Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, Prosecco, Barefoot are hot; Syrah, mainstream beer are not

    Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey is the hottest liquor brand in the country, and I'm not talking about the taste. It has added easily the most sales in dollar and volume over the last year, according to Nielsen. Two vodkas -- Tito's and New Amsterdam -- are runners up. Yesterday, Nielsen's beverage alcohol head Danny Brager gave a presentation in San Diego about what's going on in the U.S. booze market.

    5 readers - By The Gray Report

    Porn star makes wine: an interview from the archives

    Going through some old files last week, I found this story that never ran in its intended publication; the editor got cold feet. Never too late for a porn star-makes-wine story. This is the unedited original story from 2007. “There are two things I have to ask you about: wine and sex,” I tell porn star Savanna Samson in our phone interview.

    3 readers - By The Gray Report

    Why are Trader Joe's wines so cheap?

    Short answer: For the same reason that everything else at Trader Joe's is cheap. They're industrial agricultural products that are efficiently made and distributed. The Internet got excited last week with the "news" from the Huffington Post that there are dead birds in Trader Joe's wines.

    12 readers - By The Gray Report

    Tasty can of sake rises from the rubble of a tsunami

    Suisen brewery was utterly destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. Seven employees (out of only 57 total) died. It was a challenge just to keep going for the 67-year-old brewery. Amazingly, only three years later, not only is Suisen back in business, it's exporting its sake for the first time.

    9 readers - By The Gray Report

    If you can't make great wine, tweet

    Today is a perfect day to get swept away by a glass of our delicious Barefoot Moscato!! #MoscatoMonday pic.twitter.com/3WNlzB7YxB — Barefoot Wine (@BarefootWineCA) July 28, 2014 Here are the top 10 wineries Monday on Vin Tank's "Winery Social Index": 1. Four Cousins (South Africa) 2. Barefoot Cellars 3. Wine Sisterhood 4. Biltmore (North Carolina) 5. Castello di Amorosa ( FantasylandNapa) 6.

    8 readers - By The Gray Report

    Here's a rarity: a simple, useful, elegant wine gadget

    Wine Thermals. Mine is plain brown. There aren't many good wine gadgets. Most are superfluous crap meant to keep the cycle of useless Christmas gifts spinning. Even the ones I like usually end up gathering dust in a cupboard somewhere. In the few months since I got a Wine Thermal, I've used it every time I had a white wine. I can't say that for any other wine gadget in the house.

    12 readers - By The Gray Report

    Moonshine: The Book

    Moonshine is having a moment. It's painful how hip it is. It's even made in Brooklyn now, and the distillery there charges about double what good 12-year-old Scotch costs. One such modern moonshine producer credits the 2008 financial crisis. "People were really getting back to basics," he said.

    5 readers - By The Gray Report

    Overwhelmed by trying to open a bottle of Lambrusco

    Last week I couldn't figure out how to open a wine bottle. It has a metal clamp over the cork that doesn't pull or twist off. I went to Twitter for help, but nobody gave me advice. I don't drink a lot of Lambrusco at home, so I have to ask: Does anyone know how to open this bottle? Seriously. http://t.co/Er6MwmiAGc — W.

    6 readers - By The Gray Report

    What does "manipulation" of wine mean to you?

    Does wine really taste like the vineyard? What does wine most taste like: the vineyard? The soil? The weather? The yeast? The barrels? The additives? We talked about "manipulation" of wine at the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration -- the perfect varietal for the topic. And I discovered my palate isn't as purist as I might have thought.

    6 readers - By The Gray Report

    Suddenly, more wines contain cobalt

    Cobalt. Image courtesy webelements.com An increasing number of wines have cobalt in them, according to a member of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. And some even contain lead. The wine buyer made the statement from the audience Friday at a seminar at the International Cool Climate Chardonnay Symposium in Niagara, Ontario.

    10 readers - By The Gray Report

    A is for Absinthe: Childrens' book for bartenders' kids

    My first favorite book was The Blueberry Pie Elf. In some ways it represented the adult I have become, because its titular character was a discriminating eater (or, if you prefer, a pie snob). He was not satisfied by cherry pie or apple pie; he wanted the dark, ripe fruit character that only blueberry pie could deliver. The Blueberry Pie Elf was an unabashed New World pie eater.

    6 readers - By The Gray Report

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Best Blogger/Online Wine Writer (in the world!): Roederer Award 2013

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