- Allegrini Valpolicella Classico 2007: At first taste, grandstanding sharp red cherry stuff almost suggests Sangiovese. Then an out-of-left-field peardrop note awkwardly evokes above-average Beaujolais. Ending on a vanilla plot twist worthy of M. Night, this McValpolicella has some typicity but ultimately takes too long making its point.
- Hill of Content Shiraz 2005: Rich, coughdroppy black fruit quickly asserts alpha status over listless, dull acidity and tannins. Sawdusty oak cheers from the sidelines.
- Allan Scott Wines Pinot Noir 2007: The slightly funky berry flavors that make this varietal interesting are well-represented here, but it was impossible to ignore the obvious bubbles quivering around the bowl of the glass and breaking for the surface every two seconds. This wine was fizzy. Maybe, hopefully, a one-in-a-thousand flawed bottle.
- Homebrewed "Spin-Out" Stout: Multiple freak-outs over the health of this beer's fermentation have proved unwarranted. The end result is a dark, brooding, espressoesque brew that delivers great enjoyment week after bottling. Beneath a creamy tan head, six different hops counter the primally sweet, savory malt with a bitter jolt of electricity.