Hype Means Everything

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Winography

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With its aged gold and rich amber colour, the Lagavulin 16 year old is one of the classic single malts available over the counter today. You just can’t dislike the smoky finish reminiscent of a Johnnie Walker Blue Label or a Caol Ila Moch.  The peat and salty aromas are married to perfection and make a single sip a one-way trip to Islay in Scotland. The easiest way to get yourself a similar treat is to pay a visit to my favourite destination for online spirit shopping Alexander & James. I love how the bottle is packed and that the service is simply perfect. Plus the choice and variety of whiskies available on their website is something surrealist. Check for yourself!

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Although I’m not a huge champagne fan, I admit there’s a special charm that only a fine bottle of champagne adds to the table. La Clique’s artist André Saraiva has teamed with champagne professional Fabien Gay and media entrepreneurs Fabien Moreau and Alexandre Sap to launch Artéis & Co last fall. The bottle is just superb with its black and gold look and the little French tough on the cap. Most of the bottles have probably disapeared by now unfortunately but hopefully, I’ll be lucky and find myself a couple!

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Pernod Absinthe and Kitsuné continue their collaboration in 2013. The collaboration includes a limited-edition Pernod Absinthe bottle design with only 10,000 bottles to be available globally. The French music label will also release a mini-series of video documentaries inspired by Pernod Absinthe and featuring London’s band Is Tropical. The bottle will be available online through Ventes Privées in France and at select retail stores from December 20. Don’t miss this collector edition!

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world-wines

The presence of a vast collection of wine and spirits, more often than not, makes us ponder their origin and the variant of grapes used to produce them. Sauvignon Blanc, for example, mostly hails from unexpected regions which we never thought carried such a tradition, history, and culture of wine cultivation and winemaking. I can say I’ve become a little knowledgeable about French wines but when it comes to other countries, I just had to refer to M&S wine expert Chris Murphy as he shared his best wine selections from the less well known regions! Discover his selection after the break!

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Who knew Cognac was a town in the south west of France? Hum, not that many… I didn’t until the fine champagne cognac specialist Remy Martin invited us for a walk-through of their house a few days ago. I actually didn’t know much about cognac although I pride myself in knowing my liquors. Besides being a fantastic introduction to the fascinating world of cognac, this little press tour by Remy Martin showed us that people can still work with passion and care for a product that is too often associated with old-world prviledges and hip-hop video clips. In regard of that paradox, I was humbled by the kindness and enthusiasm of our hosts. Let me guide you through my learnings about cognac and introduce you to Remy Martin

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Alexanderandjames - MR PORTER

Whisky writer and presenter Mr Neil Ridley formed Caskstrength Creative with Mr Joel Harrison to bring their love of whisky to a wider audience. Today, they work with a variety of brand owners to educate people about how best to enjoy whisky. Using a selection of drinks and glassware, he gives us his top tips on how to enjoy whisky. Watch the Mr Porter produced video here!

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Gentlemen know their wine-pairings. That’s a rule. If like me, you’re too lazy to memorize the whole pairing map, remember you can come back to this post and use it as a cheat sheet! (Enlarge the table by clicking it)

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Stainless cigar flask

If you’re a connoisseur and a cigar aficionado, you must know the pleasure it is to match a cuban cigar with a swallow of Whisky or, even better Cognac XO. Well, this stainless steel flask is the perfect gadget to carry both your cigars and whisky in a retro manner. Cool, isn’t it? ($24, available here)

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High-end suitcase maker Tumi and the booze wizards at Ketel One have teamed up to create the Tumi x Ketel One Mixology set, a mobile vodka bar that’s wrapped in ballistic nylon. This limited-edition handcrafted case features everything you need to make a Vodka Martini cocktail, including two magnum bottles of Ketel One Vodka. I imagine they went with ballistic nylon to support the bevy of drunk girls who will surely climb on top of this thing once they’ve had a couple of cosmos… Available soon

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They say the old ones are the best and if Assouline‘s Vintage Cocktails book is anything to go by, we whole-heartedly agree. Whatever your poison, Mr Brian Van Flandern explores the lost art of mixing the perfect drink with simplicity and sophistication, covering all the essentials, from Brandy Alexanders to Margaritas. Available on Mr Porter for 40€. That’s another great gift for Christmas! If you’re too lazy to prepare your own cocktails, you can also check out our hotspot category. In Paris, I recommend the Prescription Cocktail Club (in the Odéon district). 

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