5@5 - Tips for choosing wine as a holiday gift
December 12th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

You may be dreaming of a white Christmas, but a red or rosé Christmas will be just fine by us too. We're not picky, after all.

But if you do have a picky wine drinker on your gift list, Jeff Meisel, the wine director for Gilt Taste, is here to help guide your sleigh toward all your holiday imbibing needs.

Five Tips To Remember When Choosing Wine for a Holiday Gift: Jeff Meisel
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Filed under: 5@5 • Sip • Think • Wine


Box lunch: Yule log tutorials and queso crimes
December 12th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Get your Bûche de Noël on with this step-by-step guide. - Serious Eats


  • Word to the wise: Don't try to smuggle drugs in nacho cheese. - NPR



  • If you're wondering where you should eat today, these iPhone apps will hit the spot. - Mashable


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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


Bargain bubbly for the holidays
December 12th, 2011
09:05 AM 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.

The season of toasts is upon us, which means the season of buying truckloads of sparkling wine is here too. Not being a millionaire, I'm looking for bargains, and when it comes to bubbles right now, that means prosecco (from Italy) and cava (from Spain).

Generally speaking, prosecco is a touch fruitier, more peachy; cava is drier, with more of a citrus and green apple character. But both open with the requisite festive pop.
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Filed under: Bubbly • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Wine


Breakfast buffet: National cocoa day
December 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.

Are you cuckoo for cocoa? - December 12 is National Cocoa Day!

There isn't a much better way to unwind than fixing yourself a steaming cup of sweet hot cocoa, and today, you have an excuse to quaff away!

It's a well-known fact that we have the Mayans to thank for discovering cocoa and turning it into a beverage before it even became a popular confection. When the Europeans began adapting it to include in their society, it was even regarded as an acceptable dowry when members of the Spanish Royal Family married European aristocrats; cacao beans only grew in South America, so they were very expensive.
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