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Showing posts from October, 2007

Drinking Story Legends

Maybe you thought you had a night out that you would describe as "legendary" and is the stuff they croon about when they tell tales around the campfire of drinking escapades.

Know your history, only then will you be able to know just how far you have to go.

Drinking stories that put yours to shame

True North Cherry Vodka

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You can't make a vodka from Michigan without doing a flavored vodka that takes in to account the state's abundance of cherries. Grand Traverse Distillery noticed this and did just that.

Their new cherry flavored vodka is triple distilled and has a sweet cherry flavor with a hint-of-chocolate finish. Their original Rye vodka is the fastest growing vodka in the premium vodka market and hope is that the unique flavor of the cherry will help them continue to grow.

Available only in Michigan right now.

True North Cherry Vodka - US$29.99

Boomerang Vodka Launches

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Australia has to do something with their grape glut and the natural thing for them to do would be to, of course, create a grape-based vodka.

The Land of 3 Dollar Shiraz is now bringing Boomerang Vodka to the United States. The vodka is sourced from Chardonnay grapes and then 5-times distilled and charcoal filtered. It doesn't say anything about the water source.

They're bringing down the price of these grape-based vodkas as well by charging US$19.99 for a 750ml bottle (BevMo already has it for US$18.99).

The corporate parent is Foster's, the original Big Gulp of beer, so who knows how much cheaper this will go. Or maybe they'll do a 3 Liter for the same price in the future. Keg O' Vodka.

Expect to see it in your local store over the next few weeks.

Boomerang Vodka Launches in US

Lotus Vodka

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Lotus vodka has launched here in SF with some fanfare. The founders seem to understand just how crowded the vodka market is (over 400 now) and pushing itself in to some pretty good events. Another local favorite of mine, Wesabe Vodka, hasn’t been heard from much. Lotus vodka pours a ton of vitamins and ginseng in to it’s mixture that allows it to become an anti-hangover vodka. This reminds me of the ultra-stellar Zygo energy vodka. Now each coast has their own reviving vodka. Let the battle begin!Lotus vodka is only available in California right now and sells for $26.99.Lotus Vodka

Snow Queen Vodka

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A few months ago, Snow Queen vodka launched in Chicago. It's looking to take off in to the US at large and is being pushed by a company that knows its stuff.

Geom is one of the largest pure-vodka producers in the world and the largest in it's native country of Kazakhstan where it produces over 60 vodka products to the tune of 200 million bottles a year, in a country that is 9th largest in the world by area, but only has 15 Million people. You do the math.

The vodka itself is made of the famous, organic Kazakhstan wheat and then distilled five times through birch charcoal. It's then blended with water that has not only been softened, but has been through a multiple step process, including a sand filter and reverse-osmosis, to get the water as close to it's basest element as possible.

It's currently available in Illinois, Texas, Florida, Kansas, Nevada, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. Coming soon to California, Colorado, and Connecticut. Retail…

Bocaj Grape Vodka

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Grape-based vodkas are starting to become more prominent than Britney Spears' driving record.

Bocaj is the latest entry in to the market and is being launched by Jacob Arabo, the jeweler to the stars. Apparently, this comes from an old Arabo family recipe that distills the grapes 4 times then blends it with mountain spring water.

The only old family recipe I have is Fried Chicken. You have to pick your parents carefully.

The bottle was designed by Arabo and gives off the feeling of a diamond. It's then wrapped in a blue velvet bag and tied off with a platinum rope.

It's available in New York right now and is starting to make it's way through national distribution. Tasty goodness and keen fashion sense will cost you though, a bottle is selling for around US$83.

Hey! Bocaj is "Jacob" backwards!

Bocaj Vodka

Mamietage - Wine and Nudity

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Mamie van Doren was born in 1931 and has had enough work done that I'm rather amazed that her ears haven't met in the middle of her face yet. That being said, I hope I can look that good and have enough good Photoshop skils when I reach 113.

Math never was a strong point for me.

Mamie's got a wine that is young enough to be one of her great grandchildren. She's got herself on the label of 3 different bottles with stickers that can be removed to show the more strategic parts. Two of the labels are from recent pics while one of them is from way-back-when.

The magnum bottles (1.5L) sell in a pack of 3 for $300.

Mamiatage Wines
via Luxist

Snow Leopard Vodka

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The vodka train is really picking up steam. In the last week 6 vodkas have been introduced to me.

One of them is Snow Leopard vodka. It's been hanging out for the most part in a few upscale clubs in London and a few other select spots in the UK. However, it's starting to pick up enough interest to start branching out in to other areas.

The Polish vodka is derived from a type of wheat named "spelt." Spelt has been farmed for thousands of years and has a tough husk that allows it to be grown without using any pesticides. The spelt is then distilled four times and blended with water from an on-site deep water well.

Only Snow Leopard allows you the linguistic pleasure of ordering a Miaowtini. The flavors show hints of cream soda, vanilla and honey overtones.

You can get Snow Leopard online for about US$62 or at hip clubs and restaurants in the UK. There's no launch date set for when it might hit the US market. I'd have to be fairly impressed with the stuff to…

Wyborowa gets a new bottle

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In 1823 a vodka was established in the home of vodkas. Wyborowa was one of the first modern distilleries in Poland, a place that had been producing the stuff since the 1600's. In 1927 they were the first vodka brand to register their name internationally.

Wyborowa is produced from 100% rye grain, using a double-step distillation process. No mention is made about the water it's mixed with.

The company has had some tough times thanks to the Polish market which has caused it to appear and disappear in stores. I've been told that the brand is back on the upswing and they've launched a new bottle design (shown) to celebrate it.

Frank Gehry designed the new bottle and adds it to his significant list of controversial designs including Toronto's Michael Lee Chin Crystalthe titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

Wyborowa Vodka

Edit: Thanks to Francisco Alvarez, the Director of Communications at the Royal …

Americana Vodka

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Finally! A vodka by Americans, for Americans, and blessed by Uncle Sam himself!

Actually, there are a few American vodkas and Uncle Sam doesn't really endorse vodkas (though it might help the ATF bring in some funds), but this one is pushing itself as the vodka that is as American as apple pie, baseball, and despising people who despise NASCAR.

It's produced and bottled at the nation's oldest family distiller (doesn't say who), has a slow charcoal filter for carbon filtration (doesn't say how many times), and uses grains harvested from America, The Beautiful (doesn't say what type of grains).

It also doesn't say where it's going to launch, when it will launch, or how much it will cost.

But it's red, white, and blue dammit! Who needs facts when you have patriotism? Salute your vodka!

Americana Vodka
American Vodka Video

Women of Swill calendar to fight breast cancer

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Hey, anyone can start a wine club nowadays, there's plenty of resources for it. But how about having a successful one like SWILL then doing something with the popularity.

12 women from SWILL put their skin where their mouth usually is and created a calendar to sell where all the proceeds go to Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

The calendar is the perfect way to donate to a good cause and get some pictures of real women showing some flesh (No nudity, what kind of blog do you think this is?). It also has the convenient ability to help you figure out the date.

Women of SWILL Calendar - US$19.99

Club Wine Web: Invitiation Only

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Club Wine Web is the wine club with a bit of a different take.

The club showcases wines every month from boutique wineries at a pretty good discount, usually from wineries that don't offer regular discounts. You then get a promotion code that allows you to purchase additional bottles of the ones you like at a continued discount.

Club Wine Web gets different by being invitation only. You have to receive an invite from a current member of the club in order to get in. If you're a member, then you can get featured on the site and special discounts and promotional items. Invites are also given out at Wine Web sponsored events.

The site already has an extremely useful wine finder that searches all the major wine sites for that special wine you're looking for and it has a rather comprehensive database of wineries from around the world (over 34,000).

It's a nice bit of fun over the traditional wine club and makes up for the grammatical mouthful that is their slogan: "…

National Vodka Day: Aquavit

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Aquavit is normally a vodka flavored with caraway seeds and anise, dill, fennel, coriander, and grains of paradise. Everyone makes their own version but caraway is the dominant flavor.

Aquavit comes to the US with the traditional flavors plus something for Americans, the flavors of white cranberries. Even though the spirit is rather flavored, it can mix nicely with a lot of other stuff, including Elderflower syrup or an orange liqueur.

We're finally getting something that Europeans have had in multiple iterations for quite some time. Now, if we could just figure out existentialism....

Aquavit

National Vodka Day: Karlsson's Gold Vodka

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In the spirit of "Not all vodkas have to be filtered one thousand times in order to be good," comes Karrlson's Gold Vodka straight from Sweden.

The potato vodka is only filtered once, giving it it's unique flavor that is slightly earthy, a vegetable aroma; a clean flavor with hints of sweet nuttiness; and a smooth finish.

The master distiller behind this one is the guy behind that other Swedish vodka who came out of retirement to make the goods.

We've pretty much thrown out the "tasteless and odorless" definition of vodka. The flavors are here to stay and this one sounds like it's worth enjoying.

Karlsson's Vodka - US$40

The Launch of Hip Tastes Book

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Courtney Cochrane is probably the coolest Sommelier out there. She's fun, smart, and has an impressive hat collection.

If there's one thing that annoys me about the wine industry today is how all of these bloggers, sites, and wineries are trying to act like they're not wine snobs, yet they act completely like wine snobs. If I see another press release for a site or winery that says their approach to wine is "irreverent and with attitude" then I'm going to go on a 5 state shooting spree.

However, Courtney does all the cool stuff that these companies are trying to do, but without trying to tell everyone how cool her stuff is. She just does it. It's cool. You like it.

Her book, Hip Tastes: The Fresh Guide to Wine, is no different. It has info like what to drink when all the wine is bad, how not to get ripped off in a restaurant, and the best wines that you can order for your party without breaking the bank.

The book is only US$12.89 at Amazon and will b…

National Vodka Day on October 4

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Lately this blog has been all about the vodka and the next few days won't be any different. It's a vodka blitz!

Thursday, October 4 is National Vodka Day which gives you yet another reason to enjoy everyone's favorite stain remover. Like you needed another reason.

So, raise your glass up to amusing marketing, endless flavors, and...did I mention stain removal?

Here's to you vodka!

Sit on your glass

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Carlo Rossi is probably responsible for most of the jug wine that's out in the world today. He knows this. Rather than just be satisfied with making tons of money on the swill, he's being responsible and teaching people things they can do with those old jugs.

The Cabernet Couch is part of the Carlo Rossi Jug Simple Collection. It's made of 33 jugs and an old futon. The neon underglow gives it that "I'm serious, but I like to party" feeling. Just don't let the kids jump on it.

The couch is part of a collection of stuff including a chandelier, a lamp, a bookshelf, a tv stand, and a sound system, all made from wine jugs.

Carlo Rossi - Make Something
via BornRich

Beer tasting kit to teach ignorant wine lovers

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You wine-loving fool! Wine is just grapes and yeast! Can't you understand how much more complex beer is? PBR has an entirely different flavor profile than Bud Light! Why do I always have to explain these things to you?

Thank Bacchus that there's help for you poor, misguided souls who would rather talk about how jammy a wine is over the taste-laden love of a beer.

Tasteyourbeer.com has the full tasting kit that allows you to go from drunken frat boy to discerning beer lover. When you order your kit (which they point out is much cheaper than a wine tasting kit, just like beer!) you get a 13 hops tasting kit, access to their hops and terminology database, a quick start guide, a beer color swatch, a hops cheat sheet, and a beer appreciation guide.

Now when your wine snob friends look down at their glass and comment on the "legs" of the wine, you can tell them what ignorant swine they are and pop open a cold one.

Beer Tasting Kit - US$49.00