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Staff Favorites - David Driscoll
David Driscoll | Send Email | Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
David Driscoll likes to drink alcohol when he is not working at K&L. His main interests include wine, beer, and distilled spirits. Before he worked here he went to college at a decent school, got a masters degree from an OK school, worked as a waiter and taught elementary school in Chinatown. He decided to get into the wine business after reading a few books about wine and realizing that one cannot seriously learn about wine solely through reading. His career goals include: trying to convince K&L customers that he does know something despite his youthful appearance, and learning everything about everything about every single wine ever made.
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Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur 750ml
Review Date: 7-1-2009
I've heard from a few bartenders that the sign of a quality bar is a bottle of Luxardo sitting on the shelf behind it. It is considered a signal that the bartenders there are committed to using quality ingredients in their libations. It is the only maraschino liqueur that you should ever use and is the ultimate addition to a plate of fresh fruit.
Danzantes "Los Nahuales" Reposado Mezcal 750ml
Review Date: 5-31-2009
So, so smooth and oh-so-smoky. Mezcal has a distinct flavor profile that clearly separates it from tequila, and this bottle highlights those differences. The barrel aging imparts the richness and the vanilla notes, but the smoky, mineral character dominates and lingers long on the finish. I opened this bottle with a group of native Mexicans y tuvimos una fiesta! This is quality mezcal that puts low-grade tequila to shame.
1999 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 5-30-2009
Heavenly. Just tasted it back in the tasting bar. The aromas are so enticing - full of savory notes and smoked meats. The flavors are delicate and elegant. The acidity is still present and the wine will continue to get better, but man, does it taste good now. A tasting bar really isn't the place to experience this wine, but it'll be a while until I can pony up for one of these guys. At least we had Redwood City...
Rittenhouse Rye 100 Proof, Bottled in Bond 750ml (3 bottle limit)
Review Date: 5-26-2009
This is my whiskey of choice when making a Manhattan. The Rittenhouse is spicy, bold, rich, inexpensive, and delicious. I like a kick with my cocktails and I hate to mix expensive booze. I could sip the Rittenhouse, but at 100 proof, it's perfect over ice, or with sweet vermouth and a maraschino cherry.
Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 5-20-2009
Clean, powerful, full of flavor, and loads of refreshing acidity. The Ariston is great gateway into the world of Champagne because, like a great wine should, it truly reflects its terroir: the chalky white soil in which it is grown.
Marolo Liqueur made with Grappa and Chamomile 375ml
Review Date: 5-20-2009
I was soooooooooooooo skeptical when our Italian expert Mike Parres told me to buy a bottle of this delicious grappa. "Camomile in my grappa? Come on!" I said to him. However, this stuff is exquisite. It's thick, coating, and heavenly with pure notes of fresh camomile gently blended into the more subtle grappa flavors. If you love grappa, you'll love this. If you hate grappa, you'll still love this.
Michel Dervin Brut Champagne
Review Date: 5-20-2009
The first descriptors that come to mind when sipping this wine are clean and vibrant. The wine has lots of bright acidity and the palate is light and lean. A blend of 80% Pinot Meunier and 20% Pinot Noir, the wine is composed of 95% estate fruit, so you’re getting Dervin’s own quality grapes.
Barbolini "Lancillotto" Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro
Review Date: 4-20-2009
This is sparkling wine with acidity and tannin! A combination of refreshing bubbles with that classic robust and earthy Italian style. Bone dry and not overtly fruity, this wine is as interesting as it is delicious. Made entirely of Grasparossa from Emilia-Romagna, and it's a dynamite match for almost anything from pizza to pasta and beyond.
2006 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 4-19-2009
Deep purple in color with black fruit aromas and some new oak on the nose. The wine is currently showing nice black currant and sweet spice on the palate with gritty tannins at the back end. In 10 years I'll be very happy that I bought this wine for only $40. Hopefully you will be, too!
Clear Creek Eau de Vie Pomme 8-year-old Apple Brandy 375ml
Review Date: 3-18-2009
I'm not sure if anyone else read Mr. McCarthy's article in the New York Times about making Eau De Vie spirits, but I was fascinated by the process of how he captured the essence of the Douglas Fir tree in a bottle. This Pomme apple brandy, essentially an American Calvados, is absolutely outstanding and would make the perfect after dinner drink for almost any fine meal. Rich barrel flavors combine with can only be described as the soul of an apple to create a robust, yet smooth drinking spirit. My hat is off to Clear Creek.
Arette Artesanal Reposado Suave Tequila 750ml
Review Date: 1-24-2009
I finally ponied up for the Arette Reposado the other night, after promising myself I would buy it eventually. I opened it for the staff before bringing it home, and everyone literally ooohed and ahhhed just smelling the nose in the glass. The aromas of pure blue agave are intoxicating. The delicacy and grace of the tequila as it slowly coats your mouth is even more impressive. By far the best tequila I have ever tasted; and I've had my share. Arette is known for being a hands-on, old-school distiller as well, so their reputation for quality craftsmanship lives up to the hype. I couldn't recommend it strongly enough.
Veuve du Vernay Brut
Review Date: 11-24-2008
This wine will impress you just by not sucking. It is clean, crisp, with round fruit and a pleasant finish. There is no way that anyone will turn down mutliple flutes of the Vernay, especially with orange juice or cassis. The bargain of the holiday season.
Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon 80 Proof 750ml
Review Date: 10-22-2008
So smooth you won't think it's bourbon. Honestly, the distiller himself said he has problems selling it sometimes because people don't think it's bourbon, but I can vouch for him. It's bourbon alright, and it's divine. Your friends will be asking where you got it.
High West Rendezvous Rye Whiskey 750ml
Review Date: 8-12-2008
Who said we had to review just wine? I just remembered that I love whiskey! This High West bottling is a superb blend of two casks that the producer found in the basement of another distiller; a 6 year old and a 16 year old. The flavors are semisweet and caramel-based, but the finish is pure rye. I have to be careful when I pull this bottle out because I might get a little greedy. Then I wouldn't be able to remember how it tasted!
Franck Bonville "Prestige" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 7-14-2008
This was the first champagne I tasted when I started working at K&L and it is still my favorite, when talking bang for your buck. This blanc de blanc will grab anyone's attention with its grace and its beauty. So elegant a palate for so little a price.
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