Review: Pierre Ferrand Reserve Cognac

On the heels of Pierre Ferrand’s 10-year-old Ambre, I gave the distillery’s 20-year-old Reserve cognac a try. I was less of a fan of this edition of Ferrand’s brandy, which is considerably darker in color but comes off as a bit brutish and somewhat unbalanced. The flavors are relatively typical of the space, veering more…

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Do You Need a White Wine Aerator?

I’m a fan of Vinturi’s Wine Aerator, a now much-copied gadget that instantly aerates your wine as you pour it through the device and into your glass. Handy, convenient, and quite the conversation piece. Seeking to expand its empire, Vinturi has released a version designed for white wine. the Vinturi White Wine Aerator, “exclusively designed…

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Review: 4 Orange Vodka

4 Orange Vodka: Orange-flavored vodka, right? Not exactly: This is vodka made out of oranges. Nothing but Florida oranges (four varieties of ’em, hence the name). And flavored with oranges: As you might expect, it’s quite orangey, jammy/marmalade-like in character and with only a little bit of bitter orange peel bite in the finish. Very…

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Review: Plantation Rum, Three 2000 Editions and Grande Reserve 5 Years Old Barbados

Plantation Rum. The name sounds innocuous, but the way these rums are made are unlike any others you’re likely to encounter. The rums are produced by the team behind Pierre Ferrand cognac and Citadelle Gin, single-country in origin with a bit of a twist. The rums are distilled in the country in which the sugar…

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What’s a Girl Gotta Do to Get a Drink Around Here?

Reader K writes: I’m a fan of your blog and I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this. I travel to trade shows a few times a year with my bosses who are somewhat square and conservative, business-y, husband wife team — she always has a big cabernet, he has a Tanq-10 and tonic. And…

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Book Review: Oz Clarke’s Pocket Wine Guide 2010

The venerable Oz Clarke is back again with another pocket-sized guide to the entire world of wine. Naturally it’s impossible to distill everything into 350 minuscule pages, and as always it’s easier to see what Clarke has left out than what he’s decided to include in his annual guide. Organized like a dictionary, everything’s alphabetical,…

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Review: Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale and Pugsley’s Smashed Pumpkin

Yes, I missed Halloween. Then I missed Thanksgiving. Now I am determined not to miss Christmas and get some reviews of these two pumpkin-flavored beers out of the way before I have to start thinking about Easter brews. Shipyard Brewing Company Pumpkinhead Ale hails from Maine. It’s a relatively light lager, with an aroma, color,…

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Review: Pierre Ferrand Ambre Cognac

Unassuming at just $45 (at most — I’ve seen if for $35 sometimes), Pierre Ferrand’s Ambre is hardly an ultra-luxe cognac. And yet for the price you pay you’re getting an exceptionally high-quality brandy that I find hard not to recommend to any cognac fan. In fact, I like it quite a bit better than…

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