Quick Pour: Dessert Wine Varieties

Beer Review: Hardywood Bourbon Barrel Barleywine Ale (2016)

Producer: Hardywood Brewing
Region: Richmond, VA
Style: English Barleywine Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrel
Price: $15
IBU: 55
ABV: 6.6%

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Quick Pour: Hector Wine Company Essence Blend 2013

Producer: Hector Wine Company
Region: Finger Lakes AVA, New York, United States
Price: $25
Vintage: 2013
Varietals: 33% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon
ABV: 12.9%

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Quick Pour: Cakebread Cellars Rubaiyat 2013

Producer: Cakebread Cellars
Region: North Coast, California, United States (67% Napa Valley, 33% Anderson Valley)
Price: $30
Vintage: 2013
Varietals: 86% pinot noir, 14% syrah
ABV: 14.3%

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Quick Pour: South Coast Winery Viognier 2013

Producer: South Coast Winery
Region: Temecula AVA, California, United States
Price: $20
Vintage: 2013
Varietals: 100% Viognier
ABV: 14.1%

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Out of Town: A Day Exploring Temecula’s Wine Country

Last year, I finally took advantage of the opportunity to visit Temecula’s Wine Country. With iPods loaded with crazy throwback tunes, playlists roaring and near perfect weather, my friends and I hit the open road on our way through the hills to Temecula. What was I expecting upon arriving? To be honest, I had no idea. I had been to Stone Brewing Company the previous year so the scenery I was looking for was similar to that. Desert hillsides lined with sparse greenery, palm trees and a lot of rocky soil. As we approached the "Welcome to Temecula" sign, we drove past gorgeous housing communities and neighborhoods, which had me scratching my head. Okay... so, where is wine country? [...]

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Quick Pour: Dunham Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Lewis Vineyard 2010

Deep garnet color with dark, lush aromas of dried plum, dark berries and hints of oak, the palate is medium-full with silky, smooth structure. [...]

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Quick Pour: Chateau Vartely Sauvignon Blanc 2014 (Moldova)

This unique find is pale green in color and exhibits fresh and lively character enhanced by green apple and citrus juice notes. It shows off subtle tropical notes that flaunts its elegant structure in an Old World style with a crisp and slight tart, yet clean, finish. It's incredibly refreshing and one of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs to date [...]

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Spring Break: Portland, Day 3

Our third day in Portland featured lots of walking, but the thing with Portland is that everything is really walkable. We walked from our hotel in downtown pioneer district all the way to Mississippi district and we still only walked about 3 miles, never in dangerous areas. So we learned that you can walk from downtown to Mississippi district, but you will be walking for a long time if you do. We eventually made it to what turned out to be one of my favorite places in Portland, Ecliptic Brewing. Ecliptic Brewing Company 825 N Cook St, Portland, OR 97227 Well, it’s certainly out there but I suspect that is how they like it. Ecliptic featured some of the best beer I had in Portland, including their Hypernova triple IPA and their Orbiter IPA. Their Orange Giant barleywine and Oort Imperial Stout also hit the spot, as well as a massive 1/2-pound …

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Spring Break: Portland, Day 2

Day 2 of my Portland trip featured more of the same from day #1… great food and great beer. After an amazing breakfast featuring a chorizo burrito and French toast with huckleberry jam at Tasty n Alder, and great coffee at Barista, we headed over the bridge into East Portland to see what this area had to offer. The first place we hit was Burnside Brewery. Burnside Brewery 701 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214 So we started off the day here and I thought it would be a great idea to get a taster tray of all their beer. Turns out, that might not have been the best idea. Their taster tray consisted of 18-4 oz taster (in case you’re keeping track at home, that’s 4.5-12 oz beers). Here’s what that looked like: Right. I had some work to do. I sipped each of these very slowly, but some …

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Spring Break: Portland, Day 1

I know it’s been a while since I wrote anything, and there’s a ton to tell about Virginia craft beer. But for now, I’m in Portland with the wife for spring break so I only thought it appropriate to write about my experiences at the many, many amazing breweries out in the Pacific Northwest. My first day featured visits to Voodoo Doughnut, Deschutes, Fat Head’s, 10 Barrel, and Rogue Public House. Voodoo Doughnut 22 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204 OK, so this place is probably touristy as hell, but it was amazing. It’s a tiny little doughnut shop that accepts cash only but the doughnuts are incredible. I got the pot hole, which was a bar doughnut with chocolate icing topped with Oreo crumbles and stuffed with cream. It was delicious and I could barely finish the whole thing by myself. I paired it with a nice Stumptown coffee …

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