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Nov 24

It’s Not Thanksgiving without the Turkey

Michelle got a press release recently that tickled her fancy. It espoused the features of Wild Turkey bourbon and had the tagline, “It’s just isn’t Thanksgiving without the Turkey.” This made her laugh so much that she agreed to have a sample of Wild Turkey 101 sent our way ahead of the holiday.

The overall flavor has slightly more alcohol than most bourbons which are usually reduced to 80 to 90 proof with the addition of water at the distillery. The extra kick on the finish is one of the most noticeable differences.

I tried this on the rocks to help lower the alcohol levels and bring forward some of the other bourbon characteristics. The flavor has a touch less sweetness than other bourbons with an orange peel flavor. The oak is present on the initial flavor with vanilla and adds caramel in the middle. With the ice about halfway melted into the glass, the finish switches to a nice rye note. Overall it is a nice straight forward bourbon that has an extra kick on the finish. I’d recommend this with a touch of water or ice. I’m not sure how this would perform in a mixed drink as the amounts would need to be adjusted to keep the flavors aligned.

According to the press release, Wild Turkey is the perfect alternative to bringing wine to your Turkey Day table. “Wild Turkey Bourbon’s high proof and robust flavor make it the perfect digestif, an excellent accompaniment to a full stomach and good conversation.  Your oenophile friends will enjoy the strong notes of vanilla, caramel and spice along with the cool, full-bodied finish.  Plus it pairs great with pie and ice cream.”

Over on BourbonBlog.com, they’ve come up with some fun recipes for Wild Turkey Thanksgiving-themed cocktails, including this one:

Pass the Turkey

1.5 oz Wild Turkey 101
2 oz apple cider
1 tbs cranberry jelly
1 sprig fresh sage
1 sprig fresh thyme

Since 2009, Wild Turkey Bourbon has been part of the Campari group of liquor beverages and is mostly distributed in the US, Australia and Japan. They can be found on their fan page on Facebook as well as Twitter.

Happy Turkey Day!

– Kevin

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Posted by Kevin at 8:34 am in Beer-Guy.net, Spirits, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments ()
Oct 22

Portobello at Downtown Disney

We’re in Disney!

Ahead of the Disney Epcot Food and Wine festival, Michelle and I stopped for dinner at Portobello in Downtown Disney. The past few years, we’ve kicked off our trip with Irish pub Raglan Road, but we decided to switch things up a little.

Eating at the bar allows for a choice of 4 different speciality meatballs. The beef, pork, or chicken meatballs are 1.95 each add a dollar for the salmon. You can also get a selection of 3 for 5.00 (6.00 if you pick salmon). Each type of meat is paired with a single spice to drive the pairing: Chicken with Sage, Salmon with Tarragon. My favorites were the spicy pork and beef meatballs, while Michelle enjoyed the chicken.

I was also able to try two beers from Orlando Brewing which is an organic brewery located not surprisingly in Orlando. I started with the EPA (English Pale Ale) which had a fantasic amount of malt to help balance the hops. There was almost a caramel flavor at the end right before the bitterness came in. It was a nice and round flavored beer that went really well with the Spicy Pork and Beef meatballs. The sage and the hops didn’t match as well.

For dessert, I tried a bottle of the Blackwater Porter, also from Orlando Brewing. Nice rich coffe flavor and a deeper color than I expected in a porter. The flavor was nice and paired well with one of the signature desserts, the Beerimisu. Michelle ordered this in order to keep her streak of trying Tiramisu deserts as often as possible.

Instead of an expresso, they added the same porter that I tried in order to get the roasted coffee flavor. It was a great switch that had us wondering if we could switch our tiramisu recipe at home to use a stout or porter. Nice and creamy with the light hint of coffee that Michelle prefers.

A great time the first night at the Meatball bar at Portobello in Downtown Disney.

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Sep 09

Cincinnati Beer Fest Fountain Square

There are apparently several different events that are billing themselves as the Cincinnati Beer Fest. However the Beer Fest this weekend takes place on Fountain Square. It’s sort of a pre-Oktoberfest event … a warm-up if you will.

Why am I mentioning the Beer Fest on the wine blog? Oh, a couple of reasons. I am married to Kevin the Beer Guy, first of all. Next, you can find both Kevin and myself pouring beer on Friday night (after 7:45 pm) at either the Dogfish Head or Unibroue booths (not sure which yet). All tips go to charity.

Admission is free and 3oz beer tastings start at $1. Participating beer brands include
Guinness, Heinekin, Sam Adams, Pabst, North American Breweries, Christian Moerlein, Hudepohl, Sierra Nevada, Great Lakes, Mt. Carmel, Woodchuck Cider, Budweiser, InBev, Crown, Goose Island, Rivertown Brewery, Harpoon Brewery, Summit Brewing Company, Independent Brewers United, Bluegrass Brewing Co., Spaten, Full Sail Brewing, Jacob Leinekugel, Belles, Avery, Bear Republic, Dark Horse Brewing, Stone Brewing, North Coast, Breckenridge, Great Divide, Left Hand, Boulder Beer, Heavy Seas, Unibroue, Dogfish Head, Thirsty Dog, and Wooden Shoe.

In addition to beer, I believe there will be two different wine booths available.

In addition to over 200 different flavors of beer, there will be over 30 live music acts plus multiple food and merchandise vendors.

Fifth Street between Vine & Walnut will be closed for the weekend, but the Fountain Square parking garage will remain open.

You can visit the beer festival

  • Friday, 6-11 pm
  • Saturday, noon-11 pm
  • Sunday, noon-9 pm

Hope to see you there!

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Posted by Michelle at 8:13 am in Beer, Beer-Guy.net, Cincinnati, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (1)
Aug 27

Event Tidbits

Just a few tidbits about this weekend’s events and upcoming festivities:

  • In addition to Farmers’ Fair and Brew-Ha-Ha, you can stay in the suburbs and eat and drink this weekend as well. The 25th Annual Taste of Blue Ash is happening tonight through Sunday. I’m highly amused – both Night Ranger (Sister Christian) and the Guess Who will be there on Saturday night. In addition to the food and 80s rock, there’s a last minute add-on to the vendor list: The Ohio Valley Wine Garden. This pavilion will feature wines from Burnet Ridge, Harmony Hill, and Henke! Prices are $1 to sample and $5 per glass.
  • Restaurant Week is coming up, so mark your calendars. As opposed to the recently held Downtown Restaurant Week, this is the Greater Cincinnati Independents Restaurant Week. Go support the little guy! Restaurant Week is September 13-19, 2010. More information, including participating restaurants, can be found on their web site.
  • Smack dab in the middle of Restaurant Week is Beer Fest. Let’s just consider this a run-up to Oktoberfest, shall we? The Hoperatives have more information, but basically, Beer Fest has moved to Fountain Square. Kevin and I volunteered to help pour in a booth, so we’ll see if that pans out. Dates for Beer Fest are Friday, September 10 through Sunday, September 12.
  • Finally, remember that Disney post I wrote? Well, we did end up registering for Party of the Senses. If you are inspired to go to Disney during the Wine & Food Festival, registration is open for the culinary and beverage seminars. They seem to be running between $8 and $12 this year. We registered for an Argentinian wine tasting, a Spanish wine tasting, and Scotch tasting. You can register for the seminars at http://www.disneyurl.com/foodandwinedemos. Spots fill up fast. Last year we didn’t know you could register online ahead of time and many of the seminars we wanted were already sold out.
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Posted by Michelle at 10:31 am in Beer-Guy.net, Disney, Food and Drink, Tastings | Permalink | Comments (1)
Aug 26

Eat, Drink, Laugh Local: Farmers’ Fair and Brew Ha Ha

This Saturday is a big day for eating, drinking, and laughing local.

Last year was the first year for the Covington Farmers’ Fair. It was so successful, they’ve brought it back for a second year, and it’s bigger than ever.Headlining the event is Ed Begley, Jr. I know, I was surprised too. I thought he was some guy from a hospital/soap that my parents watched back in the ’80s. Apparently, he’s been working ever since and currently has a show on the Planet Green channel called “Living with Ed”.  It’s a reality show about trying to live “green” in Hollywood.

Photo from FarmersFair.org

The Farmers’ Fair is a daylong street fair and farmers market celebrating the local food culture. “Farmers’ Fair is a unique opportunity for those of us who have lost touch with our farming and food-producing roots to see the entire process from seed to plate” said Valerie Taylor, co-chair of the event. Paticipating vendors include Bees and Sweets, Carriage House Farm, Dad’s Favorite Cheeses, Dojo Gelato, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, Napoleon Ridge Farm, The Sensitive Epicure Gluten Free Bakery, and many more.  Chefs from Local 127, Lavomatic, Chalk, and more will also be participating.  Finally, Berlin Reed from Oregon will be there. He’s the Ethical Butcher, and people, he’s going to be talking/cooking about “The Bacon Gospel.” Mmmm … bacon.

Don’t forget that eating local is also about drinking local. The two local wineries participating will be Elk Creek Winery and Stonebrook. You can find Kevin and myself pouring for Stonebrook in the morning to mid-afternoon. After that, blog readers just like yourself will be pouring. (Thanks gang!) Not enough for you? Josh Durr, cocktail master extraordinaire from Tonic on 4th, will also be there.

The fair features a farmers market, cooking demonstrations, chefs pairing with local farmers (food samples!), educational booths, and a live performance by the Comet Bluegrass Allstars. There’s even a children’s area with face painting, seed planting (and other educational things), and most importantly, a petting farm. I’m so finding myself a pony to pet.

Much to my surprise, this event doesn’t take place on Mainstrasse. Instead, it’s in the Greenup Street area (um, Roebling Entertainment District), located at the foot of the Suspension Bridge. The bridge, by the way, is currently open to foot traffic. Admission is free and the event will be held rain or shine, 10am to 10pm. Proceeds from the Farmers’ Fair benefit Central Ohio River Valley Food Guide (CORV), Slow Food Cincinnati, Ohio Valley Foodshed Project and the Future Farmers of America Northern Kentucky Chapter: Boone, Campbell & Kenton.

Once you’ve spent your day at the Farmers’ Fair, follow us and head on over to Brew-Ha-Ha at Sawyer Point. This is more of a beer thing, so I’m not going to spend too much time on it. But Kevin and I have gone every year and we never fail to have a good time, sampling beer, socializing with friends, and listening to the occasional comic. There’s a wide range of beer for sampling, so hopefully this year I can get Kevin to write up a post.

Brew Ha Ha 2009, from Bob Schwartz (http://5chw4r7z.blogspot.com)

Brew-Ha-Ha is both Friday and Saturday evenings. On Saturday, join the fun from 4pm – midnight with 50 comedians on 3 stages and a selection of 80 beers from which to choose. Wristbands are $5 and beer tickets are $1 each. One beer ticket equals 1 beer sample, and 4 beer tickets equals a full serving. Beer ticket sales stop at 10:30p.m. and beer dispensing stops promptly at 11:00p.m.

It’s easy to either walk to Brew-Ha-Ha or, as we’re going to do, leave our car in Covington and take the Southbank Shuttle to the event.

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