Local Wine Co's Blog

American Gin – Success by cdbakunas
May 5, 2015, 5:14 pm
Filed under: Food and Drink, Word on the Street | Tags: , , , ,

We’ve been saying for years that if you want to make a superlative cocktail from a white spirit then there is no where else to go except for Gin. And how fortunate are we today that the panoply of Gin choices today is better than its ever been in AMERICAN HISTORY, thus we are at the nascent edge of a Gin Renaissance and it’s a glorious time to imbibe cocktails.

A little back-patting is at hand. We released Small’s American Dry gin six years ago and have been dedicated to spreading the word and the love of Gin to our peeps behind the distribution wheel, the dedicated bartenders that work hours that are harder and longer then most realize and to the craft retailers who toil 7 days a week, speaking, sharing and selling craft: without whom we could not produce, exist and grow…thank you all!!! That you could know how grateful we are of your help, your consistency to quality as opposed to “deals,” that you share our story and love our product. Our success is only a shadow of your work and persistence.

Two great articles for Small’s that came out in the last 10 days. So stoked!12 American Gins

12 Great American Gins You Should Absolutely Know!


Peter Field:

The Consumption of Style: The Betty

Peter and Small's


By the way Peter, you never looked better with a bow tie!!!!


Sign our Petition for American Dry Gin by cdbakunas
January 28, 2014, 4:36 pm
Filed under: Food and Drink, Libations, Word on the Street | Tags: , , , ,

America needs its own category of gin which is why we are working on legally amending gin law to include “American Dry” as a bona fide category. With this first step we can be proud to make our own unique American version of gin and this will not only educate the consumer at a much higher level of what they are drinking, it will be the tip of the spear in moving towards greater appellation in our craft spirits. We can envision the day when regional gins like Sonoma Coast Gin, Rocky Mountain Gin, Southwest Chaparral Gin all exist and create a tapestry of style that is as unique as the people are who live in various regions of our country.

Send us an email, post a comment and we will include you on our petition.

Petition for Chapter 4, Class and Type Designation for Spirits Requested Amendment of gin


We propose an amendment to the TTB Class and Type Designation under spirits for the category of gin under Title 27–Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms (gin standard of identity is below) for the two reasons:

#1 historical categories of gin (ie. London Dry, Old Tom and Geneva gins) are not given legal definition for their historical styles. This is an egregious disservice to the consumer. Consumers have the right to know what style of spirit it is they are consuming. Current gin definitions are vague and ambiguous such that a Geneva gin or an Old Tom gin could be labeled a London Dry gin creating confusion for the consumer.

#2 request an amendment to the standards of identity to foster appellations for spirits within the United States. This will give greater regional specificity to American spirits and define more precisely the style and quality of each spirit (eg. Bourbon Whiskey). Consumers deserve to have stronger over site on distilled spirits much as we have a robust appellation process for vineyard land and wines in America. Local Wine & Spirits, and the other listed distillers, are actively educating the public about the emerging category of “American Dry Gin” which is defined as batch distilled gins made from 100% American grown grain, distilled and bottled within the United States using juniper as the predominant botanical. American made and proud of it.

Current definition

Subpart C—Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits

§ 5.22   The standards of identity.

(c) Class 3; gin. “Gin” is a product obtained by original distillation from mash, or by redistillation of distilled spirits, or by mixing neutral spirits, with or over juniper berries and other aromatics, or with or over extracts derived from infusions, percolations, or maceration of such materials, and includes mixtures of gin and neutral spirits. It shall derive its main characteristic flavor from juniper berries and be bottled at not less than 80° proof. Gin produced exclusively by original distillation or by redistillation may be further designated as “distilled”. “Dry gin” (London dry gin), “Geneva gin” (Hollands gin), and “Old Tom gin” (Tom gin) are types of gin known under such designations.

Participating Distillers/Distilleries

Local Wine & Spirits

Ransom Spirits

Bull Run Distillery, Portland

Peach Street Distillers, Palisades, CO

Letherbee Distillers, Chicago IL

Sweet Spot 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon by cdbakunas

The wait is over. On January 24th we bottled the 2012 vintage of our Sweet Spot Cabernet. Why do we call it Sweet Spot? Because there is no other appellation in Sonoma that grows cabernet better with more sense of soul, soil and place then Alexander Valley. We worked with two vineyards for this vintage, Warnecke Ranch and Adams Knoll. There is a small amount of merlot from Adams Knoll that we blended into barrel 8 months ago. 2012 was an amazing vintage and such a relief to have after the challenging and low yield vintages of 2010 and 2011.

Technical production notes are below.





Appellation: Alexander Valley, Sonoma, CA                                      Titratable Acidity: 6.2 g/l

Varietal Composition: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon,

11% Merlot                                                                                           pH: 3.55

Case Production: 2240                                                                         Alcohol: 13.97%

Brix at Harvest: 24.1

Vinification: All of our fruit was destemmed and cold soaked for 4-5 days at 55 degrees Fahrenheit before yeast was introduced. Brix had become 24.5 and three strands of yeast were introduced for fermentation. Ferment lasted three weeks at almost 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Maceration on the skins was included to induce color, tannins and phenols. Sweet Spot Cab was then pressed to barrel with malolactic inoculation. This beautiful wine aged and ameliorated in French and American oak barrel for 16 months and bottled in January, 2014.

Vintage Notes: 2012 was a near perfect vintage for cabernet sauvignon in Alexander Valley, Sonoma. Many of us called it “idyllic,” or “outstanding.” And why? Because of the balance of weather and the ideal diurnal temperature swings that allowed slow and even maturation of our vines throughout September and October. The crop load was considerably larger than 2011 and displayed a near perfect balance of texture and flavors. Our Sweet Spot Cabernet, primarily sourced from the Warnecke Vineyard, is one of the most balanced and giving wines that we’ve yet made.

Vineyard Sources:

Warnecke Vineyard, Alexander AVA

Adams Knoll Vineyard, Alexander AVA

Tasting Notes: A beautiful dark garnet and robust ruby color. The aromatics of the 2012 Sweet Spot Cabernet are full of explosive ripe blackberries, blueberries and mulberries intermingled with mountainside sage, mint and pine needles. The palate is redolent with a ripe compote of blackberries that rides into a rich cascade of herbs, fruit and tannins into a long finish that speak of longevity.

Murphy’s Riesling Voted top 5 Value Riesling by cdbakunas
July 18, 2012, 1:12 pm
Filed under: Food and Drink, Word on the Street | Tags: , , ,

Yes, our darling wine from Washington State, Murphy’s Law, was ranked second amongst the top 5 value riesling made in American by Snooth just a few weeks ago. Not to brag, but I guess in this day and age you need to shout from any rooftop, so we’re just saying…

About Snooth, “Since its launch in June 2007 Snooth has quickly become the world’s largest and most comprehensive online wine destination, featuring millions of reviews and hundreds of thousands of wines. Snooth also powers the wine results for many other major sites including Epicurious (Conde Nast) and myRecipes (Time Inc), and, through its extended network, reaches an audience of over 10M unique users per month.”

Angel’s Wings is Released by cdbakunas
July 18, 2012, 12:33 pm
Filed under: Food and Drink, Word on the Street | Tags: , , , ,

July 17th, 2012

I am so excited to announce that we have officially released a passion project of mine this week, Angel’s Wings Sauvignon Blanc. I made this wine in memory of a great friend, a mentor and an angel in my life, Ron Miller. The wine will be available in a few select markets since our production was very small. If you are interested in the wine please don’t hesitate to contact me (cb @ localwineandspirits.com). Click here for production notes ANGEL’S WINGS

A portion of our profits will be donated to an amazing organization that Ron created 34 years ago called Common Ground (www.cg.org). With my most humble thanks I hope you enjoy. Sante!

Small’s is Coming OUT by cdbakunas
July 18, 2012, 12:19 pm
Filed under: Food and Drink, Word on the Street | Tags: , , ,

The American Gin Revolution is here and Small’s is leading the way with our grassroots movement to legally define American Dry Gin. Here’s a copy of the article from OUT’s August 2012 issue.

Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Dinner at Root by cdbakunas

Thursday night, July 26th Local Wine & Spirits and Ransom will host a spirited dinner with our friends at Root Restaurant in New Orleans. The critically acclaimed mixologist, Lynn House, will be mixing libations that will surely knock your socks off. Here is Tales’ link to the event. Sign up now, only 50 seats are available. The dinner is called “Kaleidoscope.” Tell your friends and spread the word.

Take a peek at the cocktails and the menu.

Cocktail Menu:

2012  Tales of the Cocktail       Kaleidescope Dinner at Root NOLA

Welcome Reception:         Chuck’s Berries

2 oz Exhcange Vodka,  .5 oz lemon juice, .5 oz rich simple syrup, 1.0 oz assorted fresh berry purees (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry), 1.5 oz spakling wine.  Served in a champagne glass or coupe, fresh berry for garnish

A Little Piece of Me (served with Amuse)
1 oz Smalls Gin, Fennel Syrup, (fresh lemon, apple, and orange juice), served in a shot glass as a cocktail amuse, Smalls and the fennel are the base, lemon, apple and orange will be the alternating flavors.

First Course: Tainted Love

3 oz Murphy’s Law  Reisling, .75 oz assorted herb syrups (rosemary, sage, basil amd thyme), .5 oz lemon, 3 drops of assorted bitters (fee orange, lemon, grapefruit, and bittermen’s celery).  Serve in a white wine glass

Second Course: Taken For Hostage

2 oz Ransom Old Tom Gin, .5 oz lime juice, .5 oz simple syrup, 1 egg white, 3 oz assorted homemade soda (made with Bittermen Liqueurs as a base; Citron Sauvage, Amere Sauvage and Commonwealth Tonic)   Served in a collins glass, lime wheel for garnish

Third Course: Tea and Sympathy
1.5 oz Exchange Vodka, .5 oz fresh lemon juice, .25 oz agave nectar. 1.5 oz assorted tea ( Rare Tea Cellars, Freak of Nature Oolong, Blood Orange Pu-erh, Cider Spice Noir, Emperor’s Nectar)  served in a rocks glass, light ice with a lemon twist.

Fourth Course: Red Red Wine

3 oz Ransom Pinot Noir, .5 oz agave nectar, .5 oz lime juice, .25 oz assorted vinegars (Martin Pouret Vinaigare D’Oleans Citron &Piment), Fruits Rouges, Ceidre de Miel), 3 drops of Boyajian citus oils (lime, lemon and orange)  Served as a frappe, in a red wine glass over crushed ice and garnish with edible flowers.

Fifth Course: Manhattan

2 oz Whipper Snapper Whiskey, 1 oz Punt e Mes, . 75 oz assorted citrus juice (2 with lime one with lemon), .5 oz assorted spiced syrups (tajin, sumac, and red chile flake), 6  pieces of assorted golden fruits ( mango, apricot and peach) , 3 drops of assorted bitters ( Angostura, Bitter Truth Creole, Fee Brothers Old Fashion)  Serve up in a cocktail glass, brandied ranier cherry for garnish

Dessert Cocktail: Dreaming of Alexander

2 oz Smalls Gin, .25 oz lemon juice, 2 oz heavy whipping cream, .5 oz vanilla cardamon syrup,  i oz of assorted purees ( apple, orange marmalade, apricot/ginger, pineapple, rhubarb, plum, tamarind and pear)  serve in a cocktail or coupe, vanilla dust for garnish

Dinner Menu:

Chef’s Menu – Phillip Lopez

Amuse 1
Pickled Local Radish
Cauliflower Crema, Chocolate Espresso Gravel, Hibiscus Tea Glass

Amuse 2
Lobster “Bouillabaisse”
Gilded Citron Lobster Knuckle Galantine, Black Saffron Rice

First Course
Grilled Compressed Watermelon Salad
Pimentón Tuna, Nitro Avocado Pearls, Chili Lime Vinaigrette

Second Course
Sweet Corn Gnocchi
Miso Butterscotch, Local Chanterelles, Spiced Corn Nuts

Middle Eastern Falooda
Turkish Spiced Coconut Milk, Puffed Rice, Jasmine Grapefruit Sorbet, Blueberry Vermicelli

Third Course
Black Tea Smoked Gulf Fish
Cauliflower Purée, Celeriac Citrus Salad

Fourth Course
Black Lacquered Rabbit
Root Beer Braised Greens, Licorice Cardamom Glacé, Moroccan Spiced Grits

Fifth Course
Herb Encrusted Lamb Loin
Parsnip Bark, Shiitake Barigoule, Charred Peach Mostarda Dessert

“Rocky Dirt Road”
Chocolate Dirt, Vanilla Marshmallow, Chocolate Praline, Rocky Road Ice Cream

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