Tasting Report: Toast of the Town San Francisco 2010

While the heat inside the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House made this year’s Toast of the Town, a Wine Enthusiast event, a bit of a toasty affair (get it???), a memorable evening of wines from all over the world and food from all over San Francisco was had by all. I spent more time…

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Tasting Report: Spanish Wine Cellar & Pantry 2010

What, no jamon? That was the cry of many hoping to find good, semi-bootleg iberico ham at this year’s Spanish Wine Cellar and Pantry event in San Francisco. Sadly, the masses had to make do with smoked marlin, almonds, and olive oil galore… and lots of Spanish wine, much of it from producers looking to…

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Review: Point Brewing 2012 Black Ale

The End of Days is coming, folks, but at least we’ll be well lubricated when they arrive. Point Brewing Company’s latest beer is named for the now-unavoidable year 2012, when the Mayan “Long Count” comes to an end and, depending on your credo, possibly takes the world along with it. The ale is indeed dark,…

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Review: 2006 Hall Merlot Napa Valley

This newly released merlot needs lots — and I mean lots — of time to open up. Young and incredibly tannic for merlot on first blush, after some breathing room (hours if you can spare it), the 2006 Hall becomes quite the lush experience. Fragrant with violet-inflected raspberry and black cherry, the body offers milk…

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What’s the Best Booze for Cocktail X?

So you want to drink a martini. Congrats on making up your mind. Now comes the hard part: Which gin do you use? Or what do you put in your Manhattan? Or your Mojito? The answers, according to a contest, now in its first year, called the Ultimate Cocktail Challenge, are Tanqueray, Rittenhouse Rye, and…

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Review: 2008 Chateau Roquefort Bordeaux Blanc

White Bordeaux is one of the wine world’s most poorly understood wines. Primarily planted sauvignon blanc and semillon grapes (with some muscadelle here and there), virtually all Bordeaux blanc is a blend, while the whites of most of the rest of the world are composed of a single varietal. This blanc from Chateau Roquefort is…

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Book Review: Michael Jackson’s Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch 6th Edition

There are two major schools of thoughts in whiskey review compendiums: You can get Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible, which features digest reviews of every whiskey known to man in birdseed type, or you can go for Michael Jackson’s less thorough (and covering single malt Scotch only) Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch, which features quite…

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Review: 2007 Robert Craig Affinity Cabernet Sauvignon

We’ve reviewed several vintages of Robert Craig’s Bordeaux-styled Affinity, but the 2007 is one of the best yet. This year’s blend is heavier on the petit verdot, with a composition of 79% cabernet sauvignon, 10% petit verdot, 8% merlot, 2% cabernet franc, and 1% malbec. The result is impressive, a deep, cherry-infused wine with coffee…

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