Review: NV Laurent-Perrier Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature Champagne

We have enjoyed other offerings from popular Champagne producer Laurent-Perrier in the past, and today we try their Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature, which is 100% Chardonnay, spends six years on the lees, and has no dosage. The Champagne surprised me: trying it blind, I would not have guessed it was zero dosage. The wine…

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Review: Wines of Gil Family Estates, 2023 Releases

Over the course of a century, the family of Juan Gil Giménez has very quietly established themselves as a family dynasty in Spanish wine lore, spanning over four generations and expanding to nearly a dozen brand names and more vineyards than one cares to count. With no signs of slowing down any time soon, it…

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Review: Storywood Tequila Reposado and Anejo Speyside Scotch Barrel Aged

It isn’t always clear what barrels are used to age tequila. Most often it’s ex-bourbon and sometimes new oak. But Storywood is the first brand I know of to age all of its tequila in ex-Scotch casks. Begun in 2018, Storywood was founded by Michael Ballantyne, who was born in Scotland and raised in Houston,…

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Review: Ghia Non-Alcoholic Aperitif (2023 Reformulation)

Ghia has been a leader in the non-alcoholic amari space, in part because it’s not a category that invites a lot of competition. Bitter liqueurs probably aren’t something the zero-abv set tend to demand a lot of. I’ve admired and enjoyed Ghia as an NA alternative since its 2020 launch — though I definitely consider…

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Review: Wicked Weed Appalachia Session IPA and Dr. Dank Daily Haze IPA

We’ve barely scratched the surface on Wicked Weed Brewing, the Asheville-based craft beer Cinderella story founded in 2012 and added to the Anheuser-Busch/InBev stable not long after, in 2017. The brewery specializes in IPAs and sours, of which there are numerous expressions in their portfolio. Today, we’re taking a look at two sessionable IPA offerings,…

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Cognac Misconceptions and the Challenge of Organic: An Interview with Benedicte Hardy

As Benedicte Hardy likes to tell it, when she took the helm of Hardy Cognac nearly 30 years ago, Cognac was in a very different place compared to today. There was little international education around the spirit. A post-millennium cocktail revolution had yet to break the Cognac from its perception as an after-dinner drink for…

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Review: Industrious Spirit Company Ostreida Oyster Vodka

I’ve long known how well oysters and vodka go together, but I’ve always had them served separately. Until now… The Industrious Spirit Company’s (ISCO) Ostreida is vodka made in Rhode Island, with oysters used as part of the distillation process. Officially “a spirit made with oysters,” it’s made from scratch with a 100% corn distillate…

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Review: 2021 Joseph Phelps Pinot Noir Freestone Vineyards

The Sonoma Coast is home to some of the world’s best pinot noirs, and this bottling from Joseph Phelps is a killer example of the style. Earthy to a point where it’s slightly off-putting at first blush, you’ll want to give this wine a moment in the glass to find its footing, allowing its cherry…

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