Perfect Pairings: Indian Food and Gewürztraminer

Sometimes food and drink go together so well that each makes the other shine and brings out the best in both. When that happens, we have a “perfect pairing.” One such perfect pairing is Indian food and the white wine Gewürztraminer. I love Indian food for its amazing blend of aromatic spices that provide tantalizing…

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Review: Ayate Tequila – Reposado and Anejo

Ayate is a new tequila brand from winemaker Dave Phinney’s Savage & Cooke, and it follows the same general thought process as the whiskeys it makes: Source the underlying spirit, then finish said spirit in Phinney’s wine barrels. These two tequilas — note that there is no blanco.expression available — are 100% agave spirits sourced from the Jalisco…

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Review: 2016 Bear Flag Zinfandel Sonoma County

2015’s Bear Flag was an impressive expression of zinfandel that dialed down the fruit, and the 2016 release largely follows in its footsteps. There’s a touch more prune character here than in ’15, but by and large, the wine manages to pull off the same trick of keeping the “jamminess” in check. That said, all…

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Review: Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino Cask Edition 2018

For its always highly-anticipated limited edition Cairdeas release in 2018, Laphroaig turns to a familiar finishing treatment — the sherry barrel — with a big twist. Rather than utilize the usual oloroso barrels, or even Pedro Ximenez or amontillado casks, Laphroaig finishes this spirit in fino sherry casks. Fino is a very dry style of sherry,…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Fresh Haze IPA, Black Butte XXX, and The Ages (2018)

Today we look at three brand new releases from Bend, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery, and they couldn’t be more different, comprising a hazy IPA, the 30th release of the barrel-aged Deschutes, and the first ever release of a multi-year mashup of various aged brews called, appropriately, The Ages. Deschutes Brewery Fresh Haze IPA – Hazy in…

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Review: Merrys Irish Cream Liqueuer

The Irish cream category continues to explode almost as rapidly as the irish whiskey market, the latest being this expression from a company called Na Cuana, based in Meath, Ireland. Merrys (no apostrophe formally, but you’ll see it as Merry’s also), claims to be “the world’s most awarded product in its category.” It is crafted in…

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Book Review: Around the World in Eighty Wines

It takes a certain type of attitude to appreciate Mike Veseth’s Around the World in Eighty Wines, a personal exploration into wine that vaguely follows the conceit of Around the World in Eighty Days. Er, sort of. His general idea: Can we identify 80 wines that represent the entirety of the wine world, going region by region,…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Bottled-in-Bond

At long last, Jack Daniel’s has released a bottled-in-bond expression, finally jumping on the trend of higher-proof, more boldly flavored whiskeys. This is a permanent extension to the JD line, but there’s a catch: It will only be available in travel retail (aka duty free) stores. “Whiskey-making in the 1800’s too often produced a hodge-podge…

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