Tasting the Wines of Lodi Native, 2013 Vintage

Lodi is an area that most California wine fans are familiar with, especially if they enjoy a glass of Zin once in a while. 40 percent of all Zinfandel grown in California comes from this region, and it has the highest proportion of old vine Zin in the state – with some active, still-producing vines…

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Review: Smirnoff Peppermint Twist

Ho ho ho! What’s Santa want next to the fireplace? Not another peppermint candy but rather a peppermint-flavored vodka. Smirnoff Peppermint Twist isn’t just a mint-flavored spirit, it’s all wrapped up and ready for your holiday partying. Let’s give this flavored vodka a holiday-centric spin, shall we? The nose is all candy canes, and that’s…

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Review: Anchor Distilling Christmas Spirit White Whiskey 2015

Every year, the folks at Anchor Distilling take the prior year’s Anchor Christmas Ale, distill it, and turn it into an unaged white whiskey. Last year it was known as Christmas Spirit, as it is again for 2015. The 2015 Christmas Spirit is classic white whiskey, cut with notes of seasonally appropriate herbs and pine…

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Review: 2013 Starmont Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Two new releases from our friends at Starmont, Merryvale’s sister winery and an all-around great value label. 2013 Starmont Chardonnay Carneros – A mere $23 will get you this masterfully made Chardonnay, which balances buttery oak with fresh pears and a dusting of cinnamon sugar. A touch of acid on the finish brightens things up. A- /…

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Review: Clyde May’s Alabama Style Whiskey Special Reserve 110 Proof

The “Alabama Style” whiskey crew at Clyde May’s is back at it, turning out a Special Reserve edition of its original product. This is the first line extension for the brand, a (sourced) corn/rye/malted barley whiskey that’s aged for up to six years in “mellowed” barrels “and finished non-cold filtered with a slight hint of apple,…

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Tasting the Wines of Gil Family Estates, 2015 Releases

Established in 1916 in the Jumilla region of Spain by Juan Gil Jiménez, the Gil Family Estates empire now spans four generations of winemakers. Today, Gil Family Estates operates nine bodegas in eight different appelations, with a continued goal of producing high-end wines at a good value. We recently tasted five different bottlings from Gil…

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The Glenrothes Retrospective: 2001, 1994, 1991, 1985 and 25 Years Old

After our recent trip to The Glenrothes in Scotland, we were sent home with a collection of bottlings representing the company’s whisky production back to the early 1980s. Let’s take a walk into the past with a look back at five Glenrothes expressions, most of which are no longer in production but which you can…

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Review: Jim Beam Apple

We almost missed this release a few months back, but finally turned up a bottle in our to-review queue. Jim Beam Apple probably doesn’t need a whole lot of introduction: It’s Jim Beam whiskey flavored with apple liqueur (specifically green apple liqueur) — though the fine print on the bottle reads the other way around.…

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