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Go Fig or Go Home with Black Infusions Vodka

Martini’s… shakin’ not stirred. Highballs…on the rocks or straight up? Whatever your poison there are a plethora of choices when it comes to selecting ones five o’clock libation. Let’s put beer and wine aside for a moment and take a look at the spirits industry. It’s on fire. According to a recent report by Grand View Research, Inc.,” the global craft spirits market is expected to reach USD 80.43 billion by 2025.” Michael Davidson is the owner and CEO of Black Infusions and is celebrating five years with his Distilled Spirit Specialties. He’s developed a product that is taking...

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Winemaker Fintan du Fresne

A Rosé is a Rosé is a Rosé. C’est pas vrai! Throughout the summer months and rolling into the fall I’ve had the opportunity to sip on a glass of Rosé or two. By chance I stumbled upon a refreshing young brand of Rosé developed by Malene Wines. Don’t let my “young” reference fool you. Their 2016 Rosé debut was the inaugural vintage of Malene Rosé, a Provence-style Rosé made from carefully selected fruit from specific sites in the California Central Coast regions of Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. It was made from 44-year old vines and cultivated by...

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Honolulu Cookie Company: Unexpected Hawaiian Treat

Close your eyes and imagine you’re on a Hawaiian beach. A cold pineapple cocktail in hand, the smell of the ocean rolling off the waves, the sound of a luau off in the distance. You shuffle your feet and feel the sand between your toes and you’re nibbling on…cookies. Cookies? Yes, scrumptious shortbread cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company. Impressing my palate doesn’t happen too often. Savory is more my style, so something sweet falls down on my list of edibles. When I do look for a dessert it’s not chocolate I crave, but something along the line of...

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Ritz-Carlton Charlotte: Ideal Weekend Getaway for Cocktail & Craft Beer Aficionados

When you have a busy travel schedule as I do, it’s nice to feel at home when you’re on the road. There is no place more like home than the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte, North Carolina, where a recent visit was a pure delight. My trip to The Queen City was inspired by the summer weekend getaway package, Pints and Provisions, offered by the Charlotte Ritz.  Though I wouldn’t be able to spend the weekend, I wanted to learn about the ultimate craft cocktail and beer weekend, which starts with an early 2 p.m., Friday check-in. As I sat in the lobby enjoying...

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Russian River Valley Vintner Mike Sullivan

Sonoma County is famous for its wine, and that’s no surprise as it boasts acres of vineyards and hundreds of wineries. Among these is the Benovia Winery. With estate vineyards not only in Sonoma County, but also Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley, Benovia Winery is responsible for creating small lot wines, specifically Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel. Enter vintner Mike Sullivan. The son of grape growers, he’s very comfortable in the vineyard, where he started working at the age of 18. Then, after pursuing a degree in fermentation science, he discovered his passion for the craft. Today, he...

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Luxe Beat Magazine’s Favorite Wineries

Who doesn’t love a fine wine? From California to North Carolina, here are some of our favorite places that produce the best wines. 1. ZIOBAFFA “Handmade by artisans with a focus on traditional production, ZIOBAFFA wine is crafted in quality, authenticity and detail. With a focus on sustainable, zero waste production and environmentally friendly bottling, including the innovative Helix re-usable cork closure, these wines are a modern take on an old world tradition.” -Sherrie Wilkolaski. Full article here… 2. Lula Cellars “Lula Cellars is an exclusive, limited production winery in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley. The wines at Lula Cellars are limited...

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Jason Baffa: Wine and Filmmaker

Organic wine is a popular luxury that wine enthusiasts are putting at the top of their shopping lists. One of the things I find most charming about organic wine, is the history behind the vineyard and the winemakers. One such winery I’ve discovered is the Italian family and friend collaboration, ZIOBAFFA. This wine story has it all, including a film connection. Jason Baffa is a film-maker turned wine-maker and just all seems to make sense. He graciously made time for an interview and told me more about what makes ZIOBAFFA, such a unique find. SHERRIE WILKOLASKI: Let’s start with...

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The Art Of Bartending

It’s a Saturday evening. Your standing reservation at a favorite bistro is scheduled for eight o’clock and you arrive early so you can enjoy a cocktail at the bar before dinner. You make your way to the lounge and your neighborhood bartender welcomes you with your favorite cocktail. The last drop of your martini transfers from the shaker into the chilled glass, and in drops two olives just the way you like it. You stretch out your arm as if to shake hands with the tonics wizard but instead, you caress the glass and bring it up to your...

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Black Ink: cult wine for the masses

Black Ink is a cult wine for the masses.  With the Halloween season upon us. what better way to celebrate than with a dark, sinister red wine with a dose of a secret component? I imagine a group of old witches standing over the cauldron, debating which ingredient they’ll blend in with this batch of red wine; something obscure that won’t be detected by the human eye, but on the tongue, will be noticed by the finest of pallets. “Why not squid ink?” one of the enchantresses suggests, and the rest is history. Black Ink is a lifestyle brand...

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The Art of Beer Craftsmanship

Oktoberfest has been an annual tradition for over 200 years, give or take the few dozen years it was cancelled due to war, disease and other political complications. The first celebration commenced on October 12, 1810, with the wedding celebration of Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen in Munich. The official Oktoberfest is celebrated in Germany, and travelers from around the world make their pilgrimage to celebrate in the beer celebration capital of the world. If you cannot make the journey, there is sure to be a local gala happening in your hometown. To get the most...

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