Welcome to Distilled—our weekly look at booze news from the Globe and beyond.
As a last minute gift idea, we want to make a pitch for the stunning 2017 Reserve Cabernet from Robert Mondavi. It comes right from the heart of the valley and, says wine writer Kristen Schott, opens “with a rustic nose of leather and smoke … that gives way to black currants, bramble and herbs.” Ah, the glories of classic Napa. Here’s our tasting note.
And Speaking of California
SFGate reports that the storied French Laundry received $2.4 million in paycheck protection money—which probably didn’t go all that far, when you consider what it takes to run such a place. Still, since both the Governor of the state and the mayor of San Fran were busted dining there—that is, sort of letting folks eat cake—it feels a little dodgy. There was gnashing of teeth over the so-called “three-martini lunch” provision in the package passed this week, but when corporate dining returns, it seems on balance a good thing.
Still, restaurants are in a woeful state. The Boston Globe has some research on the perils of indoor dining.
So Enjoy Your Beverages Outside
Finally, you can do that in North Carolina and in Oregon.
Also, speaking of Oregon, we’ve been in love with Chardonnay from Lingua Franca (among others) for quite some time now. An endeavor by Master Sommelier Larry Stone, Meursault legend Dominique Lafon, and rising star French winemaker Thomas Savre, these wines are astonishingly Burgundian. Take, for instance, the 2018 Lingua Franca “Avni” Chardonnay, described earlier this month by Wine Enthusiast as “a stunning wine and a sensational value. Succulent, tangy and concentrated in ripe fruit, it explodes with flavors of lemon, peach, apricot and papaya lifted by a squeeze of lime.” Last we looked, the winery was offering free ground shipping. If you’re in Chicago, Vin has it for sale.
We also love Eunice Chiweshe Goldstein, supposedly the first black female winemaker in Oregon, who is giving back this year. Can’t wait to visit!
One Scotch. One Bourbon. And One Rum.
This week’s Globe had nothing but the good stuff, including a 1970 Islay from the remarkable Last Drop folks, the latest offering from Barrell Craft Spirits (and literally everything they have produced has been mouthwateringly good), and “extreme rums” from Plantation.
There is, Like, Literally No Excuse for Running Out of Cocktail Ideas
Now that you know about this photo essay on 79 holiday ideas, from Bon Appetit. We suggest finding a few favorites and batching them up, as recommended by the great Charles Joly on Inside Hook.
This Guy Gets an A for Effort (and for Alabama)
And probably some time in the pen. But maybe he should just say he was getting the Roaring 20s started early. Apparently, they’re coming.