Inama Soave Classico ($15.99)
From the producer:
"Light yellow colour. Elegant nose of sweet field flowers: camomile, elderflower, iris. Mineral on the palate with sweet almond on the finish.
RECOMMENDED COMBINATION: Risotto and white fish, raw fish, salads."
Soave is a style of dry white wine from Veneto in northeastern Italy. It is 100% Garganega, which the Romans introduced to the area, and which is closely related to Greca, a Sicilian grape. The wine is aromatic, with floral overtones, and though not as crisp as Pinot Grigio, it is much more delicate. Fermentation and aging take place in stainless steel, so there is no oakiness, but malolactic fermentation gives the wine an elegant smoothness. This is one of the lesser known Italian wines that I hope more people will discover.
Yola Mezcal ($44.99)
From the producer:
"Our Mezcal is handcrafted, distilled on our namesake farm, bottled by women, with a recipe passed down from Yola's grandfather.
In 1971, Luis Jimenez purchased a Mezcal farm in San Juan del Rio, Oaxaca.
Today, we still honor his original recipe, abiding by the 300-year-old method of traditional Mezcal making.
We are dedicated to promoting the economic independence of the women of Oaxaca."
Have you tried Mezcal? It's made from espadin agave (rather than the blue agave of Tequila) and the hearts of the plant are smoked, which imparts a very particular flavor. Some people really like that, and others find it too strong, but this Mezcal is ripely fruit-forward enough to win over just about everyone. This is a women-owned company that is empowering its women workforce, while producing a high-end product in a sustainable way. To say that this hits every note for me is an understatement: in short, Yola is swoon-worthy.
High Rock Distilling Pepper Shine ($33.99)
Ballston Spa, New York
High Rock Distilling has closed up shop, which is a real shame, because they were doing some pretty great stuff with un-aged corn whiskey. I have just under a dozen bottles left of their Pepper Shine, and it's some of the last stock available anywhere. This product was made using a corn whiskey base infused with 6 varieties of hot peppers. The result is savory, vegetal, and spicy, and it makes just about the best Bloody Mary you'll ever have! It's versatile for other cocktails, too, such as margaritas or even a spicy martini. I highly recommend giving this a taste!