Review: 2004 Rancho Zabaco Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley Reserve

Looking for a solid Zinfandel at a good price? Check out Rancho Zabaco’s Dry Creek Valley Reserve. Rancho Zabaco’s wines are classic, old-school zins, less blatantly jammy and fruity than most modern Zinfandels. The Dry Creek Valley Reserve has an earthy, plum character, with hints of smoke and tar. On the nose this is still…

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Review: Tru Organic Vodka Lineup (2008)

Organic spirits continue to swing as a trend: Tru was the first USDA-certified organic brand of vodka in the U.S. Made by Modern Spirits (now known as Greenbar Distillery) in Monrovia, California, these high-end spirits don’t just pay lip service to social consciousness. The bottle uses 25% less glass, the label’s made from corn fiber…

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Review: Ciroc Vodka

Diddy knows what’s up. Ciroc (or more properly CĂ®roc) is a high-end vodka, one of the earlier grape-based vodkas, and now that Puff Daddy is behind it as a promoter, it’s probably sky’s-the-limit for the brand. This French vodka is not just made from grapes but from “snap frost” grapes, which (I guess) means the…

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The Mystery of “Overproof” Gordon’s Gin

Reader Peter May writes: I’m not so sure about what you say about Gordon’s Gin (in the Vesper cocktail) and — I’m not saying you are wrong, but I’d just like to chew the fat on this if that’s OK . You mention about Gordon’s being reformulated from 94 to 80 proof. But are you…

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Review: Brave Spirits Rum, Vodka, Whiskey, Gin

Want to celebrate Independence Day? Well, you can go to a parade, eat a hot dog, light some fireworks, or drink one of these liquors from Brave Spirits, four bottles designed specifically with “soldiers, marines, airmen, police officers, and firefighters” in mind. Presumably you can drink them even if you are not one of these…

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Red Wine + Meat = A Healthy Carnivore

More research into how red wine works its magical health benefits: Pair red wine with red meat and the two mix in the stomach (before it enters the bloodstream), to “thwart the formation of harmful chemicals that are released when meat is digested.” From The Economist: The digestion of high-fat foods such as red meat…

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Review: 2004 Owl Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon T. R. Passalacqua Vineyard

2004 California Cabernets are still trickling onto the market now, which is shaping up as a solid but not out-of-the-park year for the grape. When we last met Owl Ridge, we were reviewing its 2003 Brigden Vineyard Cab. This year we’re checking out the 2004 T. R. Passalacqua Vineyard. With just 600 cases made, this…

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Tasting Report: Pinot Days 2008

Epic wine tasting this weekend. Despite a terrible flu, I pushed through the pain and drank up a whole lotta Pinot Noir (more than I’d thought possible) in my quest to find the brightest stars. 2006 was pouring from virtually all of these wineries, though pockets of library vintages could be found and even a…

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