Gnarly Head’s signature fruit-driven style with concentrated black fruit flavors, Authentic Black is a dark, inky Petite Sirah-based blend designed to stand up to the season’s heartiest dishes. Fruit for this new, limited offering was grown in Lodi, California. Choice lots from the harvest were aged on oak for 12 months to craft a smooth, rich blend. Authentic Black joins the Gnarly Head Authentic Collection roster of bold, blended wines including Zinfandel-based, Authentic Red and white wine blend, Authentic White.

The inaugural 2012 vintage of Gnarly Head Authentic Black is now available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $11.99, while supplies last.


Casamigos Tequila Anejo


Casamigos Tequila has extended its ultra-premium lineup with a new Añejo entry. The small-batch expression is made with 100% Blue Weber agave, which is roasted for 72 hours and then slow fermented for an additional 80 hours. Available in 1-liter, 750-ml., 375-ml. and 50-ml. formats, Casamigos Añejo is priced at $54.99 a 750-ml. and joins the brand’s existing Blanco ($45.99) and Reposado ($49.99) offerings. Casamigos, launched by actor George Clooney and entrepreneurs Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman in 2013.

Sugarlands Distilling Co. Begins Nationwide Rollout of Moonshine

photo courtesy of Sugarlands Distilling Co.
photo courtesy of Sugarlands Distilling Co.

In a deal with Southern Wine & Spirits, Tennessee-based Sugarlands Distilling Co. will begin distributing its lineup of seven Sugarlands Shine whiskies in Illinois for the first time.

The distillery’s 100-proof product offerings include the company’s signature shine – Silver Cloud – a traditional, clear moonshine with smooth, mellow hints of sweet corn that tastes just like the Prohibition-era sour mash moonshines; and Jim Tom’s Signature Unaged Rye, the “legal” version of TV personality and master moonshiner Jim Tom Hedrick

The five additional varieties of award-winning moonshine include:
Appalachian Apple Pie (smells like cooling apple pie),
Blockader’s Blackberry (smells like a mason jar filled with jammy preserves),
Butterscotch Gold (a creamy caramel and butter flavor that smells like brown sugar and kettle corn from the county fair),
Old Fashioned Lemonade (fruit flavors of ripe lemons, lemon zest and summer honeysuckle)
Southern Sweet Tea (real cane sugar blended with brewed black tea)

Illinois will mark the ninth state for distribution of Sugarlands in an arc extending from Florida to Minnesota.

The company has set its sights on extending distribution next to Texas, Colorado and California, management says. The name is derived from the sprawling forests of sugar maple trees surrounding the craft distiller’s headquarters in Gatlinburg.

THANK YOU Charles Joly

Photo courtesy Diageo World Class

Charles Joly, acclaimed by many as the best bartender in America, is resigning as beverage director at The Aviary in Chicago, effective November 1.

Joly will be succeeded by Micah Melton, who started at The Aviary as ice chef several years ago.  Joly is the winner of a James Beard Foundation Award, was named best bartender and best cocktail menu at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and in July won the Diageo World Class 2014 competition in London where he faced off against 48 other mixologists and won with a creation called Above the Clouds that featured a tiki cocktail theme.  Joly will devote more time to his ready-made beverage line called Crafthouse Cocktails, which will soon have its own bottling facility in Michigan City, Indiana. He also intends to travel widely as a cocktail ambassador and contest judge.