Book Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wine Basics (Second Edition)

I never would have thought I’d be recommending a book about wine with the phrase “complete idiot” in the title, but for outright rank beginners, this tome by Tara Q. Thomas is an accessible way to get a bearing on a complicated subject. Primarily broken down by grape varietal (with a few chapters devoted to…

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Original Recipe: The Dow Jones Industrial Average Cocktail

Coming to my holiday party tonight? Here’s the original cocktail crafted just for the event that you’ll be drinking tonight. Give your liver a pep talk. The inspiration is obvious: Economic collapse. The DJIA Cocktail (or the Dow Cocktail, if you prefer) is meant to be bittersweet to remind us of the hard times we’ve…

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Review: Michael Collins Blended Irish Whiskey (2008)

Michael Collins, epic hero of modern Ireland, naturally deserves a whiskey bottled in his honor. Here’s a look at Michael Collins “A Blend” (there’s also a Single Malt version available). To consider the rich amber color of the whiskey you’d think you’re in for something hefty (check the photo below — the bottle itself is…

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Review: NV Cattier Champagne Brut Antique

While there is certainly a shortage of things to celebrate these days, should you encounter one — a wedding or a baby, perhaps — consider grabbing a bottle of Cattier for the event. Cattier is a new label for the U.S. A big brand overseas (it’s sold in 65 countries), it is only just now…

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Tasting Report: Wines of New Zealand and Australia, 2008

It’s cold outside but it’s hot down south — the southern hemisphere, that is — and in that honor the folks at Uncorked Events through a wine party for Australian and New Zealand wine producers. Some 100 wines were available for sampling from about 20 different producers/importers/consortia. Since we’re dealing with a mixed bag of…

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Review: Organic Nation O-N Vodka and Gin

Organic spirits are a category that you just can’t stop. Organic Nation hails from Oregon’s Cascade Peak Spirits Inc., and Organic Nation Vodka and Gin are the company’s first two offerings. A ginger-flavored vodka and at least one whiskey (organic whiskey is decidedly rare) are coming in 2009. While we wait for those, we occupied…

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Review: Vinturi Wine Aerator

Every wine enthusiast ends up with drawers full of gadgets designed to enhance the flavor of wine, but a good old decanter is perhaps the best way to take both a tannic young wine or a musty old one and bring out the most pleasant characters of each without a lot of sitting around and…

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Review: Karafe Wine Enthusiast Board Game

I love the concept of the board game Karafe: It’s a lot like the game of Life, where you try to accumulate wealth as you get from start to finish on a long, twisting road, only it’s got a big twist: Rather than go from cradle to grave with a real job, you go from…

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