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Cliffside, Central Coast Chardonnay, 2012

by Jason Lightner April 23rd, 2014
Cliffside

California, Chardonnay, 2012

<$15

Once again, we're sampling a wine from the Cliffside gift basket. This time we've got our mitts on a Chardonnay, so we've chilled it to a cool 50 degrees fahrenheit, and are about ready to enjoy. Although it's never been my style to play by the rules of service temperature when it comes to wine, I decided to give it a go this one time to see what happens. Oftentimes I find wine enthusiasts to be a bit on the windy side, as much of the pomp and circumstance surrounding wine culture comes with a large
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Beer

Sixpoint Brewery, Resin

by J Frazzetta April 21st, 2014 | Beer
2014-04-09 19.46.41Bottle/Tap: can

It isn’t very often that I get a chance to be out on the town for an evening to have a beer with a friend, but a few weeks ago I happened to find myself at the British Beer Company in Manchester enjoying the company of a friend.  I don’t go out on Wednesday nights anymore, that’s for sure, so this called for something special to commemorate the occasion.  Looking over the selection I picked a Sam Adams Rebel IPA, since it has been all the rage out there, Avid Reader, and I thought it was pretty good for a California style IPA made in Boston -- but we’re here to talk about the second brew that I had, and why I should try this stuff at home instead of out and about.

My eyes fell upon the phrase "double IPA" with a 9.1%, and I thought to
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Cocktails

London and Melon Cocktail

by Joe Shotkus April 18th, 2014 | Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
green-166842_640I've got an original cocktail here for this week! I'm over the cold weather and ready to jump into warmer weather. As such, here is a cocktail recipe that's beckoning summer. For this, I did a watermelon reduction and threw some coriander and lavender in to spring it the hell up. A reduction is simple, you literally just boil a substance until it thickens up naturally through evaporation. A lot of complexities come out of a substance when you let it naturally thicken by taking most of the water out. Coriander makes anything better in my opinion, so I threw it and some complementing lavender in a glass and set aside. For the watermelon, you have to extract that sweet, sweet juice from the inside. I don't have a big juicer, but that doesn't matter. I set the watermelon meat in a bowl and smashed it with a muddle
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Sediment in Wine

by Joe Shotkus April 17th, 2014 | Ask the Bartender
Upon finishing a bottle of wine, I noticed a good amount of sediment in the bottom of the decanter.  Should I strain wine into the decanter to avoid finding any in my glass? Does sediment adversely affect the flavor of the wine?

Should you strain it? No. I mean, if it bothers you, drink as you please but it will not adversely effect the flavor of your wine. A lot of producers send their wine through rather strenuous straining procedures to make the wine as palatable as possible, making sure it fits the color, complexion and flavor of the style.
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Wine

Montebruna, Barbera d’Asti, 2011

by Jason Lightner April 16th, 2014 | Italian Wine, Wine
glass-64897_640Montebruna

Italy, Barbera d'Asti, 2011

$23.99

Italian vineyards have a longstanding tradition of being held in high regard for their incredible varietals brought about by rich soil and careful harvesting. Home to some of the oldest wine producing regions in the world, Italy boasts an incredible number of 20 distinct regions, including Toscana, Piemonte, and Calabria, just to name a few. The vast differences in grapes from region to region highlight what is perhaps my favorite part of enjoying wine — not only do they usually pair well with a box of chocolates, but wine varietals are not too dissimilar from the box itself.

The posh, purple label, busy with various amounts of Italian script, gives very little in the way of description:

The Italian phrase, "Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita." translates to "Denomination of controlled and guaranteed origin," while the Italian prahse, "Imbottigliato all'origine da Braida." translates to "Bottled at the source, Braida."


Montebruna displays rich
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Spirits

Dubonnet Rouge

by Joe Shotkus April 22nd, 2014 | Liquor
red swirl

I had fun the other week reviewing a vermouth, so today I am looking at one of my favorite fortified drinks, Dubonnet Rouge. Dubonnet is drunk like vermouth, an aromatized fortified wine, but contains quinine and herbs, making it quinquina. Similarly to vermouth, fermentation is cut off early by the addition of brandy, its fortifying spirit. Much like the gin and tonic, Dubonnet was reportedly given to soldiers entering Africa to fight off malaria due to its addition of quinine, a known fighter of the disease. I'm still not sure how effective of a method that is for soldiers, but it was a different time.

Rouge is much sweeter than ordinary red vermouth, with quickly fading herbal notes and a nice, not bitter, citrus finish. It's contagiously good, I'm not a terribly huge fan of fortified wines by themselves, but I absolutely would run through a bottle of this fast.

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