June 15, 2020
June 15, 2020
There’s a persistent myth in the wine world that we need to clear up—contrary to popular belief, a higher price tag does not necessarily mean a better-tasting wine. In fact, there are plenty of budget-friendly bottles that boast rich, complex flavor profiles that’ll fool even the most discerning wine connoisseurs (you know, the one who’s always commenting on the “mouthfeel” and ravings about tannins).
That’s not to say all inexpensive wines are created equal, however. The sweet spot for finding those bottles that are easy on your wallet but still pleasing to your palate tends to fall in the $10 to $20 range. But fret not—we’ve made your drinking decisions easier by rounding up some affordable, widely available wines. From silky merlots and spicy Zins to crisp pinot grigios and creamy chardonnays, here are a handful of the best cheap wines to add to your shopping cart.
Layer Cake Pinot Noir
If you’re on the hunt for a dry pinot that’s dangerously drinkable, look no further than Layer Cake’s. Gently fermented at cool temperatures and then aged in French oak, this light-bodied, fruit-forward red boasts pronounced flavors of tart raspberry, cranberry, and pomegranate. It’s versatile enough to enjoy with poultry, salmon, or even chocolate covered strawberries.
June 15, 2020
How Virtual Gigs Are Helping Bartenders Stay Afloat—Even Beyond Cinco De Mayo
Matt Klette, trade advocacy manager for the Deutsch Family Spirits Portfolio, devised a program for Redemption Whiskey and Gray Whale Gin that has both brands individually paying bartenders $350 each to write a recipe and present the resulting drink during a live 20-minute “Virtual Bar” segment streamed on Instagram.
Combined, the two brands have fielded 2,000 inquiries and 1,200 recipes from around the world (though they’re only hiring US-based bartenders) and are planning to schedule around 30 episodes each.
“This is a fun way to show the versatility of our products with some of the bartenders’ creative modern cocktails,” he says. “It’s also fun for consumers to get a peek behind the curtain of what goes into making these cocktails – the bartenders are right there showing you how to do it.”
Interested bartenders can email Info@Redemptionwhiskey.com to submit Redemption recipes and email@example.com to submit for Gray Whale, and Klette selects his favorites on a rolling basis. He asks his chosen creators to shoot a short video of themselves making their drink and each brand streams their respective videos on IG the day of the bartender’s appearance. On the given night, depending on the brand, either he or the co-founder of Gray Whale interviews the bartender live on IG Stories while both host and guest make the drink at their homes. Redemption airs a new interview every Sunday and Tuesday, while Gray Whale broadcasts on Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm EDT.
The program is set to run ten more weeks – the Deutsch Family portfolio has allocated $20,000 for “payroll” — but may extend it if they continue to receive enough irresistible submissions … and the bar industry remains closed.
“It’s one thing to get a handout but there’s some dignity in getting hired to do what you do best,” says Gray Whale co-founder Marsh Mokhtari, who pays out immediately via Venmo. He enjoys giving these bartenders an opportunity to build their brand through their interviews, during which he might chat with them about their inspiration, their career journey, their pre-COVID travels or their new baby.
He also brings a lighthearted touch by trying out the recipe himself alongside the expert.
“Sometimes I’m an epic failure. Sometimes we’ve had them be so complicated like involving rice washing – it’s like milk washing – and I’m like, ‘What is this and where the hell am I going to get these ingredients right now?!’” he says.
June 15, 2020
We Asked 10 Drinks Pros: Which Bourbon Offers the Best Bang for Your Buck?
Declared by Congress as “America’s Native Spirit” in 1964, bourbon’s versatility and range of aromatics make it the perfect base for time-honored cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, the Mint Julep, and the Boulevardier.
With many of us turning to alcohol delivery and buying online, VinePair enlisted the advice of beverage professionals across the U.S. to find out which bourbon brands top their lists as the best deal, while being a quality bottle. Below, bartenders and bar managers tell us their picks among the array of bourbon brands and prices on the market.
“Redemption Bourbon, an unassuming bourbon that is not only consistent but quite delicious, with the quintessential caramel, vanilla, and hints of spice
from the rye. No wrong decisions being made when looking for a bang for your buck.” — Mohammed Rahman, Bar Manager, Kata Robata, Houston
June 15, 2020
The Best Rosé Wines for Your Springtime Imbibing — All Under $30
Despite these uncertain times, we do know one thing is for certain: The rosé trend is still going strong. A beverage that can be dressed up or down for virtually any setting or occasion, rosé wine is our go-to choice for everything from happy hour to Mother’s Day gifting to weekend brunch.
For this list, we’re sticking to dry rosé varieties (as opposed to sweeter options), because a dry rosé has the acidity of white wine but the fruit character of red, making it one of the easiest and most food-friendly wines. From pairing with rich and creamy cheese dishes to fresh seafood, grilled chicken, pizza, and flatbread, you really can’t go wrong. In other words: Rosé is a versatile, refreshing, and budget-friendly wine for virtually any occasion or season.
With so many options on wine stores’ shelves, we took it upon ourselves to painstakingly taste-test different brands to ensure we’re providing quality picks in our list of best rosé wines. And, oh yeah, they’re all $25 and under.
Fleurs De Prairie Rosé
“Fleurs de prairie” translates to “wildflowers,” and we can’t think of a better name for this floral and elegant rosé hailing from France’s Provence region.
With a delicate lavender aroma and soft notes of rose petals and strawberries, this pale pink rosé is basically springtime in a bottle.