Review: 2014 Les Dauphins Puymeras Cotes du Rhone Villages

70% grenache, 20% syrah, 10% carignan. This affordable Rhone Valley wine offers an exceptionally fruit-forward profile, featuring notes of bold strawberry and cherry, backed with a hint of rhubarb. As the palate develops it turns a little toward citrus, with stronger orange juice and orange peel notes, before leading to a slightly astringent — yet…

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Cocktail Recipes for National IPA Day 2017

On August 3rd, we celebrate our love of hoppiness with National India Pale Ale Day. Rather than review a few, since we do that throughout the year, we decided to focus on cocktails using IPA as an ingredient. When beer is used in cocktails, it’s typically the bittering agent, particularly when it’s an IPA. You…

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Review: Wines of San Simeon, 2017 Releases

San Simeon is a sublabel of San Antonio Winery, which makes a vast number of wines from grapes sourced from all over California — in Paso Robles, Monterey, and Napa Valley. Today we look at a mere three of them, part of the San Simeon label (that’s where Hearst Castle is, which you should go see…

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Review: Fabriquero Sotol

Perhaps you’ve heard of this “cousin of tequila”? But OK, what is sotol? Sotol is a distillate of an agave-like plant called sotol — scientifically named as Dasylirion Wheeleri. It’s not agave, but a different plant that creates a finished product with a different flavor. This wild plant grows in three northern Mexico states, “100%…

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Review: Gonzalez Byass Sherries – Leonor Palo Cortado and Gonzalez Byass Nectar

Sherry continues to attempt to muscle onto American wine menus but it’s having more success in cocktails, where it can stand in for spirits to create a lighter, less boozy cocktail. Here’s a look at two very different sherries from major producer Gonzalez Byass, and a cocktail idea on how to use one of them.…

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Review: Knappogue Castle 14 Years Old and 16 Years Old (2017)

Once known for releasing only vintage-dated Irish whiskeys, Knappogue Castle switched to standard age statements some years ago. Today it continues to tweak its branding, labels, and other packaging details, and now we’re also seeing a few production changes. That said, in addition to some rare offerings, the core of the line remains a trinity of…

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Review: Method And Madness Irish Whiskey – Single Grain, Single Pot Still, and Single Malt

Method And Madness is a new brand of Irish whiskey that comes from Irish Distillers, particularly Midleton, where these expressions are born. The idea, across the board, is to take tradition and turn it a bit on its head — with all three whiskeys seeing a different type of wood treatment than the typical ex-bourbon…

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Review: Iowa Legendary Rye Whiskey and White Whiskey

Hey, Templeton isn’t the only outfit making whiskey in Iowa. Check out Iowa Legendary Rye, a much smaller, family-run operation which distills and ages its own 100% rye whiskey, all from locally sourced grains. The company bottles both the unaged rye and an aged expression, though the latter does not carry any aging or barreling…

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