A grape that could use some (tough) love: Chenin Blanc
July 12th, 2011
01:00 PM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant - and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

I have enormous respect for Chenin Blanc, but this is one grape that definitely needs to spend some time in a military academy. Left to its own devices, after a few years Chenin vines sprawl out, get all broad and flabby, and start overproducing like the Octomom.

But with a little firm discipline (shoot- and cluster-thinning, which is vineyard-manager-speak for “drop and give me twenty, dogface!”) suddenly they're a source for crisp, complex—and underrated—white wines. Here are five that have been whipped into shape.

5 Chenin Blanc Bottles to Hunt Down

2011 Indaba Chenin Blanc ($10)
Indaba’s wines support a fellowship for needy South African students interested in wine-related careers. Like growing more Chenin Blanc, because the place does it so darn well, for instance.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Wine

Box lunch: French fêtes and shark scarcity
July 12th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • How to party like you're French 101. - Gilt Taste

  • A new study shows that more fresh food does not help obesity in low-income neighborhoods. Instead, proximity to fast food and income still play major roles. - Los Angeles Times

  • A delicious peek behind the scenes with food photographer extraordinaire, Penny De Los Santos - Appetite

  • Sharks may be scary, but their disappearance due to the shark-fin trade is even scarier. - TIME
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

Big, bad breakfast sandwiches from really awesome chefs
July 12th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to get our grub on, we listen up.

You’ve heard it before: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Many chefs around the country have heeded the call and are now serving morning meals. Still, that doesn’t mean all their dishes get a nutritional thumbs up.

Take breakfast sandwiches, the Homer Simpson of A.M. food service. Some chefs have created awesome versions that aren’t all available at their restaurants. And many nutritionists will say, thank goodness for that.

Breakfast buffet: National pecan pie day
July 12th, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Frankly my dear, I don't give a pecan - July 12 is National Pecan Pie Day!

If pies are considered to be a national offering of comfort, pecan pies are the grand dames of Southern hospitality.

Made with simple ingredients, these perfect pies combine an ooey-gooey bliss-inducing base of melted butter, eggs, corn syrup and sugar with the woodsy crunch of pecans. You can also pour some chocolate chips and bourbon  (or bacon?) into the batter to sass it up even more.

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