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Showing posts from September, 2006

The Wrong Day To Quit Sniffing Glue

I'm obviously cruising around YouTube. Just found a commercial that's just so wrong and insane that it obviously needed to be posted here.



New Martini Commercial

The George Clooney Martini spots keep me cracking up.



Ice cubes without the cubes

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The Piet Hein Drink Cooler is perfect for getting that chill effect but without diluting your drink.

The stainless steel ball bearing looking thing (It's all ball bearings these days) has a liquid center that freezes solid and allows you to chill your drink and make a large clinking sound like a roulette wheel as you swirl it around in your glass.

Piet Hein Drink Cooler - US$31 - [unicahome.com]
via Uncrate

Designer Wine Caddies

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Take a little recycled steel, toss in some copper, then add some of the same creativity that gave us beer can hats, and you have a funky wine caddy that's sure to bring some conversation to the table alongside the wine.

With over 50 designs, these german built caddies come in all shapes and sizes and not just for wine either, they have holders for whisky and other such drinks. Each one costs around US$70-80 and has to be imported, so order early!

H&K Wine Caddies - [occassionsmp.com]

Bacardi loves 42 Below

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42 Below is the little vodka company that could. With brash marketing, strong ties to the gay & lesbian community, and an attitude that makes you want to hate them for being so cool, they were able to get purchased.

They've become New Zealand's first global brand of any type of alcohol and they did it by having a small little company by the name of Bacardi purchase them. Not bad for a vodka brand that started out 7 years ago in some guy's garage.

So now, 42 Below gets some international marketing muscle, expansion in to another 100 countries or so, and a cool NZ$138 million. Not bad for 7 years of work.

Congrats to the 42 Below crew!

Bacardi purchases 42 Below - [Bloomberg.com]

iVodka.com is your vodka resource

I've seen this site while using StumbleUpon a few times but when I went to it a few months back, it didn't have that much info. The fellas over at Liquor Snob recently brought it up again and I checked it out. It has a lot of new info and a fairly good list of what vodkas are currently out there. You can sort them by brand name, country, or supplier.

It also has some vodka history and it has a marketplace that is "Coming Soon." That's been "Coming Soon" for a while, reminding me of the "Under Construction" pages that you used to see on GeoCities.

iVodka - [ivodka.com]
via Liquor Snob

Master of Wine

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Getting the actual certificate and title of "Sommelier" isn't very easy, but it's as easy as drinking a 1985 Cain V when compared to the "Master of Wine" title.

SFGate has an article on just how much of a pain in the ass it is to get this much coveted title. Not only do you have to have an excellent palate, plenty of determination, and amazing patience, you have to have a bankroll. A nest egg. Much like the one in Easy Rider.

Right now, there are only 250 Masters of Wine in all the world and only a very small percentage even passed their test on their first time around. You have to have guts, heart, and a liver to filter it all out.

The Ultimate Test - [sfgate.com]

Iced Vodka Bottle

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We've talked about the ice jacket already, but what about making it pretty? Prettier ice jackets make your whole party pretty and that makes the people around you feel pretty.

Martha Stewart thought the same thing (we think a lot alike, Martha and I), and has a method up for making a bee-yooootiful ice jacket with colors and fruits and unicorns!

This way is cheaper too, all you need is an old milk carton and some fruit.

And a unicorn.

Iced Vodka Bottle - [marthastewart.com]

TikiBar TV New Episode

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If this blog brings no other joy to people, let it be said that it brought joy by telling you about the awesome Tiki Bar TV.

A new episode is up, is funny, and brings the logic probe full on in your face.

Tiki Bar TV Episode 20 - [tikibartv.com]

Wine.Woot Cathedral Ridge 2005 Trio

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Why it was just last week that I was making a joke about Sideways. Well, the fine people at Wine.Woot must have been listening because here they are with 3, count 'em, 3 bottles of Pinot Noir ready for you to get uppity too and tell everyone how Chardonnay is for the serfs.

The vineyard's site has the bottles for $24 each and Woot is dishing it out to you for $54.99 for 3 bottles. So, you're getting about 25% off and that's more than 24% off and a hell of a lot more than 10% off. Math is fun.

I've known Catherdral Ridge for being some of Hood River's finest Syrah, I haven't had the Pinot but the region is kicking ass when it comes to Pinot, so I doubt you'll be sorry you got this stuff. However, it's overall not as compelling as last week's and I say get it if you want to explore a new Pinot, but it's not a must-have.

Verdict: Jury is out. Get it if you want some more Pinot's in your rack.

Virtual Wine Tasting

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Now you can do a professional wine tasting from just about anywhere. Tastoria is bringing the actual and the virtual together to make it so that you can taste with the pro's the wine's that they're drinking, right when they're doing it.

The idea is for you to go to a local liquor store, pick up the tasting pack, then login to an online forum that will consist of noted wine enthusiasts (besides yourself, of course) and partake in the wines and chat about them in real-time.

When you purchase the taste pack, you get 3 reds, 3 whites, some recommended pairings, and a pass code for the event.

The concept originally started in London and is now making it's way stateside to see how it goes.

Virtual wine tasting debuts in Ipswich - [townonline.com]
Tastoria - Virtual Wine Tasting - [tastoria.com]

Target goes Mini-Cube

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Some Targets are now selling the 1.75L mini-cubes that come in a 4 count pack. So now your fantasies of being assimilated by little Borg looking wines can finally come true.

The 4-pack sells for $8.99 and comes in Pinot Grigio or a Cabernet/Shiraz blend.

Be sure to check the site to see if a Target near you is actually selling them.

Wine Cube at Super Target - [target.com]
via Bottle Watch

Yarrr! Smugglin' the booty from Arrrrrrrgentina!

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Nothing makes me think more of America these days than energy drinks and illegal drugs. So, it's only natural that they name an energy drink after an illegal drug.

Well, natural in my thought process anyway.

Cocaine energy drink says that it gets its unique formula from not having things like Taurine and Guarana, but by adding caffienne and dextrose, a form of glucose that they say won't let you come down like regular sugar drinks. You're supposed to ride the high for a lot longer because it doesn't have the High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Dextrose is also used in a lot of foods to keep it from being too sweet, so this one may not give you that Jolly Rancher feel that you get from Red Bull.

Not that they promote the use of illegal drugs, but if you wanted to, they say that this would be a great drink to go along with them.

I'll have to settle for trying it with vodka.

(Note: I know Cocaine is usually affiliated with Columbia, but then I couldn't talk like a pir…

44 Degrees North Vodka Review

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Ron and Ken know their vodkas. They make crazy insane concoctions and turn them in to vodka's and sell them to the poor souls that have none and they're nothing short of great.

Okay, maybe you can see where this review is going.

44 North vodka is all Idaho, baby. It's got Idaho potatoes that are distilled in to the 190 proof alcohol we all know and love. It's got Idaho Huckleberries that give it a unique flavor. It's mixed with pure Idaho water from the Snake River to keep it crisp and clean tasting.

When I talked with Ken about trying out his flavored vodkas (They also make Zygo, a peach energy vodka, but that's for another day), I wasn't quite sure what I was going to think about this stuff, but I told him I would try them and give him an honest review (Hey, I'm no pansy, I regularly slam the free stuff people send me).

The bottle
The bottle's nice and evokes thoughts of the great northern state from which it hails. A light blue, clear bottle. Si…

This week's Wine.Woot

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I know everyone waits with baited breath for their favorite martini drinker to tell them what to do with this week's Wine.Woot. Who am I to deny them? I mean, not only do I have absolutely no training in wine, but I also haven't seen "Sideways."

But boy oh boy do I love the stuff.

This week's Wine.Woot comes to use from Washington's Pepper Bridge winery. Their 2001 Cabernet Savignon sells at other sites for about $60, you're getting two bottles from The Almighty Woot for $59. That's BOGO!

The wine gets solid ratings all around and has a feel like crushed velvet going down. The good crushed velvet, not the stuff in the back of your van down by the river.

2001 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Savignon - US$59.99 - [wine.woot.com]

New Online Wine Retailer

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It seems that wine sites are springing up once a week in the past few months. From offering super deals, to selective wines, to a huge array of wines, they're all out there.

Colorado Cellar Consulting has launched a new site that doesn't necessarily offer up the massive selection of sites like wine.com, but says that it's intent is to find the best examples of wines at a given price point.

The nice thing about the site is that they do have a great selection of wines and you could buy pretty much any one of them and be happy. They also take PayPal, which is very nice.

The bad thing about the site is that they're so over-priced as I'm almost embarrassed for them. How come some companies don't get that this is The Internet and that people can easily search for the best price. If you're going to charge people more, it can't be much more and you'd better be offering quite a value-added service. How much more? A Spanish wine I looked at was $20 more at…

Paris Hilton and wine in a can

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Say what you want about Paris, and I often do, she can sell stuff. The Brand of Paris has lunged out yet again to pimp a sparkling wine in a can.

The Rich Prosecco drink is made from Prosecco grapes in Italy and then fermented twice to give a light, carbonated flavor. You can pick it up mostly in Germany.

But forget the drink, Paris is hot.

Rich Prosecco - US$2.78 - [richprosecco.com]
Thanks to ONTD

Wine Decanting Machine

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Anyone can decant a bottle of wine, just a few tips and you're decanting with the pro's.

But what about how you look? And what about all those other ugly centerpieces?

The Ercuis Wine Decanting Machine has an elegant look that is great for the middle of the table and helps you to decant in to glasses slowly and easily, plus you'll look ultra cool doing it.

Ercuis Wine Decanting Machine - US$270 - [bergdorfgoodman.com]

Single Serving Wine

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Everytime I hear Single Serving anything, I think of the airplane scene in Fight Club about Single Serving Friends and Single Serving Packets, etc.

Single serving wines are starting to really take off for a lot of wineries who have bought in to the concept. Think about the myriad applications! No more having that entire bottle by yourself after work, thus making it so that you pass out in the fetal position while watching "America's Top Model." Or maybe you're at dinner and you want wine but your partner wants beer. Problem solved.

It would be nice if they attached a little straw to the side of it with a hole in the top so that we could share "juice boxes" with our kids. No one has to tell the little squirts that Daddy's getting hammered at the picnic.

Wines follow in juice boxes' steps with single-serve pouches, minibottles - [usatoday.com]
Pilfered from Slashfood

You don't know what's in this vodka, stop faking it

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I know a lot of people that drink. It comes with the whole "Blog about people who drink" territory.

However, if someone tells you that they can taste the difference between a Red Bull/Grey Goose and a Red Bull/Ketel-One, beat them about the head and neck as they are liars and their pants will be on fire very soon. Very few people can tell the difference between wheat and potato vodka's, much less two wheat vodka's.

Apparently, people can barely tell the difference between significantly different vodka's, such as a wheat vodka like Absolut and a grape vodka like Ciroc. Personally I thought Ciroc was distilled from the ass of a goat, but apparently it's from grapes. Who knew?

The BBC News took some people who are actually pretty damned good at tasting and gave them several vodkas to try and then asked them if they could tell the base. Was it grapes? Wheat? Potato? BEETS???

Well, they could only guess right about 15% of the time. What does this mean? Abso…

Saty-Cold Polar Pitcher

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I don't know why they call everything that's cold "Polar." Can't they call it "Antarctic?" It's the Antarctic pitcher.

Well, some marketing genius named this pitcher, which holds beer and a big thing of ice on the side, the Polar Pitcher. This allows you to order a pitcher somewhere and not bother with drinking it quickly because you're worried about having the last 1/3 of your pitcher be warm.

Bars LOVE this stuff! This allows you to drink your beer slower! That means you order less! So they don't have to work so hard and do dumb things like "make more money."

This could be a nice to have for your house and the mugs that keep the ice right down the center to match make the perfect wedding or Valentine's Day gift.

Stay-Cold Polar Pitcher - [sportys.com]
I stole this from Gizmodo

World's First Pomegranate Wine Launches

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Pomegranate is definitely taking off this year and rightfully so. It's tasty, not overpowering, and can be mixed easily to make unique flavors.

If it's fair that they can make a grape vodka, then it's fair to make pomegranate wine. So, they did.

A family in Galilee (that's where Jesus is from! Hey Jesus!) knew that pomegranate's don't have enough natural sugar in order to ferment properly. But we had the technology. They created a bigger, faster, stronger (Just like Col. Steve Austin! Hey Steve Austin!) pomegranate with deeper reds and more flavor. It also had more sugar, now they can make wine out of it.

The winery is high-up which, I guess, is perfect pomegranate growin' terrain. Except it's near Lebanon, so get it soon before they blow the hell out of it.

Israel's Galilee offers world's first pomegranate wine - [israel21c.org]

Mini Box Wines

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The LCBO is the place to buy liquor and wines in Canada. The Liquor Control Board of Canada is actually the ONLY place to buy liquor and wines in Ontario (outside of a restaurant).

The thing I love about LCBO is that it's not what you'd expect from a government run store. It has gorgeous locations that are well designed and they have some great prices on wines and liquors. When I used to go to Toronto I would always make sure I stopped in to see what deals I could find.

One of the things they're working on now are 1 Liter packages of wine made from an environmentally sound packaging with some pretty good wines inside. The boxes hold the same amount of wine as 1 Liter of cola. The box is made from 75% paperboard, 20% food grade polyethylene plastic and 5% aluminum foil.

A few different wineries are catching on and LCBO is hoping that more wineries will jump on the bandwagon. Hmmm...looks like the boxes that chicken stock comes in.

LanPak brings wine innovation to Ontar…

Wine Crush

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Not many people have been to a crush. I mean, a REAL crush. I've only been to one. The other's I go to have you camping out somewhere on the land but have fully catered meals and a Starbuck's cart in the morning to help you get up. Then around 10 you go pick grapes for an hour and are off to lunch.

Wine X magazine has a great article on what it's like to be at a crush and the full process that happens from taking the grape off the vine to putting it in a bottle. All of it takes place at David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery and the 20 acres that are planted there.

So go learn more about malo-lactic starter. There's a quiz later.

Crush - [winexmagazine.com]

The Ice Jacket keeps it cold

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Vodka out of the freezer can be a pretty good thing. Mix with a hint of dry vermouth and you can put it straight in to the martini glass without a shaker, then get a cold, crisp drink.

The ice jacket allows you to pull that bottle out and leave it out. The device allows you to build a frozen layer of ice around your bottle and then show it off. Kind of like when Han Solo cut up the Ton-Ton to put Luke inside to keep him warm, except the opposite.

No price is set but you could try using a water balloon for the same effect. Let me know how that works out for you.

The Ice Jacket - [icejacket.com]

Outdoor Beer Dispenser

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When you're looking for something to go with your outdoor kitchen and the mega-blow up screen with TV projector, look no further than the outdoor beer dispenser.

This dispenser holds all your beers in it's fridge plus has a 3-way tap to dish up three different beers at a time. It's Energy Star so it has efficient cooling plus a digital temperature control so everything stays just right.

Just like your other top-of-the-line equipment out in your yard though, this one doesn't come cheap. It'll set you back around US$5,250 depending on size and configuration.

Perlick Beer Dispenser - [bringperlickhome.com]

This week's Wine.Woot

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This week you'll get:
1 Jepson 2005 Screaming Rosé 1 Jepson 2003 Estate Bottled Syrah 1 Jepson 2005 Summertime White 1 Jepson 2003 Estate RedAll for the small, small price of $35.99.

Though the word "Screaming" in any wine name makes you think of either the Eagle or that someone is trying to be "Extreme," this Rose is actually pretty good.

All the wines are pretty good ones and Jepson also makes a nice Brandy if I remember correctly. Plus there's just something so pleasant about Mendocino wines. The cost normally is around US$58 before shipping, so you're getting a deal.

The awesome Alder from Vinography had good things to say about this winery too.

Jepson Winery Mendocino Mix - [wine.woot.com]

Some Freebies

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Mike the Freebie Finder over at Days That End In "Y" has gotten a few freebies worth checking out. Notably a how to entertain stylishly book and a spoon straw. Hey, it's free, and you already gave all your info to that website that sends you real estate finance tips that aren't useful to you at all. At least this way you'll have something to show for it.

Free Bacardi Silver Guide to Stylish Entertaining and
Free Baileys Stroon - [daysthatendiny.com]

Scotch TV

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Whisky author and guru Charlie MacLean is starting SingleMalt.tv to bring to the Internet a channel that will be focused purely on Single Malt Scotch Whisky. He believes that getting something like this out will make it very easier for advertisers to focus their dollars on the specific markets they want to hit.

The site got 5,000 users within the first two weeks and is charging just over US$37 for a year's subscription. Not a bad deal for a full year of info on your favorite libation.

Whisky galore: a TV channel just for Scotch - [scotsman.com]

Vintners.com sells for US$45,000

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Okay, so it's not quite the US$6 Million that news.com went for back in the day, but it's a healthy sum for a domain in the wine world.

Vintners.com has sold for a sizeable $45k by a wine importer from Hungary that is based in the U.S. to a web development company in the U.S.

Are we looking at another possible RadCru or Wine.Woot? Or maybe the crowded retail wine sales market is going to get another competitor. Could even be a B2B Portal.

Looking forward to finding out just what they do with it.

US: Vinters.com sells for US$45,000 - [just-drinks.com]

Use SMS to buy someone a drink at the bar

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bCode makes buying someone a drink at your local bar super easy!

Except not.

As long as the bar has the service set up, you're still sober enough to actually text the proper bCode to the server, and you know the person's phone number in advance.

So, if maybe the bar also provides it's customers with t-shirts that have their cell phone number printed on the shirt, this isn't really that easy. Trying to buy the girl that you'll never talk to a drink from across the bar while hiding behind your friends just isn't going to happen.

I guess you'll have to go up to her and say "With all that make-up on your face, it looks okay!" then laugh like a braying donkey as usual. Oh well, at least you'll still have your action figures to comfort you.

bCode Drinks - [bcode.com]
via Gizmodo

Finlandia website relaunches

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The owners of Finlandia vodka have relaunched the site for their flagship vodka product. Brown-Forman, an American company who just bought a tequila manufacturer as well, decided that the last flash-based site with a little information should be replaced with an all new flash-based site with a little information.

The site has recipes and brand stories, the stories that touch your soul and make you want to get drunk. Like Casey Kasem's letter fo the week.

Finlandia Website - [Finlandia.com]
via Just Drinks

Radcru Unoriginal?

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It has been brought to my attention by one of my readers that RadCru may not be an original concept in logo and name.

The similarities between the 1980's BMX movie "Rad" and RadCru.com are just too compelling. A brilliant forum member over at winemarketer.com made the connection and has an interesting essay on the "coincidence."

Jeff from Radcru.com responded on the forums saying that it wasn't intentional and he'd "never heard of it." I'm no believer. Give Radcru back to the BMXers!

[sic]

Radcru - Unoriginal? - [winemarketer.com]

Review: Bourbon and Branch

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So, last week I brought up the San Francisco speakeasy, Bourbon and Branch. I was so completely enamored with the concept that I went out of my way to make sure I got there this week.

Located in the middle of San Francisco's Tenderloin (A good place to go for your crack or methamphetamine needs), it is a very unassuming bar. It has a sign on the building that is completely unrelated to the business itself. What does it say? It's a speakeasy people! I'm not going to just hand out all the info willy nilly!

The Prep
I left a message on their website to have them call me for reservations that night. They answered the phone with a "Hello?" like it was someone's house. I, in fact, wasn't sure that I had dialed the right number. I mentioned that I wanted to make reservations for that night and the guy helped me to pick a time. I wanted 8 o' clock but he said he was booked and I went for 7. He asked me how long I wanted to stay and I told him about an …

15 Five-Star wines from New Zealand

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Forbes has been doing some nice work lately. They've been putting out some great articles on the business of running a nightclub to some killer wine recommendations.

Their latest is on 15 five star wines from the great country of New Zealand. No, it's not kiwi wine, don't be so stereotypical.

Though New Zealand is known for it's Savignon Blanc's, it's making headway in a lot of other categories as well. With Pinot's and Viogner's becoming very popular as well. Though 3 of the the top 15 are Savignon Blanc's.

The nice thing about these being New Zealand wines is that most of them are 5 star but under US$25. Not bad at all.

15 Five-Star New Zealand Wines - [forbes.com]
via Slashfood

World's most expensive wine is fake

William Koch is pretty bummed.

He bought a bunch of bottles of super expensive French wine made in 1784 and 1787 for an undisclosed sum (But probably around US$150k each). Specifically a 1784 and 1787 Château Lafite, and a 1784 and 1787 Château Branne-Mouton – Mouton-Rothschild's predecessor.

Well, he's pretty sure they're fake.

The problem is that authentic bottles are supposed to have a "Th.J" on them, the initials of Thomas Jefferson, some dude who is supposed to have owned the bottles. Turns out, analysis seems to show that the engravings were made with a power drill. Now Thomas Jefferson was a damned fine president, but no one has been able to attribute the power drill to him.

So, he's suing. The dealer, Hardy Rodenstock, says he will attest under oath that they're legit. We'll let the courts decide...

World's most expensive bottle claimed fake as renowned collector sued - [decanter.com]

Anheuser-Busch to launch web network

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Anheuser-Busch is getting ready to launch Bud.TV, a completely Internet based entertainment network with live programming around the clock.

As beer continues it's decline in popularity, major producers are trying to do anything they can in order to get their brand out there. Bud.TV promises to use sites like TriggerStreet.com's content to bring short films and entertainment to the Web.

Look for the launch in February.

A-B to launch web network - [just-drinks.com reg required]

Quick Shots

- Not sure if it's "new" but there's another episode of Tiki Bar TV up! I have no idea why their only notification of new episodes is via iTunes. iTunes blows. Tikibartv.com

- Test your knowledge with Dr. Vino and win a half-case of GOOD wine. Not that swill that other blogs try to pass off in hopes that you'll read more about how pissed they are at the Governer's decision to not make Zinfandel California's official wine.

- The Spirit World has a delicious looking Pear Nectar Martini ready for you to make for the long weekend

- Philips is making the light up gaming table for bars and restaurants. Cleverly named the Entertable. See, it's a table that entertains you. Get it?

Return of the Speakeasy

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Walk up to an unmarked door in the slummy Tenderloin in San Francisco and knock. When someone opens up the knocker window you give them a password and they let you in.

Inside you'll find a mellow bar with only the highest quality of drinks. From their huge list of specially imported bourbons to mixed drinks made with juices they squeezed the same day. If you don't know what you want, they'll customize something just for you.

So hang out, listen to some cool music, have some drinks, and keep the noise down. It's a secret after all.

Bourbon & Branch Speakeasy - [bourbonandbranch.com]


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The Story of Tequila

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The fantastic Wine X magazine has an article in this month's issue that covers the history and lifestyle around tequila, the Official Drink of the Questionable Hookup®.

It even goes nicely in to some of the troubles Tequila is facing because of it's own popularity, including how the quality is starting to decline because the huge amount of manufacturers trying to cash in on the boom.

Drunkeness, labor disputes, murder, pestilence...this article has something for everyone!

Blockades, Bullets and Bugs - [winexmagazine.com]


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Official Seal of The Martini Lounge

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Feel free to post the Official Seal of The Martini Lounge to your site. It shows that not only do you read America's Finest Blog* but have the class and sophistication to have some sort of image with a martini glass on your site.

You can make your own at Says-It.com


*America's Finest Blog designation based on votes by myself and two of my friends who still owe me money.