Review: Wines from Merryvale and Starmont, 2014 Releases

New wines from Napa’s Merryvale Vineyards and its second label, Starmont. Thoughts follow. 2012 Starmont Chardonnay Carneros – Typical of California Chardonnay. Oaked, but not overly so, with a big, buttery core that leads to restrained notes of pineapple, green apples, and vanilla caramels. Better with food. B / $22 2012 Starmont Pinot Noir Carneros – Simplistic…

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Recipes for National Iced Coffee Day

April 21st has been designated by those who designate such things as National Iced Coffee Day. One of these days we’ll design a calendar with all of these holidays for reference (unless someone already has, in which case please point us in that direction). As an alternative to the usual Frapuccino, we present a couple…

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Review: NV Monmousseau Cremant de Loire

When is Champagne not Champagne? When it’s Cremant, sparkling wine that’s made in the same style as Champagne, but elsewhere in France. Cremant d’Alsace, from the mountainous region near Germany, is the best known Cremant-producing area, but the Loire Valley makes it too. Cremant de Loire became an official AOC in 1975, and these wines are…

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Book Review: The Best Craft Cocktails

This is the kind of cocktail book that’s fun for everyone. Novices can flip through and look at the pictures (nearly every drink is shown in full color), and pros can get inspiration from the largely unique concoctions on offer. In The Best Craft Cocktails, Jeremy LeBlanc and Christine Dionese offer 75 recipes. That’s not…

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Review: Novo Fogo Cachaca – Silver, Barrel-Aged, and Antiquado Cocktail Kit

Most cachaca is barely palatable if you don’t dump a ton of lime and sugar into it to make a caipirinha, but Novo Fogo is clearly focused on quality. Using organic ingredients, the distillery produces both a silver and a barrel-aged version of its spirits (the latter is really the best way to experience this…

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Review: 2013 Chamisal Stainless Pinot Noir Unoaked Central Coast

If you ever wondered Beaujolais Nouveau would taste like if it was made in California, try this: Chamisal takes a Central Coast Pinot Noir and bottles it, completely unaged in oak. For a red wine this is completely unheard of. I can probably count on one hand the number of unoaked reds I’ve had in…

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Review: Magic Hat Dream Machine IPL

For this hybrid, Magic Hat mixes up the style of an IPA with an amber lager. Good call, and this mash-up works well. The body is round and full, the hallmarks of a big autumn lager. The modestly bitter finish is loaded with bracing hop character, though it’s far from overpowering. Dream Machine works both…

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The Drinkhacker Shopping List – 04.18.2014

It’s been a while, but here’s a recap of the best (and worst) of the reviews we’ve featured this month on the site. Compared to the relatively slim pickings last month, this month has been quite full with a wide variety of spirits to satisfy every taste. Don’t miss the special bottling of that 21…

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