Review: Green Spot Chateau Montelena

It has been almost four years since we reviewed the original Green Spot and celebrated its arrival in the U.S., a single pot still whiskey which we lauded for its bold, balanced flavor. With time and universal acclaim, the makers of Green Spot have sought to offer new products. The last one, Green Spot finished in…

Read More about Review: Green Spot Chateau Montelena

Review: 2015 Oyster Bay Pinot Noir Marlborough

This new pinot release from New Zealand’s Oyster Bay offers a surprising creaminess, with rounded berry notes — blueberry and strawberry — leading to a late palate that’s more fueled by classic black cherry character. With virtually no tannin to speak of, the wine lets some spicier notes do the talking, fading slowly to a…

Read More about Review: 2015 Oyster Bay Pinot Noir Marlborough

Review: Greenbar City Bright Gin

Los Angeles’ Greenbar Distillery recently added gin to its stable of spirits, with this release, City Bright Gin (there’s also a City Amber Gin) the flagship expression. Says Greenbar, “Taste the flavors of Los Angeles — from the aromatic herbs of East and South Asia to the floral & earthy flavors of Mexico and the…

Read More about Review: Greenbar City Bright Gin

Review: NV J Vineyards Brut Rose Sparkling Wine (2018)

Nonvintage wines don’t carry a year on the label, but that doesn’t mean they don’t ever change. We last looked at J Vineyards’ Brut Rose sparkling wine in 2011, and the recipe has been altered just a bit. Today, the wine is composed of 66% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, and 1% Pinot Meunier, and it…

Read More about Review: NV J Vineyards Brut Rose Sparkling Wine (2018)

Review: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Sherry Cask

The mad geniuses at Colorado’s Stranahan’s have, at last, added a new expression to their “yellow label” single malt: Stranahan’s Sherry Cask. Per the distillery, “This special release is the first of its kind for the Denver-based distillery, fusing the Rocky Mountain whiskey making style with the wine making traditions of Spanish Sherry.” As the…

Read More about Review: Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Sherry Cask

Tasting the Wines of Crowded House and Catalina Sounds with Winemaker Peter Jackson, 2018 Releases

So here’s New Zealander Peter Jackson. Not the filmmaker. He makes wines under two labels, Catalina Sounds (not the island) and Crowded House. Not the band. Recently he undertook a whirlwind trip to the States to show off his wines, which are trickling to our shores ever so slowly. (Watch for them in mid-2018.) While…

Read More about Tasting the Wines of Crowded House and Catalina Sounds with Winemaker Peter Jackson, 2018 Releases

Wine and Beer Touring in California’s Paso Robles, 2017

In 2014, the U.S. TTB finally approved a longstanding plan to split Paso Robles up into 11 AVAs. It was just the latest move that is turning this sleepy region into a top wine destination, with some 300 wineries (plus or minus, depending on who you talk to) cranking out some excellent bottlings. Rhone grapes…

Read More about Wine and Beer Touring in California’s Paso Robles, 2017

Review: Left Coast Brewing Una Mas, Trestles IPA, and Hop Juice Triple IPA

Left Coast Brewing Company (commonly mis-typed, at least by me, as West Coast Brewing Company) can be found surfside in San Clemente, California, where it’s been putting out craft beers since 2004. Recently expanding into Northern California, it’s definitively a brewery to watch. In honor of its expansion, we checked out three of the brewery’s most…

Read More about Review: Left Coast Brewing Una Mas, Trestles IPA, and Hop Juice Triple IPA