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Showing posts from August, 2007

Sub Rosa Spirits launches Tarragon and Saffron Vodkas

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Sub Rosa Spirits is a micro-distillery just southwest of Portland, OR that is now launching two of the more interesting vodka infusions that I've seen. One is Tarragon and the other is Saffron.

Vodka infusions are becoming the most interesting part of the vodka world though I've only seen a few that actually do it really well so it'll be interesting to see how these come out. I have seen more success with vodka blends, like Wasabe Vodka which is a blend of vodka and sake.

The Sub Rosa infusions are launching in Oregon this summer and the rest of the world throughout 2008.

Sub Rosa Spirits

Christiana Vodka is looking for "The New Nude"

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The search for the most compelling vision of the human form is on and a vodka company is going to find it.

I think we can find a new definition of irony when a product that does an excellent job of making almost anything beautiful when you've imbibed enough of it is now on the search for what is truly beautiful.

Christiana Vodka sees no irony and has taken in over 300 submissions from around the world for the definition of "The New Nude." The winner, voted upon by a group of pro's will have his picture on a billboard in a major intersection in New York.

Next to come is the Christiana Arts Foundation in 2008 which will help up-and-coming artists make something of themselves.

Christi Naked

Bourbon and Chardonnay

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Vanilla Whiskey, Nectar Scotch, etc. Pretty much everything is fair game at this point in the high-end liquor game. As the market grows the options explode with no real end in site. This is not a dot com product with a crash looming, there's just no reason for it to not keep going.

The latest in creations is Bourbon aged in Chardonnay barrels rather than newly charred oak barrels. Sonoma-Cutrer Finish is “rich in sweet fruit notes and full of butterscotch, caramel and toasted oak character ."

The technical definition of Bourbon says that the goods have to be matured in oak barrels, but the distiller can finish them in whatever they want to. Sounds damned yummy and there are only 900 cases of the stuff. Get yours for US$89.99

Woodford Reserve

Saturday Night Fever: Fever-Tree Premium Mixers

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"That's not a baby, that's a Mr. Potato Head!"
Listen, 90% of most drinks is some sort of mixer, so if you're drinking the good stuff when it comes to the alcohol, then why not make sure you have the good stuff when it comes to the mixers?

Fever-Tree is founded by Charles Rolls, the guy who brought Plymouth Gin back from the dead and contains only the finest of the finest. The flavors come in Indian Tonic Water, Club Soda, Ginger Ale, and Bitter Lemon. I got all of them but the Club Soda, which is fine because I never wanted their stupid Club Soda anyway. Jerks.

"Oh, my. Now, how did that happen? There must be a ghost in here."
I've had the Tonic Water at Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco, as well as the Bitter Lemon, but the one I've never had occasion to delight myself upon is the ginger ale, so I thought I'd go after it.

All of the bottles come in perfect little 6oz size and are clear so you can see that the goods are legit. When I opene…

Heineken announces new techno-keg; puts your face on dancing robots

Heineken has become the new Kate Beckinsale of kegs with its super fancy CO2 system that makes all other kegs look like Lindsay Lohan.

The keg allows you to pull from the top like a true draft beer and the CO2 cartridge means no pumping your arm off, something you just don't want to do after your 4th beer.

Did I mention that they allow you to make a fresh, funky video with your face on a dancing robot? Though my best-kept secret is that I can actually dance like Justin Timberlake, now it's out for the world to see.

Check out my video here!

Glenmorangie does an overhaul

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Glenmorangie (Say it right: "Glen-more-angie," rhymes with "orangie") has revamped just about everything with their product. Not only have they done a bottle re-design, but they've got a new signet on the bottles and some new product as well. The new items are "Expressions" of the Glenmorangie Extra Matured product and include Glenmorangie Lasanta, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban and Glenmorangie Nectar D'Òr.

Last year was one of the most successful years ever in the Scotch business and it's helped companies like Glenmorangie have the funds to expand their product and marketing rather significantly.

Look for the new products and labels to hit the shelves very soon.

Glenmorangie hopes to bottle bigger market

Erotic toys and wine

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A sex toys store in New York, Babeland, is pairing up two things that finally show some honesty with wine: Wine and sex.

Their events bring wine-drinkers together to taste things like Seduction Cabernet and Foreplay Chardonnay then make tasting notes on the ones that arouse you and make you...well...you know. They then bid on grab bags that have wines and sex toys inside of it. Which Cabernet really does go with "The Jack Rabbit?" Check out their events to find out.

Babeland Wine Tastings (NSFW)

Rejected Vodka Ad

Didja miss me? Well, didja?


Rejected Vodka Ad

Tequila marketed to women

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Usually when I talk to just about any girl about tequila, they get a small smile across their lips and a distant look in their eye. This is almost always followed by a stern look and the words "No. Never again."

Inocente tequila is betting that there are plenty of girls who want to get that feeling back or, at the very least, discover that there might be a tequila they can drink that won't incite their gag reflex.

The bottle looks like a vase so the girls can use it for flowers or to smash across someone's two-timing, backstabbing, head. I will survive.

Ads should start popping up soon outside of stores like Dolce & Gabbana

Intowine.com gets better

Intowine.com has recently re-launched with a bunch of new services that make it one of the better wine sites out there.

The best part is the amount of blogging they have from different types of people in the wine industry, including winemakers, reviewers, and regular writers. The new features also include:
Google Maps mash up of California wine countrySocial networkingWine and food pairing engineVideo wine tasting reviews.The wine country map is especially useful and well thought out. There are some other nice new features as well, go and check them out!

Intowine.com

Head's Up!

I'll be having a birthday bash at The Starlight Room in SF next Thursday night (the 16th). If you're in or around SF and want to attend, drop me a line at rick@martinigroove.com. It will be a wholesome night out and fun for the whole family!

This is all true, except for the wholesome part.

Cork Really Is Better

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Though I've never shied away from talking about wine issues here, I tend to keep it high level as there are just so many blogs that cover it already. My favorite stuff is to post about the wine events or some new site that covers the stuff in a unique way.

One of my latest causes is the importance of real cork in your wine bottle. There has been no substantial proof that plastic corks or screw caps do any better job of stopping a wine from getting corked, and the proof that is out there shows that the change in numbers is insignificant.

Cork is one of the rare sustainable items in the world today that allow for a forest to thrive and for people to make money without hurting the environment. The cork is the bark of an oak tree that can be stripped over and over without hurting the tree. The fact that money can be made this way ensures that the trees stay where they're at and the ecosystem that it's a part of gets a chance to succeed.

The first sustainability report is now…

Alcohol How-To's

Sorin Mihailovici is a tv production student in Canada that has worked at a liquor store for five years. The natural extension of this experience is to create some online videos that show you how to do stuff. The first two videos are about removing wine stains and opening a bottle of wine without a cork (or by hammering it on a tree).

Check out Sorin's videos on Metacafe.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/732526/remove_wine_stains_with_milk_or_white_wine/
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/724199/open_a_bottle_of_wine_without_corkscrew/

Kai Lychee Vodka

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Kai rice vodka launched a few months ago in Hawaii and they're now coming to the mainland with their regular version and their new Lychee flavored version.

It's being distributed by a major player (Southern) and is expected to hit most of the state then start gaining some steam to move across the west.

I haven't tried this one yet though a few people mentioned it in comments on my last post and it seems to be tasty. Holler if you've had some.

Kai Lychee Vodka

A short course on barspeak

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Most people that walk in to a bar know how to order their favorite drink, but the fact that they might stumble upon themselves on trying something new is often a reason that people don't branch out. Even those of us that have a pretty solid knowledge of what's going on in the bar (Yes dear, that's muddling) can be caught unawares when we get a question from the less-experienced among us.

An article over at sfgate.com goes in to some of the details for those of us that are not-quite-beginners but still want to know why they light the orange rind and it flares up when ordering a Revolver. Hey, we were all ignorant at one point. Well, except me. I have a blog.

Cracking the bar code

Review: UV Lemonade Vodka

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The Quest Begins
I've searched far and near for flavored alcohols that don't instantly make my testes pack their bags and move to Indiana in protest of my masculinity, so I was rather skeptical when the bottle of UV Lemonade Vodka arrived. The box cheered when I opened it and pink, frilly things came out at me and there was a plastic pink flamingo inserted with it.

Ah! A challenge is it? The pink flamingo glared at me with a knowing look that said "Are you man enough to drink something this pink?" I began to sweat as I lifted the bottle out of the box wondering that if I would somehow start getting PMS by just touching something so damned pink. I think I saw the pink flamingo smile as it watched me hesitate.

The Pour
Donning rubber gloves and cutting up my shower curtain to make a crude hazmat suit, I carefully opened the bottle as if it were a vial of my grandmother's perfume. I knew I would have to try this in my usual two ways. Straight-up and in a drink. …

Amtrak dishes out free booze

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Amtrak has started a frequent flier program of sorts. If you join their guest rewards programs, they give you a credit for US$100 on certain routes for you to purchase your favorite drinks. The routes are limited to a few overnight ones, but it could make the going a bit easier, especially considering that their top shelf alcohol costs around US$7.

Amtrak uses booze to stir up business

My alcohol predictions!

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Last December I was interviewed by a newspaper and I predicted gin as the next big thing. Now, The Arizona Republic says I was right.

Granted, it wasn't a huge leap of faith to see the writing on the wall, but how many people have their predictions in print?

I'll be here all week, try the veal.

Spiffed up, gin making rounds again