We Will Sell No Wine… Before It’s Been Doctored

That was the working headline of the killer story that I wrote for this month’s issue of Wired magazine. It’s all about how most cheap (and, ahem, some decidedly not-so-cheap) wines are made nowadays, thanks to the magic of technology and modern chemistry. You’ll never gulp down the “house red” the same way again. Related Stories: TapInfluence Interviews…

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Book Review: Market-Fresh Mixology

If you’re ready to turn beets and honeydews into potent potables, have I got a book for you. Now in its second edition, Bridget Albert and Mary Barranco’s Market-Fresh Mixology (first published in 2008) take a seasonal approach to cocktailcrafting. Broken down into the four seasons, the duo emphasizes freshness in everything you’ll be whipping up. While…

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Review: Shock Top Honey Bourbon Cask Wheat Beer

This new Belgian-style unfiltered wheat ale from Shock Top is brewed with honey and caramel malt, then is aged on “bourbon cask staves” (so, not in casks). What’s wrong with that? Just about everything. The nose offers vague honey intertwined with hospital notes. The body is thin. And the palate is simply bad: Melted Bit-O-Honey…

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Original Recipe: Hot Buttered Holiday

Hiram Walker recently sent out to a bunch of drink writers and other industry types a package of three mystery products. The goal: Make a cocktail out of whatever you get, and see which one gets the most “likes” on the company’s Facebook page. This turned out to be tougher than I thought. I received…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Fresh-Squeezed IPA (2014)

This otherwise traditional is stuffed with fresh mandarin orange character, literally to the point of overflowing, courtesy of its generous Citra and Mosaic hops dosage. (As it warms up, the fruitiness becomes even stronger… hence the name.) The finish is plenty bitter and surprisingly drying. Overall this is a fun beer, but the orange character…

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Drinkhacker Reads – 04.21.2014 – “Oh Yeah!” Edition

Remember when Kool-Aid or Tang used to be the powdered drink of choice? Now someone’s taken that idea and applied it to spirits. Simply tear open a pocket of Palcohol, add water, and voila! The Feds have given it their stamp of approval. What could possibly go wrong??? [The Verge] And now: Beaujolais Nouveau for those who…

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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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