Happenings

Published on June 27th, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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10 Items Worth Adding To Your Home Bar For Summer 2020

For better and for wose, the summer of 2020 is now upon us. No matter whether you are still quarantining or regularly socializing in small groups, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy your home bar and imbibe. As someone regularly following trends within the food and beverage worlds, I can tell you that there is no shortage of interesting new offerings from top producers of wine, spirits and even non-alcoholic beverages. In turn, below are 10 recommendations for readers of The Hype Magazine seeking some possible, quality-oriented additions to their home bar.

Riedel Winewings

Last but definitely not least… Maximilian Riedel is the 11th generation head of a renowend glassware company. As of late, Riedel has been keeping busy on social media, inviting winemakers to join him in a virtual experience on Instagram Live. Riedel has hosted winemakers from Spain, France, and even China over the past few weeks – from houses including GajaKrug, Petrus and Ao Yun – to join him in conversation discussing the intricacies of their wines and winemaking process, their growing regions and their expertise in tasting experiences, giving viewers a direct line to personalities from both sides of the wine world. He has also provided a peek at prestige wines in his wine cellar, recommending his favorite vintages and highlighting the wines in Riedel glassware and decanters.

Riedel Winewings are a collection that help keep up Riedel’s reputation as “the wine glass company.” For example, its Cabernet Sauvignon glass is perfect for full-bodied, complex red wines that are high in tannin. The glass allows the bouquet to develop fully, and smooths out the rough edges. It emphasises the fruit, playing down the bitter qualities of the tannin, and allows wines to achieve balance. Each glass can be purchased separately, and each glass is both machine-made and dishwasher safe.

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Waterloo Sparking Water

In 2017, after recognizing that consumers were seeking, but not finding, healthy, authentic, transparent and better-for-them beverage choices that tasted great, a team dared to challenge expectations and launched Waterloo Sparkling. A rebel at heart, Waterloo has been breaking the mold since day one and is driven by its cofounder’s firsthand knowledge of the importance of food and beverage choices.

The Austin-based brand is a bold take on sparkling water, making its mark by focusing on fruit-inspired flavor & aroma and delivering a much richer, more authentic taste. Waterloo is made with Non-GMO Project Verified and Whole 30 Approved flavors, while also free of calories, sodium, sugar and artificial sweeteners. For the benefit of their fans and the environment, Waterloo has only ever been produced in aluminum cans, made with BPA-free liners.

Waterloo’s sparking water is ideal for mixing with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, while also great on its own.

Espanita Artisanal Tequila

Handcrafted from 100 percent blue agave, as grown at high elevations within Jalisco’s Highlands, Espanita is estate-bottled at one of Mexico’s most respected artisanal distilleries. Created by using hand-selected ripe Agaves and ancestral production methods, Espanita is a sophisticated and velvety smooth spirit. It is also aged in lightly-charred American white oak barrels that were previously used in Bourbon production to ensure mellow and complex bourbon-finished flavor.

I had the pleasure of trying Espanita Anejo, which is aged for 18 months in those aforementioned small American oak casks previously used in bourbon production. The result is the luxuriously smooth liquor rich in vanilla and caramel notes, which still retains its charming, honeyed flavors of slowly roasted agave. Ultimately, Espanita Anejo is designed to be sipped and savored.

Dixie Southern Vodka

All-American, gluten-free, and in partnership with iconic southeastern farms for the ingredients for their flavors (e.g., peaches from Lane Southern Orchards, sustainably-sourced honey from Savannah Bee Company), Dixie Southern Vodka is the official vodka of NASCAR. In turn, it was instrumental in the first ever eNASCAR iRACE, the Dixie Vodka 150, which broke the viewership record for an e-sporting event; it also raised around $40,0000 for Feed The Children.

The brand has also been very active as of late with fundraising efforts related to people affected by COVID-19. Annually, the company commits 1% For The Planet, mainly supporting The Bee Cause, which educates the public on honeybees’ importance for agriculture. Great people making great vodka — by far the best black pepper-enhanced vodka I have ever tasted, and I look forward to using it to make bloody marys in the very near-future.

Meletti Anisette

Speaking of Italian greatness, Meletti Anisette is one of Italy’s oldest liqueurs produced, and it is still using Silvio Meletti’s original recipe from 1870. Naturally-aromatic, anise seed from Le Marche is distilled in a bain marie, then blended with herbs for further distillation to attain intensified aromatics and a smooth palate. It is ultimately aged in stainless steel tanks for 4 to 6 months, then fine-filtered using wool. Ultimately, Meletti Anisette is an elegant digestivo that is enjoyable on its own or within a fine coffee-based drink.

JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery Cabernet Sauvignon

Located in Paso Robles, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery was founded in 1981 and is known for crafting world-class wines using Bordeaux grape varieties. Widely recognized for its iconic ISOSCELES Bordeaux-style blend, JUSTIN is also known for their Cabernet Sauvignon. The estate — located at 11680 Chimney Rock Road features a Tasting Room — also includes luxury five-star accommodations at the JUST Inn, and a restauran, making it one of the only wineries on the Central Coast to offer all three options. Beyond its stellar hospitality, JUSTIN consistently receives top honors around the world, establishing itself as a leader in Bordeaux-style winemaking.

Its 2017 JUSTIN Cabernet Sauvignon is an extremely versatile food-pairing wine that makes it a great go-to red for many pairings ranging from a picnic of artisanal cheese and charcuterie, a Philly cheese steak sandwich, to a classic grilled steak. It’s a perfect wine to bring to a bbq where wine lovers are looking to elevate their grilled favorites.

Another option from the label is its JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery Rosé 2019, which carries a suggested retail price of $20. This Paso Robles style Rosé is dry and aromatic with muted strawberry, white cherry, red apple fruit on entry and melon with chamomile flower on the mid-palate. You can drink this wine alongside dishes like cobb salad or roasted chicken seasoned with garlic, thyme and lemon.

Twisted Tea’s Big Ol’ Bag Of Freedom

To keep the good times twisted this summer, Twisted Tea has released a celebratory summertime bag-n-box complete with the spirited Big Ol’ Bag Of Freedom design. It turn, this set is perfect for keeping it turnt even when our BBQs are smaller or fireworks canceled. Drinkers can enjoy Big Ol’ Bag Of Freedom by slapping it, tapping it, or to keep it extra Twisted, by putting it in your freezer and making a boozy Twisted Tea slushie.

Patroitism aside, Twisted Tea has also released some fun new flavors just in time for the summer: Peach Twisted Tea, Passion Fruit Twisted Tea, and Black Cherry Twisted Tea. Ideal for fans of the current hard seltzer craze.

Boulard Calvados V.S.O.P.

Boulard Calvados is the first name in super-premium Calvados, the celebrated apple-based spirit unique to the Normandy region of France. Boulard was founded in the late 1820’s by Pierre-August Boulard. Boulard’s time-honored reputation begins in the firm’s 150 acres of orchards and 35,000 apple trees in the Pays d’Auge district, the officially-designated source of the finest apples in Normandy. Over 120 varieties of apple, from 800 varieties grown in Boulard’s orchards, are selected for production of Boulard Calvados.

2Nite Vodka

Expect clean, crisp vodka made with premium ingredients from Italy. In turn, 2Nite Vodka is the first ultra-premium Italian vodka made from GMO-free semolina wheat and pure artesian water. On the design end, its bottles are hand-painted and unique, just like every night should be. In turn, 2Nite Vodka will give even the driest vodka martini-drinker an immediate tinge of refreshment.

Messina Hof’s Texas Sparkling Moscato

Messina Hof is a family-owned business based on the three cornerstones of family, tradition and romance. Ultimately, the business is dedicated to produce a gold medal-winning wine in every varietal and to maximize opportunities developed from the wines in a tourism destination focused on the best in hospitality, food and customer service.

Its Texas Sparkling Moscato is delightfully-sweet with crisp fruit flavors of orange peel, peach, and nectarine. This aromatic wine has wonderful floral notes on the nose. Fresh and effervescent, this sparkling wine pairs nicely with a diverse selection of foods, including creamy sauces, seaside Mediterranean dishes and spicy Asian entrées.

Messina Hof’s Wine Club Members currently receive 20 or 25 percent off all wine purchases ,while non-members receive 10 percent off purchases of 12 to 23 bottles, and 15 percent off a purchase of 24 or more bottles. Shipping is free on 12 or more bottles.


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of the bi-weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with V13 (formerly PureGrainAudio.com). He has also co-authored two published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), with a second podcast set for a June 2020 launch.


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