Italy has a long tradition of making spirits and liqueurs. However, you might not know it as Italy isn't famed for their spirits or liqueurs. In fact, when you think of Italy and spirits, you probably think of Grappa. But, there is definitely more to Italian spirits than Grappa. One of them is called noisette, which are liqueurs that are made by soaking nuts in alcohol and then distilling part of the infusion again. Similar liqueurs are also made with rose, fruits and other florals.
From the author of Bright Lights, Big City comes Bacchus & Me, Jay McInerney's exploration of the world of wine. A successful author and a connoisseur of fine wine, McInerney was approached to be the wine writer for Conde Nast's House & Garden. Today, McInerney is the wine columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Bacchus & Me is compilation of stories that he wrote while at House & Garden.
Nestled among posh restaurants and shops lies one of Healdsburg’s greatest gems, the Bear Republic Brewing Company. The Bear is a microbrewery that produces exciting and rich house ales, all of which have been awarded prestigious honors from beer competitions from around the country. The brewery also produces limit sale seasonal brews that are always awaited with great anticipation.
What was once a minor blending grape in Bordeaux France has emerged as the national grape of Argentina. What maybe this grape you ask? Why, it's Malbec. To celebrate this magnificent grape, April 17th has been designated Malbec Day!
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of that unsinkable ship - the Titanic. Prior to it's sinking, it was certainly a good time with lots of food and plenty of booze consumed. The menus from the first and second class dining rooms are nothing but impressive. I can only imagine what drinks accompanied them. Folks back then knew how to throw them back. Poking around on the internet, I found that the ship carried cases upon cases of Champagne, wine and spirits. I would imagine that a good time was had by all until the ship went down.
One of the most dreaded days of the year is rapidly approaching - April 15, otherwise known as Tax Day. Since April 15 falls on a Sunday this year, we get a day of reprieve with April 16 being Tax Day. I can think of no other day that is as hated, reviled or feared as Tax Day. Just writing this article about it makes me cringe.
I didn't know much about Four Roses Bourbon other than that my friend Ingrid really, really likes it! We recently received a bottle of the Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon with the identification of Warehouse DS and Barrel 3-1I. Apparently, each of the Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon bottles come marked with their barrel identification and warehouse storage location. I thought that was pretty cool as bottles from different barrels can conceivably taste pretty different. It would be fascinating to track down a number of these bottles and do a taste test!
Another pick from Trader Joe's. This wine was purchased for $9.99, a steal for a Pinot Noir from the Santa Maria Valley, which is near Santa Barbara California. For those of you who remember, this region was part of the Sideways journey. I am pretty picky about Pinot and this is one of the growing regions that I think produces some of the best Pinot Noir in California. My fave is Russian River and the Santa Maria Valley isn't far behind.
According to lore, Drambuie is fit for a King. In fact, it was allegedly invented by a Prince of Scotland who would have been King of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland if his insurrection has succeeded. We are speaking of Prince Charles Stuart, whose lineage included many of the Kings of Scotland and a few in England after the two countries united under James Stuart in 1603. In 1745, Charles sailed to Scotland and with the aid of the Scottish Highlanders, a fierce bunch of men, began their quest to retake Scotland for a "Scottish King". During this period, there was much strife in England and Scotland. In Scotland, it was the Highlanders versus the Lowlanders, who had benefited the most from the merger of England and Scotland. The Highlanders wanted to be left alone with their Scotch and were no fans of the heavy taxes levied on their fine beverage.
Mr. Burke was very particular and fastidious in his instructions. This trait shines through in his instructions from eating while drinking, whether those drinks are wine or cocktails, to the number of shakes or stirs to execute the perfect cocktail. According to Mr. Burke, cocktails should accompany appetizers and he provides a number of appetizer recipes. Interestingly enough, a number of these recipes call for anchovies, something that most Americans wouldn't touch with a ten foot poll in the 21st century but that are so delicious if you give them a try.