Review: 2013 The Federalist Zinfandel Lodi

Ah, at last — a Zinfandel with balance! This lively blend starts with red berries and some cherry notes, then pushes into some notes of tea leaf, cinnamon, and touches of blueberry. Nice balance, with pleasant acidity and some oakiness on the back end. Very easy drinking on its own, and it pairs beautifully with…

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Reporting from the 2015 Taste of Yountville

Like wining and dining? There’s another way to do it aside from booking a table at a restaurant and driving from one winery to another. Event’s like the Taste of Yountville, part of the Yountville Live! extravaganza, give you the chance to nibble and tipple in the confines of a few city blocks. Recently I…

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Tasting the Wines of Gerard Bertrand, 2015 Releases

Gerard Bertrand is a producer in the Roussillon region of France… just next door to the Languedoc, nestled between the Pyrennes mountains (and Spain) and the Mediterranean Sea. But Gerard Bertrand is also a man, an imposing Frenchman who was eye to eye with me at a solid 6’4″ and with the uncanny resemblance of…

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Review: West Cork Irish Whiskey Classic Blend and Single Malt 10 Years Old

West Cork is an Irish whiskey brand that’s now making its way to the U.S.. It’s actually made in West Cork (by West Cork Distillers), where Kennedy and a variety of other products are also produced. Unlike Kennedy, these are legit whiskeys, one blended and one a single malt. We tried them both. Thoughts follow.…

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Review: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Editions Six and Seven (2015)

The barrel proof expressions of Elijah Craig have certainly cultivated a cult following in its own rite over the past few years. With proofs varying in all sorts of dimensions throughout the series, we figured it was time to take the most recent pair for a test drive. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Edition Six – Each…

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Review: Kahlua Salted Caramel Liqueur

Don’t think caramel (particularly the salted variety) is still the It Flavor to contend with? Consider Kahlua’s latest limited edition expression: Salted Caramel. This seasonal release is an extremely sweet one, but that’s not unusual for the brand. It all starts off with intense, brown-to-almost-burnt sugar on the nose. This vanilla-studded, caramel syrup character is…

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Review: Charbay Blood Orange Vodka (2015)

Charbay says it takes six months to infuse the flavor into this golden-orange-colored vodka, which is distilled from American corn and rye, then flavored with 100% California-grown blood oranges. The nose and body of this vodka both veer more toward tangerine than classic blood orange, which has a bracing bitterness to it. On the nose…

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Here’s How To Make 20 Year Old Rum in One Week!

My piece on Bryan Davis and Lost Spirits just hit Wired this morning. Check it out! Davis has come up with a method of producing spirits that taste like they’ve been aging in the barrel for 20 years, but his process only takes six days. Davis doesn’t accelerate the aging process like so many of the…

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