Review: 2006 Viu Manent Single Vineyard Malbec San Carlos Estate

Malbec is a huge grape in South America, and this bottling from Chile’s Viu Manent is 93% Malbec with 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a good example of Malbec’s character, with a mouth full of dusty earth that falls back to notes of grape juice (a surprise — wine never really ever tastes like grape juice),…

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Review: 2006 Potel-Aviron Moulin à Vent Vielles Vignes

Probably my favorite of the latest batch of Beaujolais is this Moulin à Vent from Potel-Aviron. It has strong Gamay character, to be sure, with that kind of funky, vegetal, anti-rust undercoating but with a tightly would core of stone fruit that elevates the experience considerably. Interesting flower notes come dangerous close to smelling a…

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Tequila Tips from Herradura

Nothing saddens me more than watching someone order a top-shelf tequila, then suck it down in one gulp with salt and lime. Herradura offers some tips on how to drink tequila the right way, whether you’re having a light silver or a deep anejo: – Before tasting, hold the glass up to a light. Swirl…

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Review: Smirnoff Vodka

Tomorrow the latest James Bond movie hits the big screen, and Smirnoff is taking the opportunity to remind us of Bond’s love for vodka: He’ll be drinking the stuff in Quantum of Solace, and Smirnoff is even putting out a special Smirnoff Black vodka branded with the 007 logo, to be sold only in duty-free…

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This Will Do Nothing Good for Tequila Prices

Unhappy with merely drinking their expensive spirit, meddling scientists have found a way to turn tequila into diamonds. The final diamond film was hard and heat-resistant – properties that could make the diamond useful as coatings for cutting tools, high-power semiconductors, radiation detectors and optical-electronic devices, the scientists explained. They plan to begin industrial-scale applications…

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Review: Rhum Clement Premiere Canne, Vieux Agricole VSOP, Cuvee Homere, and XO (2008)

The celebrated Rhum Clement hails from Martinique, where just about everything seems to have an extra letter in it. I managed to get a small sip of the company’s top-shelf Clement XO at the recent WhiskyFest San Francisco, and the company was kind enough to fill me in on the rest of the line which…

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Review: Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Connemara wears that “peated” slug right on its sleeve. If the name of the spirit didn’t tip you off, this is a rarity for Irish whiskeys, which are traditionally not peated at all. The smoky peat in this 80-proof whiskey (which carries no age-statement) is immediately at the forefront on the nose and the palate.…

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Is Your Pint Glowing?

Unscrupulous manufacturers are apparently using radioactive waste in consumer products, and hiding the junk in old beer containers: Abandoned medical scanners, food processing devices and mining equipment containing radioactive metals such as cesium-137 and cobalt-60 are often picked up by scrap collectors and sold to recyclers, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s…

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