We ask members of the Cheers National Wine Panel to recommend wines throughout the year, typically by varietal or season. Here are the highest-rated wines for the past year, including brief tasting notes, a rating and the wine’s retail price.
Tapping Into Craft Beer’s Momentum
By Melissa Niksic
The craft beer movement shows no signs of dying down anytime soon, so it’s worth investing some time and energy into cultivating the category.
1 ¼ oz. Campari
1 oz. Sweet red vermouth
1 ¼ oz. Sparkling white wine
1 Roasted orange wedge*
Place the orange wedge in a mixing glass and add vermouth. Muddle the two so that the charred bits are released into the vermouth. Add Campari and ice, and stir. Strain into a chilled flute. Do not stir, as this will dissipate the bubbles. Garnish with orange peel.
*Roasted orange preparation: Slice oranges into wedges and place in a sealable container. Top with sweet red vermouth and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove oranges from the vermouth and char on a grill until the sugar caramelizes and black specks form on the oranges.
New York mixologist Joe Campanale created this recipe.
Sapphire & Sass
1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
1 ½ oz. Orange juice
2 Dashes Tabasco sauce
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Rim a tall glass with kosher salt and pepper and fill with ice. Add 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce. Pour in gin, then orange juice. Fill up with tomato juice. Garnish with bleu cheese-stuffed olives and a pickle.
Vicki Honerkamp, head bartender and wine steward for Jakes atop the Midnight Starin Deadwood, SD, created this cocktail.
Best Cocktail Trends of 2013
Skinnygirl has added four varietals to its low-calorie Wine Collection: Skinnygirl Prosecco, Skinnygirl Chardonnay, Skinnygirl Pinot Grigio and Skinnygirl Cabernet Sauvignon. Skinnygirl Chardonnay and Skinnygirl Pinot Grigio have a 10% ABV and 100 calories per serving and are available for a suggested retail price of $11.99 for a 750-ml. bottle. Skinnygirl Cabernet Sauvignon also has a 10% ABV and 100 calories per serving; it is available for a suggested retail price of $13.99. Skinnygirl Prosecco is a limited-time, seasonal offering, available through the New Year or while supplies last at a suggested retail price of $19.99.
Glennfiddich’s Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask Reserve
William Grant & Sons has launched Glennfiddich’s Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask Reserve, which is exclusively aged for 19 years in American oak casks—casks that once traveled great American rivers and now serve as the inspiration for this limited edition release, the company says. The 2013 Age of Discovery Bourbon Cask Reserve (ABV 40%) is 100% bourbon cask matured, and available nationally with a suggested retail price of $149.99.
Crave Chocolate Truffle
Beam Inc. has expanded the John DeKuyper & Sons Crave line of chocolate liqueurs with Crave Chocolate Truffle. The new flavor, which joins Crave’s Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Cherry and Chocolate Chili liqueurs, is available nationwide with a suggested retail price of $17.99 a 750-ml. bottle.
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