Review: Wines of La Valentina, 2020 Releases

Today we venture back to Abruzzo, east of Rome, to visit with La Valentina‘s latest releases, including its fresh pecorino and two different Montepulcianos from the region. 2019 La Valentina Pecorino IGT – This wine bursts out of the gate with notes of melon and sourish quince, with a light vanilla/cream soda note layered over…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Bourbon and Double Oaked (2020)

Despite all the limited editions we’ve tasted and special events we’ve attended, there is one expression of Woodford Reserve that we’ve never formally reviewed: The most common, widely available version, the iconic Woodford Reserve Straight Bourbon. Update — or so we thought; we later uncovered old reviews of Woodford and Double Oaked back in 2011…

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Review: 2019 Lucky Rock Sauvignon Blanc County Cuvee

This year’s County Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc is vastly different from last years Lake County-heavy blend. In fact, this year it’s 100% from Sonoma County — making it not really a cuvee, per se, but anyway… The wine is aged half in stainless steel and half in barrel (5% of which are new), for 6.5 months…

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Review: Standard Proof Wildflower Rye and Pecan Rye

The Standard Proof lineup is from the same Tennessee-based company that makes Barsmith Grenadine, and here the operation turns its flavoring attention to real spirits, not just sugar syrups. The collection of six rye whiskeys are all made from undisclosed sourced spirit (the mashbill being 51% rye, 44% corn, and 5% malted barley), then infused…

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Review: NV Graham Beck Brut

Here’s a fun story: Graham Beck Brut “was affectionately dubbed the “President’s Choice” as it was served at both Nelson Mandela’s inauguration and to celebrate Barak Obama’s presidential nomination.” This nonvintage South African sparkler is made from chardonnay and pinot noir grown in the country’s Western Cape region and is produced using the classic méthode…

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Review: WhistlePig HomeStock

By now you’ve probably read about HomeStock, WhistlePig and Flaviar’s unorthodox and groundbreaking project that saw 1000 Flaviar members blending their own whiskey at home — from samples of 100% rye, wheat, and barley distillates — then voting for a winner during a live tasting of the finalists. The winner, an unusual blend of 45%…

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Recipe: Carthusian Sazerac

The Sazerac is an old cocktail, enjoyed for nearly two centuries now. Although deservedly venerable, it can be a bit of a heavy drink, with that mix of bitters, sugar, and whiskey brightened only with a little Herbsaint or, in some recipes, an absinthe rinse. For fans of the Sazerac looking to enjoy a more…

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Review: Rhum J.M Blanc, XO French Oak, and Sirop (2020)

We’ve looked the agricole rums of Martinique’s Rhum J.M on many occasions, but this is only our second spin with J.M’s white rum and our first formal review of any of J.M’s XO bottlings. We also take a peek at J.M.’s Sirop de Canne, a flavored sugar syrup built for mixing with its own agricole. Rhum…

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