Friday, December 8, 2006

Bacardi's bringing the holiday cheer.

For the 2006 holiday season, Bacardi is launching a signature egg nog cocktail, peppermint-flavored rum and limited edition gingerbread drink mix.

Egg nog consumption in the US has declined in popularity the past few years due to the paranoia about salmonella. Wishing to revive the childhood wonder of holiday time drinks and food to set the mood, Bacardi’s pre-mixed version alleviates this fear. However, since these drinks are traditionally associated with Christmas, Bacardi is receiving some slack for showing preferential treatment to Christmas over Hanukkah or Kwanza. When will the potato pancakes and rum mix be invented?

For more on this:
Holiday Drink Ideas
The History of Egg Nog

Best Wines of 2006

These were collectively voted on by the food and wine critiques from the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, The New Yorker, and Food and Wine Magazine.


Pinot Grigio- 2003 J Russian Sea Valley Pinot Gris ($18)
Clean, ripe apple, melon, fig and mineral aromas and flavors mix with a slight herbal character. Tangy acidity on the long finish.

Reisling-2002 Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Columbia River Riesling ($20)
A generous wine with citrus, fresh peach, blueberry, dried apricot and spice aromas and flavors. A fine pre-meal sipper.

Sauvignon Blanc- 2001 Rochioli Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($24)
Pretty floral nose with bright citrus, grass, herb and vanilla notes. Soft and lush, with a rich core of orange, lemon, apricot and kiwifruit and a lively finish.

Chardonnay- 2001 Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Carneros Chardonnay ($28)
Spiced apple and caramel nose with flavors of apricot, ginger, apple, pear, crème brulee, and citrus. It's juicy, clean, long and fairly priced.

Viognier- 2002 Incognito Lodi Viognier ($22)
Aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, nectarine, prune juice, sweet peach, pear and spice. Weighty but not dense; elegant and long.


Pinot Noir- 2002 Etude Carneros Pinot Noir ($40)
Shy plum nose leads to a luxurious mouthful of raspberry, black cherry, honey, spice, vanilla, peach pits, and toast. Round, elegant and with gentle tannins.

Syrah- 2002 Columbia Crest Columbia Valley Reserve Syrah ($30)
Full-flavored, complex and bright, with cedar, anise and pencil shaving notes underlying lush blackberry, vanilla, mulberry, honeysuckle, and cherry flavors. Silky texture.

Zinfandel- 2002 C.G. Di Arie Shenandoah Valley Zinfandel ($25)
Old Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane vines produce this intense, full-bodied wine loaded with black plum, green tea, black pepper and briary character. Rich and polished.

Merlot-2001 L'Ecole No. 40 Columbia Valley Merlot ($30)
Ripe and juicy berry aromas and flavors gain complexity from notes of black pepper, coffee, tar, dirt and earth. Round body, full tannins and coating oak.

Cabernet Sauvignon- 2001 Merryvale Beckstoffer Vineyard Y Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon ($75)
Dusty nose of sweet fruit (black cherry, blackberry) with black tea and eucalyptus; big oak and vanillin with framboise, red currant, chai, chocolate, baking spice, soda and dill notes. Opulent style.

More on this topic:
Past Year’s Ratings
Best Wine Value
Best Wines for Under 10 Bucks

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

The Queen of Beers.

Budweiser has established itself as the king of beers, but who is the queen? Surprisingly, Heineken has been doing significantly better with the female audience than other brands.

The green bottle, red star and bubbly font has proven extremely attractive to women and established a sexy, sophisticated image, according to new national liquor surveys conducted by Anheuser-Busch.

Whereas other major beer brands have gone above and beyond to make themselves seem ultra-masculine (Miller’s, Budwesier- king of beers), Heineken has done quite well establishing itself as a gender-neutral brand. Women, while not typically classified as heavy beer drinkers, still make-up 60+% of the liquor and beverage market and offer an untapped wealth of consumers, if reached correctly. The survey also discovered that women are less prone to order a beer because it has typically been stereotyped as an unfeminine, less classy beverage choice, rather than being opposed to the taste.

Women, Beer and Stereotypes
The Female Perspective on Beer

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Drunk dialing- psychological disease or harmless fun?

The Center for Disease and Psychiatric Evaluations has now classified drunk dialing as an addiction.

Most of us have secret and shameful addictions. They might be as socially unacceptable as smoking or as physically harmful as a dependency on Class A drugs. However, drunk dialing is a habit so perilous it can effectively change your life in a few short seconds.

How did something as seemingly harmless as dialing get classified a disease? According to, the true definition of an addiction is the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. This incessant need to talk to EVERYONE when drunk certainly can have devastating results on relationships- personal or professional. While your mind is free and at ease to share your most remote feelings and inner thoughts, your lack of judgment and filters are in fact being restrained through MAOI inhibitors. There are compulsive nerve synapses in your brain that cause a serotonin rush and high feeling when you dial much like the sensations from stealing, cheating and other rebellious, socially unacceptable acts.

Inebriated instant messaging, texting, and facebook messaging are in the process of being reviewed for inclusion, as well.

Further reading:

Drunk dialing ruined my life


Addiction recovery

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Placing Blame on College Campuses

Low prices and frequent promotions serve as a major factor to blame in binge drinking on college campuses.

The Stanford Institute of Education conducted a survey of all 126 state universities and colleges and concluded that almost three quarters of on-premise establishments offered specials on weekends, and almost one half of the on-premise establishments and more than 80% of off-premise establishments provided at least one type of beer promotion. The availability of large volumes of alcohol (24- and 30-can cases of beer, kegs), low sale prices, and frequent promotions and advertisements at both on- and off-premise establishments were associated with higher binge drinking rates on the college campuses. In addition, an overall measure of on- and off-premise establishments was positively associated with the total number of drinks consumed.

In order to curb the high levels of alcohol overdose, disasters and mistakes involved with young adults and alcohol, there needs to be a more universal industry standard of educational advertising and marketing to minors and teens, as opposed to focusing on taste, price and image.

For more on this study:
Stanford Institute of Education Study
Institute of Alcohol Studies
Teens and Binge Drinking

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Looking for holiday gift ideas?

Ever wonder what liquor makes the best gift?

From our experience, if you entertain a lot, a premium vodka like Belvedere, Grey Goose or Ketel One will do the trick just fine. They're universal, high quality, and safe.

However, if you're looking for something a little more adventurous and edgy, Crown Royal and other premium whiskey brands are rapidly growing in popularity for this holiday season. Whiskeys denote an air of power, success, and authority, thus making a great gift for the head of household or a boss. Giving a gift of bourbon shows you respect and appreciate their judgment and influence.

And as an additional bonus, you’ll save a little bit of money since international whiskey distributors have dropped in price an average of 5.00 per bottle this past month due to technological advances in wheat and corn processing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Drunk and deadly

Tuaca- dangerous on more than one level.

Recent consumers reported symptoms of stomachache, diarrhea, and nausea on Wednesday after purchasing bottles of Tuaca from local Atlanta, GA liquor stores. The affected patrons were rushed to a local hospital to receive medical treatment. The FDA is ordering an immediate recall of products purchased between November 15, 2006 and November 25, 2006 from the Atlanta-area.

An investigation by the local government's sanitation and anti-epidemic department showed that the processing plant in New Orleans became tainted with bacteria as a result of sub-standard sanitary control. The batch failed to meet national food sanitation and safety standards, said Huang Jianghui, director of the Station. All consumers are in stable condition and out of danger, according to the hospital. Specific causes for the threat are still under investigation.

For further information on this story:
FDA Guidelines
Bad Batch
Tuaca Press Release