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  • MERF Wines's David Merfeld on Wine, Travel, & What's For Dinner Tonight

    I love fun wines and the personality behind them, so I was excited to try MERF Wines Cabernet Sauvignon a few weeks ago. All too often I feel like wine is either stuffy and boring or kitchy product designed to draw you in with a label but ultimately lacking the quality product to make you want more. I've been a fan though of Columbia Valley wines from Washington State since they generally have a fantastic quality to them that is almost a part of the lifestyle. David "Merf" Merfeld's product continues this so we wanted to get to know him a bit more. Here's his thoughts on travel, food, and why he switched from brewing to winemaking.

  • Theatre Box and Sugar Factory San Diego Is One Sweet Combination

    Theatre Box just opened up in downtown San Diego and frankly you'd have to be living under a rock to not know about it. Between celebrities posting ridiculous dessert pictures on Instagram and other buzz it honestly wasn't my sort of place I thought. After all, usually these places just have "instagram food" that looks pretty but doesn't really taste that great. However, when I was invited to check it out I accepted since I was curious. Honestly I wasn't expecting much. I figured that at very least though that it would be a good opportunity to finally see Aquaman and grab some dinner. My bias against celebrity endorsement almost caused me to miss out on one of the coolest new concepts in San Diego. 

  • Whiskey Cocktail Recipes For the NFL Playoffs

    It's that time of year when football takes over our lives and we're down to just a handful of teams. So the folks at Redemption Rye sent over this whiskey cocktail roundup. Unfortunately some of favorite teams have already reached the bottom of the glass, but I'm sure that there's at least one here like the the Black and Gold Punch in honor of the New Orleans Saints that can help make you happy again! 

  • There's More Than Just Champagne When It Comes to Bubbles In Wine

    A Champagne toast seems to be the icon of welcoming in the New Year or really just celebrating pretty much anything. There is a sort of excitement when you pop open that bottle of bubbly and so it's no wonder that it has been the drink of choice when it comes to a celebration. However, much of what we consider in the United States as "Champagne" is really just "Sparkling Wine" and to complicate things further that's not the only bubbly wine out there for us to enjoy. Let's take a look at some different types of bubbly wines that you can enjoy during your New Years celebration!

  • Don The Beachcomber Original Mai Tai Recipe

    When it comes to fruity tropical drinks, the classic Mai Tai is among the most iconic. It's the Pacific Islands version of the classic Caribbean Daiquiri... or is it? Ironically this classic drink actually originated in California during the tiki bar craze and while two men lay claim to having created it - I DON'T CARE - because the ones found at Don The Beachcomber are the best I've had. It's a more complex recipe and the time and effort is worth it. Here's the recipe so you can make it at home.

  • We Visited The Alaskan Brewing Company Brewery in Juneau

    Visiting a brewery is one of the best ways to learn about a culture and community - or at least one of the most fun ways. That's why I was so excited to visit Alaskan Brewing Company's brewery in Juneau on a recent visit to the city. Since 1986, they've been developing creative beers that serve a local / regional audience but also serve as ambassadors of Alaskan culture to the lower 48!

  • Fogo de Chao Introduces New Spring Menu Items

    Fogo de Chao is hands down one of my favorite restaurants. Not only do you get a never-ending parade of meats but the place is fun and imaginative when it comes to creating seasonal updates to the menu. We were invited to check out their new Spring Menu this week, so how could I resist when it includes three new cocktails to try!

  • Libertine Social Merges Near Perfect Cocktails, Food, and Creativity

    Las Vegas has some of the best bars and some of the best restaurants in the world but no matter how much talent and desire to be the best... most are good at one or the other, not both. During a visit last night to Libertine Social inside of Mandalay Bay, I was treated to an experience that frankly I wasn't expecting based on the relatively unassuming entrance.

  • Don Q Gran Anejo Tasting Notes and Cocktails

    Rum sometimes has a bad rap since there are a lot of inferior products out there, but thankfully there are some fantastic rums out there too. It all comes down to craftsmanship and market demands. Luckily, over the past few years we've started to see high quality products such as Don Q Gran Añejo make it to store shelves and bars around the United States. People from Puerto Rico probably laugh at this being a new trend since they've known the greatness of rum since Destilería Serrallés started producing the spirit on the island in 1865.

  • Seven Factors That Influence the Taste of Kentucky Bourbon

    Last week I had the privilege of joining Wild Turkey for a "Behind the Barrel" experience touring not just their distillery, but some of their partners including Vendome Copper & Brass Works and Independent Stave Company. During this tour, my eyes were opened wide to how complex the science and art of making great whiskey can be. While I knew that the mash bill and number of years aging in the barrel had a big say in how whiskey tastes, there's a whole lot more than that!

  • Classic Cocktail Recipes Made Easy

    Making a classic cocktail is a skill that will impress your guests at a party, but sometimes that can prove to be challenging to get things "just right". Here's a way to cheat a bit and make some classic drinks such as an Old Fashioned or a Boulevardier quick and easy.

  • Burgers and Beers at Islands in Palm Desert California

    Islands is one of my favorite restaurants to take my friends and that's because the food is always good and while the classics never change, they always have new offerings to switch stuff up too. On our recent guys weekend to Palm Desert, California they invited us to stop by and fuel up as well as taste their new Islands Golden Ale brewed in collaboration with Karl Strauss Brewing.

  • A Visit to Mayberry Spirits in Mount Airy North Carolina

    The mountains of North Carolina have a rich tradition of producing whiskey and frankly trying new things to produce a unique product that other distillers may consider unconventional. While it is unlikely that you'll ever be able to hike out in the woods and see how illicit moonshine is made, this is the next best thing... maybe even better!

  • How To Keep Wine Fresh

    Despite the fact that I love all things wine and enjoy visiting new wineries for a tasting, at home I'm honestly not much of a drinker. As a result, no matter how much I LOVED that bottle of wine at the wine tasting, it's likely that it will be weeks or even months after I come home that it will be opened. Even once opened, sadly there are too many bottles that have gone to waste. I know that I'm not alone in this challenge though, so I thought it might be time to share some wine wisdom. Hopefully this helps save precious wine from being wasted!

  • Watermelon Cocktail Recipes

    It's time to cook down and enjoy one of summer's most delicious treats, but like everything in life - we can make it even better! So, with that in mind, here's a roundup of some of my favorite Watermelon Cocktail recipes. These are perfect for cooling off this summer, cheers!

  • We Met Five of San Diego's Top Chef's At Bitter Brothers' Beer Dinner

    Last night I had the opportunity to not just visit a fantastic new brewery but also meet with five of the best chefs in San Diego. We were assembled to help raise money for Feeding San Diego, while also celebrating the launch of Flesh & Blood - Bitter Brothers new Golden Sour that has a stunning color and flavor of tart cherries and raspberry. Each of the five courses was inspired by and paired with one of their beers, for a culinary experience that I wish could be shared better than just my words and pictures.

  • Merry Cherry Old Fashioned Cocktail Recipe

    I'm a huge fan of cocktails, but as much as I love pushing the envelope with fancy bitters and exotic alcohol - nothing beats the pure simplicity of a classic Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. Last month I spent some time in Vegas Las Vegas (where I sampled many many Old Fashioned derivatives). I realized that there was really no reason why you had to stick with tradition. Old Fashioned Or Manhattan might be the name... but really, there's no reason why you can't swap bourbon for rye or even cachaca!

  • Keepin' It Local On a Food Tour Through North Dakota

    One of my favorite parts about traveling is experiencing new foods. There's an unspoken sense of truth and honesty that comes only by experiencing what a different culture loves to eat and drink. That's true when you travel overseas... but it's also true even while traveling through this country as I did a few weeks ago during a road trip through North Dakota.

  • Basil Mezcal Margarita Recipe

    In honor of Mexican Independence Day, I'm sharing a tasty little recipe from Zinum Mezcal for their Basil Margarita!

  • Happy Scotch Day from Laphroaig - Tartan Collins Recipe

    Happy Scotch Day everybody! Even though Scotch is better known as a sipping spirit, it's exciting to see more and more mixologists breaking with convention and creating new experiences for our pallets like this Tartan Collins by Jordan Felix of Portland, Oregon featuring Laphroaig Select.