The Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye was judged “World Whisky of the Year” for 2021; however professional opinions range from “a joyous experience” to “threatening to trigger the gag reflex.” Ken Gargett throws caution to the wind and shares his thoughts on this opinion-splitting Canadian rye here.
Pedro Parra, “the Indiana Jones of the wine industry,” has been quoted as saying that, “Music is like geology – some is heavy metal, some is jazz.” His perception of Australian wines is of them being too heavy. He wanted to see if he could change that, put a different interpretation on them. And at Alkina wines in Australia, where Grenache has emerged as the superstar, Ken Gargett thinks he is on the right track.
The Hunter Valley, a couple of hours’ drive to the north-northwest of Sydney, would probably not be the first place that anyone would plant grapes if they were starting from scratch today. It can be intolerably hot and, while rain during vintage is not compulsory, it is a regular intrusion. As is hail. And, of course, if it is not raining during any vintage, there’s drought. But, as Ken Gargett explains, the region regularly produces sensational wines, and two of his favorites hail from Tyrrell’s and Brokenwood.
Ken’s search for the greatest rum in the world started nearly two decades ago, although he didn’t know it at the time. He was on one of his early visits to Cuba with a few friends to chase the “silver ghost,” a bonefish, when Fidel Castro’s personal cigar roller told him the story of the Isla del Tesoro (“Treasure Island”) rum.
As with every aspect of our lives, the world of wine and spirits is heavily regulated. Growing grapes, making the stuff, distilling, selling, even (perhaps especially) drinking it. Here Ken Gargett takes a light-hearted look at some of the newer and crazier laws and regulations around the world.
There is, quite simply, no other wine in the world quite like Seppeltsfield’s 1918 100-Year-Old Para Vintage Tawny Port-style wine. Where else could you hope to find a wine whose current release is the 1918? It exists, but only thanks to the extraordinary vision of one man.
The first Black Tot Day was in 1970, the last day on which sailors in the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy were issued their daily rum rations (“tots”). Pusser’s has taken the exact recipe used by the Royal Navy when it discontinued the daily ration on July 31, 1970 and used it to make its rums, the only producer in the world to do so. Here, Ken Gargett fills us in on everything tot – he luckily doesn’t go “sipping the admiral,” though.
Tenuta San Guido’s 2015 Sassicaia was a warm vintage but an exceptional one, and that is reflected in the wine. It is considered to have similarities with the sensational vintage conditions of 1985, which Ken Gargett has tasted twice and has rated 100 points standing on its head both times. Sassicaia is one of the most famous wines of Italy, and often one of the country’s very best.
One of the problems with having an iconic wine among your offerings is that other, equally worthy wines are often overlooked or diminished in the eyes of wine lovers. But such is life. With its latest releases, Australian superstar winery Henschke has moved to align the vintages of several of its top wines, all Shiraz: Wheelwright, Mount Edelstone, Hill of Roses, and the legendary Hill of Grace. Ken Gargett tastes.
Chambertin, one of the truly great names in the world of wine, is an appellation created in 1937. The range of vineyards throughout the region, different makers, and various vintages all provide variations on the theme, but in general these wines tend to the fuller, firmer style of Burgundy. Ken Gargett explains why these wines are so special.