Review: Wines of CK Mondavi, Spring 2022 Releases

Spring means the arrival of idle, easygoing moments that are lighter in fare and this trio of wines from CK Mondavi is no exception. Those enduring the soul-crushing chokehold of inflation on their bank accounts may find this a bit more suitable to their liking than something retailing at higher price points. Also, of note:…

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Review: Sweetens Cove Kennessee Bourbon

On the back label for their newest release, Sweetens Cove asks: “Did we just become best friends?” That question seems intended for any number of recipients including, most obviously, consumers, but also the rival whiskey-producing states from which these bourbons are sourced and perhaps even to Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly fans (Google it).…

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Review: Astral Tequila Blanco

Astral is a new 100% Blue Weber agave tequila from the lowland region of Jalisco, Mexico. Currently, only a blanco, unaged tequila is available. The distillery’s website explains how it is made, all very familiar stuff: Our production process is steeped in tradition and features a unique milling process using a tahona, a stone wheel…

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Review: Merlet Cognac VS and VSOP

We’ve reviewed some of Merlet’s premium Cognac expressions in the past, but never its two most affordable bottlings, the VS and VSOP expressions. Today, we rectify that. Both are 80 proof. Merlet Cognac VS – Eaux-de-vie mostly from Fins Bois crus, but also from Bons Bois and a little bit of Petite Champagne in the…

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Review: Curamia Tequila Blanco

Curamia is a new tequila and the brainchild of Dafna Mizrahi, a chef from Guadalajara, Mexico. The brand launched late last year in the U.S. with only a blanco expression; a reposado has since arrived. Of special note is its female-centric street cred: Curamia is the first tequila brand 100% female-founded and made by women:…

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Review: Few Spirits Four Grain Bourbon 10th Anniversary Edition

For its recent 10th anniversary, Evanston, Illinois-based Few Spirits dropped a special edition bottling, a bourbon made from a four-grain mashbill (no breakdown specified), aged six years in oak. It’s available exclusively in Illinois and on Few’s own direct-to-consumer channel, BuyFewSpirits.com. The bright, burgundy-hued whiskey keeps things on the level, aromatically. Peanuts and caramel corn, laced…

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Recipe: Pop Quiz

Pop Quiz! Nah, I don’t have any actual questions for you, just this cocktail recipe created in 2010 by Devon Tarby of New York’s infamous Death & Company. As the story goes, someone challenged her to create a cocktail that used mole bitters (hence the name). Which, well, I’m not sure that’s much of a…

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Review: J. Rieger Caffe Amaro

J. Rieger is based in Kansas City, Missouri, where it produces a variety of spirits that includes vodka, gin, and whiskey. Oddly, its best-known is this, a coffee-infused amaro made with local coffee and a blend of botanicals, including juniper berries, cardamom, orange peel, star anise, spearmint leaves, gentian, and vanilla beans. Aiming to combine…

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