Get ready to soak up more bar articles, imbibable stories and cocktailing content, brought to by Potawatomi Hotel & Casino and Miller Lite. For more of our Bar stories click here!
It’s March, which means Bar Month at OnMilwaukee, and, as always, there are plenty of quaffs and related objects worth checking out. Here, we will take a look at some of them.
Cin cin! Slainte! Salute! Cheers!
(NOTE: Consult the links for buying options, etc.)
The Blind Horse Cabernet 2019 is one of a couple recently released wines – there’s also an NFT wine – created by master winemaker Thomas Nye at Kohler’s The Blind Horse Restaurant and Winery. A blend of three cabs from Napa, this one is full bodied and bursting with fruit: raspberries, blackberries, plums, intense currant.
Feudi di San Gregorio Taurasi Aglianico 2017, from near Vesuvius in Italy’s Campania region, is ready to drink now, with its sweet cherry, spicy nutmeg and soft tannins. Perfect with chicken or especially a steak, but equally pleasing with a burger, if you’re grilling on one of this winter’s unseasonably warm days.
Cune Riserva 2017 is a ruby red Spanish Rioja aroma bomb with a fabulous nose that smashes licorice and red berries and a balanced palate of red berries, vanilla and a hint of anise. I enjoyed it with a pizza topped with pepperoni and I can’t think of a better way.
Cline Family Cellars has a couple debut releases of note, including 2021 Hat Strap Chardonnay and Eight Spur Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, which are both good values at $25 each. The chardonnay has a gorgeous, rich mouthfeel with flavors of apple and pear – though its peach notes are the most forward – and a hint of nuttiness. Meanwhile, the zinfandel is intense and juicy black cherry with baking spice notes.
Sandy Giovese Vino Rosso is 85 percent sangiovese and 15 percent trebbiano from Italy’s central Le Marche region and it comes in a three-liter box. Yes, it’s boxed wine and yes, it’s quaffable and good. Recently I had company over and we tapped the box and multiple people – wine-loving folks – asked what it was. Light bodied and 12 percent ABV, Sandy Giovese is fruity and approachable and it’s good for the environment. The one recyclable cardboard box keeps four bottles’ worth of wine fresh for a long time and has one-tenth the carbon footprint of a single bottle. Did I mention the grapes are farmed organically?
Champagne Lanson Le Green Label is the only Champagne to have earned every organic and biodynamic certification, making it a nice way to celebrate Earth Day next month. Pinot noir (50 percent), pinot meunier (30) and chardonnay (20) grapes from the biodynamic Domaine de la Malmaison is aged four years to create this fresh and elegant wine with its bright acidity, pear and peach fruit flavors and earthy minerality.
Jack Daniel’s Twice Barreled 2022 Special Release American Single Malt Whiskey finished in Oloroso Sherry Casks is the distillery’s fifth annual special release and its distilled from 100 percent malted barley (a first-ever mashbill for Jack!), then charcoal filtered (it is Tennessee, after all) and then aged first in American white oak barrels for at least four years before finishing in Oloroso sherry casks from Antonio Paez Lobato Cooperage. Bottled at barrel proof, the ABV ranges from 106.1 to 107.8. It boasts a rich, dark color and a nose that melds black pepper, vanilla and red berries. The palate is beautifully malty with hints of sherry, along with some chocolate and light coffee notes. A bit of charcoal smoke emerges on the the finish. It’s a unique pour from Jack and something of a hint, perhaps, of what’s to come as the distillery is reportedly considering adding a 100 percent malt whiskey to its main lineup this year.
Glengoyne Legacy Series Chapter Three is the last in the series and honors Glengoyne excise man Sir Arthur John Tedder. This Highland single malt is aged a minimum of three years, aged in oak and bottled without chill filtering. It gets a nice dose of vanilla from the wood, balancing the fruitiness from the malt – ripe pears, apricots, raisins – with clove and cinnamon, chocolate and caramel, and honey and biscuit notes. Very, very tasty.
Tamdhu 12 Year Old comes from a Scottish Speyside distillery that for more than 100 years has aged all its whisky in oak ex-sherry casks, creating something of a trademark profile. This 12-year-old expression is matured in first fill and refill American and European oak Oloroso sherry casks from the Jerez in Spain, “downloading” both color and flavor from the wood. There’s raisins, orange peel, a dash of cinnamon spice and a lovely hint of banana, plus the most subtle breeze of peat wafting through on the finish.
Tiger Thiccc (Batch 2, 2022) is an unusual expression: a 96 proof blend of 80 percent “Indiana bourbon” (presumably from MGP) with 20 percent Japanese whisky that was aged in Mizunara oak (the first batch was 45 percent Japanese whisky). As you might expect, it’s unlike most anything you’ve likely tasted before. It was also “made in collaboration with” podcaster, comedian and former MMA fighter Brendan Schaub, though the extent of his contribution is unclear. This one has a floral nose with dried fruits and orange peel and almost gin-like botanical note that carries over onto the palate and a relatively brief finish.
Just in time for St. Patrick's Day come these sturdy and stylish High Camp Flasks, customized with "Sláinte" emblazoned on the side. Available in 750, 375 and 177 ml, these Torch Flasks are great. I have a small one, which has a magnetic lid that snaps into place and also doubles as a 3-ounce shot glass. If you want to add ice, unscrew the large bottom and voila. Handy and seemingly indestructible, this would make a great accessory for St. Pat's parade days, early- and late-season baseball tailgating and more. Head to the website and you'll see that you can customize these flasks, too.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.