Review: Hennessy Black Cognac

First let’s cover the color: Hennessy Black, a spinoff of standard Hennessy cognac designed as a cocktail ingredient, is not black. It’s a dark gold color, much like any cognac you’re likely to encounter. A blend of up to 45 eaux-de-vie, Hennessy Black is aged five years and dropped into a wholly opaque bottle designed…

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Top Picks from Pinot Days 2010

Tasting through a smaller selection of wines at the trade portion of this year’s Pinot Days event in San Francisco, the printed matter on what Pinot Noir wines was being offered was scarce (OK, there was none), but the wines were plentiful. Here’s a selection of what I considered to be the best wines being…

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Review: 2007 Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah Walla Walla Valley Red Wine

Intense to the point of bursting with dark chocolate, nuts, and over-ripe raspberries, this is Washington state winemaking at its best. You might think Cabernet, but the lack of any real tannin is a giveaway that this blend has none. The mix: 60% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot, and 6% Malbec. Silky and…

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Roundup: 6 European Rose Wines For Summer 2010

We’ve already given you the lowdown on summer whites. Now let’s look at summer pinks — rose wines from all over Europe, ready for savoring while the kids try to drown each other in the pool. Did we mention cheap? No? OK, we’ll mention it now! All six of these wines come courtesy of importer…

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Review: Ilegal Mezcal, Complete Lineup (2010)

Puritans, be advised: Two Ls or three, Ilegal Mezcal is certainly legal, although the rustic labels and wax-sealed cork stoppers may make you think otherwise. This small batch mezcal from the Oaxaca region of Mexico is hand numbered and produced in very small lots (typically under 2,000 bottles per lot). All 100 percent agave, of…

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Tasting Report: Madeira Wine 2010

To call Madeira poorly understood would be charitable. This truly ancient fortified wine from an eponymous island off the coast of (and part of) Portugal dates back to the 1400s and comes in infinite varieties. Sadly, the only one most drinkers are likely to have ever encountered is the cheap bottle carried by the local…

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Review: Samuel Adams Pint Glass

There are nearly as many types of beer glasses out there as there are wine glasses. A few years back Samuel Adams created this custom glass — designed specifically for its Boston Lager — and unlike any other beer glass in my collection. I’ll let the company explain: “The brewers worked with a team of…

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Review: Whipahol Whipped Lightning

Sadly we don’t have a category for this: Alcohol-infused, flavored whipped cream. That crazy conjecture is what Whipahol’s Whipped Lightning is: Flavored cream (and it is cream, not non-dairy topping), injected with alcohol and compressed air to fluff it up. It’s available in nine flavors, none of which are “whipped cream.” That’s because you need…

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