Lotsa matzo! Great new Jewish restaurants
April 16th, 2014
12:30 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

The history of Jewish cooking is long. Almost as long is the history of jokes about Jewish cooking. (A bad matzo ball makes a good paperweight. Hahahahaha.)

Just about everyone—with the possible exception of Jewish food joke writers—will be glad to hear that we’re in a new era of Jewish cuisine. No offense to anyone’s grandmother, but several places are using well-sourced ingredients to make superior versions of brisket, babka, and of course, matzo balls.

Here they are, the great new Jewish culinary destinations. When you visit, remember this piece of classic Jewish humor: Never leave a restaurant empty-handed.
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April 14th, 2014
08:15 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.

Yep, it’s true. Mere days before Passover, Manischewitz, the most well-known maker of kosher wine (not to mention matzos), has been sold. The announcement came this past Tuesday; the buyer was Sankaty Advisors, an affiliate of Bain Capital.

Never mind that Bain’s most famous co-founder was, of course, Mitt Romney, who’s Mormon and a non-drinker—there’s some sort of cosmic unlikeliness there that’s just too strange for the brain to handle. But I am going to go out on a limb and say, regardless of who will now profit from all of those many bottles of Manischewitz Concord Grape wine, there are other choices out there for Passover. And some of them are actually very good.

Here are five to look for.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Passover • Sip • Wine


April 9th, 2014
12:05 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.

What do Arinto, Baga, Castelão, Alfrocheiro, Rabigato, Códega do Larinho and Esgana Cão (which, rather evocatively, translates as “dog strangler”) all have in common? They’re all Portuguese grape varieties, which means they are grown in the place that is currently winning my award for most exciting wine country in the world that the U.S. doesn’t know enough about.
 
Wine’s been made in Portugal for at least a couple of thousand years. Wine lovers here tend to know about one or two Portuguese categories—the crisp whites of Vinho Verde, sweet port from the Douro Valley, fizzy pink Mateus in its oddly shaped bottle.

But there are terrific wines being made up and down the length of this country, white and red, from a plethora of local as well as international grapes. Plus, the quality of the country’s winemaking is at an all-time high.

Here’s a start: Four Portuguese regions worth looking into, with a recommended wine or two for each.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Wine


'Round the vend - what food can you get from a machine?
April 8th, 2014
12:21 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Spring! Finally! Farmers markets are in full effect, boasting gorgeous and colorful fruits and vegetables straight from the ground, the trees, the bushes.

So this seems like a good time to take stock of all the awesome things you can now get straight from a machine. Asia and Europe have been way ahead of the United States in terms of vending machine cuisine, but now we’re starting to catch up. Happily, a lot of this food is, if not exactly fresh from the soil, at least frequently refreshed inside the vending machine case.
 
Take this quiz to reinforce just how rich America’s vending machine bounty now is.

Which following foods are available from vending machines in the U.S.?

1. Caviar
2. Salad
3. Pizza
4. Champagne
5. Cupcakes
6. Pie
7. Wine
8. Ice cream
9. Burritos
10. French Fries
 
Good luck!
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Pranks a lot, April Fools' Day food jokesters
April 1st, 2014
12:10 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

For some people, April 1 is just another day. Others see a world of possibilities on April Fool’s Day. You can make this the day to: Install an air horn as a door wall protector, or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish. Then there are the food-inspired pranks. For instance, replacing Oreo cream filling with toothpaste, or experimenting with mayonnaise-filled doughnuts. (Thanks to boredpanda.com for these inspirations.)
 
Of course, I want to hear any brilliant April Fool/Food jokes that anyone has perpetrated. In the meantime, let’s salute some truly epic ones.
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Singling out single-hop beers
March 27th, 2014
07:30 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.

Every once in a while, gazing out at the world of beer, it’s hard not to throw one’s hands up in the air and cry, “Good gracious, what wild fantasies these madmen have wrought!”How, for instance, is one supposed to choose between a beer made with yeast cultured from prehistoric whale fossils (Lost Rhino Brewing Company’s recently announced Bone Dusters Paleo Ale) and one that includes bull testicles (Wynkoop Brewing’s Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout)?

In Oregon, an intrepid brewer has supposedly fermented a concoction using yeast culled from his own beard (Rogue’s Beard Beer; no offense to brewer John Maier, but, blech). In Canada, a clutch of intergalactically-minded marketers have launched a crisp Klingon brew for Star Trek kooks (Federation o Beer’s Warnog).

Faced with all this, it’s important to remember that beer, when you come right down to it, only requires four ingredients. Organs from unfortunate bulls or prehistoric whale bones really don’t come into it. Water, a starch (typically malted barley), yeast and hops are all you need. And if you ask me, the coolest of that quartet is the hops.
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Filed under: Beer • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip


March 25th, 2014
06:00 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.

Take that, Italy and France. With the 2013 vintage, Spain stomped on its grape-growing European counterparts to become the biggest wine producer in the world. According to the Spanish government, Spain produced roughly 6.7 billion bottles of wine last year - more than a bottle apiece for every single person on the planet, at least if you subtract kids.
 
Here’s the hitch: Spain, despite making all this wine, isn’t drinking it. According to the secretary general of the Spanish Wine Federation, Spain has the lowest per capita wine consumption in Europe, except for Norway. (What the Norwegians are doing, who knows, but one thing they aren’t doing is sucking down tanker loads of wine.)

This means, in order to prevent a civilization-threatening worldwide glut of Spanish vino, we all need to start drinking as much Spanish wine as possible, immediately. To aid you in this noble and humanitarian goal, here are some great Spanish bottles to seek out. I suggest buying them by the case. Otherwise, lord knows what disasters might occur.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Wine


March 24th, 2014
03:00 PM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.

Last week we spotlighted outstanding new breweries around the country, from Asheville, North Carolina, to Portland, Oregon. (Sometime soon, Florida microbreweries will get a post all to themselves.)
 
Speaking of Florida, this week, the focus swings to a different type of drinking establishment. It’s spring break, which of course means you can find yourself in the kind of bar that Bill Hader’s Stefon raved about on Saturday Night Live: “This place has everything: Lights, psychos, Furbies, screaming babies in Mozart wigs, sunburned drifters with soap-sud beards.”

Or you can ignore spring break in a great historical spot in New Orleans and pretend it’s not spring break right outside on Bourbon Street.
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Filed under: Bars • Beer • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holidays • Sip • Spring Break


Get to know Prosecco
March 19th, 2014
12:30 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 news that Prosecco outsold Champagne - 307 million bottles worldwide compared with 304 million - may flabbergast some fizz fans, but it’s really no surprise. Prosecco is as hot as a cold, sparkling white wine can be, with sales in 2013 up more than 24% over 2012.
 
That 307 million stat, by the way, came from OVSE, an Italian wine “observatory” (essentially an industry research group, though you have to like the idea of white-coated scientists spending their time watching bottles of Prosecco through massive mountaintop telescopes), so perhaps one should take it with a grain of salt. Regardless, it’s hard to argue with Prosecco’s overall appeal.
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Filed under: Bubbly • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Wine


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