Review: 2015 Mia Bea Chardonnay and Petite Sirah

Barra Family Vineyards is a small, family-owned vineyard in Mendocino County. In 2014, the vineyard owners decided to use some of the harvest to make their own wine, a chardonnay. This year, they’ve expanded and are now offering their first red, a petite sirah. We tasted both wines from the newly released 2015 vintage. Thoughts…

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Review: The Spice Lab Special Touch Premium Mixology Case

Nothing’s more fun than ordering a high-end cocktail at a bar and receiving it with a wacky ingredient or garnish — maybe a flaming star anise or an edible flower, slowly leeching its color into your drink. Well good news, campers: Now you can recreate some of these experiences at home, thanks to The Spice Lab’s “Special…

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Review: Breckenridge Brewery Barrel Aged Imperial Cherry Stout

This second entry in Colorado-based Breckenridge Brewery’s Brewery Lane Series is a cherry stout — “aged 50% in whiskey barrels and 50% in Port wine barrels, Imperial Cherry Stout features sweet-sour Montmorency tart cherries which play on the dark fruit flavors prevalent in a traditional Imperial Stout.” This is a huge beer but quite an…

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Review: Humboldt Distillery Spiced Rum

Humboldt Distillery is best known (to me, anyway) for its hemp flavored vodka. But Humboldt also makes a rum, organic and well spiced. The rum is double distilled; once in a column still, once in a pot still. There’s no information on aging or the spices used in the flavoring process. The golden/amber rum is…

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Tasting the Wines of Onward, 2017 Releases

Onward is a wine brand run by winemaker Faith Armstrong, who creates these wines sustainably, organically, and biodynamically. During a recent live tasting, Armstrong talked through a collection of five new releases, with a special focus on her most beloved baby, Pét-Nat. Thoughts follow. 2016 Onward Pét-Nat of Malvasia Bianca Suisun Valley – If wine writers…

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Review: Warship Rum

Warship Rum is a sourced spirit that originally hails from Paraguay, where it is made from fair-trade, organic blackstrap molasses. That rum is shipped at 189.5 proof in drums to Portland, Oregon, where proprietor (and Canadian native) Olivier Beaulieu-Grise brings it down to 80 proof and filters it, then hand-bottles the finished product. The rum…

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Review: Winc Wine Club

Winc is a monthly wine club from Northern California that, like most, works via an online subscription service. We had the opportunity to give them a try and were fairly impressed with the offering. First, a bit about Winc. When you first sign up, you are asked several questions to determine your “Palate Profile.” They ask…

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Review: Blood Oath Bourbon Whiskey Pact No. 3 2017

The third installment of Luxco’s annual Blood Oath series, Pact No. 3, was released in March of this year, and as with previous releases it’s a product of significant creativity. Like Pact No. 1 and Pact No. 2 before it, this release is a blend of three different rye-heavy bourbons ranging in age from seven to…

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