Iron Horse Chinese Cuvée Served at US-China Summit

Iron Horse 2004 Chinese Cuvée
Iron Horse 2004 Chinese Cuvée


Choosing wines to serve honored guests is seldom simple, especially if you’re the President of the United States of America. At his June 7-8 summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California, President Obama served the 2004 Chinese Cuvée from Iron Horse Vineyards. This was a particularly astute selection, since the Chinese Cuvée was created to celebrate the current Year of the Snake. And because the Chinese zodiac consists of a twelve-year cycle, this means that 1953, the year that Xi Jinping was born, was also a Year of the Snake.

This was not the first time, however, that the Chinese Cuvée had been served to Xi Jinping. Vice President Joe Biden toasted him with it at a State Department luncheon on February 14, 2012. According to Iron Horse Vineyards’s website, their sparkling wines “have been served at the White House for the past five consecutive presidential administrations, beginning with the historic Reagan-Gorbachev Summit Meetings, which lead to the end of the Cold War.”

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The Many Flavors of Belvedere Vodka

by Sophie Gayot

What better way to discover (or rediscover) Belvedere Vodka than with Claire Smith, the Head of Spirit Creation & Mixology for the company, seen in the video above? You will also learn what the Polish government has done to protect the spirit, which it considers a very important national treasure.

What Smith did not tell us is that vodka, which originates from Poland, was once considered “medication” and was introduced to Russia in the fourteenth century by the Genovese. Way back when, medicine as we know it today was almost nonexistent, so it is easy to understand why doctors were using vodka as a treatment!

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Margaritaville Frozen-Concoction Maker

It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

Margaritaville Frozen-Concoction Maker
Margaritaville Frozen-Concoction Maker

Summer time is here and that means pool parties, BBQ and, of course, margaritas. Part of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville line, the DM0500 Bahamas Frozen-Concoction Maker has what it takes to get any shindig started.  It features dual motors for shaving ice and blending beverages and manual shave and blending options for customized drinks. This product even comes with a shot glass and delicious margarita recipes to help you host the perfect get-together. The 450-watt maker blends up to 36 ounces and measures 14 by 8 by 18 inches. The blender also features an ice reservoir big enough to make one full pitcher of margaritas. With easy instructions and dishwasher-safe parts, this Bahamas Frozen-Concoction Maker will have you shouting “Fiesta!” in no time.

Reviewed by Bridget Johnson

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Donelan 2011 “Two Brothers” Pinot Noir – Wine of the Week Review

Donelan 2011 "Two Brothers" Pinot Noir
Donelan 2011 “Two Brothers” Pinot Noir

Price: $55

Rating: 16/20

Region: North Coast, California

Varietal: 100 percent Pinot Noir

Production: 900 cases

Alcohol: 14.4 percent

Tasting Notes: Made with Sonoma and Mendocino County grapes, the 2011 “Two Brothers” Pinot Noir is an elegant, medium-bodied wine. It boasts fruit-forward black cherry and raspberry flavors, notes of brown sugar and spice and silky tannins.

Food Pairings: Roast turkey, grilled chicken, duck, fresh salmon

For more information, visit

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Bourbon Shortage – Spirits News

Bourbon aging in the barrel at Buffalo Trace Distillery
Bourbon aging in the barrel at Buffalo Trace Distillery

by Barnaby Hughes

Is the American whiskey industry becoming the victim of its own success? According to distillers like Buffalo Trace, producer of brands such as Blanton’s and Pappy Van Winkle, bourbon is currently in such high demand that shortages seem inevitable, despite an increase in production. Part of the problem, they say, is the many years of aging required to make a quality product. This means that production can’t be suddenly ramped up to satisfy demand.

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