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So why is the 2012 Ladera Cabernet—made from almost entirely from Howell Mountain fruit, from an incredible vintage—sitting pretty at $34.99? I honestly can't tell you. Maybe it's because no one knows how good the Ladera holdings in Howell Mountain are. Or maybe it's the pride that winemaker Jade Barrett takes in making a serious wine for a reasonable price. Or maybe it's because Ladera is an overlooked gem in a sea of Napa alternatives. For whatever the reason, I'm not going to complain. We tasted the 2012 vintage at our staff training yesterday and I was just floored by the quality of this wine. Dark, fleshy fruit cloaked in fine tannins, bits of earth, and in total balance, with enough gusto to go the long haul in your cellar. It's a whole lotta wine for $34.99, and it's made primarily from Howell Mountain grapes, harvested during a great vintage. 

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Wednesday
Nov242010

A Thanksgiving Cocktail

Photo courtesy of White on Rice CoupleLet's face it, Thanksgiving can be a little stressful. All that traveling, all that cooking, all that family. So why not warm everyone up with a cocktail or two? And of course, since this is Thanksgiving, shouldn't that cocktail be based on the quintessential American spirit: Kentucky Bourbon?

The Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which is currently on sale for $19.99, comes from America's oldest distilling site and has been named Wine Enthusiast and Malt Advocate Distillery of the Year numerous times since 2000. The whiskey is smooth, with mellow toffee notes, and is perfect for mixing.

If you can get your hands on some fresh tangerines, I'd highly recommend mixing up the Kentucky Sidecar proffered up by the White on Rice Couple, but if they're scarce, I'd mix up the Grapefruit Moon from the Cocktail Chronicles. (And, frankly, if you could work some Tom Waits into your Thanksgiving feast, you'd be my new hero.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We'll be back next week.

Leah Greenstein

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