Tasting Report: Wines of New Zealand 2010

New Zealand. Jesus, both the Shire and Mordor are there, you’d think they could make some more interesting wines than what we’re currently seeing. Mind you, New Zealand isn’t producing bad wine. But compared to its exciting, up-and-coming heyday in the late ’90s, much like Australia, New Zealand seems content to rest on its laurels…

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Review: 2007 Pina Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – D’Adamo and Buckeye

Pina is hardly a household name, but this small winery is producing some of the best small vineyard cabernet in the Napa Valley. Today we look at the company’s limited release 2007 cabernet sauvignon bottlings. 2007 Pina Cabernet Sauvignon D’Adamo Vineyard -Really lovely right now, but will probably be even better with age. Incredible, intense…

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Tasting Report: Whiskies of the World Expo San Francisco 2010

Was it the crowds (insane), the heat (manageable), or the rumor that some lady had thrown up near the buffet an hour into the event (just gross, yet credible)? Whatever the case this year I found myself not in the whiskey groove at the ordinarily smashing Whiskies of the World San Francisco event. It was…

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Drinking Scotch with The Dalmore’s Richard Paterson

After spending some time with Tom Bulleit yesterday, I moved on to lunch with another whiskey world celebrity, Richard Paterson of Whyte & Mackay, which produces The Dalmore line of single malt Scotch whiskys, among other spirits. Paterson is serious about his passion and is renowned for his olfactory skills: At one point, the author…

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Drinking Bourbon with Tom Bulleit

Bulleit Bourbon is incredibly popular in San Francisco, and yesterday I got to spend a little time with the man behind the brand, Tom Bulleit. A Vietnam vet and reformed attorney, Bulleit waxed philosophical on his whiskey, an adaptation of a mid-1800s recipe passed down from his great great grandfather. Bulleit is a spicy, citrus…

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Review: 2007 O’Shaughnessy Merlot Howell Mountain

I’ve waxed poetic on O’Shaughnessy’s cabernet, but its merlot (100%, nothing blended) is, to be frank, not to be missed either. This wine is huge with chocolate notes, backed with raspberry character that immediately recalls a classic dessert. Perfect texture, this is a wine that proves that not only should merlot not be shunned, in…

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Review: Jose Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Tequila 2010 Edition

Each year our friends at Cuervo release a special edition tequila called Reserva de la Familia. We missed out on a review in 2009 but still have a bit of 2008 left for sharing with special guests which we guard like Gollum watches over his Precious. Well, 2010’s Reserva just arrived and it’s a real…

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Review: Dundee Brewing Irish Red, Pale Bock, and IPA

Had the pleasure of attending a “virtual tasting” of Dundee Brewing Company’s beer lineup today: The drinking was real but the walkthrough was online, with a group of beer and spirits writers being introduced to these beers via webcam session with Dundee’s brewmaster Jim McDermott. Comments on the three beers tasted follow. Dundee Irish Red…

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