California’s Mendocino County is widespread and extremely diverse, encompassing 2.4 million acres of land. The area sprawls across narrow valleys, giant redwood forests, and reaches out to the pristine northern California coastline. The scenic route and my favorite way to get there starts at Highway 128 in Cloverdale, at the northern tip of Sonoma County, and continues north until you reach Anderson Valley, an AVA (American Viticultural Area) most known for pinot noir, chardonnay, and Alsatian grape varietals.
Jean Bousquet, a third generation French winemaker, traveled to Argentina in the early 90’s and fell in love with a very particular area named the Gualtallary zone of Tupungato, sub-region of Mendoza’s Uco Valley. Sitting 4,000 feet in the Andean foothills, these high-elevation grape vineyards are considered to produce some of the finest wines in Mendoza.
January is the biggest month of the year for wine in New Hampshire, featuring many happening events during the Winter Wine Festival at Wentworth by the Sea Hotel & Spa, and New Hampshire Wine Week. With so much wine around, I am cleansing my palate with Broken Shed Premium Vodka, a smooth and clean vodka I discovered a few years ago that is now available here!
On the Central Coast of California, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is where you will see the best views of the rugged Pacific coastline. This area is also home to the Paso Robles wine region. Once known primarily for cattle ranches and grain fields, the region also has a rich history of grape growing by true American farmers.
It’s been more than five years since the latest rebirth of hard cider, and it should come as no surprise, especially to apple-loving New Englanders, that the industry continues to grow. Craft cideries are popping up throughout the country, with entrepreneurs putting their own twist on the gluten-free beverage, blending all kinds of apples to create a sip that’s crisp, light, and refreshing.
In ye olde New England, both taverns and homes often had bottles of rum on the shelves, a popular ingredient in Colonial cocktails. A “stone fence” mixed rum and hard cider and a “flip” contained rum, beer, molasses, and eggs, stirred with a poker glowing red from the hearth fire. Some of those old recipes are back, thanks to a resurgence in pre-Prohibition concoctions and our nerdy interest in sipping historical libations.