Open That Bottle Night, February 24, 2018

Open that bottle night is not official holiday, yet. But for wine lovers it is a reason to open that special bottle that you’ve been laying down for that special occasion. We all own that one bottle, waiting for the special occasion that never seems to happen. Former “Wall Street Journal” wine writers Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher started “Open That Bottle Night” in February 2000. They started that night for people to have a reason to, well, open that special bottle. This year “Open That Bottle Night” is February 24th, 2018. So this Saturday pick out that bottle … Continue reading Open That Bottle Night, February 24, 2018

Zonin Rosé equals Love Italian Style for St. Valentines Day!

With St. Valentine’s Day quickly approaching the time to decide what to drink is coming even faster. Bubbles are a natural choice. Pink bubbles are even more romantic. Italian pink bubbles are even more of a romantic St. Valentine’s drink. Zonin has come up with the perfect pink bubbly to celebrate this year. Zonin Rosé is the perfect way to start and enjoy St. Valentines Day with the one you love. Made with 100% Nerello Mascalese grapes from Sicily. Light salmon pink in color sets the mood for excellent bubbles on the way. The nose has light white flowers up … Continue reading Zonin Rosé equals Love Italian Style for St. Valentines Day!

Upper Shirley Cellars, Tannat, 2015, Charlottesville, Virginia

Upper Shirley Cellars, Tannat, Charlottesville, VA, 2015 is dark ruby red with purple highlights. The nose highlights dark brooding fruit up front. Tart red cherry and minerals back up those dark fruits in the beginning. The palate explodes with tart cherry, wild strawberry, and blackberry up front. Firm tannins also go from first sip straight through the palate to the finish. The mouth feel is full and some nice acidity comes through on the finish to round out the palate. Upper Shirley Cellars, Tannat is no wimpy wine and could easily age for another 5-8 years and its tannins should … Continue reading Upper Shirley Cellars, Tannat, 2015, Charlottesville, Virginia

Golden Globe Cocktails are the real fashion story

Ancho Gimlet 1 part Ancho Reyes Verde 1 part Hendricks Gin 1 part Lime 1/2 part Rich simple syrup 2:1 Sugar:Water Slice of cucumber Add all ingredients to shaker, add ice and shake hard to chill and dilute.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail coupe, garnish with a cucumber wheel. Great Pretender 1 part Drambuie .50 part Peach Brandy .50 part Sweet Vermouth 2 parts Chameleon Vanilla Coffee Combine with Ice, Shake, Double-Strain, Serve Up Garnish with Brandied Cherry Show Me The Monkey 1½ parts Monkey Shoulder 1 part Drambuie 3 parts apple juice 4 fresh mint … Continue reading Golden Globe Cocktails are the real fashion story

Hardywood makes Christmas Morning more fun!

  Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Christmas Morning, Richmond, VA, 9.2%abv. is dark opaque brown with a fluffy dark brown head that quickly recedes. The dark roasted malt on the front of the nose is compliments by aromas of Gingerbread, dark cacao and coffee beans. The palate comes alive with flavors of Christmas morning cappuccino sweetened with honey and gingerbread spices. Hardywood describes the brew like this, “Hardywood Christmas Morning lends a cheerfully heightened decadence to our Gingerbread Stout through deep conditioning on locally roasted Mexican Chiapas coffee beans from Black Hand Coffee Co. Hints of sweet honey and oven baked … Continue reading Hardywood makes Christmas Morning more fun!

Les Dauphins, Puyméres, Rouge, Côtes du Rhône, Villages, France, 2014

is dark ruby red. It has nose pleasing aromas of plum, cedar, toasted oak, hints of black peppercorns and minerals. The palate is filled with mouth pleasing tart red fruit up front. The Les Dauphins has a full mouth feel with soft tannins. The tart red fruit provided enough acidity to make the palate nicely balanced. All of the components of the Les Dauphins, Puyméres are in perfect harmony. Les Dauphins, Puyméres is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Carignan. Les Dauphins makes the perfect everyday wine and should take up a lot of real estate on … Continue reading Les Dauphins, Puyméres, Rouge, Côtes du Rhône, Villages, France, 2014

Hardywood’s Gingerbread Ales

Perhaps it is the most anticipated beer release in all of Richmond, VA, Hardywood’s Gingerbread Stout. Even people who claim they aren’t beer drinkers were looking forward to getting their hands on a couple of bottles this year. There was also reports that people were lined up around the block to get their hands on bottles the night it was released. It is easy to taste why Hardywood’s Gingerbread Stout has such a fan base. Inky black with a thick brown head, aromas of fresh baked gingerbread rise from the drinking vessel of choice. Dark chocolate and coffee aromas and … Continue reading Hardywood’s Gingerbread Ales

Les Dauphins, Côtes du Rhône, Villages, 2016

Les Dauphins, Côtes du Rhône, Villages, 2016 is deep garnet red. The 2016 is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 5% Mouvedre, 5% Carignan. The nose is hit with rich aromas of raspberry, blueberry and fresh ground black pepper. The palate is greeted with expressive dark berries at the height of ripeness. Tannins are soft and show up on the back end. Crisp tropical fruit acidity leads to a long pleasing finish. Les Dauphins, Côtes du Rhône, Villages, 2016 is made with 100% organic grapes. This wine shows how careful wine making techniques can achieve wonderful results. Les Dauphins, … Continue reading Les Dauphins, Côtes du Rhône, Villages, 2016

Cocktails to warm the Thanksgiving table and beyond

Noggy Root .50 part Drambuie 1 part Glenfiddich 14 Bourbon Cask 1 part Chameleon Caramel Cold Brew Concentrate 2 parts EggnogDear Richard, .50 Root Beer Garnish: Freshly Grated Nutmeg — Hot Honey Butter 2 parts Drambuie 1 Heaping tbsp Natural Apple Butter ½ tbsp Unsalted Butter 6 parts Steamed Whole Milk (Or choice milk-base) 1 small pinch Kosher Salt 1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg Garnish with steamed milk foam and Cinnamon Stick Serve in small mug/teacup Method: Steam milk, apple butter and spices together until hot. Double-strain into cup over butter. Stir in Drambuie. Top with additional … Continue reading Cocktails to warm the Thanksgiving table and beyond

Hardywood, Reserve Series, Virginia Blackberry

, Richmond, VA, 6.8% abv. is a hazy amber color with a thin off white head. The aromas of blackberry are strong up front as expected. Hints of lightly toasted wheat and yeast are in the back of the nose. The palate is greeted with the blackberries with a yeasty finish and slight acidity to cleanse the palate. Make sure you don’t think the Hardywood, Reserve Series, Virginia Blackberry is a fruity beer not to be taken too serious. Hardywood, Reserve Series, Virginia Blackberry is a true Belgian style ale made by serious brewers. Hardywood got its blackberries from AgriBerry … Continue reading Hardywood, Reserve Series, Virginia Blackberry