Review: Wines of the Locations Series, 2018

We’ve covered Dave Phinney’s Locations Series wines (the brand was acquired by Gallo earlier today) a couple of times, but if you missed those reviews, the concept is simple: Phinney sources wine from, well, everywhere (including Texas), blends them, and releases them as nonvintage wines, intended to express the (very) general terroir of an entire region,…

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Review: Flaviar Frerot XO Cognac Assemblage de Crus

Online retailer Flaviar is no stranger to bespoke spirits, having released (among others) its own heavily peated Scotch previously. Next up is Cognac, a blended spirit called Frerot. Launching this Spring, Frérot XO Cognac Assemblage de Crus gives rise to a new order in the world of fine spirits –a Cognac created by the people.…

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Review: 2017 Fleur de Mer Cotes de Provence Rose

Uncomplicated but lively, this simple French rose peppers its acidic core with some very gentle fruit as well as a slightly surprising floral-herbal component. The winemakers say lavender, and that’s as close as I can come to an appropriate descriptor. Thoughts of fresh linens and sea breezes carry you through to the easygoing, summery finish.…

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Review: Don Ciccio & Figli Cerasum Cherry Liqueur

Cherry liqueur has not traditionally received a standing ovation in the cocktail world. While liqueurs like Peter Heering have their place, unless you’re making a Singapore Sling they’re hardly a go-to ingredient. As such, most cherry liqueurs tend to gather dust on the back bar, all but ignored. Cerasum, from the mad artisans at Don…

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Review: 2016 Peltier Rouge Rose

Peltier is based in California’s Lodi, and this rose is a “rouge” version of cabernet sauvignon. The result is a very dark rose, with a bit of classically-cabernet tannin still gripping to the wine. Notes of mango, orange peel, and strawberry are intriguing foils to a bittersweet core, with hints of salted caramel emerging on…

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Review: Great Women Spirits – Walewska Vodka, Lovelace Gin, and Agnesi Brandy

I guess this was inevitable: One of the biggest wine producers in California, Francis Ford Coppola, decided to make spirits, too. Three of them, in fact, all named after famous women of history, a nod to the many great women that have impacted Coppola’s life and career. The spirits include a vodka, gin, and brandy…

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Review: Samuel Adams Summer 2018 Releases

The ever-inventive Sam Adams is out with its latest passel of brews, all designed for summer sipping. Here’s a look at a quintet of barley-based goodies. Samuel Adams Summer Ale (2018) – This venerable wheat ale, brewed with lemon peel and grains of paradise, comes across as more refreshing and balanced than it has in…

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Review: Ballyhoo Irish Whiskey

Connacht’s new Irish whiskey — Ballyhoo, sometimes denoted as an emphatic Ballyhoo! — is a four year old grain whiskey finished in Port casks (though none of that is denoted on the label). It’s also quite a surprise: This pale, pale spirit looks like it didn’t spend more than a week in the barrel, and…

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