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Showing posts from February, 2006

Porn and wine

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I really can't think of a better fit for two consumer products than porn and wine. Now that I've seen it in the latest New York Times article on porn star Savana's winery, it makes absolute sense.

Not only is this girl an ex-porn star with 25 films under her belt (so to speak) she's got an AVN awards for best all girl scene with Jenna Jameson and best actress . Nope, this girl's a pro no matter what she does.

To wit: Her Sogno Uno (Dream One) wine just got a "killer" rating from Robert Parker. A 90-91. The blend of 70 percent cesanese grapes, 20 percent sangiovese and 10 percent montepulciano is strictly Italian and is made possible through her husband, a Manhattan wine merchant of some acclaim, but the blend is all her direction. Only 400 cases will be available and it'll sell for around $38 a bottle.

She says that a new wine is like a sexual position, "Don't knock it until you try it."

Naked Came the Vintner [NYTimes.com - Free Reg.…

New glasses to savor your new wine

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To quote one of the greatest movies of all time "No more of this old wine. Bring us some new wine. The good stuff!"

Mikasa's new Kwarx line of glasses is completely color neutral, maintains its sparkle longer, and, because you're a clutz, is pretty shock resistant.

The funky shape is supposed to open up new wines a lot better and allow you to enjoy them sooner. It's being billed as allowing you to enjoy wines up to 3 years old for whites and up to 5 years old for reds. It's supposed to be perfect for beginners as it allows them to explore "sensations" first. Great. More sensations.

Arc International Launches Kwarx [Drinks Media Wire]
Mikasa [Product Site]


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42 Below is at it again

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These guys are quickly becoming my favorite new brand.

As it turns out, the outspoken and quickly-becoming-infamous vodka brand from New Zealand, 42 Below, is now in hot water in New Zealand for their latest promotion.

The promotion is a giveaway to take a trip to Russia to find a bride with a popular site that specializes in such tours.

So, women in Russia are pissed because it makes them look like a bunch of cheap whores. Women in New Zealand are pissed because they think it's degrading. Russian women in New Zealand are pissed because only 17 Russian women were granted partner visa's in to New Zealand last year. Yes, I know that in .nz "Pissed" means "drunk." I'm using it to mean the other thing.

Folks, you can't *buy* this kind of press.

Vodka ad goes down badly with Russian women [Stuff.co.nz]
Find a Russian bride [Loveme.com]

Holy cow! A new vodka!

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New Ukranian vodka...blah blah blah blah...very different...blah blah blah blah...only for the sophisticated...blah blah blah.

Blah.

Nemiroff Lex [Product site]
via Luxist


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Most expensive retail vodka

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In the latest marketing gimmick to try and sell a vodka, Diaka has come up with a nifty one. They filter the vodka with diamonds.

Not just any diamonds, mind you. These diamonds are up to one carat and the filtration process is patented. Though I haven't been made aware of the unique capabilities of a diamond to absorb impurities in order to create a cleaner vodka, who am I to question it? They have a patent for this, people!

This vodka is *so* viable that the company has put out a press release that everyone, of course, picked up on. Yet, none of the releases say how much it will be, where to get it, or even a website for the distribution company. Is Vodka turning in to the new .com?

Filtered with actual cut diamonds [PRNewswire]
Related: The other gem vodka [Martini Lounge]


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Things to do: Monday 2/27

For $750 per plate, for the math major's that's $1500 with a date, you can go to Andre Rochat's six-course wine dinner at the Monte Carlo hotel in Las Vegas on Monday. The courses are included with a different vintage of, arguably, the world's best wine, Chateu Latour. 1966, 1978, and 1996 vintages are included. More info by calling.

Andre's at Monte Carlo [AOL Cityguide]

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Smoking Hot Waitresses

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Lest we start taking things on here a little too seriously, let's bring it down to Earth a bit.

Smoking Hot Waitress is a site devoted to all the hot girls that serve up the drinks in cities across the land, no professional head shots, no "check out my web site," just hot girls waiting with a drink in their hand...and you better damned well give a good tip.

On the site you can rate the girls by giving them a tip of $1-10 and add comments. You can take a picture of the girl at your local watering hole and submit it as well.

I've partied in almost every major city in America that is worth partying in and I have to tell you, Phoenix has the most consistently hot waitresses. This site even proves me right.

Red Hot Waitress

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Today's reason to drink

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Not like I've ever really needed a reason, but this is a very handy Google Module. You can add it to your Google Homepage and be overjoyed each and every day with a great new reason to tip one back.

You'll need to have a Google Homepage, which you should anyway.

Today's Reason To Drink [Google Modules]

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Make my martini dirty

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So many people order dirty martini's now that I often wonder how a busy bar can keep the juice in their little bowl of olives. Granted, I've seen some girls practically ask for a martini/all-you-can-eat olive bar in their glass, but even they can't seem to compensate for the amount of olive juice required to run a bar.

You run in to an even bigger problem with this at the home bar. All these people wanting dirty martini's leaves you with a lot of very dry olives that you just end up throwing out.

No longer I say! Olive's juice solves that problem and gives you enough that you should be able to keep them dirty for quite a while. It's every bit as good as the olive juice from the cup except without the elegant taste of a bartender's fingers having been dipped in it a hundred times.

Olive's Juice - $15 [Product site]

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Advertising love for 42 Below

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I like that a few companies are moving away from the "Look how classy we are" snobbery around their advertising. I love the snobbery but it's also nice to see something different than lounge music with some hot girl in the background.

42 Below vodka is a damned fine one and their new advertising campaign is pretty sweet. Plenty of Russian Communism looking stuff and one of the funnier Internet only commercials out there.

If you get a chance to try the vodka you'll like it too. Nice and crisp and it doesn't have the bitterness that you get from some other vodkas after drinking half of your martini.

Hilarious Commercial [42Below site]
42 Below [Company Site]

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A thirst for scotch blends: Whisky 101

Forbes has written a damned fine article on the history of whiskies and how blends came about. It even has a list of 12 blends that are worth trying. Scotch is on the upswing in general (along with seemingly every alcohol out there) and it's good to know your history, if nothing else just to correct the fat guy standing in the bar holding a glass of scotch and a cigar in the same hand.

Spirit Of The Moment: In A Fit Of Blend Rage [Forbes.com]


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The next cocktail capital: Portland

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The nightlife in Portland is really like no other. It doesn't have the energy of New York, nor does it have the Holier Than Thou attitude of Los Angeles. It's found quite a niche in the making of great drinks but more importantly, it knows how to enjoy them.

Thanks to a recent upswing in cocktail interest in Portland, you can also find some of the most knowledgeable bartenders anywhere around. These guys and girls aren't just bartending as an in-between job, trying to earn money for school or something, these are people who devote their days and nights to the art of the cocktail and the beauty within. Any bartender can tell you that Gin comes from the Juniper tree, but which gins come from different types of Juniper trees? How are they made? What's the process? These folks will know because they live and breathe it.

Though it's not quite the cocktail Mecca that it wants to be...yet, it's the up and comer and is more than worth every second of your night ou…

The gloves are off

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It's looking like traditional drinking stalwarts are really starting to feel the heat. Great wines are getting cheaper, there are more beer choices out there than ever, and don't even get me going on the 5 press releases a day I get faxed to me about the latest flavored something or other. It's a full on, bare knuckle boxing match out there and it's going to get worse before it gets better. And who the hell signed me up for those faxes anyway?

To wit: Southern Comfort is about to launch their largest ad campaign in the history of the company. It will encompass tv channels such as E, USA, and Comedy Central. It will be in print in magazines like Stuff, FHM, and Rolling Stone. It will be on the radio, on the Internet, and in your face. A total of $3 million is going to be spent to make sure that the next time you belly-up to the bar, you're saying "SoCo."

This is not going to be a short fight and it'll be interesting to see which underdogs start t…

Is it too late for us to save the world?

This blog was started for the sole purpose of Saving the World: One Drink At A Time. But is it too late? Is the martini already long and forgotten and on it's way in social decline?

The telltale signs are all there. Every major resort or upscale restaurant seems to have a $3,000 martini. Clubs like 28 Degrees in Boston report themselves to be perfect club serving our favorite libation at the optimum temperature, yet fall discouragingly short. There are so many flavored vodkas that few even know how to drink a real vodka anymore and every other new drink announced is vodka-based. The writing may be on the wall. The vodkapocolypse is nigh. It came not like a thief in the night, but with the wailing and gnashing of teeth of a million girls at Spring Break trying to push their own brand of vodka down our throats via bad gameshows and wet t-shirt contests. Every blogger that writes about spirits is telling us that vodka is a scientific eunich with no character or discernible d…

Bordeaux through the roof!

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I didn't think it could happen. The wine world was completely spazzing out in fits of Pentecostal proportion about the 2000 vintage year of the wines of Bordeaux. They've now one upped themselves and have already proclaimed the 2005's to be the most amazing year ever.

Maybe this will be the vintage that will pull French wines back on track for a bit. After moronic business practices, worldwide competition, and an idiotic American boycott on all things French, it'd be nice to see the wines regain some of their marketing stature.

Some wine analysts have even come out early to let everyone know how great they are. So, if you order early or see the bottles on the shelves, grab 'em!

Bordeaux 2005 likely to 'zoom up.' [Decanter]
Why the French Boycott was stupid [Uncorked]

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The Truth Hurts

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Here's a clever commercial for Soul Bar, a small chain in the Down Under region of the world.

It has an all to true take on things and pretty funny as well.

Don't Look Down [Visit4info.com]
Soul Bar and Bistro [Company Site]


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Blogging To Kill Ya

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The house of Casa Noble (wait, that's redundant) has started a blog to keep you up to date on the latest news in their tequila world.

Tequila has really turned in to quite a drink for the sophisticate. Several hundred brands have been working to overcome the stigma that tequila is only for people who need an excuse to jump off buildings in to kiddie pools or as a pick-me up for those unwanted sexual advances you make at the local college bar.

Casa Noble's is damned good to boot. Remember kids, we're to SIP the tequila and no, Cuervo Gold is not "premium." Feel free to just shoot that stuff or have some guy shake it in your head whilst blowing a whistle.

Casa Noble Tequila Blog [Blogspot]
Casa Noble Tequila [Product Site]
Learn how to drink tequila properly, dammit [itequila.org]

Smoking ban in English pubs

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Trust me people, it's not the end of the world.

England has voted to ban smoking in all pubs, restaurants, and clubs. With the ban, the required pissing and moaning about how many jobs will be lost and how many pubs will close down because you can't smoke in them is reaching an all-time high.

I know baby, it's hard at first. You don't want to do this and you'll fight kicking and screaming in to the new generation of pubs and clubs. Rick understands. Rick will hold you.

Let me tell you this. Nothing stops smokers. Nothing. I'm sure during Hurricane Katrina or Rita in the U.S. people were still going outside for a smoke. It's just that important to them. The people in your pub will step outside for a smoke and some more bonding with other smokers, then come back in to a pleasant, smoke free environment and return to the fun.

5 years from now you'll walk in to a pub in England and appreciate this moment. You'll be able to go home from a night out…

Return to New Orleans

The first Mardis Gras after hurricane Katrina is upon us and people are starting to trickle in to the town on the limited amount of airline seats available. Normally Mardis Gras brings in about US$1 Billion to the local economy and there's absolutely no expectation that it will hit that mark this year. Though residents and visitors alike are looking forward to something to take their minds off things, no one really knows what to expect.

The restaurants that have actually opened (only about a third of them) are understaffed, hotels still have a lot of refugees and recovery workers occupying them (14,000 of the available 26,000 rooms), and this year's Mardis Gras is being shortened from its normal 12 days to 8. For the first time in its history, they're looking for corporate sponsorship to underwrite the cost of the celebration.

So even if you can't make it, a tip o' the drink to Mardis Gras and it's recovery for New Orleans. Here's hoping it takes off.

Tag…

Martini Lounge Revival

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What's old and then was new then got slightly old is now new again.

Martini lounge's are making a big comeback in large cities that aren't necessarily known worldwide for their nightlife. Though you can find them in places like San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Miami, they really excel in places like Denver, Dallas, Atlanta, and now, San Jose.

The San Jose Mercury news has done a short story on the lounges in and around San Jose and writer Mark de la Vina had all the right takes on each place (at least, the ones I've been).

If you're ever in the South Bay (and really, who isn't?) this is a good list to go by. Got anymore lists? Write us at abeautifulmartini@gmail.com and we'll gladly post them.

Lounge Revival [San Jose Mercury News]Tags: , , ,

Drink o' The Day: The Sultana

A great SF restaurant, Ponzu, has a new drink that has gotten a lot of buzz around town and has now been written up. The Sultana is not a raisin based drink or a tribute to the steamboat that sank in the late 1800's, but a nod to the powerful female ruler of India of centuries ago. Ponzu is not the japanese sauce, but the name of the restaurant.

It's unique taste is derived from vanilla vodka (Ponzu uses Stoli, but really, ewww) and from Yuzu juice. Yuzu is a japanese citrus fruit that you won't find here in the US but you should be able to find a bottle of the stuff. It has a lemon-lime mix characteristic and is also useful for Lemon Drops.

How to make The Sultana:
INGREDIENTS:1/2 ounce yuzu juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce simple syrup
10-15 fresh mint leaves
3 ounces Stoli Vanil vodka INSTRUCTIONS:Place the yuzu juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and all but one of the mint leaves into an empty mixing glass and grind them with a wooden muddler. Add the vodka …

Shochu for you

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Last weekend brought a night on the town and the first sample of Shochu.

Shochu is a distinctively Japanese concoction that is distilled rather than brewed like Sake. It has been around since the 1500's in Japan but has just started taking off here in the U.S.

You can drink Shochu by itself, usually accompanied with hot or cold water, or you can drink a Chu-hai, or mixed Shochu drink. My favorite being Blowfish Sushi's X-Rated which brings together X-Rated Liquor and Shochu.

The stuff mixes as easily as vodka so there are literally thousands of combinations for Chu-hai, grab a bottle and make one up.

Funny enough Spirit World did an article on the stuff today, which reminded me to post.

Shochu - The revival of an old favorite [The Spirit World]

Whisky vs. Whisky

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The next logical version of the social web app was going to be the build your own social web app. Now that Ning has done that, the Internet is almost complete.

One of my favorites so far has been the Scotch Whisky battle that lets you pick which one is better in a Battle Royale or AIMFight fashion.

Finally, a site that lets me show my superior knowledge of whisky, heaven help the fool that votes against me.

Whisky vs. Whisky [Ning.com]
Aimfight [Aimfight.com]

The Perfect Cocktail Party

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Cocktail parties are a varied beast. You can't often tell from the beginning of one if it will be the event of the year or just another night of standing for far too long. There are ways you can limit the margin for suckiness though, the main one is "be prepared." I've gone to way too many cocktail parties where they just had "a bunch of booze" and "some music."

Do not take those two items lightly. They will make or break your party and it's entire environment.

Over at Liquor Snob they posted a pretty good starter for how to run the perfect cocktail party, all of the points valid. If I was to add anything to it it would be to say that using evite.com for the invitiations is perfectly acceptable for a casual cocktail party. It let's people know who else might be there, let's you get a head count, and is much better than trying to coordinate via an e-mail blast.

Let me know you're having a good one. I'll crash it. Don'…

Swingers Reunion

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The movie that started it all...well...brought it all back is...um...bringing it all back.

The 10th Anniversary of "Swingers" is here and they're celebrating it at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, and Ron Livingston are all set to appear to commemorate the film that brought hip back to the American conciousness.

It was after this film that I started ordering martini's at bars as well as getting a taste of Glenlivet, or Glenfidich, or any of the Glen's.

I became the guy, behind the guy, behind the guy.

'Swingers' reunite at this year's Comedy Festival [Aspen Daily News]

The Secret Wine List is not for you.

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Most people in general go to a restaurant with a significant wine list and find themselves a wine that they're happy with. They then leave and talk about how good the food was and that they had a nice bottle of Cab with it.

True wine lovers are forever and always trying to get something that's not on the list. They'll look through the list offered to them just to show that they have interest, all the while knowing they'll order nothing off of it. They're just trying to figure out the best way to get the sommelier to give them something that's not on the list.

The LATimes has an article that discusses these secret lists and how to get something off of them. Sometimes you get lucky and get something you'll talk about for a long time. Other times, they'll tell you there's nothing special on the secret list. Most of the time, you'll get a bad excuse which accounts for a "Hell no. Not for you."

Just as you suspected: Sommeliers have a s…

Turn any beer into a beer bong

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This handy little tool punches a hole in the bottom of your beer can, allowing you to put your gaping hole over the gaping hole and suck down the beer in short order. No more of that darned slow drinking for you! You've got a busy schedule and can't be hampered with things like "taking a breath between sips!"

Keep this baby on your keychain to show the world that you mean business. Pull it out at Bingo Night to really get things moving!

Skateboarding.com even has a video of it in action!

Shotgun 2.0 Party [Skateboarding.com]
Shotgun 2.0 - 3 for $9.95 [Company site]

Beer Vodka

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I don't cover beer a lot in this space mostly because there just seems to be so many thousands of different beers that it's an almost impossible task.

Though when I see one that is a beer that TASTES LIKE VODKA, I have to raise my head to see what the hell is going on.

A French company is coming out with a 5.9% alcohol beer that has that crisp vodka taste that you've been longing for in...your...um...beer.

Kriska Biere Aromitasee Vodka [Company site in French]

Most Expensive Bottle of White Wine...Ever

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The 1787 vintage of Sauternes from Chateau d'Yquem was recently sold at auction for a cool US$90,000. The plan is for the seller to personally fly it in his private plane from London to the US-based buyer.

The wine is made from shrivelled up, late harvested grapes that allows it to age for such a long time without going bad. The wine has been tested and re-corked twice already, once in 1980 and once in 1991.

At $15k a glass, here's hoping that it's still that way.

Ancient Yquem becomes most expensive bottle ever [Decanter News]

A History of Absinthe

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If it wasn't for the scarcity of wine in the late 1800's due to a virus, Absinthe wouldn't even be a blip on the radar. But it was scarce, so Absinthe did get popular.

Though it's definitely a heavy liquor, it doesn't cause insanity or blindness or things that most of us were led to believe by society and, funny enough, the wine industry. Wineries tried to regain their popularity when the virus was dealt with by saying Absinthe turned you into a cold-blooded killer (among other things). Though the misinformed vagaries of Absinthe are always good for a joke.

The Accidental Hedonist has published a short history on Absinthe and is worth the read for anyone that's even so much as heard of it (ie Everyone).

History of Absinthe [Accidental Hedonist]

Two Good References

Considering that pretty much all Vodka corporate sites are made from Macromedia's Flash, they tend to blur together in to one continously streaming site playing downtempo music. iVodka has a fairly comprehensive list of sites and descriptions of all the vodkas. Well, maybe not ALL, but they have a lot.

You know those large format wine bottles that you see in restaurants or at wineries? Well, depending on what size they are, they have different names. Whether it's the two bottle equivelent "Magnum" (Like Zoolander!) or the 20 bottle "Nebuchadnezzar" or anything in between, you'll need to know your sizes to complete the sophistacant look that you're going for (and you'll have to lose the tie and short-sleeved shirt too).

Vodka Site Portal [iVodka]
Large Format Wine Descriptions [thewinedoctor.com]

Electronics to know when a bottle is corked or turned

I reckon that UC Berkeley is close enough to wine country that one of their major concerns is about wine and solving problems related to the industry. UC Davis tends to be more wine focused, but Berkeley likes to get in on the action too.

The latest is this small transistor that you can drop into a bottle of wine that is made of carbon. The piece, costing about 10 cents and hoping to go down to 5, can give off an electronic signal when something goes wrong with the wine. Maybe it's corked, maybe it got too hot, etc. This way a restaurant or cellar can know if a wine is bad before they bring it out for you to taste.

The fact that these are made of carbon over silicon means that you can make organic semiconductors, of which, you can make a lot of organic compounds, exactly what's needed when trying to accomplish something that is an electronic tastebud.

Don't expect this anytime soon though. Though they're getting the method down, it's a long way before it can be e…

Wines for your Weakday

Oh yes, I spelled that right. The first part of the work week can sometimes be a bear to get through. What with Monday's playing catch-up, doctor's appointments, and all the other things that make the first part of the week keep you wishing for the weekend.

Over at Basic Juice they've come up with 3 wines that will help you make the most of those first 3 days. Good wines, decent price, and a taste that will make you think it's already Thursday night.

My favorite on the list is Bonny Doon Clos de Gilroy 2004 ($13). Super yummy and one you'll be glad you had.

3 Weakday Wines [Basic Juice]

Aging Wine in Seconds (At Home)

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Clef du Vin is an amazing tool that actually works. Dip this baby in a glass of wine for 1 second and the wine ages the equivelent of one year. How cool is that?

You can take this to some of your higher end tastings to see how well a wine will age. I've done this on a few wines that were purported to age well and found that they didn't. I then went online only to have my suspicions confirmed by others. Not a bad deal at all.

Got a wine that's not up to snuff? Try again it a few years with this little tool and you'll find yourself enjoying a nicely mellowed wine.

Now the Clef du Vin may look diminutive, but the convienence of quick aging will cost you. To the tune of about US$190. Maybe I'll buy mine on the revenue from Google AdSense [sic].

Clef du Vin - $190 [Vinumaster.com]

The Impulsive Buy reviews Grey Goose Vanilla (Sort of)

Over at The Impulsive Buy blog, Marvo decides to do two of my favorite things. Drink vodka and watch Knight Rider. In case you don't know Knight Rider is a show about a supercar and instead of David Hasslehoff guarding a specific piece of the coast, he guards all of humanity from injustices thanks to major financial backing from The Foundation (Formed by dying billionaire, Wilton Knight). Sort of like the A-Team. Though I never got why a major financial backer would give a fuck about a motorcycle gang preparing to do battle with a rival club.

Okay, back to the topic. Marvo mixes Vanilla vodka with multiple different drinks and plays a game with himself that doesn't last very long thanks to the gratuitous shots of Hasslehoff's chest. Well, you just have to read it.

Grey Goose La Vanille Vodka [The Impulsive Buy]

Warm it up or cool it down

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Argos in the UK has a nice little piece of equipment that can warm up that bottle of wine that's too cold or take the Chardonnay that you forgot to chill and get it down to a drinkable temperature.

It has multiple variable temperature settings that take it from 32 degrees farenheit to 122 degrees. Not sure why you'd want your wine at 122 degrees, but I don't really understand the Charles Shaw phenomenon either.

Hinari Cellar Vie Dual Bottle Wine Chiller and Warmer - US$104.83 [Argos.co.uk]
via Gizmodo

Google Maps + Wine = Geeky goodness (but a little oaky)

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The great thing about Napa Valley is it's proximity to Silicon Valley. This way all the same wine snobs who will laugh at you for asking for Yellowtail Chianti can also laugh at you for believing that Bill Gates is going to send everyone $10,000 just for forwarding an e-mail.

Another great side effect is the culmination of a work from WineGeeks.com. This takes all the wineries, sorts them by appelation, then displays them on Google Maps. Now that's a useful tool.

Click on Hybrid or Satellite mode, zoom in, then you can see your accountant using the funds from your annuity to buy those several cases of Duckhorn.

New Appellation and Winery Maps [Winegeeks.com]
via Uncorked
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Bailey's has been around since the mid 1970's and pretty much has a corner on the market because mixing cream with whiskey is a pain in the ass and they're the only ones who seem to want to take the time to do it.

They've now come out with two different types of Irish Cream so you can enjoy a warm concoction on a cold night. One version has "A Hint of Caramel" (shown) and the other has "A Hint of Mint Chocolate." I think both are good additions for those that have a sweet tooth for an after dinner drink.

Bailey's Caramel & Mint Varieties - $18.99 [Bailey's.com]
via Bottlewatch

Get Paid to Drink

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Job got you down? Ready to quit and go to the bar? How about quitting then getting paid to go to the bar?

Smirnoff is offering a chance for the drinker's dream job. They are offering one person the chance to earn $100,000 (via salary AND expense account) to go around to major cities and be their "Cocktail Consultant," finding new drinks and mixes in the name of all things Smirnoff.

The job only lasts for one year, so you'll be hosed if you want a long-term gig, but really, what were you going to be doing in the next year anyway? Filing TPS reports?

You can call 888-217-4454 to obtain an application and get more information if you're interested. Lucky for you, I won't be applying thanks to this sweet blogging gig I got, so you might have a chance.

Diageo.com [Smirnoff Parent Company]

The Great Pinot Debate

Thanks to the success of sideways, Pinot's have become wildly popular and a lot of vineyards that may not have grown them before have started to grow them because they are the wines that are selling. It's general popularity has created this and a few other controversies in the wine world.

Over at Grape Radio, they've done a four part series that you can download that discusses a bunch of the issues around Pinot.

Worth the download.

The Pinot Showdown [Grape Radio]

Scotch Gives Me Wood

I like the Scotch Blog. It's down to earth and realistic. Scotch tends to be such a snobby echelon of drinkers that it's nice to see someone approach it from a beer point-of-view. Scotch drinkers make most wine snobs look like a grandma in a casino on Social Security check day.

What does that mean? I don't know.

Over at the Scotch Blog they posted an article today about wood and Scotch. For someone who is just starting down the Scotch road or heavy in to it, it has some great information about how it's made and why certain woods are used. A lot of good info.

Into the Wood [The Scotch Blog]

Shot to the heart (And you're to blame)

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You can now take a shot from a real...well...shot. Hopefully drinking from these won't make you build a freaky house with doors that open in to nowhere, but at the very least you'll look damned hardcore drinking your favorite libation from a real shotgun shell. It even has "12 GA" engraved on the bottom. SPREAD IT ON!

4-Pk. Winchester® 12-gauge Shot Glasses - $19.97 [Amazon.com]
Winchester Mystery House [Freaky House Site]

What's a Quaffer?

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This shot tool makes the getting fun. On top you have your shot. Directly below it you have your chaser. You take one look, you know what you're about to get.

Oh my God! I did 9 Quaffers last night! Music to the Martini Lounge's ears.

Only drawback is that they're plastic. But after 9 Quaffers, that could be a very good thing.

Quaffer - $3.95 [Kegworks.com]

Tao in Las Vegas

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I don't always get it. I love Vegas. I used to live there and I did well and had the time of my life. When it comes to the club scene though, Vegas runs at the bottom of the top 10 to places like South Beach, Ibiza, Madrid, Berlin, Dublin, Manhattan and many more. Most South Beach clubs are what Vegas really wants to be. Vegas is tame compared to most of these places.

The two that come close are Pure and Tao. Well, Pure used to until they installed the Worst DJ in America, DJ AM. Now Tao stands alone at the top of the Vegas heap.

Their Wednesday nights are easily one of the best nights of the week with Robert Oleysyck spinning throughout the night. This guy started the Vegas ultra-club scene by taking over Utopia on Saturday nights and making it go completely insane. Now at the weekly, "Sutra" you can hear him whip the crowd in to an absolute frenzy. He's probably one of the most under-rated DJ's on the West Coast and is worth the trip to Vegas just to h…

Katrina Effects On Wine Cellars

Yes, we know there was tragic loss of life and property due to Hurricane Katrina and the idiotic efforts (or the lack thereof) of Homeland Security, but New Orleans was well known for its fantastic restaurants as well. So, what about the wine?

Brennan's had arguably the best cellar in New Orleans. It had plenty of great wines at good (for a restaurant) prices. It also had some great wine history like an 1897 and 1891 Lafite. The sweltering heat that came after Katrina destroyed their entire cellar of wines, killing any chance for some guy with too much money to have a taste of such wines.

Now that Brennan's is trying to rebuild, thanks in part to a $1M insurance check, they are also getting donations from distributors and individual wineries. A great testament to the wine industry's heart and understanding of someone trying to bring something of value to the culinary world.

An additional note, Local New Orleans food writer Tom Fitzmorris has started a website that will h…

Quick and Easy Sangria

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One of the best parts of Sangria in my opinion is making it. When you make it yourself, it always comes out a little different, the taste changes, and you can enjoy it or hate it but know what you want to change for the next time.

Well, B.C.L.B de Turis of Valencia, Spain has taken all the fun out of it by producing a bottled Sangria that you can purchase off the shelf. Considering it's from Spain they get points because Spain is the Sangria Capitol, but please only use in emergencies. For the sake of Sangria makers everywhere.

At $7.99 for a full liter, it may end up being cheaper than making your own too.

Aromas di Turis Sangria - $7.99 [dotcomwines]
via Bottlewatch