Sunday, April 21, 2019

Distill Wars Episode VIII: Tequila Throwdown! Cuervo Gold vs Camarena Reposado vs Patron Reposado

Welcome to probably the most dangerous episode of Distill WarsTEQUILA!

Back when I was younger I loved tequila. In my early 20's I'd even do some shots just to fall asleep while I transitioned from being a night owl to having to be at work early in the morning. Then in August of 2006 an entire pallet of Jose Cuervo Gold tipped over coming off of a truck and smashed. A lake of Cuervo on concrete baking in the August sun in 100 degree weather all day. Just imagine that. For a long time I couldn't even smell tequila without wanting to purge my lunch.

But those days are done and I'm over it. And here I am with three tequila nips, about to find out which one is better, and most likely black out in the process.

Wallet weight-in
Camarena Reposado: $2.00
Jose Cuervo Especial Gold: $2.50
Patron Reposado: $6.00

The Jose Cuervo is a Gold Tequila while the others are Reposados. So Jose Cuervo is up against some tough competition because it's just a silver tequila that's had caramel coloring added, while the Reposados have actually spent time in oak to earn that color. Can the underdog Cuervo overcome the odds? Pffffft. Not likely.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Wine Quickie: Justin Bogaty Winemaker Series Rosé 2018

The Bogati Family Wine Group is a very good friend of the blog and I've reviewed many of their wines. But today rather than writing a full review, I'm just enjoying the new vintage of their JB Rosé, which is a winery and tasting room exclusive. And holy Jolly Rancher! There’s sour apple, watermelon, and strawberry candy all over this, with a wonderful cracked stone minerality. It’s a fuller bodied rose that’s super juicy and a little sweet with bright acidity and tartness. I am really loving this rosé from Virginia.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Recipe: Ribeye with chimichurri

This recipe was provided by Amayala to pair with their 2017 Malbec, which I did a little wine quickie on the other day for Malbec World Day.


36 oz ribeye on the bone

For the chimichurri:
2 large tomatoes
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
6 bail leaves
3 oregano bunches
4 crushed garlic cloves
3 tablespoons white vinegar
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground chili
Salt and pepper


1) Chimichurri

Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and dice. Chop parsley, basil and oregano. Mix diced tomatoes with herbs, garlic, ground chili, salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar.

2) Ribeye

Before marinating, score the fat on the ribeye. Marinate the meat in the chimichurri sauce for two hours.

Light and heat the charcoal grill (gas grill can be used instead). Season the steak with salt and pepper. Directly on the flame (or on high heat), sear ribeye on all sides for approximately 5 minutes. Move steak off direct flame to warm area of the grill (or turn flame down to med-heat). Cook until meat reaches internal temperature of 125°F for about 30 minutes.

During cooking, turn steak periodically, and brush with a bouquet of rosemary and the chimichurri sauce.

Remove from heat and let meat rest for 20 minutes.

3) Serve

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Sake Reviews: 3 Sakes from

Tippsy is basically a wine club for Sake. You can shop around on their site and buy the Sake that you want or you can subscribe to the Sake Box, which is delivered to your door every month with three different Sakes. And you, my fellow Wine Stalkers, can use promocode SAKECLUB to get $10 off your first order. So if you like your Sake then go check it out!

To learn more about the history of Sake, read my latest article called Just Brew It, Part One: A brief history of Sake. Because of time, I couldn't make just one big Sake article so the real detailed stuff on how Sake is made will be in Part 2: Making Sake, which should come out in either May or June.

So here we go! Let's try some Sake! First chilled neat and then on the rocks! Don't forget to check out Tippsy  and use that promocode!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Wine Quickie: Amalaya Malbec 2017

It's Malbec World Day so I'm here with a Malbec! It's purple in color with aromas of grape juice, back olives, vanilla, and cinnamon. On the palate it's medium bodied with a rather watery mouthfeel, grainy tannin, and unbalanced acidity. There's flavors of black cherries, grape juice, chocolate, and vanilla. The finish is the strongest aspect of this wine and my favorite part because it's big in alcohol and the character of the fruit and spice really intensifies. Overall, this is good. It's not something to hate on but also not something to put your devotion on. It's a serviceable Malbec for the price, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Battleship and Submarine Bottle Stoppers???

I am a grown-ass child.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Wine Quickie: Mettler Estate Grown Pinotage 2016

Pinotage was created in a lab in South Africa and it really has remained a South African thing. However, this is a Pinotage out of Lodi, California of all places! And man is it good! For color it's a dark ruby red with vibrant purple edges. It's medium bodied with soft tannin and balanced acidity with notes of black cherry sauce, black coffee, earth, vanilla, and other baking spices. Then it finishes with black cherries and little bitter but it totally belongs with the character of this wine. This is very much a surprise and a sleeper star of Lodi wine. 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Just Brew It, Part One: A brief history of Sake

A brief history of Sake

Sake brings me right back to 2004 when I was 24 years old and played my most memorable EA Sports NHL franchise season ever. I took the Columbus Blue Jackets, made them even worse, played on the hardest setting, sucked hard for a big chunk of the season, barely made it into the playoffs, and won the Cup in seven games in each playoff series... all while drinking Gekkeikan Sake in a mug on the rocks.

That's not how you think a history of Sake article would start, right? Hey. That's how I learned to appreciate Sake, and now I love it. Recently I had one that goes for $450 retail and it was INCREDIBLE. I just got a package from Tippsy, which is basically like a wine club dedicated to premium Sake, containing three Sakes that I'll be reviewing this coming Thursday.

Even though Sake has the "rice wine" nickname due to its final product similarities with wine such as profile and alcohol percentages, technically it's a beer because it's brewed and made from grain, and in this case the grain is rice. Bud Light, which uses a significant amount of rice in its production, actually does have a slight Sake flavor.

Sake runs deep in the culture of Japan and Japan runs deep in the culture of Sake. But it actually didn't originate there and it's certainly not staying there. Sake began in China, the indigenous land of rice. And, in today's world, you might be surprised to buy a bottle of Sake that you assumed was Japanese until you flip the bottle over to find that it was actually made in Oregon.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Wine Quickie: Amalaya Blanco 2018

This refreshing white is 85% Torrontés and 15% Riesling out of Salta, Argentina. It's medium bodied with a silky mouthfeel, vibrant acidity, and features white flowers, peaches, pears, lemon zest, grass, and seasalt. The Torrontés is the clearly the dominant grape in overall profile but the Riesling really rounds it out to make it a very satisfying crowd-pleaser. Thumbs up!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Wine Quickie: Michael David Inkblot Cabernet Franc 2016

I do love me some big sticky Lodi fruit by Michael David. They make "stress relief" wine. Come home from a long, tough day and pop open a bottle of Michael David wine and suddenly everything is just fine. The Inkblot Cab Franc is purple in color. On the nose there's a cloud of very fine black table pepper over aromas of blackberries, tomato leaf, mint, and violets. On the palate it's medium bodied with a rich mouthfeel and dusty tannin. There's flavors of big concentrated blackberries, caramel, chocolate, green peppers, and spices. Good stuff, man. I love it. Plus the label reminds me of Watchmen.

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