This week’s Wine Wednesday is the 2010 Stoneleigh Pinot Noir and it hails from Marlborough New Zealand. While we receive this wine as a sample, it appears to retail from $9.99 to $17 and at $9.99, just sneaks into Wine Wednesday. There have been many a wine from Italy and Spain featured in the Wine Wednesday column, but not so many from New Zealand. While the wines from New Zealand aren’t overly expensive, they generally don’t fall into the $10 and under category. But, a number of them can be had in the $10 to $20 range and are still a good value at those prices.
Last week, I volunteered at a fantastic Grand Marnier tasting at San Francisco’s own Boothby Center. We were lucky enough to taste through the Grand Marnier portfolio with its Master Distiller Patrick Raguenaud. Mr. Raguenaud was charming and incredibly knowledgeable. He captivated the audience for almost two hours. Not necessarily an easy task when discussing the fine art of distilling. The audience was captivated by both Mr. Raguenaud’s discussion and the incredible cocktails using Grand Marnier crafted by H. Joseph Ehrmann of Elixir and the Barbary Coast Conservancy of the American Cocktail.
Cooking My Way Back Home has an amazing array of recipes, all of which would make great accompaniments to booze, whether that be cocktails, wine or beer. It’s the perfect food to serve at a boozy dinner party. Personally, those are my favorite kind. There is nothing better than spending an evening with friends around the table with platters of delicious food being passed and free flowing wine and cocktails. I can guarantee that the recipes in this book will not disappoint!
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we selected a liqueur that is made in Ireland, conjures up Irish history and adds a modern twist to an Irish classic. Irish Mist is linked with the history of Ireland, itself. In ancient Ireland, the Chieftains, nobles and warriors drank a wine made of honey and herbs. With the English conquer of Ireland in the 1500’s and the fleeing of the Irish nobility and soldiers in the 1600’s, the recipe seemed to disappear and was lost. According to lore, the recipe was lost until Desmond Williams of the Tullamore Distillery came across a manuscript containing the recipe that magically appeared in the 1940’s. Mr. Williams took this recipe and adopted it, using Irish Whiskey at it’s base.
In Boozehound, Mr. Wilson traces his humble drinking origins back to his parent’s liquor cabinet where he was quite fond of the bottle of Sambuca, an anise flavored liqueur, that remained relatively untouched in high school. He charts his path onto college, an enlightening experience with a mentor who ordered him his first Stinger and a college trip through Europe. Not stopping, Mr. Wilson then regales us of tales from his time as a spirits writer traipsing through distilleries, going to booze festivals and stops along the way in many drinking establishments, famous and otherwise.
The R Collection is the introductory line by Raymond Vineyards, which traces it’s roots to the immediate post-Prohibition era in Napa. The founder of Raymond Vinearyds, Roy Raymond arrived in Napa Valley in 1933 and married into the Beringer family. After working at Beringer for more than 35 years, Roy and his sons started Raymond Vineyards with the family working side by side for their first crush in 1974. Since then, Raymond Vineyards has earned a reputation for producing elegant wines. Luckily, it lives up to it’s reputation with the R Collection.
Today, in the heyday of the cocktail renaissance, there is probably more adored spirit than the Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur. This liqueur is it’s baby brother and while the two share the same DNA with the use of the sour marasca cherry, they are very different. The Luxardo Cherry Liqueur is similar to a cherry brandy. The juice of the marasca cherries are fermented and then aged in oak barrels, which gives the Cherry Liqueur a very different flavor profile than the Luxardo Maraschino.
This Absinthe is named after the famed and famous Vieux Carre drink invented in New Orleans. Absinthe is the key to the Vieux Carre cocktail or at least the Absinthe rinse that gets the cocktail started. The Vieux Carre Absinthe lives up to its vaunted namesake with its delightful qualities and beautiful bottle.