Review: 2016 Game of Thrones Pinot Noir Oregon

Last year’s Game of Thrones-branded wines were hardly worth blowing up King’s Landing for, but we hoped that  this year’s wine — a pinot sourced from Oregon — might light some wildfire. No such luck. Meaty and smoky on the nose, it kicks off more like a syrah, a somewhat brambly character on the palate…

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Tasting and Touring at Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma County, 2018

Joel Peterson of Ravenswood is legendary in the Bay Area wine scene. We were recently invited to tour the winery and certain vineyards close the Ravenswood team’s heart. We also dined on the vast patio space that they just opened up near the barrel room and tasting room. We drank Zinfandel while eating BBQ, listening…

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Review: Gold Medal Wine Club

Gold Medal Wine Club describes itself as an “old school” wine club, and recently they asked if they could showcase their wares for us. Says a represntative, “Gold Medal Wine Club has been at it since ’92. They don’t bottle bulk juice, slap a label on and call it a winery. They don’t contract with…

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Review: Cointreau L’Unique (2018)

Cointreau is a staple of the back bar, “the original crystal-clear orange liqueur” and an essential triple sec for use in any high-end margarita. Made from “a unique distillation of sweet and bitter orange peels,” it’s one of the two French expressions of orange liqueur that lay claim to being the inventors of the stuff.…

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Review: Anyday Rose

Ready for something kooky? Like, really kooky? Anyday Rose is not rose wine, but rather a blend: It’s actually 85% cider, 15% rose wine, with the resulting combo flavored with Cascade and Citra hops. So it’s a cider/wine combo, doctored up to taste a little like beer. What? The brainchild of former NFL player Pat McAfee…

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Review: Our/New York Vodka

Absolut spinoff Our/Vodka has been on a tear since its 2010 introduction. The bold idea: To make vodka in small microdistilleries constructed all around the world, giving each metro area access to its own, locally-produced spirit — with each vodka carrying its own unique profile. Our/Vodka now his six distilleries up and running worldwide, including Berlin,…

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Review: Devils Backbone Trail Angel Weiss

Octoberfest is upon us, and that means Bavarian-inspired beers will be dominating the shelves for the foreseeable future. First out of the gate is Trail Angel Weiss from Devils Backbone, a hefeweizen with heart. How so? Located right off Appalachian Trail mile marker 842 in Virginia, Devils Backbone Brewing Co. is (literally) in the heart…

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Sake Tasting and Mac Pairing with Sake Social, 2018

Mac and cheese is such an U.S. staple that it has its own one syllable moniker. Like Cher or Elvis, we also have Mac. I recently went down a sake/shochu/mac rabbit hole and damn, it was delicious. I first spoke with Marc Smookler, the owner/founder of Sake Social, by far the largest online retailer in the…

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