Review: 2018 Wente Niki’s Pinot Noir Rose Arroyo Seco

Rose styles have lately been drifting closer to white wine, with less of a floral/berry element to them. Wente‘s Niki’s Pinot Noir says to hell with all that: Here’s a big, flowery, juicy rose that’s closer to strawberries and cream than apples and vanilla. This rose of pinot noir offers notes of the aforementioned strawberry,…

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Review: New Riff Kentucky Straight Rye

New Riff is one of the hottest new distilleries in Kentucky right now. Last year saw the release of their in-house, bottled in bond bourbon, and a single barrel bourbon program followed not far behind with plenty of local and national retailers getting in on the action. There were even New Riff bourbon barrel picks…

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Review: Bitters Lab Club

There are wine clubs, cocktail clubs, and spirits clubs… why not bitters clubs? Bitters Lab is the brainchild of a Utah food professional who’s turned her eye to making uniquely flavored bitters: “bitters for everyone; from the novice home-bartender or baker, to seasoned chefs and of course, those in the bar industry.” Bitters lab has…

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Review: Tullibardine The Murray Marsala Cask Finish

Hot on the heels of its oddly-named The Murray single malt, Tullibardine is out with a follow up in this “Marquess Collection,” The Murray Marsala Finish. This new expression was distilled in 2006, aged in first-fill bourbon barrels, then finished for another year in Sicilian Marsala wine casks. (Total aging appears to remain steady at…

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Review: 2016 Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The new release of Jamieson Ranch’s Double Lariat Napa-born cabernet (see 2015 review here) is out. This release features a much different blend than last year: 95% cabernet sauvignon and 5% petite sirah. That explains why it’s a much different wine. The nose is big with plum and cherry notes, with notes of tea leaf…

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Exploring the 4 Major Styles of Baijiu

By now, you’ve probably heard of baijiu, essentially the national spirit of China. But what the heck is it? Baijiu draws comparisons to everything from vodka to rhum agricole, and while it is arguably closest to vodka in construction, it’s really a broad category of spirits that refers to a wide category of Chinese spirits…

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Review: 2016 Mark Ryan Winery Water Witch Red Wine Red Mountain

Washington-based Mark Ryan Winery’s Water Witch is one of its flagship bottlings, a Bordeaux-style blend that, for 2016, is composed of 64% cabernet sauvignon, 26% merlot, 9% cabernet franc, and 1% petit verdot. We checked out the Water Watch in its 2015 incarnation, and were excited to put this 2016 bottling up against it. Much…

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How to Read a Sake Label, Part 1: Ginjo Explained

Sake is a captivating beverage. For me, part of its allure lies in its diversity of style: sake can taste rich and savory or delicate and fruity, can be served chilled or piping hot, and is equally at home in a crystal wine glass or an unassuming ceramic tumbler. It can even be aged (called…

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