A Visit to Monterey’s Holman Ranch Estate Wines

Thanks to the awesome hospitality of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association, I recently had the pleasure of visiting Holman Ranch to taste with father and son winemakers Greg and Chris Vita. They produce two labels of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling for them: Holman Ranch and Jarman, both sourced from estate vineyards in…

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Review: Iichiko Saiten Shochu

Shochu continues to make slow inroads into the U.S. market, and to further those aims, Iichiko, the leading barley shochu brand in Japan and the one which American drinkers are most likely to be familiar, has released a new expression: Saiten. The unusual concept is that Saiten was designed specifically with the U.S. palate in…

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Review: 2017 Cameron Hughes Lot 631 Pinot Gris and Lot 639 Rose

A pair of new wines — both dirt cheap — from the recently revived Cameron Hughes are here. Let’s taste. 2017 Cameron Hughes Lot 631 Pinot Gris Willamette Valley – Bold mango up front, then a somewhat sweet marshmallow character as the palate grabs hold. Lightly floral throughout, it’s a fairly classic expression of pinot…

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Review: Remus Volstead Reserve Bourbon

The folks at MGP continue the march up-market with their George Remus line of bourbons. The latest, Remus Volstead Reserve, is a commemorative bottling of sorts, meant to observe (but definitely not to celebrate) the 100th anniversary of the official start of National Prohibition with the passage of the Volstead Act. It’s a 14 year…

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Review: 2016 Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel

Two new releases from our friends at Frank Family Vineyards in Napa Valley… 2016 Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley – Put simply, wines like this are why people like Napa Cabernet. Lush berries and powerful spice notes give the wine an instant likability, with silky chocolate and some cinnamon dripping in as the palate…

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Review: Town Branch Kentucky Single Malt 7 Years Old

In an America where bourbon rules above all else, it’s always unusual to see distillers branching out into different grains — namely malted barley. Town Branch is the latest Kentucky distillery to release a single malt whiskey, and this expression of 100% malted barley even carries an age statement of 7 years. Let’s give it…

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Review: Daddy Burt Hemp Co. CBD Oil – Natural and Peppermint

Is CBD the new hotness in cocktails? For Daddy Burt Hemp Co., oil extracts aren’t just for dropping under the tongue. They can be used as cocktail ingredients too. But first, who’s Daddy Burt? Per the company: Daddy Burt Hemp Co. is the rekindling of a family hemp farming legacy, dating back to the early…

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Review: Grand Marnier Cuvee Louis-Alexandre

Grand Marnier’s latest expression launched quietly earlier this year. Cuvée Louis-Alexandre is an ode to the creator of Grand Marnier liqueur, Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle, “whose audacious and grand idea to blend a fine cognac with a rare, bitter orange liqueur disrupted the status quo more than a century ago.” This newest expression blends VSOP Cognac with…

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