Review: Hine Domaines Hine Bonneuil 2005 Cognac

Here’s a new, limited-edition Cognac from Hine (it rhymes with “wine,” by the way). I’ll allow Hine to explain how it came to be: Bonneuil 2005 will be the first expression in a new collection of single grand cru, single harvest cognacs, originating exclusively from Hine’s own 297 acre estate, Domaines Hine.  Only 18 casks…

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Review: Woodchuck Cheeky Cherry and Gumption Hard Cider

It’s time for two new ciders from Vermont-based Woodchuck. Here they are. Woodchuck Cheeky Cherry Hard Cider – Fresh apple melds with tart, sour cherry notes in this surprisingly balanced cider, which offers nothing unexpected aside from those two simple notes — apple to start, cherry to finish — but which drinks more like a…

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Tastes from the California Artisan Cheese Festival 2015

Cheese and wine (and beer) go hand in hand (in hand), so putting these together on a balmy March evening in Petaluma, California, made perfect sense to me. Recently I attended the California Artisan Cheese Festival’s “Chef vs. Chef – The Best Bite” competition, where about 20 restaurants vied to woo the public each offering…

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Review: Greenore Single Grain Irish Whiskey 8 Years Old

This single-grain whiskey is distilled at Cooley from a mash of 95% corn and 5% malted barley. Sound familiar? It’s the same whiskey as Teeling Single Grain, only Teeling is aged in wine barrels, while Greenore spends its eight years in bourbon casks. The difference is striking. The richness and sweet vanilla of Teeling is…

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Review: MarkThomas Double Bend MT Selection Glassware

Austria’s MarkThomas is bringing its ultra-luxe line of hand-blown stemware to the U.S. If you’ve got a taste for quirky designs and exceptionally high prices, well, maybe it’s for you. The Double Bend collection is defined by, well, the double bend in the bowl of each glass. Rather than curve inward gradually, the glasses just…

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Review: 2010 Tenuta di Arceno Il Fauno di Arcanum Toscana IGT

This Tuscan winery is owned by the enormous Jackson Family of Wines operation, and it’s only the company’s second Italian brand under its umbrella. Tenuta di Arceno’s Il Fauno di Arcanum bottling (not the same as Arcanum) is a Bordeaux-style blend of 56% merlot, 23% cabernet franc, 20% cabernet sauvignon, and 1% petit verdot. It’s a…

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Review: 12 Smirnoff Flavored Vodkas

Smirnoff recently repackaged its vodka lineup — again — which now spans a whopping 39 flavors (not to mention three unflavored expressions). That’s 8 more flavors than you can get at Baskin-Robbins… and with similar ingredient descriptions. The company sent us a healthy dozen of these flavors — palate be damned! — for consideration. (They’re…

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Review: Sugar Skull Rum – Silver, Vanilla, and Coconut

Here’s a new batch of rums, comprising five flavored expressions. Sugar Skull is made from can sourced throughout the Caribbean and South America and distilled in the Caribbean (the company doesn’t say where) in a column still. The final product is blended and flavored in the U.S. before bottling in dia de los muertes inspired decanters.…

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