We're always on the lookout for the newest, best, cheapest wines that won't burn our nose hairs out or make us go blind. It probably comes from our days moonlighting over at Cheap Fun Wines, but our motto is "if it's under ten bucks we'll try it." But who'd have thought our next place to go find a good cheap wine was at...Wal-Mart? We thought they'd be way too busy censoring music and movies to have time to make wine, but we guess we were wrong, at least according to this article:
With more than two dozen comments about Wal-Mart's Oak Leaf Vineyards wines on The Dallas Morning News Eats blog, most of them positive, we knew we had to put them to the test. Could a $2.97 bottle of wine really taste better than swamp water? And would it "fool" experienced wine drinkers?
As it turns out, the wines are better than you might think. The chardonnay won a gold medal at both the 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition (chardonnays under $14.99) and the 2008 Florida State International Wine Competition. The Oak Leaf merlot and cabernet sauvignon earned bronze medals in the San Francisco contest.
If it's the same quality or better than good old Three Buck Chuck, we'd love to give it a try. Read the full article, including the results of the blind taste test, at Dallas News.
We've had a moderate obsession with rye whiskey lately. Our current favorite is Rittenhouse followed closely by Jim Beam's yellow-labeled rye offering, but let's say we're open to suggestions. That's why we're excited to hear about (rī)1 from Beam Spirits. Well, we're not sure about the nigh-untypable name (why someone would try to market an un-Googleable name in this day and age is beyond us), but the booze sounds like good stuff. Here's what they have to say about their hooch:
Bottled at 92 proof, (rī)1 features a light, slightly spicy flavor and a long, luxurious finish. Straight, the nose offers a gentle, peppery nod to its rye heritage. Cut with water, the scents of dried fruit and cinnamon push to the front, providing a rich palate experience.
Sounds great, but as an ultra-premium rye, it's a fair price point over our less-than $20 current faves, clocking in at close to $50. They make some mean bourbons so color us curious, and we hope we get to try it out sooner than later.
We wrote an article a little while ago about pumpkin beers, and ever since we've been crazy for the stuff. We were at the British Beer Company (the kids call it the BBC) near us a couple days ago, and we had our doors blown off when it comes to drinking pumpkin beers and ales. How did they wow us? By rimming the glass of our pumpkin beer with pumpkin spices, that's how.
All it took was a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, rimmed on the glass to blow our minds. The waitress thought our enthusiasm was pretty funny, and she told us she's done something similar that included ground pumpkin seeds or rolled oats as well. Talk about a full pumpkin pie.
We recommend giving it a try, kids. Make it happen, whether you can make it to Massachusetts to get it at the BBC or if you have to whip up the rimming spices on your own.
Anyone who's been reading this site for a while knows we really enjoyed Tommy Guns Vodka, and not just because you can get it in a bottle in the shape of its namesake. We've just gotten our hands on a bottle of the vodka's sibling, Tommy Guns Tequila, which is available in the same gun-shaped vessel. A reposado laid down for six months, we've heard good things about the smoothness and taste of this one and we're looking forward to trying it.
Another new item we just picked up is KU:L vodka, imported by the same folks and with a name that makes us think it's something Conan should have drunk from the skulls of his enemies. We don't have much information beyond that, but we're certainly going to give it a taste and let you know what we think.
So we decided this morning we need to come clean about the fact we're sort of Halloween Humbugs. We usually try to fake the funk, like we actually ENJOY putting on costumes and acting like idiots. We don't. But that doesn't stop us from mixing up the occasional festive holiday drink in honor of the ghouls and goblins on the prowl.
Check out some great Halloween-themed drink recipes we received from Herradura, TheBar.com, and Three Olives, as well as what we've scrounged from the Web, and if you've got recipes of your own fire 'em on over.
If you'd asked us at this time yesterday what a Margarator was, we'd have shrugged our shoulders and mumbled something akin to "dunno." But today...today is a different day isn't it? And it turns out we want desperately need one of these bad boys. If you're as confused as we were, think of the margarator as the spiritual kid sister of the Kegerator - but instead of chilling your draft beer it only exists to have cool, refreshing margaritas and other icy drinks at your fingertips at all times.
We want to buy two and use one for a margarator and the other for a hurricanator. Or maybe we'll get one of those diesel multi-pitcher ones. Possibilities are endless. Head on over to Margarators.com to live the dream for yourself.
We just got our hands on a review bottle of Ruskova Russian Vodka, and we're looking forward to delving into the bottle a bit ASAP. We were going to say it was a new offering because we'd never heard of it, but then we found a page on Tastings.com where they awarded the stuff their "Best Vodka Under $10" award way back in '06. Now, we like high-end stuff, but if you can get a good Russian vodka for under ten bucks, that's a thing of beauty. We'll let you know what we think of it when we're able to do a full review.
There was a time when we wouldn't drink pumpkin beer, for an irrational fear of finding seeds or some of those gloppy pumpkin guts in there. Imagine our surprise and relief when we found out pumpkin beers and ales are spiced to taste like pumpkin pie. Since that discovery it's been game over - we've been salivating for their release every Fall.
The fine folks over at the Kegworks blog have done a roundup of their five favorite pumpkin beers. We love Shipyard's Pumpkinhead, and we've heard very good things about Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale. With the other three (Post Road, Southern Tier, and Weyerbacher Imperial) you're on your own.
Ever woken up after a nice evening bender, then checked your email to find replies to messages you sent out the night before in your drunken haze? You read through your fiery, or worse yet horny, missives filled with misspellings and purple prose, and wish you could take them all back? Google has put together a tool that will help you avoid that embarrassment by forcing you to solve a series of math problems before you message is sent, if you're emailing after hours.
That's OK, we guess, but what we really need is for someone to keep us from drunken shopping at Amazon - we really don't need to buy four new DVDs, three CDs and I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski at 3 AM (though the book is pretty damned awesome).
In our neverending quest to help you prepare for Halloween (you do realize it's a Friday this year, right?) we present to you the Skull Cocktail Shaker. Whether you throw the party or just bring your own shaker, we can't think of an accessory that will round out your evening better than a cocktail shaker festooned with a Jolly Roger. Seriously, we can't.
Yes, we realize it's Monday. We know the last thing you want to think about this morning is a chilly shot of Jagermeister sliding down, especially after all the evil stuff you did to your body over the weekend. But think about it for a minute...if you buy it today, there's a fair to middling chance you'll have it by Friday, when it will be EXACTLY the thing you want to think about.
We love to have the occasional relaxing night of sitting around, drinking beer, and playing video games. Actually, who're we kidding? We like to do that most nights - that's no secret. One of our darker secrets, however, is that we especially like to get liquored up and play driving games.
Why driving games? Well, it lets you test that age-old drunk's plea that you "drive better when you're a little buzzed," but without putting any lives at risk. Oh, and it's also a lot of fun to be able to drive 150 miles an hour with a beer in your hand (spraying machine gun fire out the window a la GTA is purely optional). Now, the Octane 120 Kegerator/Racing Simluator has arrived on the scene, giving us the ability to smoke the tires and drink in style.
This full-on racing simulator has a steering wheel, pedals, a kegerator in the back, two taps and a cup holder. Oh, and it also has over 200 games, a 122" screen, and home theater sound. Guess that's what you should expect for the $7,000 price tag. We also guess we'd better start saving our pennies now (and remind you all that Christmas is coming. Ahem.)
Halloween is approaching fast, and we are all about getting ready to throw the perfect Halloween party. Whether you're having a bender or doing one of those more intimate gatherings, Pick Your Poison is a great game to get you socially lubricated enough to climb into the Raggedy Andy costume your girlfriend is making you wear. The game itself is simple - just fill the included 2 oz. shot glasses, then push the spider to make lights flash under each glass. At the end, one glass will have a light still under it, and the person closest has to drink the shot. Simple enough, and just for the record - we checked the rules and you don't have to include actual poison in any of the glasses.
Let's face it - Halloween is quickly approaching, and you don't have ANYTHING skeleton-related from which to serve drinks at your party. Luckily, we've unearthed this great inflatable cooler, complete with blow-up skeleton hovering over it. This is the perfect thing to serve booze, beer, and plasma (for the vampire types) at your Halloween shindig. And, let's face it...you don't have to stick to Halloween. This cooler would be great for all sorts of events - bat mitzvahs, Arbor Day, and (most especially) Grandma's birthday.
We found out about Glenfiddich's bottling of their Vintage Reserve 1977 this week, and it's got our tastebuds all atwitter about thirty-plus year old scotch. We're hoping we get the opportunity to give this one a try, because every single tasting note we've encountered sings its praises. Here's the info we got from Glenfiddich:
The cask selected was a second or third fill European sherry butt (the age of the cask precedes the time when the distillery began keeping records on the number of times the casks had been used). In early 1977, Dan stripped and rebuilt the cask at the distillery's on-site cooperage before lightly charring the inside surface of the wood. It was then filled with new-make Glenfiddich spirit on the 7th March 1977 before being laid down to mature in one of the warehouses.
Over more than 31 years, the Glenfiddich single malt slowly interacted with the wood, developing the character and flavour that so appealed to the selection panel.
Hey, wait a minute...we enjoy drinking - more than we enjoy a lot of things. So why haven't we read this book yet? Because we just found out about it today. It looks interesting, gets great reviews, and is on one of our favorite topics in the universe. Consider it bought.
While disclosing facts about the drinking habits--and abuses--of characters like Mark Anthony, Samuel Pepys and Pope Leo XIII, Holland includes summaries of how various kinds of fermentations and distillates were developed, often accidentally, in cultures from ancient Arabia to present-day America, and in times from Ptolemy's to Prohibition. She includes several recipes for home-style "remedies" like elderberry wine and applejack, as well as diagrams and instructions for the construction of your own backyard still.
Looking for ways to class up your home bar? Thinking your dorm room needs another liquor-related item to really tie the room together? Sick of drinking in the dark? If any of these questions describes you, then "Let's Get Lit" liquor bottle candles could be right for you.
Let's Get Lit makes high-quality, gel wax candles in bottles ranging from Jack Daniels to Jager to Jameson's, and beer bottles too, in odors from "beer to vanilla." The only downside we see is that these candles cost as much or more than the hard stuff that originally came in the bottles, but when we look on the bright side - at least the candle will last longer than a Saturday night and you probably won't have a headache when you're done with it.
We just got a package in the mail, and we were pretty excited about what was inside - our very own BoozeBelly! The BoozeBelly is a stealth drinking device that you wrap around your already-prodigious gut to smuggle beer and other consumables into place like concerts, movie theaters, sporting events, etc.
The BoozeBelly reminded us of another stealth drinking device that will remain nameless, but after we thought about it a bit we think we might already like this one better. For one thing, with only a belt to go around your waist it's simpler, without a crazy harness and truss to put on. For the second thing, it's a fraction of the price of its competitor - we were always slightly hesitant to recommend the other device because we pictured some overzealous security guard impounding it and you losing your $50 investment.
Expect to see a review coming up; if you're anxious head on over to BoozeBelly.com to pick one up for less than fifteen bucks.
Note: We took the image above from Tailgating Ideas; head over there to see a full video demo of the product.
We mentioned the book Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cubaback in September, and we've finally gotten our hands on a review copy. You know what that means - soon, we'll be holed up in our bunker with a bottle of Bacardi and little else, reading about the history of Cuba. With any luck, we'll come out of the experience a little bit enlightened, a little bit full of rum, and with a full-on Castro beard. Here's hoping!
So, we're confused. Is this vodka in a crystal skull-shaped vodka the real deal, or as Rick over at Martini Lounge theorized, just an attempt to drum up support for the making of Ghostbusters 3? We were also thinking it might be a poorly-timed go at getting cast in that Indiana Jones movie none of us saw. You be the judge.
ps - we do believe in spirits (obviously), but we're not sure that other kind is to be found in vodka bottles.
pps - we know he mentions the Indiana Jones movie in the past tense. Don't ruin our joke.
You know what your life has been missing? Reviews of London Pubs, as written by famous ficitonal characters, that's what. Thankfully, we can steer you in the direction of Falling Down the Pub, a British website run by DFens, the main character of the feel good hit Falling Down.
Don't look now, but another month has come and gone - complete with proposed bank bailouts and other craziness. But obviously, like any other self-respecting adult, you're more concerned about the new episode of Drunk History (volume 4), our Drink Like a Pirate Day, and where to get a real church key bottle opener. C'est voila, and enjoy!