Tasting Report: Toast of the Town, March 2009

Heading into the Civic Center area of San Francisco rarely means a fun night on the town drinking lots of great wine, but that’s exactly what I had the great pleasure to do this Thursday, courtesy of an invitation from Wine Enthusiast magazine, which put on a fantastic, must-attend event. Held in the classy War…

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Review: 1998 Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Champagne

I’ve had this bottle in my fridge for months, because opening a $150 bottle of Champagne just for kicks seemed so, I don’t know, so wrong. I drink expensive wine for this blog all the time, but something about Champagne gives one pause before cracking it open willy-nilly. Well finally I had reason to celebrate…

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Recipe: Passionate Woman

I like the sound of this cocktail, a $5,000 prize-winner from SF mixologist Victoria D’Amato-Moran, which includes two spirits (Skyy Passion Fruit and X-Rated Fusion) which I have rated highly and enjoy a lot. Passionate Woman 1 bar spoon fresh passion fruit 1 ½ ounces Skyy Infusions Passion Fruit Vodka 1 ounce Aperol 3 ounces…

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Review: 2007 Luke Donald Chardonnay

What it is about golfers and chardonnay I’ll never figure out, but here’s a new one, courtesy of Luke Donald (who put out a nice Bordeaux-style blend last summer). Luke Donald’s chardonnay, from the Carneros region, isn’t nearly the success of his Claret, but it has some basic charm. Chardonnay’s textbook characteristics are here: Some…

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Tasting Report: Rhone Rangers 2009

I’m on record as saying Rhone Rangers is the best annual wine event going, and once again the event failed to disappoint. Yes, it was smaller than last year — as you’d expect given the economy — with both the number of wineries and attendees obviously down a bit. (Prices, curiously, have not fallen.) Still,…

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Review: Skyy Infusions Pineapple Vodka

Who doesn’t like pineapple? Commies, that’s who. Strange then to put pineapples and vodka together, but hey, who are we to judge. Pineapple is a natural for many cocktails — but carving up a fresh pineapple is a royal pain in the butt. Enter pineapple-infused vodka, which Skyy says it developed as an alternative to…

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Review: ÍS Vodka

Clearing up question #1: ÍS Vodka is pronounced “Ice Vodka,” which sadly ensures that it will draw blank stares not just from people who see it written but from those who hear it spoken aloud, too. Hailing from Iceland (which has more trouble these days than how people pronounce the name of a vodka brand),…

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Review: Crispy Green Crispy Bananas

Freeze-dry anything and you can’t really go wrong. I’ve tried several of Crispy Green’s dried fruit products. Crispy Banana is the company’s sixth fruit to go through the drying chamber and come out in foil-wrapped nuggets. (0.53 oz., the size of one packet, equals the fruit from one full, pre-frozen banana.) Bananas are a tricky…

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