: 2009 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages

By my math, winemakers like to declare a “vintage of a lifetime” once every five or six years, but with Duboeuf’s 2009 Beaujolais-Villages bottling, this might actually be legit. For the Beaujolais newbie, Beaujolais-Villages is not the same thing as Beaujolais Nouveau. The latter is an incredibly young wine meant to be consumed within the…

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Book Review: Japanese Cocktails

I love the idea of Japanese Cocktails, the look of it, and the author Yuri Kato, who has obviously toiled for some long months to come up with a succinct list of Japanese-inspired cocktails that you won’t find in any other cocktail recipe guide. And therein lies the problem with Japanese Cocktails: Unless you have…

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Review: Marzadro Le Diciotto Lune Stravecchia Grappa

Ah, grappa. Brandy’s skunky cousin. I’m still a bit lost on the appeal of grappa — which is made from grape pomace — skins, seeds, and stems leftover from the winemaking process, rather than the grape juice itself, as brandy is made. But even I will recognize there are some fine grappas out there, especially…

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