Review: 2016 Landmark Vineyards Damaris Chardonnay, Grand Detour Pinot Noir, and Overlook Pinot Noir

Today it’s a trio of 2016 vintage wines from Landmark Vineyards in Sonoma — a chardonnay and two pinot noirs — including a few expressions we’ve never seen before. 2016 Landmark Vineyards Damaris Reserve Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – This standby chardonnay finds a moderate to heavy wood profile giving its underlying fruit a slathering of…

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Review: Crystal Head Aurora Vodka

Remember Crystal Head Vodka, the Dan Aykroyd-conceived spirit that wrapped UFOs, ectoplasm, and other planes of existence into the mythology of a bottle of 80-proof booze? Well, 10 years later, Crystal Head is back with a new, special edition called Aurora, complete with an updated skull bottle, and a revamped spirit inside. Here’s how Aurora is…

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Bar Review: NICO, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

The upscale bedroom community of Mount Pleasant is just a few minutes and a big bridge away from Charleston, South Carolina, and a decade ago no one would have thought to put a high-end French bistro in these parts. Things have changed, though, as Mt. Pleasant has continued to vault its way upmarket. NICO, which…

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Review: UWA Tequila Blanco and Reposado

“The Scottish Tequila Company” — UWA — has as its avowed mission a question: “What would happen if we took elements from both [regions] and created a blend of both tequila and whisky in a single drink?” Don’t be too alarmed. UWA isn’t a blend of tequila and scotch; it’s merely tequila that has been…

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Review: Traverse City Premium Cocktail Cherries

Traverse City is a craft whisky distillery in the eponymous town in Michigan. Lately they’re also introduced cocktail cherries — of the “brandied” variety, not artificial maraschinos. Some details: TCWC Co-founder Chris Fredrickson chose to use Northern Michigan Balaton Cherries,which are harvested exclusively from orchards in the Traverse City area. The large, plump, firm cherries, which…

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Harvest in Chile’s Casablanca Valley – A Dusty Paradise

“In many ways, for wine, Chile is like a mirror image of California,” said Byron Kosuge as we strolled from the winery to view the vast expanse of Kingston Family Vineyards in Casablanca Valley. Byron has been consulting winemaker for Kingston Family since 2003. He spends part of each year in Chile and the rest…

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Review: Melvin Brewing TGR Pilsgnar and 2×4 DIPA

Melvin Brewing can be found in Alpine, Wyoming, where some serious hopheads have been turning out brews since 2009. Today we take a spin through our first encounter with Melvin, both of which are available in cans, but only one of which (the big boy) has WWE wrestler Hacksaw Jim Duggan as a spokesman. Melvin Brewing…

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Review: Amaro dell’Etna

Amaro dell’Etna isn’t a new brand of amaro, but it’s new to America. To wit: M.S. Walker has announced that it is introducing Amaro dell’Etna, a Sicilian digestif that has been produced near Mt. Etna in Italy for more than 100 years, into the U.S. market. Amaro dell’Etna has its roots, both literally and figuratively,…

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