Review: Wines of Edna Valley, 2018 Releases

Today it’s a septet from Edna Valley Vineyards, all whites (and a rose) designed for sipping in the heat as summer continues to bear down upon us. 2017 Edna Valley Rose California – A pale pink mutt made from Tempranillo, Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. Extremely dry, it offers some floral notes on the back-end, but only…

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Review: Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Club

If you’re like me, when you find yourself face to face with an avant garde cocktail menu, you order the thing with the craziest ingredients on the list. I can make a gin and tonic at home just fine. Pickled boysenberry rhubarb shrub… that’s probably not something I’m going to whip up on my own.…

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Review: Captain Morgan Watermelon Smash

The latest in Captain Morgan’s hand grenade-styled flavored rums is this, Watermelon Smash, which is exactly what you think it is: Caribbean rum flavored with natural watermelon flavor and color. No need to get too cute with this one: The watermelon flavor is authentic and sweet, closer to the real fruit than to Jolly Ranchers,…

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Review: Watershed Distillery Guild Series Chamomile Flavored Gin

We’ve covered the mainline gins of Columbus, Ohio-based Watershed Distillery in the past, but today we look at a special release, part of its so-called Guild Series. This gin has a bit of a backstory to it, which I’ll allow Watershed to tell: Guild Series Gin, a corn and apple-based spirit, is distilled in the…

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Review: 2017 Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley

Cliff Lede’s ’17 sauvignon blanc is a very tart expression of the grape — the exact opposite of more approachable styles popular in other parts of the world. Here, intense minerality borders on greenness, with notes of sour apple finding solace in a touch of vanilla that lingers on the finish. A complicated but not…

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Review: Bly Silver Rum

Bly Rum is made by Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries, the same crew behind Boyd & Blair Vodka. The rum is made from high-quality, locally-sourced baking molasses which is “gently stirred, heated, but not cooked or rushed to prevent scorching and a burnt tasting spirit.” The finished product is bottled as a white rum, unaged. While Bly…

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Review: Devils Backbone Pear Lager

Devils Backbone Brewing Company has just released its Pear Lager in six-pack bottles. A lovely addition to the fruity beer shelf, this summer lager is one of their rotating seasonal lagers and is available from May through August. It’s a super refreshing golden lager with natural pear flavor that is remarkably understated in its use…

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Review: Chalk Hill 2017 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and 2016 Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Two new white wines from Chalk Hill, legendary for its Sonoma chardonnay. Thoughts follow. 2017 Chalk Hill Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – Lots to love here. Notes of fresh biscuits and buttered popcorn mingle with hints of pineapple, green apple, and some apricot, giving this wine considerable complexity. The round body folds in hints of coconut…

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