Beverages

Invivo Sauvignon Blanc - July 17, 2017

Details: $15.99
Availability: Nationwide
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Those of us who like the 100% Sauvignon Blancs from the Marlborough region of New Zealand will like the new Invivo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014. Like the others, it has a tropical nose with a minerality classic to that region.

The reasonably priced Invivo Sparkling does display all the classic Marlborough Sauvignon blanc characters of tropical fruits and sweet herbs with a great finish.

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Bellion Specialty Vodka - June 19, 2017

Details: $24.99 to $29.99 per 750-milliliter bottle
Availability: Nationwide and online
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Bellion Specialty Vodka is created with “NTX Technology”, a patented blend of natural, FDA approved ingredients including glycyrrhizin – licorice root extract, manna sugar and potassium sorbate; when infused into alcohol, it protects the liver and DNA.

The Vodka is six times distilled, carbon filtered and tastes slightly sweet, smooth and silky.

- bonnie: Although it’s purportedly better for me, as vodka drinker I find this libation to have an off flavor. 

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Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur - May 24, 2017

Details: $24.99 per 750-milliliter bottle
Availability: Nationwide and online
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Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur is the 2016 winner of the World’s Best Cream Liqueur Award. It’s blend of natural Irish cream, real chocolate and aged Irish whiskey. Once opened, The liqueur does not need to be refrigerated once it’s been opened. It has a 6-month shelf life.

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Camano Island Roasters - January 2, 2017

Details: 2-pound first delivery box $14.99l; $34.99 after that
Availability: Online
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Camano Island Roasters coffee club offers USDA certified organic, 100% shade grown and fairly traded coffee.

The coffee — from Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Peru or Sumatra—  is available as light, medium or dark roast. Their decaf is processed by the Swiss Water Method that involves only water, heat and time to extract the caffeine.

 

- bonnie: We sampled the flavorful regular roast, but never had the opportunity to try their decaf. I’d recommend the regular.

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Affordable Wines for the Holidays - December 21, 2016

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Many affordable wines have been specifically crafted to be shared with friends, family and food! Consider these four California ones for the holidays.

Chateau Souverain offers contemporary wines ($12.99 SRP) with fruit forward flavors appealing to many.

Their Cabernet Sauvignon has balanced fruit, acidity and round tannins that pairs nicely with cheeses like Cheddar, Stilton, steak, prosciutto and even a burger. With rich berry flavors, the Merlot has a soft finish and pairs with pasta with marinara sauce, lamb, ribs and pizza. There’s a buttery Chardonnay with oak, citrus and spice that goes well with soft cheeses, Cacio e Pepe and lobster.

A bit more expensive, the B.R. Cohn 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast Silver Label ($22 SRP) has a long finish after berry flavors and smooth tannins. This Cab pairs well with spaghetti and meatballs in marinara, a leg of lamb or a rib-eye steak.

And even pricer, is a Chardonnay — 0ne that other ABC folks (Anything But Chardonnay) should like as it’s neither buttery or oaky. Viansa Sonoma 2013 Carneros Chardonnay Signature Series ($45 SRP) is a fruit-driven, fresh and lively one with a bit of lemony stone fruit. Pairs with rich foods like  jambalaya, seafood ravioli and grilled salmon.

 

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Smartwater sparkling - April 11, 2016

Details: $1.99 per 1-liter bottle
Availability: Nationwide
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Smartwater introduced a sparkling version of their water.  In other words, its carbonated water with added electrolytes. The water is vapor-distilled necessitating the addition of electrolytes (calcium, magnesium and potassium) only for taste.

There’s no clinical research about added hydration benefits. Not worth the extra price over other bottled waters.

 

 

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Kim Crawford Wine Gems by ANNA New York - November 24, 2015

Details: $76 per 6-gems
Availability: Online
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Kim Crawford (whose wines I enjoy) must have money to spare. They’re offering pricey Wine Gems by ANNA New York that arrived to me in a box that could house Chopard, Tiffany or Harry Winston jewels. I hesitated tossing it, trying to figure out how to re-purpose.

My box contained a bottle of their tasty Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand, two crystal white wine glasses and another fancy box housing the six stones. The $76 price tag includes only the gems — in a box also nice enough for jewels. The larger one I received was only for promotional purposes. A waste of resources for sure!

These wine gems consist of six fluorite stones to keep a glass of wine chilled for up to an hour without diluting the flavors. It’s ANNA’s “whiskey stones” for wine. Simply freeze, drop in your glass of wine and rinse to reuse.

 

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Soltado Spicy Anejo Tequila - October 13, 2015

Details: $35 per 750-milliliter bottle
Availability: Spotty distribution
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Brand new to the liquor shelves is Soltado Spicy Anejo Tequila from Jalisco, Mexico, infused with locally grown serrano peppers and cinnamon.

This tequila is made with hand-selected agavehearts from Juanacatlan that are steamed, fermented, filtered ten times and aged for 28 months inside white oak barrels, earning the anejo distinction.

 

- bonnie – I prefer drinking this spicy tequila neat to get the full flavor of the cinnamon and serrano pepper; but it also makes a zesty margie. Worth a try!

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Balls Vodka - April 8, 2015

Details: $25 a liter
Availability: Northeast USA
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Balls Vodka is an American made,  non-GMO corn-based vodka distilled four times. It has a smooth, sweet and slight vanilla aftertaste.

The December 2014 issue of Tasting Panel gave this vodka a 91 rating.

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Bialetti Aroma Classico - April 4, 2015

Details: $12.99 per 8.8-ounce can
Availability: Online
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Bialetti introduced Aroma Classico, ground coffee specifically made for use with the Moka Express stovetop coffee maker, but can be used with any coffee maker. The espresso is a strong full-bodied blend made from 70 percent Arabica and 30 percent Robusta beans.

 

 

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Mionetto IL Ugo - February 21, 2015

Varieties: Ugo, prosecco, moscato, lambrusco, spritz
Details: $5.00 per 187ml-bottle, $12.00 per 750ml-bottle
Availability: Nationwide
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Mionetto IL Ugo is an Italian semi-sparkling cocktail made with elderflower blossom. The beverage contains 8% alcohol and pairs well with grilled vegetables, cheeses, barbecue and spicy fare.
- bonnie: An unusually flavored and deliciously, light low-alcohol bubbly!

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Peanut Hottie - February 9, 2015

Varieties: Peanut butter, peanut butter and chocolate
Details: $4.58 per 9.15-ounce jar
Availability: Walmart
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Peanut Hottie instant powder combined with water creates a hot peanut butter beverage that is made with real peanuts. It contains no artificial flavors. 

Making an approximately 6-ounce drink from about 5 teaspoons of the mix provides 83 calories, no saturated fat (of 1.5 grams total), 120 milligrams sodium and 12 grams sugar.

 

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Coney Island Brewing Company The Plunge - December 27, 2014

Varieties: The plunge, mermaid pilsner, seas the day indian pale lager
Details: $6.99-$9.99 per 6-pack bottles
Availability: Metro New York, available through February
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Coney Island Brewing Company winter seasonal beer, The Plunge is a Belgian-style ale brewed with ginger, orange peel and fennel seed with 6.9% ABV. The beer is inspired by Coney Island Polar Bear Club annual New Years Day plunge into the Atlantic ocean for charity.

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Wölffer 139 Dry Rosé Cider - December 5, 2014

Varieties: Dry rosé cider, dry white cider
Details: $4 per 12-ounce bottle, $16.00 per 4-pack, $48.00 per 12-pack, $86.40 per 24-pack
Availability: Wölffer winery, speciality wine and liquor stores in New York, online
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Wölffer 139 Dry Rosé Cider is made exclusively from New York State apples with about a third grown locally at White Cap Farm in Bridgehampton, New York, five miles from the Wölffer Estate vineyard.

The rosé color and subtle difference in flavor is achieved from the addition of red grape skin extracts.

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Cascade Ice Organic Sparkling Water - December 1, 2014

Varieties: Grapefruit, blueberry, lemon zest, lemon lime, citrus twist, mixed berry
Details: $1.00-$1.50 per 17.2-ounce bottle
Availability: Nationwide
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Cascade Ice Organic Sparkling Water offers the new grapefruit and blueberry flavors of their sparkling water from organic fruit extracts and oil essences.

One 17.2-ounce bottle contains no calories , sugar or sodium.

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Bialetti Moka Express - November 26, 2014

Details: $39.99
Availability: Online and in stores
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The first Moka Express aluminum stovetop coffee maker was released almost 80 years ago by Alfonso Bialetti. The design is featured  in the Museum of Modern Art.

For the holiday season, the Moka Express is available in four colors: red, orange, blue and purple. A unique hostess gift for under $50.

 

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Arteis & Co Rose 2007 Champagne - November 20, 2014

Details: $94.99
Availability: Available in New York City and in Los Angeles
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Arteis & Co Rose 2007 Champagne cuvee, aged for six years, is light pink salmon color offering an elegant fruity berry nose.

- bonnie: There’s no better way to celebrate than with vintage bubbly!

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Rooibee Roo Tea - November 13, 2014

Varieties: Cherry, mango, orange
Details: $1.15 per 8-ounce bottle, $14.50 per 12-pack
Availability: Select stores and online
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Rooibee Roo Tea is a kid friendly beverage that is an excellent source of vitamin C.  The tea is USDA organic certified, and caffeine and BPA free.

Each 8-ounce bottle varies from 50 calories to 56 calories and 12 grams sugar.

Olivia Ostunio, intern at Bite of the Best: My favorite, the sweet and predominant Mango flavored tea, contains only 50 calories and 12 grams of organic sugar cane (no high fructose corn syrup) making this great alternative to juice or soda. 

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Le Grand Courtâge Sparkling Wine - October 17, 2014

Varieties: Blanc de blancs brut and brut rose
Details: $20 per 750-ml bottle, $8 per 187-ml bottle
Availability: Nationwide and online
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Le Grand Courtâge sparkling wine comes in two fruit-forward flavors The blanc de blancs brut  — made with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Colombard and Ugni Blanc grapes — has a light effervescent with undertones of apples, honey and a hint of berries. The brut rose is dry — from Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc and Gamay grapes — also is light with more berry flavors. Either makes a delightful aperitif.

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Westland American Single Malt Whiskey - October 1, 2014

Details: $79.99 per 750ml bottle
Availability: Nationwide
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Anchor Distilling company introduced Westland American Single Malt Whiskey made with a pale barley malt and five different roasted and kilned malts. The unusual nose when swirled and flavor when sipped is present due to a Belgian yeast that creates fruity esters during the fermentation process.  The whiskey is matured in new American oak casks to round out that flavor profile with hints of vanilla, caramel and coconut.

 

 

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BODUM Pour Over - August 23, 2014

Varieties: The Anniversary Edition (6 colors: Light Blue, Dark Blue, Green, Pink, Yellow, Red) is $19.95; the standard collection colors: (Red, White, Black, Lime Green) is $29.95
Availability: Select stores
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BODUM a coffee company, introduces the Pour Over, a coffee maker with a manual drip filter.

To coffee, fill the filter with ground coffee beans then pour the water into the filter. The coffee will then drip into the  glass carafe to make 34 ounces of coffee.

- bonnie:  These colorful pots are available only this year for $19.95 as an “anniversary special,” they’re regularly $29.95!

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ESPRO Press - July 31, 2014

Varieties: Small - 8 oz.; Medium - 18 oz.; Large 32. oz
Details: $79.95 to 119.95
Availability: Kitchen stores nationwide
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The stainless steel ESPRO Press launched their French press in three sizes with a  filtration system that contains a double filter for grit free coffee. When pressed, the micro-filters are side by side to prevent furthered extraction.

 

 - bonnie: This solves my main complain about French press coffee not staying hot. The stainless steel walls of this press keeps the brew hot for up to two hours! I like that.

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Teavana Oprah Chai Tea - July 25, 2014

Details: $14.98 for 2 ounces
Availability: Starbucks and online
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Endorsed by Oprah Winfrey and created with Starbucks, Teavana had introduced Oprah Chai Tea, a spiced black tea.

One cup contains16 to 25 milligrams caffeine and 16-30 milligrams antioxidants.

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Skinnygirl Sparkling Margarita and Sweet’arita - July 8, 2014

Varieties: Sparkling Margarita, Sweet'arita
Details: $12.99 per 750 mL bottle, $19.99 per 1.75 L bottle
Availability: Nationwide
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The Skinnygirl Sparkling Margarita and Sweet’arita are made Blue Agave Silver Tequila with
Triple Sec and carbonation. They are 9.9 proof.

Each 1.5 fluid-ounce serving has about 17.5-33 calories per serving.

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Cake Boss Single Serve Coffee Cups - June 24, 2014

Varieties: Buddy's Blend, Chocolate Cannoli, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Dulce de Leche, Vanilla Buttercream, Hazelnut Biscotti, Raspberry Truffle,Italian Rum Cake
Details: $9.99 for a box of 12 pods
Availability: TLC Website
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Single Cup Coffee introduced a Cake Boss line of Keurig single serve coffee with 8 different coffee blends: Buddy’s Blend, Chocolate Cannoli, Chocolate Fudge Cake, Dulce de Leche, Vanilla Buttercream, Hazelnut Biscotti, Raspberry Truffle and Italian Rum Cake.

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