Tasting Report: Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandels, 2007 Releases

Had the chance to sit down with Ravenswood Winery’s founding winemaker Joel Peterson this week and sample his 2007 old vines lineup. The son of a woman who worked on the atomic bomb and a trained immunologist, Joel is full of stories, but most involve his love of wine, for which he developed a taste…

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Review: Jefferson’s Presidential Select Bourbon 17 Years Old

Produced in the final years of the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, this high-end bourbon rounds out the Jefferson’s line of Kentucky whiskeys, though supplies will be limited, to say the least. Plus, it’s Jefferson’s Presidential Select, which means it was selected personally by Thomas Jefferson. Right? This is a big bourbon, fragrant with roasted nut…

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Super-Cheap Winepod on the Way

The Winepod gizmo I used to create my own Chateau de Null may no longer be for sale — a victim of the recession that made $4,500 DIY wine urns a tough sell — but former CEO Greg Snell has a new trick up his sleeve: A $500, stripped-down version that might put (easier) home…

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Review: 2005 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley

Recent vintages of Silver Oak have not really impressed me, and that’s sad — in the ’90s, Silver Oak was one of the most reliable wines you could buy… and you paid for that reliability, too. But then the ’00s came along and Silver Oak just wasn’t the same. Bummer. I’m happy to report that…

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Review: El Grado Tequila Reposado

Released this summer, El Grado is a new, ultrapremium, 100 percent agave tequila to arrive on U.S. shelves. Available in the three traditional expressions (and mainly in Texas for now), we got our hands on the reposado for a sample. Rested for six months in old bourbon barrels, El Grado’s reposado is a pale yellow…

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Thoughts on Clock Bar, San Francisco

Clock Bar is a hotel bar, yes. But you know what? I like hotel bars — good ones, anyway. They’re not as loud. Not as crowded. And the drinks that get made are often top notch. Plus you get to talk to random tourists, not just jaded locals. Good times. After passing by many times,…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Jubelale Winter Ale 2009

I’m the first to admit it’s weird to be drinking this “festive winter ale” during the week of Labor Day. No question. But Deschutes’ Jubelale 2009 arrives October 1, we got it early, and gosh darnit we’re gonna drink it now, even if it is still hot outside. I went in expecting gingerbread and eggnog…

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Review: Evan Williams Honey Reserve Liqueur

Watch out American Honey, there’s another bourbon-inspired honey liqueur on the market, and it’s gonna be breathing down your neck but quick. Evan Williams has turned in its own rendition on the honey-flavored liqueur, this one with the promise of “extra-aged bourbon” in the mix. It can’t be much — the color of this liqueur…

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