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Sep 25

Tonite: Distillery Live!

Last night we sat through the equivalent of the rehearsal for Distillery Live! It's a live-streaming web event held by Laphroaig Scotch at Maker's Mark in Loretto, KY. Laphroaig sources their barrels from Maker's Mark. It was a lot of fun. If you're interested in tuning in without the 2-hour to drive to Maker's Mark from Cincinnati, then you can. The event will tell why Maker's Mark is so special to Laphroaig (and
will of course include a tasting of both) but will also include some food pairings and some very special cocktails!

Distillery Live will be tonight at 8 pm (EDT), live
from the Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, USA.  You can tune in at http://www.distillerylive.us.com.

We'll write more about this experience (well, Kevin will) next week. Right now I just want to offer my thanks to the fine folks from Laphroaig for such great hospitality and a wonderful evening!

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Posted by Michelle at 6:46 am in Beer-Guy.net, Scotch & Whiskey, Special Events | Permalink | Comments ()
Sep 22

Beer: Goose Island Clybourn Review

On our recent trip to Chicago, Michelle and I made a slight detour on the way home to stop off at the Goose Island Clyborn Brewpub. With 25 different beers available on tap or in bottle, we knew it was going to be fun to try beers that we cannot usually find back home.

image from farm3.static.flickr.com

This was our first visit to Goose Island and it was well worth the time. The layout of the beer menu has the beers divided up into categories of flavor: Refreshing, Session, Malty, Hoppy, Belgian and New World. The menu gives food pairings based on these categories and we split an order of Sweet Potato Fries which seemed to work with the different selections we had.

We each tried a sample of 4 different beers poured 4-oz tall. My selections were:

image from farm3.static.flickr.com

Six (Session) – This was my least favorite of the 8 samples. It seemed a little off and basic. For a low alcohol beer, it just didn’t have enough structure in my opinion and gets a

S.O.B. (Session) – A nice Bitter with good solid balance and very little hoppiness.

Naughty Goose (Malty) – This cask conditioned beer was one of my favorites, this had a nice chocolate malt flavor that exploded in the upfront taste. This was like a stop at UDF for a malt. Nice and smooth and easy to drink.

Midway IPA (Hoppy) – Nice citrus with hops up front, in the middle and on the end. Not much else to say, but this impressed with it’s flavor.

Michelle went a little sweeter and selected:

image from farm4.static.flickr.com

Willow St. White (Refreshing) – Unfiltered wheat beer had a little more bitterness than Michelle’s favorite (Bell’s Oberon) but still had nice spice to balance the usual wheat flavor.

Hefeweizen (Refreshing) – Another wheat beer, but it had more concentration on the banana flavors.

Fleur (Belgian) – I think this was the overall favorite of Michelle and high on my list as well. This was crafted with a similar approach to the Grassroots ale from Great Lakes. This uses hibiscus tea leaves to add an incredible amount of spice to the beer. 

Wheatmiser (New World) – A 9.1% AbV was a nice finish to the two samples as the sweetness made this a desert beer. This was one to be enjoyed in small quantities (it’s sold in an 8oz snifter) It was also on the possible growler list, but we doubted we could finish it in time.

Overall, this was a great stop and we left with a growler of the Fleur and an extra empty growler for our friends over at Hoperatives. I’d recommend the trip if you are in the Chicago area and want to try more brews than we can get in the Cincinnati area. Goose Island gets a nice as both Michelle and I were able to find beer we liked.

– Kevin

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Copyright Creative Commons by-nc-nd My Wine Education.
Posted by Kevin at 8:00 am in Beer, Beer-Guy.net, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1)
Sep 21

Mad Men Mondays: the Champagne Coupe

Last night's Mad Men featured Don drinking a Budweiser and later, an office party with champagne. While it's great that Bud was around in 1963, I'm not sure it's changed all that much, so let's focus on the champagne and, in particular, the glasses.

Peggy: "This is good champagne."
Don: "I don't think so."

Maybe Don likes small-grower champagnes (or he's just irritated with management). As far as I can tell (by pausing and peering intently at my television), the British management  of Sterling Cooper brought in a case or so of orange label Veuve Clicquot, which currently retails for around $75-$110.

image from farm4.static.flickr.com

What I really want to talk about isn't the expensive champagne, but the glasses from which they drank it. More often than not, we drink our champagne today out of flutes, but in Mad Men, they're using coupes throughout the doomed office party.

image from farm4.static.flickr.com

The champagne coupe has a wonderful legend associated with it, but unfortunately, it's just a legend. It's said that the shape of the glass was molded on the breast of Marie Antoinette, or occasionally, Madame de Pompadour. While romantic, it remains just a myth.

image from farm3.static.flickr.com

The coupe was designed in 17th century England and came into fashion again in the 1930s. However, it's not a recommended glass for the drink – it simply looks pretty. The broad surface means the bubbles disappear faster. The preferred glass is a champagne flute, a tall skinny glass that is designed to increase the flow of bubbles to the top and that helps concentrate the aromas of the wine.

It really does make a difference. About a year ago, Kevin and I experimented with several types of glassware, including an old champagne coupe. Aside from being hard to handle (the champagne sloshed out of the glass), the champagne went "flat" a lot faster in the coupe than in the flute.

When it comes down to it, I'll drink champagne taking swigs from the bottle, if need be. But I'm often reminded that glassware really is something to consider when tasting wine.

Mad Men: photos from my tv screen
Coupe: Taken by Fir0002, flagstaffotos.com.au,
used under the GNU License

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Posted by Michelle at 1:06 pm in Mad Men Monday | Permalink | Comments (2)
Sep 18

Featured Cincinnati Wine Events: Sept 19 – 25

Wow! We've got one-of-a-kind wine events every day but Monday this week! You have no excuse to stay home, other than that you're exhausted from so many events.

Some notes of interest: Oktoberfest is this weekend (in case you live under a rock and didn't know). Additionally, Greater Cincinnati Independents Restaurant Week is this wrapping up tonite, Saturday, and Sunday. And of course, if you've got a motorcycle, please join us to support the Krystal Pepper Memorial Scholarship Fund on Saturday with our first annual motorcycle run and poker scramble.

Also on Saturday, there's a special event out at Harmony Hill Winery. In addition to the Farmer's Market and live music, you can also adopt a dog. They're big animal lovers at Harmony Hill (as am I) and they're hosting a Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati satellite Adopt-A-Pet location. I am actually glad I can't go – who knows how many adorable dogs I'd come with … You can hang out with some adorable dogs from 2-6 pm.

Harmony Hill's Sadie Dog helping Kevin with last year's harvest

Remember, all the recurring events, those dependable weekly tastings,
are displayed on our calendar. The one-time events are after the jump.

If I missed anything, make sure to let me know. For information on what's going on
in Dayton, you can refer to Mark's blog at Uncorked.

Local Wine Tasting Event Calendar

Map IconFriday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Map IconSaturday Interactive Wine Tasting Map

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Michelle at 10:37 am in Cincinnati, Weekly Cincinnati Wine Events | Permalink | Comments ()
Sep 17

Tonite? The Palace and The Bacchanalian Society

I made a very similar suggestion back in July, but tonite there is, yet again, a perfect coalescence
of events happening. What are you doing tonite?

First, I think you should pick up the phone and make reservations at The Palace at The Cincinnatian for a scrumptious and affordable dinner.

Since it's the third Thursday, you
can enjoy the Two for $60 option in the restaurant. You've heard me talk about these enough – you can get a
multi-course meal for two plus a bottle of wine for $60
at the Palace.
If you haven't gone yet, you should. It's a real bargain and the food
is elegant and approachable. Lately they've been theme-ing their menus, and tonite is Japanese. Summer Genetti, the pastry chef, is pretty excited about the asian-inspired half-price desserts: "creamy
coconut rice pudding with passionfruit caramel and kaffir lime
shortbread, red bean "cheesecake" with candied sweet potatoes and
toasted sesame white chocolate green tea mousse cake, curried chocolate
banana tartlet with sweet ginger cream." (our Two for $60 review)

Not up for a multi-course meal? You can enjoy the Happy Hour at the classy Cricket Lounge.
Every night from 4-7 pm you can choose from 1/2 price items on the
rather impressive bar menu. Drink specials include $2.50 Draft Beers
(including Bass and Christian Moerlein), 1/2 Price House Wines, $5
Specialty Cocktails, and daily food and drink specials.(our review)

So now that you've eaten, you're ready to drink a little. That's good,
because the Bacchanalian Society is hosting their Fall Gathering down the street at Fountain Square, from 7-10 pm. Haven't been to a Bacchanalian Society
event? Well, don't expect high-end wine, but do expect a lot of fun and
the chance to meet a lot of new people. This time around, your team (up
to 3 people) needs to bring 3 bottles of a Syrah or Shiraz. I'm expecting a lot of Australian wine to appear.

don't get your hopes up that there will be a lot of expensive wine
there. A lot of folks will buy the cheapest
wine possible and then drink to get drunk. The kind hosts and hostesses insist this is a wine tasting,
though, so please take that into consideration. When you pour your wine, remember that if you pour a huge glass and then dump it, the wine at the event disappears that much faster. There's a finite amount of wine people!

Kevin and I are participating in the host/hostessing duties this evening. Chances are you'll see us at the back table, uncorking wine at an Olympic pace. Wave hello!

There are, of course, rules to the game, which you can read after the jump.

Rules (from the Bacchanalian Society web site):

Bacchanalian Society helps charities to conduct competitive wine
tastings where even the loser gets to take something home.  The
competition is based on what we call the "
Rule of Three."  Huh?  Keep reading …


  • A
    different wine varietal (such as chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, etc.)
    is featured at each event. Teams, consisting of 1 to 3 participants,
    are admitted by bringing 3 bottles of the same featured varietal to the
    event. For example, if the featured varietal is merlot, your team could
    bring 3 bottles of the 2005 Hess Select Merlot. The wine varietal for
    the upcoming event is a French Red.

  • At
    the event, 2 of each team's 3 bottles are bagged, tagged and ranked by
    each participant. The 3rd bottle is set aside and left unopened. The
    teams that brought the 5 highest ranked wines divvy up each team's 3rd
    unopened bottle, except for the lowest ranked wine which will be
    returned to the team that brought it. If 2 or more teams bring the same
    wine, rankings can still differ depending upon the temperature of the
    wine, how long it has been open, etc.
  • Please
    remember, teams can consist of 1 to 3 participants. Thus, a group of 4
    participants, for example, will be considered 2 teams and must bring 6
    bottles of the featured varietal to enter the event. Still don't get
    it?  Just remember, the "Rule of Three," which is visually depicted above. 
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Posted by Michelle at 9:55 am in Cincinnati, Food and Drink, Local, Wine Events | Permalink | Comments (2)

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