Carold Shelton’s 2016 Rendezvous Rosé is a dry rosé from Mendocino County and uses organicaly grown grapes. This wine was created by bleeding half of the “pink” juice off of red Carignane grapes a full three days after crushing them, it is fermented cold like a white wine to retain the crisp strawberry fruitiness.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes, Light cranberry color, juicy strawberry-watermelon fruit aromas, nice mineral, hint of pink grapefruit. Refreshingly crisp and dry. Great with almost any food, from sushi to salmon to BBQ.
Fermentation, cold maceration for three days on skins to winemaker’s discretion, then 50% of juice was drained then cold-settled and cold fermented. Cellar storage aging was in 100% stainless steel.
Tasting Couch is more than day drinking or an excuse to open a bottle or wine or high proof whiskey before noon. It’s taking time out of our busy days to sample top products in the food & beverage industry, while giving reviews, talking to the brand owners and educating consumers.
Tasting Couch hosts Forrest Cokely and Will Elger talk spirits, wine, beer, mixers, food and so much more. They interview the creators of brands as they join them on the tasting couch. Dive into a craft bourbon or a wine sent to them from a new winery, each and every day is a different brand. The tasting couch podcast started after years of consulting for many different brands. Brands that would send products to review, give feedback/suggestions or want us to create seasonal cocktails. We would sit down with a brand or with the brand owner talking about their brand and each and every time we wished we could have recorded the session, and share it with consumers who love these brands and want to know more about them.
Do you have a Wine, Beer, Spirit, Mixer, Food… and want to be on The Tasting Couch, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the hosts:
Forrest Cokely is a Charter Member of both the Ministry of Rum Connoisseurs Cabinet, in good standing and Rum XP (Expert Panel), where he has judged many international rum competitions. A founding (board) member and Key-holder for the Orange County Bartenders Cabinet (OCBC). Bar Smarts Certified and a Society of Wine Educators, Certified Spirits Specialist (C.S.S.) He is also a member of the Compagnie des Mousquetaires d’Armagnac. Forrest has been featured in several articles calling for his spirits savvy, sharpened while judging spirit and mixology competitions. Creating tastings, workshops, Branded and specialty cocktails for a variety of clients, drink and pairing menus for restaurants has afforded Forrest the opportunity to stretch beyond what can be found in his over 130 cocktail book collection.
Forrest takes part in multiple forum sites surrounding all aspects of his passion for spirits. His blog can be found here: adrinkwithforrest.blogspot.com
Minister of Culture – Haas Brothers’
Key holder – The Bartenders Cabinet
Tohunga Waipiro – Tonga Hut
Qualified Member – Compagnie des Mousquetaires d’Armagnac
Member – Rum XP (Expert Panel)
Ministry of Rum Connoisseur’s Cabinet
Certified – Bar Smarts & TiPS
Will Elger author of The One Minute Bartender, a bartending book that helps establishments, bartenders and people who want to learn to bartend make cocktails in less time. Will has a degree in hospitality and marketing, has been a bartender, bar manager and restaurant manager in small bars to five star cruise lines. Will went on to sales positions with corporate liquor companies, working on the distributor and supplier side for the largest liquor brands in the world. Then as an ambassador and educator, which lead to starting the award winning brand Muchote tequila. Will also started then sold a wine bar and a distributor, and has helped entrepreneurs start and build successful liquor brands from the ground up. “I love helping consumers find quality brands that become a part of their life. They yearn to learn more about how and why they are made, and become ambassadors to the brands” Will Elger.
Certified – Bar Smarts & TiPS Chilled 100 Member
Craft Competition uses a glass engineered to expose all the aromas hiding behind nose-numbing alcohol. NEAT Glass allows you to taste the truth and discover what’s hiding in your glass.
In 2003, a simple mistake in a glass blowing class created a misshapen tumbler which was used in a pinch for want of a clean glass. The amazing change in expression led to a new approach to glass design which is called Naturally Engineered Aroma Technology (NEAT). By studying links between human physiology and molecular behavior, they unlocked the hidden dimensions of distilled spirits for your exquisite pleasure and hedonistic enjoyment, with a spirits glass that directs strong alcohol away from the nose. Over the next nine years, fifty two different design iterations, hundreds of tastings, and GCMS studies led to the perfect ultimate spirits glass now known as the NEAT glass.
Science builds better glassware: The NEAT glass…Design driven by science brings truth in taste.
The Patented Design: Create a wide vessel to enhance evaporation, short enough to allow heavy aromas to reach the nose, and squeeze the vapors so lighter molecules like ethanol alcohol move faster. Flare the rim so squeezed molecules have room to expand, and alcohol scurries over the rim to disappear and never numb the nose, while the other slower moving aromas are detected in the sweet spot, without alcohol. This design patented in the USA D663165, utility patented in the People’s Republic of China, and utility patent pending in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Definition of Flavor: The blend of taste and smell sensations evoked by a substance in the mouth. A thousand aromas, five tastes define flavor. The total impression includes mouth feel, from sensors that detect oily or dry, temperature, texture, minty, and many others. Aroma (90%) + Taste (5%) + Mouth Feel (5%) = Flavor.
Evaporation: The “engine” that powers aromas to the nose aided by large evaporation area and vigorous swirling. Without evaporation, there is nothing to smell.
Compress and Release: The neck of the NEAT Glass compresses, and the wide flared rim allows expansion as vapors pass through the narrow opening. The lightest vapor – ethanol alcohol – diffuses and disperses.
What’s the benefit?
No more nose burn or numbness. Your nose is free to detect, savor, and enjoy the subtle, wonderful aromas the distiller intended. Your nose will also tell you if the distiller did his job with care, making the proper head and tail cuts, using clean equipment, and even the condition of the barrels. Without alcohol dumbing down your sense of smell, absolutely nothing can hide from your nose.
What’s the scientific verification?
The NEAT Glass was designed for maximum drinking enjoyment and tested under controlled, uniform conditions against other spirits glasses at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) Chemistry Department to verify our claims.
Craft Spirits Competition International Awards attracts craft distillers’ top craft spirits worldwide. Just to let you know how craft spirits are growing, take a look at the U.S. from a few dozen distilleries ten years ago to over two hundred fifty today and growing, now multiply that worldwide! Independent owned distilled spirits from the master producers, making the best spirits possible using the best ingredients. It could be organic, small batch, hand made, local, new flavors, family recipes…but always unique. An expert panel of judges with years of expertise both in the field and judging spirits will award Gold, Silver and Bronze medals using 100-point blind tasting. Craft Spirits Awards International Competition results will be posted on the site and brands can use winning medallion on bottles and marketing materials. All Craft Spirits Entries for the 2015 Competition need to be in by March 31st 2015, tune in mid April for Medal Winners!
AnestasiA Vodka is and award winning spirit, it’s the essence of two all-natural, all-American ingredients. First is the sweet corn sourced from northwestern farms, and second is the exceptionally pure water of the Cascade Mountains. The waters of this range flow through riverbeds of lava rock, and thereby avoid picking the sediment—metallic salts such as magnesium and calcium—present in most water sources. In fact, our waters contain 90% less of these compounds than your average drinking water. This makes our water remarkably ‘soft’, and results in Anestasia vodka’s naturally derived purity.
Once harvested, our corn grains are mixed with fermenting sugars and yeast—then distilled five times. This distillate is then blended down with our uniquely pure water before being filtered a further five times through crushed lava rock, neutral charcoal, and Arkansas-derived quartz crystal. This filtration process removes any remaining impurities, often including the congeners which can cause hangovers. The final result is fresh, easy-to-drink vodka that is both lightly weighted and very smooth.
Our whole process, from the grains we use to the naturally purified water, is an embodiment of the American artisan experience. This vodka serves as an homage to a longstanding American tradition—the domestic creation of handcrafted quality—as well as a beacon for a new generation of innovative American luxury.
AnestasiA Vodka was created to demonstrate that luxury spirits can be crafted in the United States. In 2007, founder Yuliya Mamontova started with the singular goal of producing the best vodka possible. Growing up in a European family of vodka producers, Yuliya learned firsthand the distillation, fermentation, and packaging expertise passed from generation to generation. In homage to her family’s traditions, AnestasiA is produced in small batches by skilled artisans using select all natural ingredients. We believe in domestic craftsmanship and ingenuity.
Our process begins in Bend, Oregon, handcrafted on a 24-acre farm. Knowing how important water is to the vodka distillation process and ultimately to the taste of a finished product, as vodka is 60% water, we chose to produce our vodka in the Northwest. Their water sources are consistently clean, and those that flow from Bend’s Cascade Mountains, exceptionally pure. The unusually low concentration of calcium carbonate in the region’s water supply ensures our vodka has a smooth, silk-like finish, and can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. Our vodka purity embodies the pristine wilderness that surrounds our distillery.
We are a family-owned and family-operated business. Our commitment to superior taste, domestic production, and modern sustainability remains unwavering as we continue to focus our efforts on the quality of our product and work to rekindle the American spirit of producing luxury goods domestically.
Museum of Latin American Art (molaa) has a must attend annual event, Viva El Tequila! Experience the rich and proud tradition of tequila and some additional Mexican spirits. MOLAA’s annual Viva el Tequila! event is always successful, fun, educational and each year I meet more amazing tequila lovers. Learn from distillers, owners and brand ambassadors about the traditions surrounding tequila as you enjoy unlimited sampling of more than 25 varieties- classic, flavored, mixed cocktails and new tequila brands… Paired with amazing food, this year a gigantic pan of paella being made right in front of you, quesadillas, salad, chips, salsa… and across the way was a desert table with an assortment of sweets and fresh brewed coffee. Mariachi Band Espectacular played all night, dancing, eating and tasting tequila in the MOLAA courtyard outside under the stars on a crisp November evening.
I went to support Covenant House California and to watch the mixology competition and in the process I found my new favorite vodka. It’s the Skybar at the Mondrian in LA so yes a lot of beautiful people (too many to list) and amazing spirits. The Mixology competition was among 10 mixologists using spirits that were set up at tables where you could taste the cocktails, taste the base spirits and meet the mixologists, ambassadors and owners of the spirits used in the cocktails. The competition was entertaining as 10 went to 4 finalists and they added a secret ingredient and gave the finalists 15 minutes to create a cocktail. The winning cocktail was made by a girl from the bar Bestia in Los Angeles and was made with No. 209 Gin. But as you can see from the photos, each and every mixologist and brand was a winner. To get your brand in front of these consumers is where you have the opportunity to switch a person from their current brand to your brand. I am a vodka drinker and as I love vodka I was drawn to Glass Vodka. Glass Vodka is smooth, I tasted it neat where it has a very refined finish, then on the rocks so smooth and then in the cocktail made by the mixologist, and I was hooked. Glass Vodka is unique, it is distilled from grapes, which gives it a very distinct taste. Glass Vodka Distillery is in Seattle, Washington where they source grapes from local vineyards. I guess it is no surprise, I love grapes, I love wine and now I love Glass Vodka. Enjoy the photos from the event and do yourself a favor and swing by the Skybar to taste Glass Vodka.
In the Cognac world VS means Very special and XO means Extra Old, so Grey Goose VX is Very Extra!
The world’s best tasting French wheat vodka masterfully finished with a hint of precious Cognac grapes from France’s Champagne region. I was encouraged to try it chilled neat or on the rocks. It tried it chilled neat then with a couple ice cubes and I have to say it is amazing chilled neat. I tasted fruit, dried fruit, some citrus and sweet. I look forward making a Grey Goose VX martini stirred with a lemon twist, it could very well be my new cocktail. The bottle is beautiful, it comes in an elegant gift box when you open it you see a very well designed impressive decanter. Grey Goose VX, what Grey Goose calls vodka exceptionnelle finished with a hint of precious cognac, also printed on the bottle “exclusive edition” so stock up. It is sold at fine retailers and restaurants nationwide, with a retail price of $75.00/750 ml; it goes quick so I would encourage you to buy two at a time, Santé.
My new favorite gin, super smooth, Bummer & Lazarus Gin! Master distiller Carter Raff created his own stills for his proprietary San Francisco distillery situated on Treasure Island. Raff has 24 years of winemaking and 14 years of distilling, now the creator of Bummer & Lazarus Gin. It is a 92-proof, gin that uses 100 percent California grapes at its base. The gin was named after two fabled canine celebrities from San Francisco’s historical past (when Lazarus died, 30,000 attended the funeral, when Bummer died, Mark Twain wrote the eulogy). The gin boasts a well-balanced flavorful profile with hints of citrus and floral notes as well as a long spicy finish. This award winning gin has won a Gold Medal at the 2013 Craft Spirits Competition and named one of the top 50 spirits by Drink Me Magazine. It makes a great gin and tonic yet I tend to drink more of it on the rocks with a lemon twist, either way I am sure you will enjoy it, cheers!