6 brilliant new breweries across the U.S.
March 13th, 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.

Recently - and just in time for St. Patrick’s Day - Nerdwallet.com released a study on the cheapest cities for beer drinkers. Based on some fancy math that involves a six-pack of Heineken, median incomes, beer tax and beer demand, the site determined that Washington, DC, is the least expensive city for beer drinkers. (If you’re earning the median income, you could buy more than 30,000 Heinekens a year!) Of course, now you want to know the most expensive city for beer drinkers; according to Nerdwallet, that’s Chicago.
  
Now you know where your income is best spent on Heineken. Also good to know for St. Patrick’s Day are these outrageously good new breweries around the country, specializing in excellent beers, stouts and ales. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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Filed under: Bars • Beer • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Holidays • Sip • St. Patrick's Day


Chianti gets all classy
March 11th, 2014
01:00 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.

News last week that the powers that be in Tuscany’s Chianti Classico region have created a new, super-duper designation for the region’s wines - Chianti Classico "Gran Selezione" - got me thinking. I’ve got no problem at all with a special category of top-end Chianti Classico (about 10 percent of the region’s wines will qualify); in fact, I think life would be excellent if various of my relatives and friends took it upon themselves to buy me cases of high-end Chianti. Why not? But I do have to admit: My real affection for Chianti has more to do with the fact that so many of the region’s affordable wines are so appealing.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Wine


March 10th, 2014
07:05 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.

You’ve read about them before: the $750 cupcake and $5,000 burger you can find in Las Vegas; the $10,000 martini on sale in West Hollywood. Some people must be ordering them and feeling like it was money well spent. Lots of others will file those dishes under the Ripped-off-at-a-Restaurant category.

On the other end of the spectrum is a new model that’s gaining traction across the country and around the world: pay-what-you-want spots. You make the call on the price of the dish, and when you pay a little extra it helps feed people who are in need. Right on for the places below.
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Filed under: Chain • Charity • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Hunger • Restaurants


March 3rd, 2014
09:00 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.

If you’ll be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, lucky you.
 
Note that there are new rules for the parade route, the most important one surely being this: Private portable toilets are no longer allowed on public property. You’ll have to leave your personal Porta-Potty at home.
 
If you’re not going to make it to NOLA, there are plenty of other places where you can pretend like you’re there, and here are a few.
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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 21st, 2014
01:00 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.

Bad news for all the trazillions of coffee drinkers: It looks like the price of java will soon start climbing.

Thanks–or no thanks–to dry weather in Brazil, coffee beans are about to get pricier.

Which means that if you have to start paying more, you should make sure your cup(s) of coffee are especially great. Here are five new places for an extra good jolt of caffeine.
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Chocolate delights, $600 (and under)
February 14th, 2014
04:00 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.

As a firm believer in the almighty power of chocolate, this was big news for me, and every eight-year-old in the country: Last week, Crest unveiled chocolate toothpaste. To be clear, it’s just chocolate (and mint) flavored; the tooth-cleaning power comes from sodium fluoride. But still.
  
This chocolate toothpaste seems perfectly timed for a chocolate Valentine’s Day blow out. Not that you should wrap it in a ribbon and give it out in lieu of real chocolate. Instead, gauge the level of chocolate expertise for your Valentine and gift accordingly (see below). If you choose to make a present of chocolate toothpaste, save it for National Tooth Fairy Day (February 28).
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February 14th, 2014
01:30 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.

This Valentine’s Day it’s very important to keep in mind that there’s a paranoid conspiracy floating around our world to the effect that red wine goes well with chocolate. This delusion isn’t quite on the order of believing that the moon landing was a hoax, but it’s pernicious nonetheless.
 
Here’s the deal. Anything you eat that is sweet (e.g. chocolate) is going to make a dry red wine taste more sour and astringent than it already is. So, basically, if you give your date a nice box of chocolates and then serve her (or him) a big ol’ glass of Cabernet, the reaction is likely to be along the lines of “bleah!” And I’m here to tell you, “bleah” is not the word you want to hear at the end of the evening on Valentine’s Day.
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Filed under: Chocolate • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Valentine's Day • Wine


On Valentine's Day, stick with the classics
February 13th, 2014
12:15 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.

Sometimes it’s worthwhile taking the classic approach. If you’re a cowboy, skip saddling up an emu—just ride a dang horse. If you are a lion, do not attempt to browse the tender shoots of the mokukutu bush—just chomp the neck of a zebra and have done with it.

Similarly, when Valentine’s Day comes along, why try to wow your honey with some oddball concoction when bubbly works so well?
 
The choices are vast but the basic equation is simple: If you want actual Champagne, from the Champagne region in northern France, prepare to pay more. Champagne runs from $30 or more a bottle, on up to a couple of hundred dollars a bottle for top wines.

For more affordable wines in a similar mode (i.e., made the same way, and with the same basic grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) look to California sparkling wines. There are many good, affordable choices in the $20 to $25 zone.

And if bargains are what you’re after, both Prosecco (from Italy) and cava (from Spain) produce terrific sparkling wines in the under-$20 price range—possibly not the price point to pop the question with, but good value if your evening is going to involve drowning the sorrows of a gang of embittered single friends.

Here, some excellent possibilities:
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Filed under: Bubbly • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Valentine's Day


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