Shaw Vineyard Finger Lakes Riesling 2008

  I've never been a huge booster of Finger Lakes rieslings--they're pleasant enough in my experience--good for the local New York market, but...

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V.S.O.P. Cognac Leyrat

Brandy is an underappreciated category in the US--Cognac in particular by anyone who isn't a cigar smoker or rapper--and I confess I have been slow...

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Cognac Leyrat
2001 Lur-Saluces Sauternes by Chateau de Fargues

It isn't every day that I get to converse with a prince of Orleans, but it also isn't every day that I get to sample as exceptional a wine as this...

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Recuerdo 2012 Malbec, 2012 Torrontes

Wines from Argentina are becoming increasingly commonplace in the US Market, but I was intrigued to try these boutique bottlings, efforts of a truly...

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recuerdo wines
Four Roses Japanese-only Fine Old Bourbon

There are two possible ways for you to experience this particular bottling by Kentucky's Four Roses Bourbon: Either you get it in Japan, where it has...

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Minute Mixologist: “Ninja Whale” Manila Rum Punch

For a recent Typhoon Haiyan survivors benefit, I created this simple rum punch inspired by Filipino flavors: Cut the heart of a medium size pineapple...

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manila rum punch ec gladstone
Bourbon, Rum, Vodkatini Body Scrubs by Farmhouse Fresh

Hello! A scrub made from Bourbon, buttered rum or watermelon basil and vodka? Talk about date bait! Let the boozy spa day commence... Farmhouse Fresh

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bourbon rum body scrubs
Fred Minnick and “Whiskey Women”

I just finished reading his new book "Whiskey Women" in time to meet up with my colleague and friend Fred Minnick in Louisville this week and...

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Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013: One To Remember

  A bushel of ripe grapefruit hits you on the nose of this impossibly pale new release, along with a few limes. Lemon and kiwi add to the...

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cloudy bay sauvignon blanc 2013
Crater Lake Root Beer

Might be the rootbeeriest Root Beer these lips have ever tasted: richly sweet and herbaceous, but not a darn thing 'grown-uppy' about it. Stewart's,...

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Crater Lake Root Beer
Glenlivet 70, Balvenie 50 at Talon Club, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

However there is only one place in Vegas to sample the rare delights of both Glenlivet 70 (circa 1940, 200 bottles worldwide) and The Balvenie 50...

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Glenlivet 70, The Balvenie 50 at Talon Club, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Minute Mixologist: Tequila Moda Viejo

This started as a Mexican riff on the Old Fashioned (hence the name: Old Fashion in bad Spanish), and that's essentially what it is, but the emphasis...

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Minute Mixologist: Darker, Stormier “Sail On, Sailor”

"Sail On, Sailor" (with apologies to the Beach Boys) was admittedly born out of the opportunity that my mother's under-utilized liquor cabinet...

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Minute Mixologist: Gin-Dry Soda “Le Vent du Provence”

Inspired by an event to mix cocktails using Dry Soda's uncommon flavors, and by the legendary flower of Provence, I crafted this very simple but...

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Minute Mixologist: Tequila-Becherovka “Frequent Flier”

This summer fizz started off with the simple objective of making something work with Becherovka in the hotter months. The name comes from the simple...

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Frequent Flier Sauza Tequila St Germain Becherovka

Tuesday 30 September, 2014

No Judging! OK, Yes: Judging the WSWA Iron Mixologist

There are a lot of bartenders who can craft a wonderful drink these days. But who can take a mystery ingredient and make magic from scratch—with the clock ticking? That’s what The Tasting Panel wanted to find out when we sponsored the inaugural Iron Mixologist competition at this year’s WSWA convention and exhibition in Orlando, [...]

Tuesday 30 September, 2014

Champagne Education and Tasting Seminars

This Summer, I had the amazing opportunity to share my experience and appreciation of Champagne with trade professionals and culinary students in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, as a contracted educator for the Champagne Bureau. From June to September, I coordinated and organized the events, prepared powerpoint presentations and other materials, curated the Champagne selections, [...]

Siegfried & Roy at Hofbrauhaus Las Vegas
Friday 12 September, 2014

Beer Here: Las Vegas Hosts Unprecedented Series of Beer Fests This Season

You don’t need to check Google Analytics to know that beer has been blowing up all across the US over the last several years–and like any trend, Vegas may be late for the party but it makes up in extreme enthusiasm. In addition to several spots with impressive beer selections up and down the Strip–as [...]

Salvatore and Giada DeLaurentiis at Bound by Salvatore Calabrese at the Cromwell Las Vegas
Friday 06 June, 2014

VIDEO: Salvatore Calabrese on Why The Negroni Is The Perfect Cocktail

Before Negroni Week ended, I wanted to post this interview with “The Maestro,” legendary bartender and mixologist Salvatore Calabrese, on why the Negroni is–like so many bartenders–his favorite cocktail…and so many other interesting topics. I reacquainted myself with Salvatore a few weeks ago at the opening of his new bar in Las Vegas, Bound by [...]

Saturday 05 April, 2014

UNLVino Hits 40: What To Expect

Las Vegas has no shortage of wine and food fundraiser events, but next week sees the return of the oldest continuous one, UNLVino, now celebrating its incredible 40th year (Imagine how much it’s improved since 1974. They probably even have more than one Chardonnay!) With four nights of varied events, UNLVino is clearly “bigger and [...]

Sunday 16 March, 2014

Do St. Patrick’s Day Right: Try A New Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

I’ve been waiting for the right time (read: procrastinating) to post about a recent Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey tasting I got to sit in on with Mr. Brian Nation, Master Distiller of the New Midleton Distillery a few weeks back during the impressive Golden State of Cocktails event in Los Angeles–and if St. Patrick’s [...]

Monday 10 February, 2014

Woo Your Valentine With Hope Family Treana, Troublemaker

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Hope Family Wines sent out a quirky promotion to lucky little journobloggers like me: a bottle each of their most recent versions of Troublemaker red and Treana white with pairing ingredients to inspire a romantic meal, perhaps. For the red, came two fresh artisanal Swiss sausages (to make the [...]