February 28th, 2014
12:00 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 had the good fortune last week to be in California for Premiere Napa Valley, a glitzy shindig for which the valley’s top wineries produce special, one-off cuvées to help fund the Napa Valley Vintners (the local trade association). Usually five or 10 cases, but sometimes up to a full barrel, these cuvées are then auctioned off to wine shop owners and the like for, ideally, huge heaps of cash. Nothing is ever cheap at this event, and at this year’s auction—which demolished previous records for revenue—some things were very, very expensive.

Take, for instance, the top lot: five cases of wine from the beloved-by-billionaires cult–Cab favorite Scarecrow. It sold for $260,000. That’s about more than four grand a bottle, give or take. Or, you know, for normal people, a house.
 
However: It should be said that despite the glow given off by extravaganzas like this one, Napa Valley does produce some very good wines that are also, actually, affordable. People tend to forget that fact in their concentration on the region’s famed Cabernets, but it’s well-worth remembering.

Here, for those of us (wine writers included) who could no more spend four thousand bucks on a bottle of wine than we could fly to the moon on the backs of magical swans, some ideal Napa bargains.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Wine


February 28th, 2014
10:30 AM ET
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Your phone's confiscated.

Your fingerprints are taken.

You're going to prison.

But don't worry, it's just for lunch.

The Clink Charity opened its third restaurant this week inside Brixton Prison in south London.

The meals are cooked and served by actual prisoners at restaurants located inside prison walls as part of a training and qualification program to help them prepare for life on the outside.
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Filed under: Britain • Restaurants • Theme • Travel


February 27th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
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Do you try to eat ethically? Do you only eat local produce, using nothing that’s been transported via air travel? Avoid certain products or grow your own?

The concepts of eating ethically and watching where our food comes from are hot topics in the food world.

CNN’s forthcoming Freedom Project documentary examines the cocoa industry and the work undertaken to combat exploitation of workers throughout the journey from “bean to chocolate bar,” shining a light on the often challenging issue of eating ethically.

Broadly speaking, eating ethically can cover anything from vegetarianism to eating only local produce and boycotting products which are considered wasteful or exploitative.

iReport asked CNN readers if they think about where their food comes from.
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Filed under: Animal Rights • Food Politics • iReport • Local Food


February 27th, 2014
03:45 PM ET
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Paula Deen might be on track to issue another apology.

After her career in food imploded last year when she admitted to previously using a racial slur, the 67-year-old celebrity chef is trying to slowly rebuild what she's lost.

However, her recent cover story with People magazine is having the opposite effect.

In the article, Deen says she is finding inspiration in what might seem an unusual place given her past troubles.
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Filed under: Celebrity Chefs • Paula Deen


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