Review: Skeptic GinQuila Reposado

What’s ginquila? It’s gin finished in tequila barrels. Yes, that’s a crazy idea. Or is it? With GinQuila, Chicago’s Skeptic Distillery was inspired by a cocktail called the Cantarito, a Paloma style cocktail served in a clay pot. “Fusing this concept with the vibrant flavors of South America, we infused a gin base with fresh tropical…

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Review: 2017 Merry Edwards Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Meredith Estate

Meredith Estate was an apple orchard until 1996. Now it’s the source for this opulent pinot from the incredibly skilled Merry Edwards, loaded with the kind of effusive flavor that’s endemic to Sonoma’s Russian River Valley. The flavor profile includes notes of currents, blackberry, chocolate, and spice, all whipped up with a rich palate of…

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Review: Benriach Original 10, Original 12, Smoky 10, and Smoky 12

Four years after its acquisition by Brown-Forman, Speyside’s BenRiach has relaunched its entire core lineup — and dropped the capital R. It’s formally “Benriach Distillery” now. That’s hardly the most interesting thing about the relaunch, though. The new core of four single malts includes two 10 year olds and two 12 year olds — two…

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Tasting the Wines of Castello di Fonterutoli, 2020 Releases

Castello di Fonterutoli is a venerable producer in Chianti Classico, with vineyard holdings throughout the small region. In 2017, the Mazzei family changed the way it was producing its wines, focusing more on microterroirs and single vineyards within the Chianti Classico area. In an effort to highlight the biodiversity of the region, it now markets…

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Review: Frerot Extra Cognac

Frerot Extra is a 100% Grande Champagne Cognac made from eau-de-vies with an age ranging from 30 to 50 years old. That kind of age isn’t remotely common, so I approached this brandy with significant enthusiasm. Results? It’s perfectly agreeable, but to be honest, it’s vaguely disappointing. The nose is fragrant and floral, very light…

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Review: Wines of Marco Felluga and Russiz Superiore, 2020 Releases

We’ve written about the wines of the Marco Felluga family in the past, an operation which spans two estates in Northwest Italy. All four wines in this roundup come from Felluga’s holdings in Collio, in the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. 2019 Marco Felluga Mongris Pinot Grigio Collio DOC – A seductive pinot grigio (aged in stainless…

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The Best Cocktail Cherries Roundup – 14 Brands Tasted, 1 Winner

If there’s a more iconic and versatile cocktail garnish than the cherry, I don’t know about it — and you can keep your “twist” to yourself. When it comes to an edible treat at the bottom of your glass, there’s really nothing better than a high-grade cocktail cherry. Like all cocktail ingredients, the cherry has…

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Review: Frescobaldi 2018 Benefizio and 2015 Rialzi

Behold: Two new wines from our friends in Tuscany, the Frescobaldi empire. 2018 Frescobaldi Pomino Bianco Riserva Benefizio – This is a fun, Tuscan spin on chardonnay, chewy with texture but brightly fruit-forward, offering notes of orange blossom, green mango, and star fruit. Notes of coconut and almond butter give the finish more gravitas, with…

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