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Wine Pairings, Gambling and Casino Games

wine glass pic Wine Pairings, Gambling and Casino GamesWhen you think of playing casino games, you usually think of someone having a martini, some vodka, or the old standby of beer.  However, there are many that prefer a good glass of wine while they are playing at the casino.  Let’s take a look at a few wine pairings while playing at the casino.

A wine that is frequently enjoyed by casino guests is the Carneros Chardonnay by Rombauer Vineyards.  This classic win is one that is frequently served at Station Casinos in  Las Vegas.  Another very popular wine comes from the Napa Valley and is the 2005 Conn Creek Anthology.  While this is a solid wine to enjoy at the tables, it is also often enjoyed with a good steak.

Of course, some of you prefer to play US casinos online and save the expense of going to the casino.  For you, try the Gaja Sito Moresco made by Langhe Rosso.  It has a nice fruity taste, but is also elegant and provides a solid balance.

Now, there are other wine lovers out there that have a little bit more of a refined pallet.  Those of you that fall into this category would be wise to inquire with the casino host about any premium or specialty wines that the property may offer.  The Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas provides the ultimate in choice for patrons of the Aureole restaurant.  They have over 10,000 bottles of brand from all over the world on the premises.  In addition they have won the Wine Spectators Award for the last 12 years straight.

Some of you probably are wondering why someone would want to drink wine while playing casino games at a casino.  First, those players want to relax and have a good time.  Also, they are not looking to get hammered at the table.  Next, they like to enjoy the experience and a plain beer or shot of whiskey is more like something you would do at home or at the bar, not while gambling.  Others find that they feel a bit more sophisticated drinking wine over other drinks.

Hopefully some of the examples of wines above will give you an idea of some of the choices you can run across when playing at a casino.  For more information about the wines a property has to offer, contact your casino host.  If they don’t have the information, they will know who you will need to ask.  Good luck to you at the tables.


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U.S. Wine Sales Hit All Time Record in Exports as Asia Sales Explode

wine bottles wine cellar 300x200 U.S. Wine Sales Hit All Time Record in Exports as Asia Sales ExplodeRecord Sales for American Wines

By Matt Goldstein

A few days ago we discussed an article for record Cognac sales because of an explosion in China and Asia.  Now, U.S. wine sales are also reporting record numbers in exports and mainly because of China.  The newly born Chinese middle class has gotten a taste for European and American Wines and Spirits.  90% of the wines exported overseas are from California and according to the LA Times, much of the boom is because of the weak dollar.  However, the dollar has been strengthening and China still spends money on American products.  The trend of American wine sales throughout Asia will only continue to rise with the new powerful economies of the Pacific.  Up 23% from 2010, American wine exports topped $1.3 billion for 2011, an all time record.  American wine sales are up 38% in China, 48% in Hong Kong and 42% in Japan.  Europe is still the #1 American wine importer but sales only rose about 10% which is still a very good number.  Overall, the consumption of beer, wine and liquor are up all over the world, an indication of growing economies and the growth of secularism and California still has much room for export expansion when production capability is considered.

Source: LA Times




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Pairing Seafood & Wine: A Burgundy Chardonnay with Lobster

chardonnay burgundy white wine Pairing Seafood & Wine: A Burgundy Chardonnay with Lobster

Louis Jadot Meursault: A Grand Chardonnay

By Master Sommelier George Miliotes

Capital Grille’s Master Sommelier George Miliotes discusses pairing lobster, and unquestionably, Chardonnay is said to be the classic and ideal wine pairing.  A Lobster recipe is stuffed with bay scallops, shrimp, fresh herbs and a touch of parmesan cheese, and served with flavorful, roasted chanterelle mushrooms, Miliotes it shouldn’t just be any Chardonnay.  There are few food combinations in the world more decadent than the plush sweetness of lobster and the rich earthiness of chanterelles, and the wine you choose to accompany them has to be equally decadent.

Chardonnay is produced all over the world, but arguably the finest in the world hails from the prime wine-growing regions of Burgundy, France, and the Santa Maria Bench in California.  For those who enjoy a structured Chardonnay, Master Miliotes recommends Louis Jadot Meursault from Burgundy—a full-bodied wine with notes of oak and vanilla with an exotic, nutty finish. For those who prefer a rich, ripe wine with tropical fruit aromas and flavors, Cambria Estate Winery produces magnificent vintages from grapes grown in the Chardonnay-loving soil of Katherine’s Vineyard.

Old World and New World Chardonnays with very different profiles, but a mutual love for lobster. Uncork a little sophistication this season.




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The Khyber Pass Pub Troegs Brewing Tap Takeover this Wednesday Oct. 19th

khyber pass pub troegs brewing 182x300 The Khyber Pass Pub Troegs Brewing Tap Takeover this Wednesday Oct. 19th A Can’t Miss for Beer Geeks!

Khyber Pass Pub will host Tröegs Brewing Company next Wednesday, October 19th at 6 pm for a very special Tröegs Tap Takeover night! Join us for an evening with the Harrisburg, PA brewers as we feature a Tröegs lineup worthy of even the most discerning beer palates. Our Tröegs Tap Takeover will highlight the highly elusive “Scratch Series,” typically found only at the brewery, alongside the likes of seasonal favorites Mad Elf and more!


Scratch 45 – IPA

Scratch 46 – Naked Elf

Scratch 47 – Belgian Wit

Scratch 48 – Fest Bier

Scratch 49 – Wet Hop IPA

Scratch 50 – Belgian Dubel

Pale Ale

Mad Elf

Javahead Stout

Flying Mouflan Barleywine

Dead Reckoning Porter

Hopback Amber Ale

Sunshine Pils

Dreamweaver Wheat

Troegenator Doublebock

Hopback Amber Cask

Javahead Stout Cask

and a FIRKIN of Dry Hopped Pale Ale!


To round out a truly Tröegs-centric evening, our chefs at Khyber Pass Pub will be adding Tröegs-inspired items to our menu, including Dead Reckoning Porter Chili, Sunshine Pils Boiled Peanuts, Tröegenator Doublebock Brined/Smoked Pork Chop, Tröegs HopBack Amber BBQ sauce, and Javahead Cask Ale Coffee Ice Cream Beer Float!

Don’t miss out on an exclusive night of Tröegs’ finest selections, brought to you by Khyber Pass Pub!

Khyber Pass Pub is a historic Old City tavern that features a beautiful bar handcrafted in 1876. One of Philadelphia’s oldest bars and a ‘Philadelphia Magazine’ Best of Philly 2011 winner, the menu features an extensive selection of craft beers, authentic New Orleans specialties, hickory-smoked barbecue, and tasty vegan and vegetarian options. Open 11 am to 2 am daily.




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Restaurant Quick Hits: Mt Airy’s The Wine Thief Bistro

wine thief bistro mt airy philadelphia Restaurant Quick Hits: Mt Airy’s The Wine Thief Bistro$3 Glasses of Wine for Happy Hour

By Matt Goldstein & Amy K. Haight

The strip on Germantown Ave in Mt Airy Philadelphia is starting to pop.  With McMenamin’s Tavern, the Earth Bread and Brewery, Umbriah, and the Wine Thief, there is no need to look further for a downtown style food and drink at an excellent price.  The Wine Thief’s happy hour is absolutely ridiculous.  $3 glasses of wine before 6 pm.  Really?  $3?  When was the last time you had a glass of wine for $3?  We don’t even understand how they could possible make money at that rate.  As well, the wines they serve for happy hour are usually right off of their own wine list, which is always reasonable and selected well.

The wines featured for the happy hour we attended recently were the Bodegas Callia Malbec from Argentina and the Table Leaf Chardonnay.  The Malbec was crisp, full flavored and slightly dry.  For $3 per glass it’s a steal.  You might be able to find this bottle for about $10 in the store, so if you’re looking for a malbec to not break the bank, give it a try.  The Chardonnay was solid, perhaps not as crisp as we were looking for, but still very drinkable.  And again, at $3 per glass, it’s still a great deal.

We started with the Pita Nachos with ezpazote, black beans, & avocado salsa.  Excellent!  It’s a must try.  Then we had the Mac N’ Cheese appetizer (a special that was not on the menu that night, but we spied it on someone else’s plate and it just looked so good we had to order it.)  Normally we wouldn’t order a 2nd appetizer in place of a meal, but when I saw the dish, it really wasn’t a choice.  Then we had the homemade veggie burger.  The burger patty was literally put together by hand in the Wine Thief kitchen.  It was interesting, unique and tasty, and it was served with hand-cut fries that were delicious.

And if the awesome menu and outrageous wine bargains weren’t enough, the nightly viewing of TJ Hooker at the Wine Thief will keep us coming back.  It may be the best part of the night.  Forget sports; the clothes and haircuts alone on this classic 80s show can keep you in a conversation for the entire dinner, not to mention the cameos by some old school actors.

On side note, we also read some great reviews about the fried chicken and meatloaf, which we are definitely trying when we go back.  All in all, we had two appetizers, a veggie burger, and four glasses of wine for a total of $35.  The Wine Thief has excellent food and drink for an excellent price and we’re already planning a return trip.  Also, when it’s not happy hour, the prices at the Wine Thief are still very reasonable.  There were about 4-5 glasses of wine for about $7.  It’s worth a try at anytime.




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Wine Catches Up to Beer in Popularity in the U.S.

wine glass pic Wine Catches Up to Beer in Popularity in the U.S.Gallup Poll: Wine Surges in Popularity

By Matt Goldstein

For only the second time in twenty years, wine has caught up to beer in popularity of U.S. drinkers.  According to a recent Gallup Poll, wine grown in popularity and is only now 1% behind.  This is extremely impressive considering the explosive popularity of craft beer over the last couple years.  36% of U.S. drinkers prefer beer, 35% prefer wine and 23% percent prefer liquor.  We at Whiskey Goldmine love them all equally and are going to try and save the economy one drink at a time.  Check out the overall breakdown below.  This survey has a 4% margin of error.

gallup pole wine beer liquor 300x255 Wine Catches Up to Beer in Popularity in the U.S.

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The Whiskey Goldmine One Year In: Random Thoughts from Our First Anniversary

Logo WG 1500 white 300x293 The Whiskey Goldmine One Year In: Random Thoughts from Our First AnniversaryThe Whiskey Goldmine: Like Catching Lighting in a Haystack

By Matt Goldstein

From whiskey to vodka, cuisine and history, Boardwalk Empire, top 10 lists and pop culture, the Whiskey Goldmine has covered a lot of subjects over the past year.  Craft beer, wine and bubbly, serial killers, dictators, cigars, movies and music, we have created a web site with no boundaries, no rules.  The only thing that we really try to do is bring our readers new information that they won’t find anywhere else.  We want to bring our readers original content, make them think, laugh and enjoy a drink with friends.  After all, what’s better than enjoying a drink with friends?


The Whiskey Goldmine Logo

As you can see, our logo is a glass of whiskey with ice in it.  Awesome right?  Well, does the Pope shit in the woods?

The funny thing is that we never put our whiskey on ice.  Never!  Always drink whiskey neat.  First, the ice waters down the whiskey which ruins the flavor.  A middle shelf single malt is aged for 12 years in order to get a specific flavor, why change or ruin that perfectly painstakingly unique flavor?  A drop or two of water to open up the single malt is all that’s needed.  Second, cold temperature also masks the true flavor of a whiskey, be it bourbon, rye, Scotch whiskey, Irish whiskey, whatever.  Just get rid of the ice and man up.


bushmills 21 yo single malt 111111 300x300 The Whiskey Goldmine One Year In: Random Thoughts from Our First AnniversarySmooth is Not Always Better

After trying every whiskey, vodka, tequila, cognac and spirit we could get our hands on, it’s blatantly obvious that smooth is not always better.  In fact, the smoother the whiskey or vodka, the less good it is.  Many flavors of the spirit are in the finish and the bite, especially with vodka.  Since vodka is so thin, most of the flavor is in the finish.  The smoother the vodka, the less character there is.


Our Top 10 Lists are Scientific Fact!

Listen, don’t try to argue with our top 10 lists.  They’re amazing, correct and scientific.  Shut your mouth.


Founders Imperial Stout 300x218 The Whiskey Goldmine One Year In: Random Thoughts from Our First AnniversaryThe Original Mission of Whiskey Goldmine

The idea behind the website was to promote American spirits, wines and craft beers.  When the economy tanked, I started to feel guilty that I had never bought an American car so I thought, what better way to promote America than our craft beer, wines, whiskeys and vodka’s.  The more and more we began to actually create the web site the more I thought that American products would be too narrow of a subject matter.  So I did what any logical person would do, I just bought a Cadillac.  Problem solved.  Now we can discuss German Beers, Scotch whiskey, Irish whiskey, Russian Vodkas and Sake.


egg pizza 207x300 The Whiskey Goldmine One Year In: Random Thoughts from Our First AnniversaryNot an Expert…

When I was recently speaking to a friend/family member in some random setting that involved a lot of alcohol, I stated that “I had no idea what I was doing.”  This random unnamed person told me to always act like I know what I’m doing, no matter what.  This was bad advice.  Sometimes the beauty in the truth is the evident flaws in our selves.  Although I am a badass at making drinks, I don’t always know what I’m doing.  I’m not actually an expert in whiskey.  Even though I started a web site called Whiskey Goldmine, it’s not even actually about whiskey.  I’m not an expert in any of these subjects, but I’m going to bring the experts to you.  From chefs to sommeliers, brewers, historians, master distillers and grill masters, the Whiskey Goldmine does its best to bring you information that will create connoisseurs one click at a time.


Craft Beer Makes You Fat!

Sorry beer geeks, but the truth is the truth, craft beer makes you fat.  I love all crafts from IPA’s to barleywines, dopplebock’s, porters and stoudts, but since starting this web site I blew up like a fattie from tasting all of the craft beer I could get my hands on.  Recently, I’ve found myself sucking down Miller Lite’s, Amstell Lights and Yuengling Lights.  Sacrilege I know, but it’s not your beer gut you need to worry about.  Plus, I’m not giving up potato chips.


carlos the jackal movie ilich ramirez sanchez terrorist 212x300 The Whiskey Goldmine One Year In: Random Thoughts from Our First AnniversaryOur Most Popular Articles

One would be surprised at our most popular articles because their certainly not about whiskey.  Well, one Jack Daniels article is very popular but that’s more because of the pictures than anything.  Our most popular articles are about Boardwalk Empire and prohibition history, gangster timelines, crazy drinking stories about Henry the 8th, Napoleon, Stalin, serial killers and Huey P. Newton.  Why you ask?  Well, more people Google historical figures than vodkas.  Trust us!  There is no doubt about it.  We’re going to bring our viewers more historical articles but it takes time to create.  Tasting notes on beer and whiskey is easy work.  “This tastes is good, this is bad,” blah blah blah.  Nothing original or impessive there eh?  Actually, both the drinking studies and the historical studies took me all my life to get here and I still have no idea what I’m doing.


Part 2 of Random Thoughts coming soon, for now I’d like to think my team.

Special thanks to all of those who helped start and contribute to Whiskey Goldmine.  Webmasters Doug Walters and Carolynn Chapman, Senior Editor Tim Rodgers, Senior Foodie Pat Smith, Sommelier Tom Pittakas, Craft Beer specialist Jeremy Thomson, Chef Joe Bombartito, Grill Master Larry Kay, Cigar Afficianado Haroon Mhitar, Kevin Hussey, Eric Duncan, Paul Reiter and my dad, Howard Goldstein.  And a special thanks to all of the distilleries who sent me bottles of liquor.  Keep it coming…  We’re just getting started so here’s to another year.




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George T. Stagg Bourbon Named Top Spirit in the World!

george t stagg buffalo trace sazerac eagle rare George T. Stagg Bourbon Named Top Spirit in the World!The Spirit Journal:  American Bourbon Beats Single Malt Scotch Whisky

George T. Stagg, the iconic uncut, unfiltered bourbon released annually from Buffalo Trace Distillery, has been named the number one spirit in the world, knocking off the perennial favorite Highland Park 18 Scotch Whisky for the first time since 2005. The list, compiled annually by noted sprits reviewer F. Paul Pacult, was released in his June 2011 issue of The Spirit Journal. The George T. Stagg is also the first American Whiskey to ever be named number one in The Spirit Journal’s 13 years of tabulating.

Notes Pacult, “This version (2010) of the GT Stagg is the latest layer in an incredible body of work performed by Buffalo Trace Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley that deserves to be recognized as genuinely great.”

The George T. Stagg Bourbon Whiskey is part of the Antique Collection that is released each fall from Buffalo Trace Distillery. Long considered the frontrunner of the Collection, the Stagg has collected numerous awards over the years, including the 2011 Ultimate Spirits Competition Chairman’s Trophy Winner; 2011 Double Gold Winner, Best Bourbon, San Francisco World Spirits Competition; the 2010 American Whiskey of the Year from Jim Murray’s 2010 Whiskey Bible; 2009 Bourbon of the Year and Best Bourbon Aged 13-17 Years from Jim Murray’s 2009 Whiskey Bible; and the Best in Class in the 2009 New York Spirits Awards, among others.

“This is such an honor,” notes Harlen Wheatley, master distiller at Buffalo Trace Distillery. “To be the top spirit, not just the top whiskey, but top spirit, in the world, and then to find out it’s the first American Whiskey to hold that distinction is quite a privilege – especially coming from someone as well respected in the industry as Paul.”

Adds Pacult in his review, “This is more of a clarion call that American whiskey distillers run with the best of Scotland and Ireland and, in some cases, like GT Stagg, eclipse them.”

The 2011 version of the George T. Stagg will be released later this fall with the Antique Collection.  Suggested retail pricing of the Stagg is $69.99.

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Malt Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor
Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies.



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Budweiser Mild & Tangy Hot Wing Sauce: The King of Buffalo Wings?

budweiser mild tangy wing sauce buffalo 94x300 Budweiser Mild & Tangy Hot Wing Sauce: The King of Buffalo Wings?Budweiser Buffalo Wing Sauce No Joke for Grilling!

By Tim Rodgers & Matt Goldstein

At our recent Whiskey Goldmine Buffalo Wing BBQ, we sampled craft beers and wines with wings on the grill.  We made a couple different styles of wings, hot and mild.  Both sets of wings were marinated in beer overnight and put directly on the grill.  About halfway through the grilling process, we dipped the wings in the hot sauce and put them back on the grill in order to get the hot sauce grilled into the chicken, as opposed to most restaurants now, which deep fry the wings and add the hot sauce after.    

When grilling the sauce into the chicken wings, the smoky flavor of the grill and the hot sauce or buffalo sauce become entangled, complementing each other rather than just being there.  The Budweiser Mild & Tangy Wing Sauce was actually pretty hot.  More hot than mild, the tangy flavor gave this buffalo wing sauce a bit of a kick and it complimented well with the smoky grilled flavor that we cooked into the wings and the sauce.  This sauce is solid for grilling!  Our whole team of tasters was pleasantly surprised with the mild and tangy sauce, but we’re just kind of annoyed that we don’t have any left.  We’re not going to call it the king of hot sauces, but it’s pretty damn good.  Good kick!   

From Budweiser on their Mild & Tangy Sauce:

Like our famous Budweiser beer, this genuine line of sauces contains only the finest ingredients for a truly exceptional taste experience. Our executive chefs from our Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA, in conjunction with the brew masters of Anheuser-Busch have perfected this recipe, assuring you that your cooking experience is the best it can be. Taste the difference that only a premium sauce with the Budweiser name can deliver.

Ingredients: Water, distilled vinegar, aged red peppers, vegetable oil (canola and/or soybean), salt, beer (water, barley malt, rice, hops), honey, natural butter flavor (whey, butter oil), garlic, xanthan gum, cayenne pepper, potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate (preservatives), Red 40. Budweiser Beer-Dehydrated. CONTAINS: MILK




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Featured Wine of the Week: Mont Tauch Grenache Blanc 2009

white wine glasses 111 300x225 Featured Wine of the Week: Mont Tauch Grenache Blanc 2009White Grenache is Not Everyday, but Worth the Wait

By Eric Duncan & Matt Goldstein

The Mont Tauch Winery is based in Tuchan located in the wine making region of Languedoc, Southern France.  Rated an 88 by Wine Spectator, this white Grenache is available for just under $15.  Tasting Notes of the Mont Tauch Grenache Blanc:  A crisp light scent, thin light beige and light gold color, slight pear and slight fruit taste but not sweet.  The Grenache Blanc is a thin crisp beautiful flavor and very refreshing in the summertime.  The brilliance of this wine is the crisp finish subtly in the flavor.  We would drink this wine again and again.  It’s one of our favorites.


About the Mont Tauch Winery:

Set in the Languedoc’s dramatic landscape of picturesque hills and Cathar castles, Mont Tauch is one of France’s leading cooperatives, based in the heart of the Fitou appellation in the southern France.

Mont Tauch covers 1950 hectares made up of 7,000 small vineyards dotted around the villages of Tuchan, Paziols, Villeneuve and Durban. Each village is recognised for its specific terroir and for the character of its wines.

The charming beauty of the villages and the vineyards that surround them, delight the senses just like the outstanding quality of the wines. Mont Tauch produces a wide range of great AOC wines and Vin de Pays suitable for all occasions. The wines reflect this exceptional natural wealth of diversity and beauty in the Mediterranean landscape.

Named after the mountain, which towers above the cooperative’s state-of-the-art new winery, Mont Tauch is surrounded by wild garrigue – the Mediterranean terrain rich with the scent of thyme, rosemary, lavender and juniper.

Mont Tauch’s wines are a genuine expression of this terroir, which has been shared for centuries by the vignerons and the many wild boar that roam the hills of Fitou, gorging themselves on the grapes and gnawing at the vine shoots. Indeed, the wild boar is used as the Mont Tauch logo. It is not surprising that boar hunting, along with rugby, is one of the region’s most passionately pursued sports; and nothing washes down a wild boar casserole or saucisson better than a satisfying glass of Mont Tauch Fitou.




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