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Smoking Loon, Unoaked Chardonnay, 2013

by Jason Lightner October 22nd, 2014
Smoking Loon

California, Chardonnay, 2013


Once again we are taking a look at an interesting Chardonnay; it's just been that sort of a summer, I suppose. Smoking Loon's "Steelbird" Unoaked Chardonnay comes to us by way of California's famed Napa valley wine country; an area of land so perfect for the production of wine that the California legislature had considered — on several occasions — making any other type of agriculture on the land illegal.

I made that last part up, just now.

As far as white wine varietals go, Chardonnay is perhaps my favorite. When I saw the chance to
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Rickard’s Lederhosen Oktoberfest-Style Lager

by Charles Wangersky October 20th, 2014 | Beer
Beer One of the major events of the beer year is, of course, the Munich Oktoberfest, a week of getting drunk and more or less disorderly in public, complete with traditional German costumes and traditional German lager. Every beer drinker carries within him some image of Oktoberfest, usually of beer waitresses wearing traditional dirndls and carrying an impossible number of huge mugs of beer. Appearances would indicate that the standard mug is about a quart (legally, I suspect it has to be a liter), and that the mug is oversized because there is far more head on the beer than
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Root Beer Float Cocktail — Minus the Ice Cream

by Michele October 17th, 2014 | Cocktails, Mixed Drinks
Cocktail How can you have a root beer float without the ice cream, you might be asking yourself.  It is pretty simple.  In fact, there's a chewing gum that's root beer float flavored.  Having tried it, I can vouch that it tastes pretty similar to the soda and ice cream treat.  So, why not make a cocktail that tastes like a float?

Of course, you also may be wondering how I came to make a root beer float cocktail in October when the weather has turned chilly. This isn't exactly the time of year when one envisions ice cream-topped treats.  However,
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Bar Destination

Craft Beer in Sioux Falls, SD

by R. Carnavale October 16th, 2014 | Bar Destination
If you're interested in craft beer, the Granite City Food and Brewery brews their own beer in-house. Ale highlights include the Broad Axe Stout, with its thick and creamy head sitting atop the opaque blackness of oatmeal ale, which has roasted chocolate and coffee notes. The Bennie is a German-style lager, with a brownish color, medium body, and malt and sweet caramel notes. The Duke is a bitter pale ale with strong malt
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La Scolca, Gavi Oro, 2013

by Jason Lightner October 15th, 2014 | Italian Wine, Wine
Wine La Scolca

Italy, Cortese di Gavi, 2013


Italian wine seemingly lives in its own little world, with its own set of rules, and its own agenda. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I've never met an Italian wine I didn't like. We can chalk that up to chance, or we can take it as an indication that the Italian winemakers really know their craft. I'm going to take the latter as fact and carry on. Cortese di Gavi, or simply "Gavi," is new to me. A wine made in a restricted area of the Province of Alessandria, Piedmont, near to the Ligurian border, Gavi is produced
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Ice Surge, Tropical Freeze

by Jason Lightner October 21st, 2014 | Spirits
Spirits Out and about two nights ago, my wife and I stopped by a neighborhood bar to enjoy some comfort food and drinks while awaiting the results of the preliminary matches of the annual U.S. Open Squash Championship here in sunny Philadelphia. The bar was noisy, with many patrons there for Thursday Night Football and the Philadelphia Flyers game. The noise was bearable, however, and Cavanaugh's food was great as usual. As we finished dinner we noticed two ladies making the rounds in the bar, handing out shots of Tropical Freeze Ice Surge liqueur in promotion of a new,
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