Review: 2018 Rutherford Ranch Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley

Pale as a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon, this Napa sauvignon blanc is sunny and bright, a departure from the usual styles of this wine — either overly tropical or heavily grassy and full of ammonia character. What Rutherford Ranch offers instead is a crisp, lemony wine that’s lightly herbal, exhibiting solid…

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Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch 20

In case you may have thought that Barrell Bourbon was a bit of a newcomer to the whiskey scene, we’re now actually up to 20 releases in their eponymous line of small batch bourbons. We recently received a sample of the latest offering, Batch 20, which is a blend of rye bourbons produced in Kentucky…

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Review: 2017 Mark Ryan Monkey Wrench Columbia Valley

First, I love the name. This blend of 47% merlot, 30% cabernet sauvignon, 14% cabernet franc, and 9% petit verdot from Washington-based Mark Ryan is surprisingly dense, a meaty wine that showcases peppery beef jerky, dried blackberry, and some dried spices — cloves, marjoram, and rosemary. The finish doubles down on that BBQ beef note,…

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Review: Starward Nova Single Malt Australian Whisky

Fans of world whisky should be excited that a new option has recently made its way to our shores: Starward Nova, a single malt that hails from Australia. Here’s what we know about it: Starward is an Australian whisky completely made in Melbourne, and what sets it apart from other world whiskies is that it…

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Book Review: Julep: Southern Cocktails Refashioned

First off, to clear up any early and obvious confusion, Julep is not a book about mint juleps (not entirely, anyway). Julep is a bar in Houston, Texas — a great one, at that! — that, as the subtitle for this book indicates, focuses to some degree on the cocktails of the South. Julep is…

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A Guide to Decoding Dessert Wines

ADVERTISEMENT Although less popular than dry wines, about 25% of wine drinkers sometimes consume dessert wine, which is particularly popular with older consumers. If you’re not drinking dessert wine, you’re missing out. Like dry wine, dessert wines have their own unique characteristics that make them special and awesome in their own way. Dessert wine is…

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Review: Teerenpeli PyyGin and Kaski Single Malt Whisky

You’ll find Teerenpeli Brewery and Distillery in the south of Finland — making this our first foray into the spirits of the Finns. Established as a brewery in 2002, the operation has grown dramatically in recent years, with the distillery arm opening in 2015. Teerenpeli distills using copper pot stills and matures its whiskies in…

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Review: 2018 Lucky Rock Sauvignon Blanc County Cuvee

Lucky Rock’s 2018 sauvignon blanc is a blend of fruit, 55% from Lake County, 45% from Napa County. The result is unfortunately dull, a surprisingly lifeless wine that feels a bit too muddy. What would otherwise be a fairly grassy wine just finds much of its freshness sucked out here, much like how a canister…

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