Review: NV Vilarnau Cava Brut Reserva and Rose Brut Reserva

  Barcelona is the home of cava, Spain’s native sparkling wine. It’s a category on the rise, thanks to its fruit-forward profile and approachable pricing, designed for those who might otherwise consider Prosecco but want something a little more lively. Who’s Vilarnau? Vilarnau is a small, artisanal, hand crafted cava house from outside of Barcelona,…

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Chateau Montelena’s Dream Tasting: A Retrospective of Five Decades of Wine

Chateau Montelena broke ground in 1972, and the winery has remained a stalwart of northern California wine country ever since. Best known for winning the white wine portion of the Judgment of Paris in 1976, today Montelena continues to churn out top-notch chardonnay and, more notably, cabernet sauvignon sourced from its Calistoga estate. For no…

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Review: 2015 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay and Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Two new releases from iconic Sonoma winery Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery, established in 1972 and today an exemplar of the region. 2015 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay Chalk Hill AVA – This classic California chardonnay initially comes off as pushy with its oak, vanilla, and brown butter notes, but there’s a surprisingly spicy element — lemongrass…

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2018 Super Bowl Cocktail Recipes and Snacks

Whether you’re an Eagles or a Patriots fan, this Super Bowl will be a time for rooting on the game with some great drinks and lots of finger food in hand. Here are a few suggestions for this year’s big game. Drambuie Timeout Twist 1 ¼ parts Drambuie ¾ part Hendrick’s Gin ½ part lemon…

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Review: New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze IPA

Pineapple is the name of the game in this latest bottling from New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger series, a tropical-focused brew that is indeed as juicy as its name would suggest — almost to a fault, at times, its ultra-fruity body leading one to think fondly of their last trip to Hawaii. At the last second,…

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Review: New Riff O.K.I. Reserve Straight Bourbon 10 Years Old

New Riff Distilling opened in 2014 in northern Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. Like many new distilleries in recent years, it has been aging and bottling sourced whiskey from MGP to generate revenue while its own make comes of age. They’re honest about the source of this whiskey, which is thankfully a…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Hop Henge (2017) and Red Chair NWPA (2017)

These two Deschutes bottles hit at the tail end of 2017, so we’re belatedly marking them with “2017” — but never mind all that, you should find both readily available. Deschutes Brewery Hop Henge Imperial IPA (2017) – No longer denoted as “experimental,” this is now apparently a standard-issue release — to the point where…

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Review: Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection No. 2

Give Hennessy some credit: It isn’t resting on the old school laurels of brandydom. It’s innovating and experimenting and constantly releasing interesting stuff (for better or worse). Its latest gamble is the Master Blender’s Selection series, a line of two Cognacs — so far — that really mess with the way Cognac is supposed to…

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