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Staff Favorites - Adam Winkel

Adam Winkel

Reviews

Small Hand Foods Passion Fruit Syrup (8.5oz)
Review Date: 10-29-2019
I've made passion fruit syrup from fresh fruit for my Sidewinder's Fang, and it's an enormous amount of work to simmer, extract, and strain all of those little arils. I was stunned by the quality and concentration of this artisanally bottled product. It's tropically fresh and delicious and my previous tedium informs me of the piles of fruit that are generously reduced into this little bottle. It only seems like a splurge if you don't know what's in here. This little bottle goes a long way.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2013 Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard "Branciforte Creek" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-24-2019
This is the wine that first got me interested in Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir, and I'm still working on a case of 2007 that is showing great right now. Bearing little resemblance to the modern style of California Pinot, this wine shows deep savor, sappy persistence, and an upright acid spine with very moderate alcohol.
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 90 WE 90

2007 Don Q "Limited Edition" Single Barrel Rum 750ml
Review Date: 06-24-2019
Oh, HELL yeah. "Elegant" isn't a word I'd usually use to describe a rum but I can't come up with a better one. This reminds me of a 10-year Cuban bottle I carried back from Mexico a few years ago. The nose on the 2007 Don Q has a Grand Marnier-like bass tone of orange peel that's generously dusted with cocoa and warm spice. The palate reverberates these flavors with tobacco leaf and a peppery impression that keeps the tones of tropical fruit and spice in a state of balance and restraint. It's still about the cane more than the barrel. I don't get the back-end confection that can put off people who prefer other brown spirits to rum. You could sip this from a snifter after dinner or make the most luxurious dark & stormy or mojito on a warm afternoon. Somehow they're not mutually exclusive.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Schäfer-Fröhlich "Vulkangestein" Riesling Trocken Nahe (Dry)
Review Date: 06-03-2019
My lesser instinct makes me want to call this a dry Riesling for the initiated because of the regal and uncompromising mineral expression and an indelible house style, but I think anyone can get into this. Vulkangestein is a single-village wine in 2017 and it's certainly an excellent value, as it's declassified from only top vineyards. The house style I refer to is the presence of spontaneous fermentation aromas from native yeast (most Germans use cultured yeast) as well as a noticeable matchstick-like dose of sulphur. But Schäfer-Fröhlich is the producer that I've learned to appreciate the most in recent years as my tastes have shifted deep into the trocken spectrum. This wine can be enjoyed at this young stage and it's an excellent gateway to their monumental Grosses Gewachs bottlings.

Ramos Pinto "Quinta do Bom Retiro" 20 Year Old Tawny Port
Review Date: 05-13-2019
Tawnies are not an afterthought at Ramos Pinto, and casks going into this wine aren't something that one would typically see declassified into a 20-year blend. This is a single-quinta wine of fine terroir which displays surprising freshness and fruit at 20 years old. The wine is a noticeable step up from producers that are famous for their vintage ports and now put their best tawny casks into single-vintage colheita bottlings. This is a flagship wine with Ramos Pinto's best grapes and it isn't to be sold short.

Ferrand Dry Orange Curaçao (750ml)
Review Date: 02-19-2019
Mixing to the highest tiki standards, I picked up a bottle of this to make the classic mai tai and zombie. I had always kept a bottle of Grand Marnier on hand to round out my margaritas, but when I ran out of Grand Marnier I substituted this Ferrand concoction in my margarita instead and I liked it even better... a small measure brings a complex bass note without the candied sweetness. I also don't miss those squat Grand Marnier bottles hogging shelf space in my liquor cabinet so I can pour 3/4oz now and then. They shall not return. Ferrand's dry curacao is my one-stop orange liqueur now.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Jever Pils, Germany (12oz)
Review Date: 01-23-2019
I figured Jever would be similar to the respected European favorites like Pilsner Urquell or flip-top-bottled Grolsch, but it's even better! Jever Pils offers a tastefully Old World idea of what "hoppy" means. Fragrant and pure, the quality of ingredients is on full display and the hop bitterness offers a cleansing cut on the complex and poised finish. It graciously tempts the next sip instead of taunting your taste buds into a "hoppy" roadhouse brawl with an IPA rodeo clown. When pouring into a glass, try pouring at least half of it down the middle of the glass, not down the side. German beers are supposed to be served with a head and a Pilsner responds nicely to the aeration.
Price: $1.99 Add To Cart

2013 Tenuta Sant'Antonio "Scaia Paradiso" Veneto
Review Date: 12-19-2018
An exotic potpourri of dried fruit and sandalwood outlines a savory profile with suggestions of Amarone character. The texture and length make for a luxurious wine that doesn't lean on new oak but rather the quality of fruit which retains fresh acidity while displaying mature tones that steer clear of rusticity. People say about everything that "this would go well with a roast", but yes, this would go great with a roast. Or pay corkage somewhere for the added entertainment of seeing your waiter's head explode when they see the glass closure. I LOVE those.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Azteca Azul Blanco Tequila (1L)
Review Date: 06-28-2018
The quality here is quite high with agave purity and fragrance. It's my perfect bottle for making a fruit margarita or fanciful cocktail when the expression of a more expensive bottle would largely be lost, but I still want it to taste like good tequila with earthy and clean agave character. Makes a lot of sense, right? Suddenly I have an urge to boil up some prickly pear syrup.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries (400g)
Review Date: 01-17-2018
These are totally worth it and this little jar goes a long way. My favorite use is the Three Dots and a Dash tiki drink, but the applications here are far-reaching. Be "nose to tail" and spoon the extra syrup on some ice cream or something. It's amazing. Just *DON'T PUT THE OPEN JAR IN THE FRIDGE*. It will crystalize and get ruined. This stuff is so sweet like molasses it's completely preserved at room temperature, and the label will tell you so as well.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

Casa Dragones Blanco Tequila (750ml) (ships as a 1.5L)
Review Date: 09-28-2017
This is a beautifully sippable blanco that reminds me why I like tequila so much. There's a lot of character and purity here with sophisticated shades of fruit and soil tones. There's no burn on the entry which invites you to really savor it and appreciate that there's no wood to get in the way of the agave. But the "premium" pedigree here for me is the persistent, bright, sun-shiny length of the finish.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould Verzenay "Reserve" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-15-2017
This non-vintage Champagne shows excellent equilibrium between minerality, toastiness, and citric fruit with no single characteristic outshining the rest. Certainly a fine bead and excellent texture from a magnum. Complete and very pleasurable.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

1999 Whitehall Lane "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-20-2014
(Popped and poured 03/2014 from magnum) An underrated wine that still delivers a fine value. A savory palate with dusty Napa terroir harmonizes with the tannins that at this stage seem polished and sweet. The overall profile would please someone who likes their Napa Cabs in a classic style, yet the wine is plenty generous. Excellent structure. A 750ml should be right in its drinking window while the large formats could go much longer.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Graham's 10 Year Old Tawny Port
Review Date: 01-27-2014
This is a good port to serve with a non-chocolate dessert course. The bombastically nutty and spicy profile complements your dessert course beautifully, when a more delicate style of Tawny would get crushed. Try it with creme brulee or pumpkin pie! An open bottle in the fridge will change very slowly, so pour it when called for... it will last for weeks or even months.

Graham's 20 Year Old Tawny Port
Review Date: 01-27-2014
Like Graham's 10 Year Tawny, the 20 Year is a wine that is great to pair with a dessert course. Excellent with pastry or custards, this big boy does amazing things alongside something as down-home as pumpkin pie or even carrot cake with walnuts and cream cheese frosting. The Graham's 20 also has enough richness to pair with caramel-based desserts. An open bottle will keep in the fridge for weeks or even months, so no rush to finish it.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 WS 93