Monday, July 18, 2011

Bourbon, Vanilla Whisky and Pickles

It’s been awhile since I’ve been in Bourbon Country. I’m looking forward to making a visit soon and checking out the latest and greatest at the distilleries. I just found out about a tour company that can make the trip a lot more fun.

Mint Julep Tours, which is fittingly based in Louisville, has been running a Bourbon Trail Tour for quite awhile, but now they have added something unique. The “Roll Out the Barrel” tour offers guests a day long experience through Kentucky Bourbon Country. It starts with brunch in one of Louisville’s best and then you are off to a distillery for an exclusive guided tour by one of the company’s experts. Tasting will be straight from the barrel, giving you a chance to sample like a master distiller. A professional taster will help you pick your own barrel and customize your bottles, giving you your very own reserve! Bottles will be delivered to your home 6-8 weeks later.

While we are talking whiskey, I need to mention Phillips Union.  A friend gave me a bottle of their Vanilla Flavored Whiskey and it is great. This spirit is a combination of Kentucky Bourbon, Canadian Whisky and vanilla from Madagascar. It’s smooth and slightly sweet, but certainly not overly. I brought the bottle to a July 4th get together and it was a huge hit with everyone who tasted it. It’s a perfect match with Coke, though I enjoyed it straight on the rocks.

I don’t think I’ll be eating them while drinking bourbon, but I’d like to take a moment to give a shoutout to the lastest from Vlasic Pickles. The Farmer’s Garden collection comes in Kosher Dill and Zesty Garlic. Unlike the pickles you usually get in a jar, these are marinated with peppers, carrots and herbs. The finished product is more flavorful than you’ve experienced and full of crunch. The garlic is actually a bit spicy.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Time To Taste Some Wine, 2010 Vintage of George Duboeuf

I spend my time traveling all around the world tasting wines. I have had great wines at all prices, but I have to say I was a bit skeptical when asked to taste a selection of French wines that sell for under $20 a piece.  If nothing else, I felt it was a challenge worth taking and I agreed to have a case of Georges Duboeuf wines delivered.

Les Vins Georges Duboeuf  produces Beaujolais wines from 100 percent gamay grapes. Mr. Duboeuf has noted that his 2010 vintage (which I tasted) has was highlighted by a hot, dry August and a rainy fall. Here are my findings – with a little help from my friends. Afterall, one should never drink French wine alone!

Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages, $9.99
Like a Sangiovese, this is a fruit-filled easy drinking wine with lots of berry on the nose and in the palate.

Georges Duboeuf Morgan, retail $13.99
With its deep red color, we thought this would have a lot of fruit and substance, but it did not. We tried to let it breathe a bit more and it didn’t seem to make a difference. This wine was lacking in taste all around.

Georges Duboeuf Moulin-à-Vent, retail $15.99
This had a deeper color than the others and a rather strange nose, but the wine was a different story. It’s fully of berry and goes down smooth.  A big taste that could stand up to any dish.

Georges Duboeuf Juliénas Château des Capitans, $18.99
This is what burgundy should be, full of red, ripe fruit and just a tiny bit on the dry side. It’s an easy drinking wine with or without food.

Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé, retail $19.99
The nose is buttery and nutty on this, but the taste is anything but. You will find it very light, with a slightly fruity taste that everyone seemed to like.
Of the wines tasted, I would say the Georges Duboeuf Juliénas Château des Capitans is the best bottle, and your friends will never believe it was $19 and the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages is an absolute bargain for $10, something that you can keep a case of for easy drinking anytime, especially with the backyard barbecue.

All of Les Vins Georges Duboeuf are available throughout the United States wherever wine is sold. For more information on the vineyards, visit their website.