Monday, January 31, 2011

Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2006

I'm excited that I get to rant and rave over a $40 wine that's actually worth drinking.  Unfortunately, my last review on wine pertaining the Silverado was not exactly positive to say the least but I was quite disappointed with the quality of such a wine with such high expectations.  This one I actually have the honor of saying I was proud to have it in my collection and more proud to claim that it is now aloft in my bloodstream.

Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2006

A Marlborough appellation of New Zealand, this is the archetype of a New Zealand red wine.  More famous for their over-abundance of Sauvignon blanc throughout the regions, New Zealand can actually release a few rare gems such as this one from time to time.  A fellow wine lover and I used to joke about how, "It's a shame they can only grow two grapes and one happens to be lackluster,"  but I chose to swallow my words as I proclaim that this Pinot Noir has met and exceeded my expectations, far beyond that of a Russian River Pinot.

The only wine I could remotely relate it to as far as body and overall quality would probably be Bearboat Syrah, but this wine is really definitive of the Zealandian soil.  (A friend used this term a while back and I'm obsessed with it lately.)

The nose is very difficult to describe in that it does have the usual Zealandian burst of roses and magnolia, but it does retain a heavy scent of raw chemical as in Ethyl Alcohol.  Surprised by this retentivity,  I actually had to let it breathe for about 12-15 minutes before the nose was consistent and pleasant.  The reason that it shocked me so much is that it is sealed with a screw cup as opposed to natural or synthetic cork.  But this little pre-shaped metal cap actually did a decent job of what it's intended to do.

The initial taste was only faintly acidic and more on the savory end of the produce spectrum. Although most will claim which berries and citrus their wine tastes most like, I would go on a limb to say this was more like a light and lofty melange of tomatoes, mint, and black currant.  This interesting little pairing went so well with a simple dish of turkey meatballs and tomato sauce that my wife had prepared.  As the wine lasted through dinner into dessert, I made a simply dessert out of merely a glass of wine, and a 70% dark cocoa chocolate bar.  Sinfully delicious with just enough creaminess to combat the gentle acidity of the wine.

A delicacy and a half, and well worth the price at every single cent.
Next time I'll have a good beer review for you all who have been waiting so patiently for it, and trust me it will be more than well worth the wait.  In the mean time, I'm going to experiment more with wine cork art (unfortunately not with this one) and sip on my Maker's Mark Mint Julep while listening to Buckcherry's Ridin'.

Good Times....

Bon Boire!

How to Get Drunk Without Spending a Lot of Money

I'm sure more than a few of you wonder this little question on a daily basis, as I myself try and find the most efficient ways to do so at any chance I can get.  Over my recent finds, I discovered the most effective way to do so.  Even though I have already posted a chart describing some of the cheapest ways to get drunk (and how drunk is too drunk), this is actually from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

So one of my favorite hobbies next to playing guitar and snorting coke off a hooker's ass, is GAMBLING!!!

I love to gamble, especially when I actually win something for a change.
Like last night, for instance, I won a total of -$17.  Not really a personal best but at least I didn't win -$170.  

So I usually like to go to the Gulf Coast with my Dad, but this time he took me and my wife to Harrah's Casino in New Orleans.  I have a special place for Harrah's in my heart because this is where I spent the greater part of my 21st birthday, but it really is a truly beautiful casino.  I wish I could show you pictures, but my hands are usually never steady enough to hold a camera in there.  Well last night, I discovered that they have implemented a new way to order drinks and cocktails from your slot machine.  Normally at every casino, you get "complimentary cocktails" because you spend so much of your potential children's college fund there.  Well at Harrah's, you can abuse this to a whole other level.

The slot machines have a small touch screen on an overhead display that shows you how many "points" you earned at that session.  These points can later be redeemed for a number of things but I won't get into that right now.  Now, you can order your drink from the Slot Machine.  This is where the abuse comes from.  The average tip for a cocktail waitress is usually dependent on how much you're winning or losing by, but most people just tip a dollar or two.  So you order a drink from your machine, and likewise order another drink from the adjacent slot machine.  Since the waitress only took one trip to deliver it, you can tip her one or two dollars and still be fair.  And you can order anything from a frozen daiquiri to scotch and water to coffee (etc).  

With this menacing method in use, you can efficiently order a glass of wine for $1 a piece and at Harrah's, the house wine is Menage a Trois Red Blend, and they do pour you a 4oz glass, just .5oz shy of a normal glass.  So an entire bottle of Menage will end up costing you about $6 in the casino (or less if you cheat or don't tip) as opposed to $9.99 retail.

The downside is you will more than likely end up gambling all of your saved money away, and YOU DO have to be playing in order to get a drink.  You could just put $5 in the penny machine and that will be good for about 500 spins.

It will get you wasted and you can truly feel like a chain-smoking, alcoholic, gambling, abusive sonofabitch who can't afford to pay child support.

I prefer not to do this method, but it could work.

I will have a more serious update later tonight on a wine from New Zealand that is absolutely Heavenly and Sinful at the same time!
Til then!
Bon Boire!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Eristoff Black - Wild Berry Vodka

A follow up to the Eristoff Vodka I had mentioned in an earlier post thanks to my good friend Donnie.  Many have told me that this is nothing more than another runner-up for the legendary Smirnoff vodka, but the truth behind it is that Eristoff could easily be the next Smirnoff on a popularity level. As far as quality goes, it's hands down the winner, but the thing that really has Smirnoff at the top of the market is their wide variety of flavors including Melon, White Grape, Canned Tuna, and Pomegranate.

Well now Smirnoff is in some pretty deep shit.
This, gentlemen, is what vodka is meant to be.  This is Eristoff Black which is a TRUE infusion of Wild Berris and vodka.  Hence its still astounding 20% abv., this liqueur-type vodka is more like a Ready-to-Drink cocktail, but still holds strong when mixed or used as a normal flavored vodka in pretty much any recipe.  The liquid itself, is BLACK.  As easy as it sounds to understand, most people don't really understand how black I'm talking about.  IT IS LIKE INK.  A blackhole, a complete and total void....  This stuff is BLACK.  Most ninjas cower to the site of how black and dark this stuff really is.

The lack of alcohol, is not due to dilution, but rather the actual infusion of raw berry product, vodka, and water.  It makes this drink truly unique and unlike most anything in its family.  Literally the Black Sheep of the vodka world, I can easily see this surpassing the level of "cult classic" and becoming a mainstream beverage that will soon be at top Mixology bars, if not every bar in the country.

Note the cocktail i made here, which is pretty common of this drink, which is more of a true layered drink and holds serious barriers.

Black and Gold Lemonade
2½oz Fresh Squeezed Lemonade
2½oz Eristoff Black

Pour chilled lemonade into a rocks glass or an iced tea glass, and carefully pour the Eristoff Black on top in order to layer.

It is such a trippy taste and feeling drinking this truly impressive gem.  I can't imagine how to even start making the taste (which to me is much like a blue or purple freezepop!) but there is not way to recreate this look without adding food coloring or the like. Little sublayers of lemon and vodka and lemon and vodka come through in little sweet and tart bursts that I couldn't possibly replicate with normal ingredients. I should note, that no artificial ingredients or anything are put into this beverage which again i remind you is distilled and bottle at the Grey Goose distillery in France.

Good luck finding this where you are.  About $13-$14 so pick this up.  You won't regret it.

Bon Boire!

p.s.: Thank you Donnie.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Directory of Wine With Corks!!!

A group on Facebook I ritualistically follow called 100% Cork has just updated this for all of you who are interested in Cork-Only wines!

100% Cork announced the launch today of CorkWatch, an on-line directory of more than 1,500 wines that indicates which ones are sealed with natural cork.

"U.S. wine drinkers overwhelmingly prefer wine with cork, but it has been difficult for them to determine if a bottle is sealed with a cork or a plastic stopper," said Peter Weber, Executive Director of the Cork Quality Council.  "CorkWatch lifts the veil on wine closures by providing definitive information about whether a bottle of wine is finished with real cork or not."

CorkWatch can be accessed at www.corkwatch.org  or the campaign's Facebook page.  The Facebook page has more than 36,000 fans, many of whom have asked how to determine if a bottle of wine is sealed with genuine cork.

The resource was launched with 1,540 wines derived largely from A.C. Nielson's listings of top selling premium brands.  More than 50 wineries made entries to CorkWatch on the first day they were offered the opportunity to do so.  CorkWatch users are encouraged to enter additional wine varietals.

About 100% Cork
100% Cork is a campaign to educate U.S. wine consumers about the benefits of choosing wine with real cork because of cork's environmental, technical and societal advantages.  The campaign seeks to recruit and organize wine consumers to request that winemakers and retailers choose natural cork over artificial stoppers.  The campaign is funded by the Portuguese Cork Association and the Cork Quality Council.
SOURCE 100% Cork

Fight back the synthetics and screw cups!

100% Cork Everytime!!!
Join the website, sign the petition, and submit any info on new wines and whether or not they have all natural cork!

Bon Boire!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon


Hey guys, just a quick little wine review today!
Last night my wife cooked some steak using an interesting little blends of herbs and dry mustard.  Hands down, the steak was awesome, but the only disappointing thing about dinner would be the wine.  As much as I hate to say it, this top shelf wine was a real let down for me.  

Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon

A few things made me ponder about this wine as to whether or not I could actually appreciate it for its entirety.  Most wine enthusiasts will say that breathing and decanting and such techniques are not only proper, but necessary when tasting some a quality wine, but even with such techniques, I still found it to be lackluster.
No dominant acidity present, the flavor was watered and perfume-like, and did not pair well at all with such a hearty meal.
As much as I hate to give a negative review, unfortunately I have to do so in this case.  And at about $38.99 per bottle, it's definitely one you can avoid.

But there is good news!
For those of you here in the New Orleans area,  The Barley Oak in Mandeville is having an event on February 10th at 7pm to taste Abita's Black IPA that I had mentioned in the last post! Don't forget to add  The Barley Oak in Mandeville on Facebook! Hope to see you there!

Bon Boire!

Monday, January 24, 2011

New Discoveries for a New Year

I think some of this information might impress the shit out of all of you, but at the same time might also prove to be quite boring to others.  In the old-fashioned spirit of College and whatnot, I've actually decided to study up on my favorite subject: Getting Drunk.  

There are so many ways to do so, and so many products to e joy in the process, but I am here to shed light on some of the newer ways to do so with some of the newer things you can do it with, only complicating the scene further.  Lately in my research, I've come across a few interesting little tidbits about this and that including:

  • Ancient Spirits
  • New AVA and other country Appellations (Wine Growth)
  • New Types of Brew
Seriously.  Are y'all as excited about this as I am?  

Ancient Spirits
To start off, I am going to talk about these extra aged spirits, the likes of which we haven't seen in American since the Prohibition time when it may have actually been worth paying this much for a drink!  Could you imagine sipping on 35 year old XO Cognac knowing that the used barrel would be heading towards the Canadian Club distillery, and being used now to make whisky for Al Capone?  (That sir, would make you a badass.)  Some of these Ancient Spirits really are more than just expensive and old proofs of your favorite drinks, they are history lessons as well.

Some of the more famous ones like Old Pappy Rip van Winkle Bourbon, and Mount Gay 1703 Reserve are widely available, although a little difficult to obtain.  They radiate this wonderful golden oak sensation throughout and really maintain the quality that brought them to be as widely known as they are today.

Others that may be a little harder to find would include Black Bull's 40 year Bourbon, which has tastes and similarities that could easily put to shame some of the finer Single Malt Scotches.  Also, multi-vintage Cognacs are aged in this manner for up to 27 years,  truly adorning their status as XO.  A few include Chateau de Montifaud and Charbay XO.

New American Wines
Since 1980 when Augusta, Missouri was declared the first recognized American Appellation, we have yearned for better areas to grow and new products to explore.  Just a little tip, Napa was not recognized until 1981. This year, a new Appellation, a subregion of Napa, is now recognized amongst the states.  Known as Calistoga, it was first founded in 2009 but vintages of the wine will not appear until 2011 with the actual AVA on it.  Currently only one vineyard is producing wines with this AVA, that being Chateau Montelena (the stoner minds behind Bottle Shock).  They currently have 4 or 5 wines available for sale from the appellation but they will not display the AVA's name until 2011.
Calistago can be seen just to the Northwest of Napa

No idea what they taste like, but if it's anything like Montelena's Cabernet, it will be incredible.

Also, two new grapes have been recognized but only one is used predominantly in wine.  It goes by the name of Traminette and is a hybrid of Gewurztraminer that produces smooth and sweet but slightly spiced wines.  Currently only found in the Niagra areas of New York state but it's assumed to make a big comeout soon.

New Brews!
Thought you were bored of drinking the same damn thing every day?  Well guess what, new beers and a new TYPE of beer are on their way!

The first thing that has me excited is Abita's Strawberry harvest Lager which is a seasonal fruit beer made with local strawberries that are to die for.  Sierra Nevada is also shoving their Hoptimum to the shelves this February, and you can also expect to see Dogfishhead release a brew that's been kinda hush hush lately.

As far as the new type, how does Black IPA sound?  Like an oxymoron right?  Well for purists' sake and just for people who can't take a joke, it is now being called Cascadian Dark Ale.

It's produced from extra dark chocolate and black patent malts.  They soak for about 10-12 minutes in 160°F water, producing a very deep black, but thinner brew that drinks, smells, tastes, and replicates and IPA.  But with the blackness of a stout.

Typically only found in the Northwest (the Cascadian mountain range), they are now becoming nationally recognized since the National Brewers Association picked up the Black Patent malt and the brew in general as new products.  So far I've only found three brewers which are Stone, Caraffe, and........ Abita.
No shit.  A brew I haven't heard of that is only found in America, and only three major brewers make it.  One happens to be five miles from my house.


Bon Boire!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sick.... AGAIN!!!!

It sucks.  Can't really stomach a beer and my nose is shot so I can't really enjoy any of the wine I have at the hose.  So right now I'm pretty much relying on Hot Toddies and Theraflu.

So here's what I can share with all of you in the mean time.

Hot Toddy

6oz Hot Tea
1½oz Bourbon
1 Teaspoon (or to taste) Honey

Easy enough, just brew your favorite tea, add some bourbon and honey, or for you lazier folks add some Wild Turkey American Honey to it.
Either way works.

On my fifth one in a week.  Not really helping my flu but at least I feel a little better.
Bon Boire!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why Beer Gets Us Drunk

This Flash animator by the name of Dave Mercier does a pretty decent job of explaining some of the science behind alcohol conversions in beer and whatnot.

Although it's lacking a lot of vital info, this is still pretty funny.

Dave's Guide to Yeast

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eristoff Vodka

Remember a review on a vodka I did a while back called Rokk?
Well forget about it, this shit's better.

Eristoff Vodka

Produced at the Grey Goose Distillery, this 1806 Russian recipe vodka is all about clean and bold flavors.
Got to sample it and even just a small taste gives away all its secrets.  It's really smooth stuff that has just really faint hint of apple, caramel, and liquorice.  Seems like it will mix well with nice fruit juices and light mixes.  Probably not best for Bloody Mary's though...

Also comes in a RED and BLACK which are 40 proof and much like liqueurs, but truly unique infusions of Sloe Berries (RED) and Wildberries (BLACK).  The coolest part.  The liquor is actually red and black.  Creates some trippy looking layered effects.

I know I'm being short but there's not much to say.  For $20 a 1.75L bottles, this shit's awesome.

Thanks to DONNIE for showing this product to me.
This is Donnie.  He's my hero.

Bon Boire!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Temptation Zin

I'm actually quite found of Alexander Valley Vineyards based out of Healdsburg, CA.  Their Chardonnay is a staple for me in sales and I actually got the chance to meet winemaker Hank Wetzel.
The Temptation Zin is the first of three in a spiritual trio of Zinfandels.  Sold around Halloween in a pack known as the Wicked Weekender, the three Zins really having an interesting experience about them that is hard to find in any other family of wine.

Today, I'm reviewing the first called Temptation, which as the name obviously implies, is very tempting.  The overall quality of taste is just mediocre, decent for a $10 wine, but the mouthfeel is what really draws you in.  The initial little bite is much like licking a ripe pink grapefruit that's been coated in sugar, but it is quickly followed by a smoother than silk flow of light tannins and beautifully lush fruit.  Usually, this type of experience is common with Chianti, which isn't surprising that it contains about 5% Sangiovese, the primary grape in Chianti.

There's really not much more I can say about Temptation, except that it's accurately named.  The second in the line, Sin Zin, is definitely a keep though.

Bon Boire!

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Weekend

It was a lot like this:

But it was fun nonetheless.
I'll have some stuff updated today.
Might get lucky and get a double update!
School starts Wednesday.
There's a pub crawl on the lakefront Tuesday night.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Layout

So this may be a temporary thing or I may hang on to it for quite a while.  
Also, I've added two, YES TWO!!!!, new polls over to the right side of the page.  
I was pondering this morning about daiquiris (because I'm a drunk) and was wondering about martinis too.  These are two very common cocktails that are always misnamed or are used so commonly that they have lost their ways from their roots.  Here I have posted the original two recipes for both cocktails and would like to hear your opinion back on it.

The Classic Martini
More method than anything, you simply add one large jigger of gin and one small jigger of vermouth to a shaker with ice and stir.  Unlike the preferred method of James Bond, the best way to serve a gin martini is to stir and strain, as to not bruise the gin.  To make it extra dry, most will just rinse the martini glass with the vermouth and pour chilled gin into it.

We now recognize a martini as pretty much anything served in a martini glass, sometimes not including even vodka, the prime ingredient of the Modern Martini.

The Classic Daiquiri
Like the martini, more in method than anything, it is 1½oz of light rum mixed with 1oz of lime juice and sweeten it with 1tsp of either raw sugar or powdered sugar.

A favorite drink of Ernest Hemingway, the classic daiquiri is a little more focused on the rum, rather than the mixers to go along with it.  Here in New Orleans, we make tons of frozen daiquiris which instead focus more on the flavor and the overall experience of getting wasted.  Once again, it can use a plethora of different alcohols including the Octane 190 daiquiri which is made with an Everclear knockoff.

I leave you with dreams of cocktails and wonderful stuff and also with a few wallpapers I found along the way.

Bon Boire!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sorry Guys...

Ran out of time to update today but i promise to have quite a few coming up the next couple of days.
In the mean time, enjoy this little chart I happened to find on the incredible edible internet.

Friday, January 7, 2011


For the past couple of days, my wife and i have been watching some of our good friends' dog, Chloe.  Chloe is a sweetheart, a lovable friend, and a devious bitch.
In her honor (and because I was bored) I have made an interesting little drinks out of just three ingredients.
For shits and/or giggles, I have included this lovely little bitch along with the drink.

The Chloe

4oz Cruzan Coconut Rum
6oz Arizona Tea Company's Mucho Mango! or Mango Nectar
2oz Lime Juice

Shake it vigorously over cracked ice and strain into an iced tea glass. Garnish with a cliff hanger.

I like this cool little garnish.  It's easy to make and is a little different than just dropping the lime or lemon into the glass or making the obvious cut across the center.  It's made easy enough just by making a slight curve when you cut into it, and it kinda looks cute hanging on for dear life and whatnot.

Hope you liked this little update!
Don't forget to vote on my latest poll for what i should do next, and also remember to visit my good buddy and coworker Josh over here at The Beer Experience!

And as always,
Bon Boire!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


To show my appreciation of my followers and hitting my 230 point, I am going to fulfill the wishes of a local girl by the name of Estelle Darling and do a review on a Sazerac!

Here in New Orleans, the Sazerac is as common of a cocktail as the Manhattan, Long Island Ice Tea, and Cosmopolitans are in New York.  It has been dated to times before the Civil War and continues to be a staple in many bars within a hundred mile radius of here.  And although the first Sazerac I ever drank was the worst cocktail I've ever tasted, it has quickly become one of my favorite drinks for a few reasons:
1) It's fun to make
2) It will do the job
3) It's a history lesson in a glass

The taste of one is truly unique, because you are basically flavoring the bourbon to an extent where it will still retain its natural flavor, but have an interesting little side taste as well.
Drinking a Sazerac is much like playing an antique guitar or driving an antique car.  Although it may contain some modern parts here and there, that classic motif will still linger about it. You just really have to appreciate the simplicity and wonders of this cocktail for yourself and I will tell you how!

Now I've seen many variations on this drink, but I've done my extensive research and found this to be the most like that of Antoine Peychaud's, the inventor of this drink and Peychaud's bitters!


1 Sugar Cube
1½oz Bourbon (or Rye Whiskey)
3/4oz Absinthe (or Anisette)
3 Dashes of Peychaud's Bitters
Lemon Peel, for garnish

Use a frozen glass for this recipe, or quick chill by placing ice in it then discarding just before before the cocktail into it.
In another glass or shaker, muddle the sugar cube with the bitters and add the bourbon, which I used Maker's Mark in this case..  Wash the frozen glass with the absinthe (I used Le Tourtment Vert)  and pour the cocktail into it, garnishing with the lemon peel.

Notice in the picture the exact color of the liquor as opposed to the natural color of Maker's Mark Bourbon being naturally lighter.  The addition of the sugar, absinthe and bitters really takes the 'sting' that some harder liquors tend to have.  This is a really nice bridge for those looking for a harder drink but not ready to give up their sugary ones.

So maybe it's not as simple but still, it's pretty damn awesome for those of you think you know it all about cocktails.  Give it a shot, but "sip, not gulp" this incredible drink.
Bonus points for Estelle or any other local who can tell me where I ripped that quote from!  If you guess it right, I'll do your review suggestion next!

Bon Boire!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Whipped Lightning Amaretto Whipped Cream

The first post of the new Year is definitely going to be a great one as I bring you what may be the greatest thing mankind has created since the wheel.  I bring you Whipped Lightning, an Alcoholic Whipped Cream infused with a plethora of liqueur flavors including German Chocolate, Caramel Pecan, Hazelnut Espresso and many others.

That's right.
Whipped Cream...

Imagine all the possibilities of this wonderful invention!
The first of the line I'm actually trying is their Amaretto flavor, partially because it was the most versatile amongst the flavors, and mostly because it's my wife's favorite!

So at first, I was more than overcome with excitement, and giddy like a little school girl.
I open the cap and shake it like a British nanny would, spraying out this wonderful tan foam than smelled and tasted like pure aerated awesomeness!!!  Before I even managed to ruin this treat by adding it to a cocktail, I had to slurp it off of my fingertip like it was the last thing on the planet I would ever taste.

As far as the amaretto flavor goes, it is not so much sugary like some of the other high end things out there, but more or less focuses on the actual almond oil flavor you expect to find.

A wonderful little treat to pump up any cocktail, here are some recipes I used with this flavor in particular:

White Russian (Daiquiri Style)
3oz Vodka (I used Perfect, a French Vodka)
1½oz Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur
2oz Cream (or milk)
½ cup Ice
Amaretto Whipped Lightning

Place the first four ingredients into a blender.  Blend until smooth and filled with shredded ice.  Pour into a cocktail glass and top with Whipped Lightning.  

Just to note, some bartenders actually refer to a White Russian with Amaretto as a Dirty Bird if shaken together.

King Cake Shot
2oz Licor 43 (Spanish herbal liqueur)
Top with Amaretto Whipped Lightning

Chill the Licor 43 and pour into a shot glass.  Top with the whipped cream.  You can also make this with plain amaretto.

Another note, for those who don't know, here in New Orleans  a King Cake is a large oval cinnamon twist-like cake that we eat in mass quantity during Mardi Gras.  A normal King Cake usually has a plastic baby doll replica of Baby Jesus in it as well.

Well I hope you guys enjoyed!
Until next time,
Bon Boire!

Also!  Don't forget to check out my good buddy Josh's new blog on all things beer!  Click here: The Beer Experience