Some claim the French make the best Brandy (Cognac) while the Armenian’s would beg to differ. While we haven’t reviews any Brandies or Cognac’s here yet, we’ve had a few and must admit, this rare Brandy is quite the treat.
One thing I’ve noticed with French (and American) Brandy is their heat (palate burn) and lack of residual sugars. Most aren’t incredibly sweet, frankly.
This one however, is quite different. Honestly, my friend (and guest DOOD in the video Jeff) had an unopened bottle of Zaya Rum in his ‘booze room’ and this Brandy hearkened back to that dark sugar cane and alcohol taste of Rum much more than it reminded me of a hot Brandy.
Watch below as we review this 20 year old Ararat Brandy Nairi!
In the absence of a new album from Tool, check out a new album from a band who many compared to Tool with their smash hit ‘Wasteland’ from the debut album ‘Into The Halfmoon’ back in 1999.
This Tennessee band still includes founders Jesse Hasek (vocals) and Brian Vodinh, a multi-instrumentalist who has handled both drums and guitar in the studio and live show settings over the years.
After taking a multi-year break from the grind of studio recording and touring, and for the purpose of allowing Brian to focus on family and a successful career in real estate, 10 Years is back with renewed fervor!
Watch as we discuss the new sound 10 Years delivers on their latest musical offering ‘How To Live As Lions’ available now in the video below!
These are not your everyday drinkers…they are not for the faint of pocketbook either! Sure, there are a lot of tequilas on the market- some are great for shooting (Blancos) and some made to savor (Extra Anejo). As a rule of thumb, never use a super premium (or premium) tequila for a mixer in a Margarita. To use one as a top floater might be fine, but save the expensive stuff for sipping.
Check out our ‘holiday’ edition (as these are special bottles that we like to take out of the vault around the Christmas holidays) tequila side-by-side review of some of the more famous sippers in the range of $100+ a bottle.
So, in 2016 as one of our first videos, we decided to blindfold our lady friends and have them rate different kinds of Halloween candy with different wines (one white and one red).
To keep things yummy, we paired the whites with the tart, chewy, fruity candies like Mike & Ike, Sour Patch Kids, Starburst and Gobstoppers. The reds were paired with traditional chocolate candies like Snickers, Twix and Mound’s bite-sized (fun-sized) bars. The results of our blindfold ‘study’ can be seen below.
If you are curious and won’t take our word for it, here is what the professionals at Vivino have to say regarding the parings of Halloween candy and wine!
Those of you pervs who just want to see two hot girls eat candy and drink wine while blindfolded- here ya go!
Chris Jerico is a man of many talents- wrestling star of the WWE and Rockstar, most predominately.
The new album ‘Judas’ was just released on October 13th and we caught up with him to discuss, track by track, the making of their latest work!
What makes Chris tick? Watch below!
We hung out at a place called Mellow Fellow in Reno, Nevada during the Reno Bites Week, a week designated to spotlight, raise awareness and support the Northern Nevada culinary scene. Many restaurants had featured $10, $20 and $30 dishes during the week and some had special events like Mellow Fellow. Here, they did a ‘Hit The Road Bottle Share’ event whereby, patrons could ‘donate’ an interesting, perhaps rare beer to the community fund (vats of bottles) and anybody could sample what they wished from these tubs of beer! The folks at Mellow Fellow drove into California to grab two beers that aren’t sold in stores as the breweries making the beers sell out almost as soon as production is done.
Watch as we taste two IPA style beers; the Outrigger Beer, from Moonraker Brewery outside of Auburn CA, and Sploosh Beer from Fieldwork Brewing Company from outside of San Francisco.
It’s often fun to hang out with your favorite rockstars! Add some booze, cornhole and pressure of competition between two front-men and either hilarity or fights ensue!
Watch what happened when we pitted Trapt front-man Chris Taylor Brown against Adelitas Way front-man Rick DeJesus to do an on-the-fly cocktail mix-off!
It’s ROCKTAILS from Two Doods Reviews~
This is the last bottle EVER…of this wine. You’d have to quiz my friend Brandon Sowder formerly of Caprock Winery in Lubbock, Texas…but I believe the story went… ‘…this was the first wine our mother ever made when we lived on the West Coast…’
The Sowder family came to fame in the ‘winery flipping’ business, essentially putting into ‘rehab’ under-performing wineries in Oregon, Washington, California and Texas. The family is now in the resort community business down in Florida and have ceased to own any wineries. We met them when they were running Caprock Cellars in Lubbock, Texas back in 2014. Great family…great wines!
Check out our review of this very rare (now extinct) Viva Vino wine. This 2005 vintage red still held up some 12 years later!
(*note: we may have been a bit lit during this taping- Jave mistakenly mentions a 2007 Merryvale Cab when in reality, it was a 1997 Merryvale Cab that had lost its ‘groove’ by 2013)
Singer Adrian Patrick of Otherwise took a minute to talk us through their new album ‘Sleeping Lions’, explain how becoming a father and husband changed the way the band looks at recording and touring and how this new album almost didn’t happen!
What happens when three pretty girls get together to work on a wine buzz? FUN ensues! Watch Allison and Jill (and introducing new ‘hot chick’ Sheri) give their candid opinions on two same vintage year wines from Sterling Vineyards. One is a single varietal Cab and the other is the big, bold blend of a Meritage.
Are they different or seemingly the same? Watch their review below!
Who doesn’t like a good, easy, home made margarita? You can use a variety of fruits in a ‘marg’, however something with some TANG is usually warranted as the lime indicative of a good margarita base will quickly overtake any inferior fruit.
Watch as Andy and ‘guest Dood’ Patrick quickly make a batch of fresh mango margaritas from scratch!
Its been an interesting evolution of sound for these Orange County rockers over the past many years. Now nine albums in, Thrice is really hitting their stride!
We caught up with Thrice founder/frontman Dustin Kensrue to discuss why the band had such a different sound on their recent release ‘To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere’, what his influences have been, where he gets inspired for songwriting and if he’s ever been compared to other contemporary vocalists.
Watch the full album review and interview below!
The often outspoken, amazingly talented Tom Morello, guitarist from Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave, not to mention numerous solo and side projects took a bit of time to talk with us about the his new project Prophets of Rage, his current relationship with R.A.T.M. vocalist Zach Dela Rocha, what it meant to work with Chris Cornell (RIP), how to deal with North Korea and so much more!
Check out the interview!
This boutique vineyard just south of Sacramento in the upper central valley offers amazing wines at reasonable prices; in the $10-$16 range.
The family who owns the vineyards have spent 45 years refining their craft which shows through on the quality of product, especially for such bargain prices. Grown on over 450 acres, the winery offers everything from crisp chards and sweet Gewurztraminer to lush cabs and Petit Verdot!
Check out our review of the 2015 Cabernet Franc below!
Amador County in Northern California is fast becoming the next premiere wine growing and wine making region, and for good reason: The wines are exceptional in both quality and cost!
While boutique is the word here in the Sierra foothills, big names are beginning to discover this emerging area; Turley and Rombauer, to name a few! A relatively new (started in 2001) entry to the winemaking culture that exists here is C G D’Arie. While their wine is standout among many growers/makers, it’s the backstory on its owner that is most intriguing.
Chaim is an inventor, or more aptly a food product developer. While you may not be familiar with C G D’Arie as a brand, you’re probably familiar with some of the products Chaim has created like the Power Bar and GoGurt…not to mention Captain Crunch!
Check out Andy’s tour of the vineyard with Chaim along with some wine knowledge below.
The 29th Annual Best In The West Nugget Rib Cook-off happens every Labor Day weekend in Sparks, Nevada. Many culinary experts claim that this is the biggest and best BBQ event in the world!
Over a half-a-million people descend on this small Northern Nevada suburb of Reno each year to take in the delicacies. The event is free to the public to attend and this year 24 rib cookers showed off their best! Along with ribs, they’ve got just about every other kind of BBQ known to man, and a few ‘off the grid’ items too (ever had Bison ribs?). Plus, about 100+ arts and craft vendors sell everything from toe rings and tapestries to cigars and fine Italian licorice! They’ve even got a fun midway for the kids and free live musical entertainment…and we’re not just talking no-name local bands either. This year saw amazing performances from bands like Night Ranger, The Gin Blossoms and A Flock Of Seagulls!
Competition for this event is fierce as the winner not only takes home cash, but also bragging rights as being the BEST which equals big lines at their booth in subsequent years! This year, Chicago BBQ Company took the top honors among a crowded field. Check out our video below from the regional fave Carson City BBQ Company for some inside tips and tricks to compete with the top dogs. Carson City BBQ took 5th place (out of 24) in this years competition!
Could this be the legendary Napa Valley’s finest red wine maker? Perhaps so!
Making outstanding wines takes a lot of patience, focus, talent and time. Merryvale Winery was actually the first Napa production facility built after the repeal of prohibition, so they unarguably win in the ‘time’ category. Located right on 29 in St. Helena, across the street from the always tasty Gott’s Roadside (formerly Taylor’s Refresher) old school drive-in inspired gourmet burger joint, Merryvale embodies all that a premium, boutique Napa winery should be: lush landscaping, a beautiful and classic/classy tasting room and a history of award winning 90+ point Napa wines.
Our introduction to Merryvale began way back in the year 2001 when we attended dinner at a local gourmet restarurant. My wife and I (Jave) were just getting introduced to premium and super-premium wines as, until that point we had barely a layman’s knowledge of what made a good wine, a great wine or a sub-par beverage. A server at the dining establishment we attended recommended a great Chardonnay he had recently tried and we tried it on his word. The Chard was the Silhouette, and yes it was outstanding! Upon our first visit to Napa later that year, we made sure that Merryvale was a stop on our list.
Our first tasting experience concluded with some sips of the award winning Profile red blend. Now, not knowing much about this blend, both my wife and I concluded that this wine was something special. After purchasing a few bottles to the tune of about $65 bucks a pop to store in the cellar, we were surprised to see the subsequent ratings of this amazing ’96 and ’97 vintage (97 points on Wine Spectator that year). The Profile has gone on to have subsequent vintages rank in the high 80’s and 90’s every year since! Due to the constant high marks, the Profile now sells for upwards of $200 a bottle. No, it’s not an everyday drinking wine for us casual drinkers!
While the brand has grown and evolved through the years, the Schlatter family has always focused on high quality product over some gimmick (no caves, no castle, no name-hype, et al.) to this day!
Watch as we sit down with both the new winemaker and winery owner Laurance Schlatter to discuss whats behind this amazing winery in Napa Valley!
Ok, we’re gonna try and be fair here…Palo Alto is one of the most expensive ‘burbs’ to live in the entire USA. Its vicinity to Stanford and proximity to the famed ‘Silicon Valley’ (Google anyone?) help make it so. Therefore, trying to find an Airbnb (usually a bit less expensive than a hotel when two or more families go in on the nightly rate), Palo Alto may be more expensive by a LOT that you might be used to.
This home located at 957 Beech Street, East Palo Alto, CA. costs $553.00 for two nights- not horrible for five people for the South Bay. In a nutshell, here’s how the experience went.
We booked the place and within 48 hours were notified by a friend that he was going to be playing in Reno as part of Ben Harper’s band, promising the VIP treatment (we’ve been friends since High School). We contacted Taylor, the owner of the Airbnb home and requested to move our reservation from a Friday check-in to a Saturday check-in, checking out on Monday instead of Sunday so we could make the show. We were informed that this was not possible due to another parties arrival on Sunday afternoon. Also, in doing a cancellation, we’d forfeit the first night’s fee. It sucks, but perhaps Taylor was being truthful and she had no ability via Airbnb to give us the one night refund. No worries- it was our bad.
As seen in the video below, the home isn’t located in the nicest part of town. In fact, it was downright sketchy, with a virtual mansion next to a slum with cars and boats literally parked in the front yard!
Check in was easy enough. Also as seen in the video, the home lacked any provisions as far as condiments were concerned, no garage door opener, and no backyard furniture to enjoy the warm outdoor evening (perhaps the worry is that the furniture would get stolen if outside- who knows?). The white couch in the living room was completely stained…not sure if it was food, drink or sex (eeeew), but there were stains all over. The home lacked any window coverings in the living room, making a warm day downright hot in this home (which lacked any central AC). A door knob was improperly installed which made us unable to lock one of the bedrooms from the inside…and meaning you’d be locked inside if you made the wrong move! Frankly, the knob was damn near falling off…just like the bathroom tub knob which fell off as soon as we touched it (we alerted the homeowner who did not deem it important enough to fix during our stay because, who needs a shower!?!
The window AC unit was jacked, there was no power to any outlet aside from one in the kitchen and a hose was left as a tripping hazard in the backyard.
Aside from the stains on the couch and other issues noted above, the place was relatively clean (it should have been as we were charged a $130 cleaning fee for our short 2-night stay). The $75 ‘excess waste’ fee was concerning as was the ‘$50 each half hour you stay past the 11 a.m. check out fee!
Overall, it was a place to rest our heads and not unlivable, but for the price and issues, we’d give it a label as ‘IT DOESN’T WORK FOR SHIT’!
Enjoy the video!
Here’s a question: ‘Is price indicative of quality when it comes to wine?’ In short- yes and no.
Wine is a very subjective beverage to rate/review as each palate is different. You might think wine (A) is great and I might think it’s crap. It’s really up to what we each individually want from a wine. This said, watch our informative video comparing a $50 bottle of super-premium Merryvale Napa Merlot to a $15 bottle of ‘budget’ Naked Wines Napa Merlot. By themselves, both are drinkable, but when put to the taste test, one unanimously soars above the other.
There are two big amusement park operators here in the USA: Cedar Fair and Six Flags (Disney and Universal not withstanding). While I’ve only been to one Cedar Fair park, I can tell you the charm exists in the former, and not so much in the latter. Yes, Six Flags has some amazing rides at some of their parks. Magic Mountain north of Los Angeles and Fiesta Texas in San Antonio have truly stand-out attractions, and Six Flags Over Texas was one of the first big amusement parks I had gone to as a kid, along with Astroworld across from the old Astrodome in Houston (both of which are now memories of the past and no longer exist. This said, there’s not much nostalgia found at Six Flags parks today, while Great America still has a bit of that old school charm.
Coaster enthusiasts, prepare to be ‘awed’ while you watch out review of the South Bay’s best, California’s Great America!