Review: Bols Genever

Genever’s modern resurgence can likely be credited to Bols, which brought “the original spirit of Amsterdam” — dating back to the 1500s — back to the market in 2008. Since then, you can’t get away from one genever-based cocktail or another, though many find genever to be a distinctly acquired taste. What’s genever? While it’s…

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Review: Zima

Everything old is new again. I know this because a beverage arrived on my doorstep that I had thought had been discontinued before I was old enough to legally drink: Zima. And yet, here it is. Again. Zima (aka “Zima Clearmalt”), it turns out, was introduced by Coors in 1993 (when I was 22, who…

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Touring and Tasting at Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California, 2018

  Did you know you can take the BART train (with a short car service ride from Pleasanton) from the Bay Area to go wine tasting in Livermore Valley? Well, you can! It’s a very price-friendly option with no drinking and driving to worry about. It’s pretty out there, too. Wente has 2000 acres of…

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Review: 2016 William Hill Chardonnay North Coast

There’s no shortage of butter here on this unctuous, gooey wine, which layers in notes of vanilla, coconut, brown butter, and spice. Then rinse and repeat. Heavy and weighty on the palate, it’s an exploration of chardonnay at its Californian extremes. Too much for me. C / $14 / williamhillestate.com   Related Stories: Review: 2012 William…

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Review: George Dickel Tabasco Barrel Finish

Listen, if you’ve never been to the Tabasco factory outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, you should go. Not only will you get to taste Tabasco and watch a movie about Tabasco, you will learn about Tabasco: Specifically, that the sauce spends years in a wooden barrel, covered with salt, as it ferments. What happens to…

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Review: 2015 Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County

Not to be confused with the 2015 Sonoma Valley cabernet from Louis M. Martini, this is the softer side of Louis, a kinder, gentler cab with an abundance of fruit that provides a lush, lightly sweet body. Full of plums, currants, and blackberries, the wine layers in vanilla and toasted marshmallow notes, leading to a lengthy,…

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Review: Nikka Super Rare Old

In Japan, anything with a name like “Super Rare Old” is considered “old man whiskey.” That’s definitely what “Super Nikka,” as it’s known colloquially, is, though not in the same way that many austere whiskeys can be. Super Nikka, which was introduced in 1962, is a blended whiskey, and the company doesn’t provide any real…

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Review: 2016 Castello Trebbio Chianti Superiore DOCG

Imported to the U.S. by Sonoma’s Cline family, Castello Trebbio is the center of a 350-hectare, organic winemaking operation that includes this Chianti Superiore. Soft for Chianti, the wine offers a significant graphite note, atop a dark but quite dry cherry base. Slightly tart, with notes of black pepper and some vague, dried spice notes,…

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