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Staff Favorites - Adam Winkel

Adam Winkel

Reviews

2016 Black Kite "Kite's Rest Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-14-2020
Rooty tooty, flesh and booty. This voluptuous style of Pinot Noir is more common from Sonoma and usually not what I gravitate to, but this bottle is really successful. In fact, I'm all over it. This is made from some ripe and healthy grapes that retain a quality of crunchy red fruit that you'd have a hard time finding from other regions. Anderson Valley terroir is also present here with the suggestion of coastal forest floor and layered spice that can't be entirely attributed to oak. Pristine clarity and fine, polished tannins too. This has the quality and expression to evolve, but it drinks so well now that you might not want to sacrifice that beautiful fruit. Try one and decide for yourself. These grapes are worth a lot more than $25 either way. Va va va voom.
Top Value!

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

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

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: $19.99 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: $72.99 Add To Cart

1999 Whitehall Lane "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)
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: $159.99 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: $56.99 Add To Cart