Aaron Lubliner-Walters

2013 Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz: A review by Kelson Goldfine

The Barossa Valley is home to some of the great wines of South Australia. The 2013 Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz from the dry hills of Barossa packs a punch in a big way. The region remains untouched by phylloxera, the minuscule root louse that once threatened to destroy most of the world’s vineyards. Therefore many of the vines in the valley are considered “old vine” and grow grapes with more concentrated, complex flavors than that of young vines. Unctuous and spicy, the 2013 Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz is a mighty wine, unlike most popstar, fruity, smoky bottles of Shiraz. The bouquet is intense. Full bodied and creamy, the wine bursts with flavors… Read more »

Ölvisholt Brugghús “Lava” Smoked Imperial Stout

Look, I’m not gonna lie. Things have been busy lately and finding time to crank out some product reviews has been a bit difficult. So instead of waiting for some time to land in my lap, here’s a post I did in the spring of 2013 on an amazing beer we just starting carrying here at Canton Crossing. Enjoy! If you look at a calendar you’ll notice that the first day of spring arrived a few days ago. If you step outside you’d swear it was still the dead of winter. These stubbornly frigid evenings beg for a beer to warm the soul, and I believe I’ve found one that gets the job… Read more »

Green Flash Road Warrior Imperial Rye IPA

I helped a little road warrior today. She was trying to ride her bike through the alleys behind our house but kept falling off every minute or so. I noticed that her handlebars were loose and kept flopping back and forth, obviously contributing to her periodic crashing. I asked her about the bike. She said it was her cousins and that they tried to fix it but couldn’t. Being that I’m a bit of a bicycle fanatic I was more than excited to offer a helping hand. I ran in the house, grabbed my trusty adjustable wrench, ran back out of the house (stubbed my toe in the process, but it was… Read more »

Poperings Hommel Ale

After a productive day of back-beaking yard work there is only one thing I really want to do: Throw some food on the grill, crack open a cold beer, kick back, relax, and admire the fruits of my labor. This past Sunday I did just that. The beer consumed after my landscaping tour de force was Poperings Hommel Ale, produced by Brouwerij Van Eecke in Belgium. Twas the perfect victory beer after conquering the overgrown foliage. After all that physical exertion I didn’t want anything too heavy, but at the same time, I didn’t want to drink something akin to bubbly yellow water either. The Poperings was just what the doctor ordered. Not too heavy, not too light…. Read more »

Renaissance Stonecutter Scotch Ale

Do you like beer? Do you like Scotch? Then I have the perfect beer for you…  Stonecutter from New Zealand’s Renaissance Brewery is among the most interesting examples of the Scotch Ale style that I’ve yet to come across. I’ve had my fair share of Scotch ales. In fact, the first beer review I ever wrote was about a pair of Scotch ales (here).  But what sets the Stonecutter apart from the rest of ’em is its amazing balance between strength and elegance, along with a spot on characteristic of Islay Scotch whisky. Stonecutter pours a beautiful dark brown color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of caramel, sweet malt,… Read more »

Viña Sastre Tempranillo

An old customer of mine used to have a simple rule for buying wine. Never buy a bottle with a fancy label. His philosophy was that if a winery was going to spend a lot of money on the label then they must be trying to compensate for the less-than-perfect wine in the bottle. Although this concept can clearly be debated, I must admit that I have found quite a few gems with plain-jane looking labels in my day (and the opposite has unfortunately happened equally as often!) One wine that does in fact confirm my old customers’  belief system is the Viña Sastre Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain…. Read more »

Smoked Stone Porter

They say it’s gonna snow again. Not much, but snow nonetheless. It’s almost April and snow still lingers on the horizon. As much as I like the cold weather I have to say, I’m ready for spring. I’m ready to walk outside without a coat. I’m ready to walk outside without the wind cutting my face. And I’m certainly ready to walk outside without having to shovel any more snow! So tonight I make a stand and defy the impending forecast of gloom. Outdoors with my faithful grill and my brand new chalice, I defy said forecast with smoked meat and smoked beer. I brought home a bottle of Stone… Read more »