Friday, January 24, 2020

Speyburn 10 Year Old Scotch Whisky


Tomorrow is the 25th of January and Speyburn Scotch is raising their glass to the Scottish poet Robert Burns. He's the guy that wrote "Auld Lang Syne", the song you pretend to know the lyrics to on New Year's Eve. So why am I posting this today? Because I hate it when I see stuff like this and it's too late to run out and buy whatever you need. "Oh. It's 10pm and I just learned it's National Hot Dog Day. Awesome." So, my friends, you'll need a bottle of Speyburn for tomorrow night!

Speyburn Scotch was first distilled on December 15, 1897 by John Hopkins. The 10 year old Single Malt is aged in a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry American oak. It's medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel with notes of orange peel, lemon, honey, and just a little bit of peat. It's a mellow, easy drinking Scotch that makes for a very good everyday whiskey at $30 a bottle. I'm enjoying the heck out of it! Cheers, everybody! And cheers to Robert Burn!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Quickie: San Silvestro Ottone I Barbera 2018


Barbera is an extremely versatile red wine that you can pair with virtually any food or just drink by itself. So it’s a common suggestion of mine for when you don’t know what’s being served or you want one bottle to pair with multiple courses. San Silvestro’s Ottone I Barbera is only $10 and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s medium bodied with soft tannin and bright acidity, and there’s notes of cherries, blackberries, and a little leather and tobacco. Next time you need a middle of the week wine for tacos or pizza, give this guy a try!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Gran Reserva Serie Riberas Carmenere 2017


I’ve got three Carmeneres by Concha y Toro to review this month, and this is the first! Gran Reserva’s 2017 Carmenere is 93.2% Carmenere, 6.2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 0.6% Merlot, and it has an ABV of 13.7%. It spent 10 months in oak barrels (80% French and 20% American) and 5,000 liter casks.

It’s a garnet leaning more towards purple in color. On the nose there’s aromas of blackberries, strawberry candy, dusty cement, vanilla and chocolate. On the palate it’s medium bodied with super smooth mouthfeel and soft but chalky tannin. There’s flavors of blackberries, plums, green peppers, black table pepper, and caramel. Then it finishes with smooth blackberries, tart cranberries, and a bit too much sweet caramel.

This is some big juicy fruit, which I was not expecting, and quite enjoyable. And for $17 it’s just the right price.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $17
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was provided free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Beacon Meadery Blueberry Mead and Black Currant Mead


I posted about Beacon Meadery's Raspberry Mead on Thanksgiving, and today I've got their Blueberry Mead and Black Currant Mead! Beacon Meadery is out of Setauket, New York. Chris Parles is the meadmaker and head of operations, Justin Feldstein is the marketer and hi-tech digital guy, and they established Beacon together in 2018. Their philosophy is to use the best quality ingredients with the least amount of intervention as possible to allow the fruit and honey to truly express themselves.

The Blueberry is garnet in color while the Black Currant is a vibrant cherry red. And while the Blueberry is light and mellow, the Black Currant is a juice bomb with more tartness (but not as tart as the Raspberry). And although they both obviously smell and taste like the respective fruits that they're made from, the Blueberry has an earthiness to it and a little vanilla while the Black Currant also shows some cranberry and caramel. Both of these guys are awesome in their own way. Like I said, the Blueberry is lighter and less fruity while the Black Currant practically punches you in the face.

While I do like all three of the meads made by Beacon, I think the Black Currant is my favorite of them all. It has been such a pleasure to taste these meads, and if you see them you should not pass up the opportunity to try them yourself.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017


It's one of my favorite moments to be alive: Chardonnay time! Hess Collection's 2017 Napa Valley Chardonnay is 100% Chardonnay from their Su'skol Estate Vineyard. 70% of the wine was fermented in stainless steel while the other 30% was barrel fermented and allowed malolactic fermentation. Then it spent 9 months on the lees in French oak, 19% of it new, and it has a 14.4% ABV. 

The color of the wine is light gold. On the nose there's aromas of apples, lemon, butter, caramel, and vanilla. On the palate it's full bodied with a smooth, buttery mouthfeel and a low acidity that's just present enough to brighten things up a bit on the finish. There's flavors of apples, pineapples, pears, vanilla, and oak. Then the finish leaves a long lasting thick, buttery coating of tropical fruit and oak. This is a solid, reliable, enjoyable Chard for $22!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $22
Rating: 4/5 = Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Hess Allomi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017


Hess's Allomi wines out of Napa Valley are named after Rancho Locoallomia, the original Spanish land grant which the native Patwin people lent their name. The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Sirah, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, and 2% Merlot. 27% spent 18 months in new American barrels and it has a 14.5% ABV.

Alright, enough of those percentages! The wine is cherry red in color with aromas of medicinal cherry, blackberry, vanilla, and lavender. On the palate it's medium bodied with a rich mouthfeel, a bit of a tart acidity, and chewy tannin. There's flavors of juicy cherry and plum, chocolate, and graphite, and it finishes lush but with that slightly tart acidity. For a $32 purchase, it's a solid Napa Cabernet at its price point.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $32
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was provided free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Valdo Marca Oro Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore


This delicious bubbly is pale yellow in color with some speedy sprinty bubbles. I hope you like apples because for aromas and flavors it's very, very green apple-y! But there's also notes of lychee, lime, and toast so it's not straight-up fizzy apples. It's got a wonderful creamy froth on the mouthfeel but still finishes crispy and refreshing. Valdo has been solid for the price and consistent in quality since I can remember, and here I see that it continues to be.

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $20
Rating: 3.5/5 = Satisfying / Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was given as a gift and I chose to use for this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Piper Heidsieck Cuvée Brut Champagne, January Wine Pick


It's January of 2020 so it's time to toast to the New Year! My wine pick of the month is Piper Heidsieck Cuvée Brut Champagne, which has been one of my favorite bubblies for many years. It's pale yellow in color with aromas of green apples, pears, lime peel, and toast. On the palate it's medium bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and a bright acidity. For flavors it's heavy on the lime with teammates of red berries, brie crust, and ginger. This is an excellent deal in Champagne for the price, and just one hell of a wine!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $45
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Moscow Mule with SwigSafe


SwigSafe is a tumbler designed to show you your pour so you can safely enjoy your adult beverages and monitor your intake to prevent binge drinking. You can use it for mixing protein shakes and monitoring your daily water intake as well.

It's hard to get a photo of the embossed features on the side, but up along the side are measurements. It counts ounces up to 16. And it also shows you how much one shot of liquor is (1 1/2 ounces) with a picture of a shot, then two, then three. Same with wine; one glass (five ounces) and then two. And of course the same with beer at one glass (12 ounces). I mean, I think that's pretty cool. The shape is nice too, because a crisp and refreshing pilsner in that thing would not look out of place. 

I used mine to make a Moscow Mule. At first I used the measurements on the side to make this exact recipe and then I ended up just dumping the rest of the ginger beer and vodka in there because rules are meant to be broken.

MOSCOW MULE
4 ounces of Ginger Beer
1 1/2 ounces of Vodka
1/6 of an ounce of  Lime Juice

I think it's a neat product to have available, especially for cocktails or just to measure your booze. I personally wouldn't drink wine out of it but hey,  I know plenty of people who would. 



Sunday, December 29, 2019

Vilarnau Brut Reserva Cava


Vilarnau is near the city of Barcelona. They've been making Cava since 1982 but their current vineyards were acquired in 1990 when they moved locations. This is the second of two wines by Vilarnau that I'm reviewing this week: First was their Brut Rosé and now it's their Brut Reserva!

On the nose it's got a pleasant yeasty breadiness with green apples, lemon, vanilla and flowers. It's zippy on the palate with a sharp acidity and flavors of apples, lemon, and yellow pears. It finishes with an increase in floralness and a slight touch of sugar. This isn't a bubbly to sit there and analyze to death. It's fun and delicious, and its affordability makes it perfect for any kind of celebration. New Year's Eve, maybe? HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY!

QUALITY VS PRICE RATING
Price: $14
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was provided free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.
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