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. Wine Eco-Friendly Wines for the Holidays   US

There’s a lot of talk about ’green’ and ’natural’ wines in the media, but did you know that there are many kinds of certification for what we call “Eco-Friendly” wines? In our 7th annual Eco-Friendly competition, we saw wines with the following certifications: Certified Organic, Demeter Certified Biodynamic, Fair Trade Certified, Organically Grown Grapes, Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing, Salmon Safe Certified, Food Alliance Certified, LIVE Certified Sustainable, LIVE Salmon-Safe, Sustainable Agriculture, and Sustainable Farming.   more >>

2014 World Value Wine Challenge   INTL
Great Wines at Great Prices Just in Time for the Holidays

We recently reviewed hundred of wines for our 14th annual World Value Wine Challenge and found a 100 or so top picks that are $20 and under and deliver a great bang for the buck.   more >>

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Beer S&P Beer Tip
Stouts are Black and Porters are Brown

Stouts are black and Porters are brown. While not true in every case, this rule of thumb has become a beneficial tip in our tasting room when tasting through the annual Stouts and Porters category of our World Beer Championships. These traditional English dark ale styles share so much in common flavor-wise that the degree of lightness, both of color and texture, is an important compass to use on the quest to dissect (not fuss over…) their differences.  A beer’s color is a good starting point in determining whether or not a brewer nailed a particular style and we usually find that if a beer’s color is correct, its aroma and flavor elements are more likely to be correct.   more >>

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Spirits A Grab Bag of Holiday Spirits
A Year of Spirits Reviews in Review
  more >>
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Wine of the Week
Salt of the Earth 2013 Moscato Rubino, California $9.99. Best Buy.
208812 We like dessert wines throughout the year, but they seems especially satisfying when the weather is miserably cold. This one is deliciously fruity and a best buy to boot.
See Review   
Beer of the Week
Deschutes Brewery Black Butte XXVI Porter.
209343 In the depths of winter, a dark rich porter can provide a brief respite of roasted malt goodness. And It doesn't get much darker or richer than this Black Butte beauty.
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Spirit of the Week
RYAN'S Irish Cream Liqueur $10.99. Best Buy.
208903 Winter time is cream liqueur time. It's that simple. Most are sold and consumed in winter and this one is a great, snow time sipper.
See Review