Food

A Vodka Rises From the Smoke of the California Wildfires

Can there be an upside to wildfires that ravaged some California vineyards? At Hangar 1, a spirits company in Alameda, Calif., they may have found one. Smoke Point Vodka is distilled from the juice of Napa Valley merlot and malbec grapes damaged in the 2020 Glass fire. Crimson Wine Group, the owner of Pine Ridge Vineyards in the Stags Leap District, provided the fermented juice, made from grapes that were unsuited for wine. The result is an 80-proof vodka that’s not really smoky, but delivers aromas of anise and vanilla, and a spicy flavor that goes beyond the typically neutral profile of the spirit. Appreciate it on the rocks or in a vodka Gibson. Proceeds from sales are being donated to the California Fire Foundation, which supports firefighters and their families.

Hangar 1 Smoke Point Vodka, $50 for 750 milliliters, blackwellswines.com.

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