Review: 2012 Les Cadrans de Lassegue Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

“Affordable Bordeaux” is always a loaded term, and this release from Lassegue’s second label shows why. A very simplistic wine, it exudes a heavily earthy and vegetal character, with notes of truffle, tobacco, and green beans. The body is surprisingly thin, while the finish is thick with a canned vegetable aftertaste.  It has a few…

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Review: 2013 Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay Napa Valley

A big (huge!) wine from Newton, this wine showcases some bold flavors not typically associated with chardonnay, including apricot, toasted marshmallow, and figs. In time, a pear/apple core emerges, punched up by tons of vanilla and a moderate to heavy lumberyard influence. Pair with something that can stand up to it. B+ / $60 / newtonvineyard.com…

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Review: Havana Club Anejo Classico Puerto Rican Rum (Bacardi)

Havana Club is one of Cuba’s most noteworthy and famous rums. So how exactly does this bottle come from Puerto Rico? Allow me to explain the best I can… Like many things today, Havana Club isn’t a rum per se but a brand. The vast majority of the world knows Havana Club as a rum brand…

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Review: Liberated 2015 Sauvignon Blanc and 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

A pair of mid-2016 releases of Liberated are here, both North Coast bottlings but different as night and day. Thoughts follow. 2015 Liberated Sauvignon Blanc North Coast – A fresh and lightly tropical sauvignon blanc that nonetheless has enough acidity to keep things alive and vibrant. Pineapple finds a companion in light, white floral elements and…

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Review: Pickle Juice Chaser

Want the flavor of pickles but without those troublesome brined cucumbers? Good news, now you can, thanks to Pickle Juice, brought to you by The Pickle Juice Company. Pickle Juice has one legitimately known use in cocktailing: The Pickleback. The Pickleback has no known origin, but the name was coined only in 2006 in Brooklyn.…

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Review: Egan’s Single Malt Irish Whiskey 10 Years Old

An old brand from the 1800s, Egan’s Irish Whiskey was revived in 2013 and is now making its way into the U.S. Its first product is this, a 10 year old single malt (sourced) “from the heart of Ireland.” Let’s see how it fares. The nose is initially a bit undistinguished. A bit heavy on…

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Tasting the Chenin Blanc Wines of South Africa, 2016 Releases

South Africa is making a name for itself with chenin blanc — or at least it’s trying to, and recently a number of vintners from the region banded together to showcase how chenin blanc was evolving in the country. (More chenin blanc is planted here than in any other country in the world.) During an…

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Review: Drinkmate Home Carbonation System

The SodaStream home carbonation system has been around long enough to become a beloved kitchen companion for many — but the device is famous for one very stern rule: It is only to be used to carbonate water. Of course there are myriad other beverages out there that could stand the fizzy treatment. If you…

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