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Tequila, whiskey, beer, and wine
  • California wine is respected around the world and has been leading the way in proving to the rest of the winemaking world that California has earned its spot next to the other leading wine regions. To some, this is a race to "We're Number One!" or "Napa is better than..." but the reality is that "California Wine" can be found throughout virtually every part of the state and has evolved from chasing popular vintages to innovating and creating a new generation of wine lovers that are willing to explore and try new things. I'm part of that group and as you can tell, I'm intensely passionate about wine even though I started out rejecting the coventional notion of what "wine" represented when I was younger. I know many of you share this view, so let's take a look at what makes California wine great and how individual parts of the state help make that happen.

  • While folks are finally starting to recognize tequila as a premium spirit with a complex and diverse collection of properties, there's another Mexican spirit following quickly on its heels. A few years ago mezcal was simply tequila's rougher tougher, renegade brother but as someone who loves agave spirits, it is wonderful to see new products reaching the market that focuses on the positive aspects of Mexican culture and heritage instead of merely throwing a revolver, donkey, or a sombrero on the bottle and shipping it out to bars. One of the products that recently impressed me in this new wave of premium mezcal was Vamonos Riendo Mezcal.

  • With the Passover starting on April 19th, many of you may be getting ready for the holidays and others, like myself simply enjoy exploring other cultures and traditions. So I thought this was a great opportunity to take a look at what Kosher Wine is and why it is an important part of Jewish holiday traditions.

  • Members of the Millennial Generation tend to be more likely to get into craft beer than into great wines, which is a shame because many of them do not know what they are missing out on. Besides producing great beer, focused marketing is something that American craft breweries are really good at, and it is a business aspect that the wine industry should improve upon in order to invite younger aficionados.

  • You probably already know that California produces some of the world's best wines. The Wine Institute sent over some facts about California wine that you might not already know though. 

  • Like anything involving wine, there are nuances to questions that I get asked. For example, the question, "Should wine be refrigerated". The simple answer is "maybe" but the best condition for storing wine is generally not at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. While a wine chiller might be considered a refrigerator by some, it is not the same as simply storing your bottles in a standard refrigerator like you might have in your kitchen right now. Let's take a deeper look at this question though and examine the important role that temperature takes in storing wine.

  • As the summer ends and the weather for many of you begins to cool down as we prepare for winter, I prefer to think of all those Caribbean islands that I can't wait to visit again soon. That's why I was so excited to share these two recipes by CÎROC and Mixologist Brandon Sutton inspired by the recently canceled West Indian Day Parade.

  • Whenever you think about California winemakers, it is natural for your mind to gravitate towards established growing regions such as Sonoma and the Napa Valley; after all, these are places where vineyards routinely earn awards and widespread recognition. The truth about the Golden State is that it is blessed with numerous American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) beyond Napa and Sonoma, and one of the most overlooked is Lodi in the Central Valley.

  • One of the things I absolutely love about wine today is that it is no longer a domain of snobby rich folks that think it should only be one way. Today's wine industry is incredibly vibrant with product at virtually all price points and styles that are perfect for almost every guy out there. While I can enjoy a technically excellent vintage and I know enough fundamentals to hold my own at a professional wine tasting, I'm a firm believer that above all else - wine is meant to be enjoyed. 

  • When it comes to beer, it seems like everyone is an expert, so here's some beer trivia for you to help impress your friends....

  • Who's ready to celebrate National Rum Day? Here's some awesome rum cocktail recipes from Zaya Rum!

  •  Cutwater Spirits is one of my favorite distillers and Bali Hai is one of my absolute favorite brunch spots in San Diego... plus they make the most wickedly awesome Mai Tai this side of Hawaii. The folks at Cutwater Spirits came out of Ballas Point Brewing and are one of the most exciting success stories in San Diego for not only innovation with creating excellent beer and then spirits but also truly understanding marketing and hospitality. Here are some of their Tiki Drink Recipes featuring Bali Hai Rum!

  • Are you ready to celebrate National Rum day? Ron Barcelo sent over some tasty cocktails to help us celebrate...

  • It’s been 50 years since Jockey Diane Crump became the first female to ride in The Kentucky Derby® -- and this year’s Woodford Reserve $1,000 Mint Julep Cup program celebrates that milestone. 

  • Looking for some perfect drinks to cool down this summer? Our friends at Ketel One and Zacapa have some suggestions for the perfect summertime cocktails...

  • August 3rd marks National Watermelon Day and CÎROC wants you to celebrate summer the right way. Bring a touch of fun to any Summer celebration with limited-time only CÎROC Summer Watermelon vodka, five times distilled and made from fine French grapes with a distinct blend of fresh watermelon and other natural flavors.

  • The Humboldt Distillery is located in Humboldt County, California and makes several spirits, including vodka and rum, that appeal to those with a more humble(dt) preference. We tried Humboldt’s Finest vodka as well as the organic small batch vodka they make. Both are excellent. Our preference in sipping is perhaps with the organic small batch, but it’s a close race. For mixers, Humbdoldt’s Finest is a great one.

  • Commemorate the day by mixing up the Basil Paloma, a unique twist on the classic Paloma cocktail featuring Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila, or the Coctel Del Barista, a sweet and refreshing cocktail featuring Hornitos Reposado Tequila, a variant created by Hornitos decades before it became common practice.

  • By now, most of us have been hiding inside and stress is building up. While some of us are simply "done with" COVID, others are still being cautious. Heather and I fall into that later group but I've found a secret place about 90 minutes outside of downtown San Diego that is exactly what we needed for our mental health. We discovered Volcan Mountain last fall, before all this happened - but now, the winery has an even more special place in our hearts.

  • To casual wine drinkers that stick with what they like, the wine industry appears to be a conservative place where you can order the same wine year after year with just the vintage year changing. Thankfully that isn't completely true. While many of the most popular vintages out there change little from one year to the next, just like with the beer industry there are limited edition bottles that are more than just "this was a great year". One that I came across earlier this year was the Dry-Hopped Sauvignon Blanc from Murphy Good and while it is now out of stock... it just goes to show that innovation isn't dead!

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