Review: NV Bollinger Special Cuvee and Rose Champagne

Since 1829, Bollinger has been producing champagne, with a specific focus on using grapes from its own vineyards (estate grapes account for 60% of the total grape supply), and a heavy use throughout the range of pinot noir, which dominates Bolli’s vineyards. Bollinger’s wines are also fermented in actual barrels, a practice that the winery…

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Tasting Report: 2016 Burgundy, Part 2

As promised, today we take another look at the 2016 Burgundy vintage, which is now on the cusp of general release. This tasting considers the 2016 wines of Bouchard Pere & Fils and William Fevre (which produces only Chablis), with a couple of older bottlings thrown in for comparison’s sake. As with our prior Wildman…

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Review: 2015 Stony Hill Chardonnay Spring Mountain District

This atypical Napa chardonnay is dialed back on the nose (it’s aged only in neutral oak, limiting the wood influence), some savory notes finding a companion in light melon and gentle floral tones. The palate sees a significant acidity (again, unusual for Napa chardonnay) before settling into a fruit-forward character, its melon, lemon, and quince…

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Review: Vinn Distillery Vodka, Baijiu, Whiskey, and Blackberry Liqueur

Vinn Distillery is a family-owned distiller based in Wilsonville, Oregon, where it makes all of its products from non-GMO rice. That includes vodka, whiskey, baijiu, and a blackberry liqueur. How far can a little rice go in today’s distillery universe? Let’s dig in to the full lineup. Vinn Distillery Vodka – Reportedly the first rice vodka…

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Review: Proud Pour 2016 Sauvignon Blanc and 2014 Pinot Noir

Over time, one becomes naturally skeptical when booze brands say they are doing something good for humanity. Whether it is saving tigers or supporting veterans, you get positively exhausted by all the positive things alcohol purveyors are doing for society. Well, let’s not hold that against Proud Pour, another charity-focused wine producer whose two wines…

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Review: Proof Traditional Old Fashioned Cocktail Syrup

Proof is a new brand of cocktail syrups, ranging from steadfast (Traditional) to oddball (Maple Bacon), made by a bartender-led crew based in Decatur, Georgia. The collection is designed to go beyond mere sugar and water, and have bitters already in the mix. Per the company: These high quality cocktail syrups are an “everything but…

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Tasting Report: WhiskyLIVE Washington DC 2018

Whiskey festivals come in all shapes and sizes, but WhiskyLIVE consistently produces a very approachable event for a fan at any stage in their whiskey obsession. There’s a good balance of offerings from industry heavy hitters and smaller craft outfits, as well as the occasional downright weird bottling. This year, I got to taste whiskey…

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Review: Cotswolds Single Malt Whiskey (2018)

Cotswolds is an area in southern England, and while one might think this is gin country, a distillery has popped up (in 2014) that is also producing single malt whisky. Says the distillery, “The first whisky ever distilled in the Cotswolds, it uses 100% locally grown, floor-malted barley and has been aged in first-fill ex-Bourbon barrels…

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