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Hoke Harden
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Wine Slumming: Michel-Schlumberger, Pepi, JanKris, Long Barn
Another run through Grocery Outlet, another six-pack of
wine. Michel-Schlumberger
Benchland Wine Estate Chardonnay, 2013 $5.00 Had to look twice at the price to make sure it was right.  A fin for Schlumberger? Really?  Yes, indeed. The 2013 would make it tw...

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Marie Duffau Armagnac Napoleon is in Oregon!
When you’re a fan of great spirits of the world, it’s not
always easy to live in a liquor control state, that anachronistic relic of the
combined Scolding Grandma (It’s for your own good. We know what's best for you!) and Bureaucratic Monopoly
we inherited ...

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Chartreuse -- As Good As It Gets.
The Chartreuse Logo In this marketing driven world, the constant need for “new
and improved” often wars against the tried and true.  But while we are always tempted by the
exciting new experience, the latest flavor craze or the dazzling new brand everyone i...

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Doubling Down on Etna Rosso: Vino di Anna Amphora and I Custodi Pistus
I enjoyed two very different but excellent versions of Etna Rosso over the last
week.  Etna Rosso is an ancient
wine-producing area on the slopes of Mt. Etna in Sicily, now emerging as a
darling “new” wine that everyone is discovering.  With the newfound po...

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Winter Whites: Clos Bellane, Cotes du Rhone Villages Valréas Blanc 2015
Rhone wines can be straightforward and simple or bewildering
in complexity. If you’re looking for a simple quaff, there is an abundance of
that available. If you’re looking for something more, there are singular
standouts that will astound you. Clos Bellane...

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Winter Whites: Chateau Tour Léognan, Pessac-Léognan, Bordeaux, 2014
When it comes to selecting Bordeaux a little knowledge can
save a lot of money. Chateau Tour Léognan declares up front that it is
from the esteemed region of Pessac- L é ognan,  highly prized for its white wines.
But there’s more to the story. What you may ...

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New Year's Eve Bubbly? Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace, of course.
What are you drinking to send 2016 on its way (and good riddance,
many say) while fervently hoping 2017 somehow manages to be better?  We’ll be popping a bottle of Lucien Albrecht
Blanc de Blancs! It’s not that we don’t have Champagne. We do, and some quite...

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Winter Whites: Chateau La Freynelle Bordeaux Blanc 2015
Winter whites and summer reds?  Why not? I have always been a little puzzled with seasonally specific
wine consumption. While I can understand the original tradition of ‘white wine
for warm months; red wine for cool months’, that mantra falls apart in this

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Nogging with The Debutante at Raven and Rose
I managed to sneak in a brunch at Raven and Rose ---so many brunches and so little time---and
celebrated with my final egg nog of the year. David Shenaut made me do it. In the midst of the holiday season, wallowing in eggs benedict
with the carriage crowd (...

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Old Vine Café and the Trinity of Food, Wine and Friends
When you’re in the wine, spirits and food business it’s easy
to become jaded. When you do it’s time to join an old friend, meet a new friend,
find a restaurant with a dedicated young chef and an eclectic wine list, and
remind yourself why this business of p...
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