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…

Read More about Review: 2010 Tenuta di Arceno Il Fauno di Arcanum Toscana IGT

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…

Read More about Review: 12 Smirnoff Flavored Vodkas

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.…

Read More about Review: Sugar Skull Rum – Silver, Vanilla, and Coconut

Tasting Report: Wines of Howell Mountain 2015

The annual “Above the Fog” tasting of wines from Napa’s decidedly inhospitable Howell Mountain region is a showcase for some of the most luxurious — and expensive — wines produced in California. This year producers showed off a wide range of bottlings ranging from 2009 to 2012 releases — with some library wines thrown in…

Read More about Tasting Report: Wines of Howell Mountain 2015

Tasting the Brunellos of Col d’Orcia with Count Francesco Marone Cinzano

I don’t know about you, but it’s not every day I get to have lunch with an honest to god Count. Frenceso Marone Cinzano runs the show at Col d’Orcia, where he has produced Brunello di Montalcino (amongst a number of other wines) since 1992. (His family has owned the estate since 1973.) Cinzano visited…

Read More about Tasting the Brunellos of Col d’Orcia with Count Francesco Marone Cinzano

Review: Wines of La Merika, 2015 Releases

All of a sudden these La Merika wines are everywhere I look. Bottled by Delicato, these are affordable, bulk wines produced primarily in the California Central Coast region. You probably won’t pick one up at Ruth’s Chris, but with a couple of these bottlings, you could do worse. 2013 La Merika Pinot Grigio Monterey –…

Read More about Review: Wines of La Merika, 2015 Releases

Review: Makar Glasgow Gin

As the full name suggests, Makar is produced in Glasgow, the first gin made in this Scottish city. Makar is focused on the number seven (lucky, I guess?). It is (curiously) pot distilled seven times, bottled in a heptagonal shaped decanter, and infused with seven botanicals — angelica root, liquorice, coriander seeds, lemon peel, cassia bark,…

Read More about Review: Makar Glasgow Gin

Review: Gordon Biersch Maibock

Gordon Biersch’s latest seasonal is this German-style Maibock, a beer that’s close to Dan Gordon’s heart and which translates to “bock beer of May.” Says GB: “The malty, German-style lager gets its flavor from heavy doses of dark roasted caramel malt. Originally brewed in the 14th century in the Lower Saxony town of Einbeck, it…

Read More about Review: Gordon Biersch Maibock