Commence drinking better (and pricier)  wine
June 3rd, 2014
11:15 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.

An appealingly cynical English friend in the wine business once told me, “You see, what you do is that when your child is born, you purchase a case of vintage port from that year. Then, when the child finally graduates from college, you send them on their way, and you drink it.”

Exactly. All this business about putting wine away until your kid is able to appreciate it is just bunk; the person who really deserves a good bottle post-graduation is the parent. After all, it costs somewhere on the order of $241,000 to raise a kid, and that isn’t even counting college—don’t you think you deserve a bottle of something nice after all that?

Here are some splurge-worthy suggestions from some of the world’s great wine regions. They’re a little pricey, but on the bright side, you could buy more than 5,000 bottles of any one of them for what you just paid to raise your newly minted graduate.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Graduation • Sip • Wine


Best wines for every kind of burger
May 23rd, 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.

We Americans, we do like our beef. The average citizen of the US of A eats somewhere around 70 pounds of beef per year. And we eat more of it on Memorial Day than any other day of the year—not all 70 pounds in one go, necessarily, but still. Evidently we, as a people, cannot resist the urge to slap round patties of ground cow flesh onto hot metal and then devour the results.
 
There are, however, some suspicious characters floating around—veggie refuseniks, fifth-column lamb lovers, turkey-burger saboteurs, whatnot—who reject the classic burger in all its beefy, juicy wonder. Well, it’s a democracy, at least last I heard, and everyone’s entitled to their own viewpoint. (And, you know, a good lamb burger is mighty hard to resist, I do have to admit.)
 
So, in the spirit of diversity, brotherhood and universal burger tolerance, here are some wine recommendations for a whole variety of grilled-things-between-buns.
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Filed under: Burgers • Content Partner • Food and Wine • Grilling • Memorial Day • Sandwiches • Sip • Wine


May 20th, 2014
07:00 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.

Why wait for Memorial Day? Grilling season is effectively here—the weather’s warm, the charcoal is available, and with any luck you’ve delegated some nearby child to scrub off all of last year’s grilled-on gunk with a handy wire brush. One hitch: according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for beef and pork are up a good notch over last year.

Faced with this, I have the following advice: Buy affordable wine. More specifically, buy good affordable wine. And buy it in bulk, or at least by the case (most wine stores give a discount on case purchases, usually 10 to 15 percent). You won’t have to worry about running out the next time you have a picnic, and the extra dollars you save can be rerouted toward an additional sparerib or two.

Here, in a bargain-hunting spirit, are five great bottles, all well-suited for big, charred chunks of meat:
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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Grilling • Memorial Day • Sip • Wine


Everything is coming up rosés
April 29th, 2014
07:00 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.

There was a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, when you couldn’t give away a bottle of dry French rosé wine in the US. The zillions of bottles of White Zinfandel on store shelves had somehow worked a kind of evil spell on wine buyers’ minds, convincing everyone that if a wine was pink, then it must therefore taste like soda pop and be sweet.

That’s changed, and nothing attests to it more than the fact that shipments of dry rosés to the US from Provence—the homeland of great dry rosé—shot up more than 40 percent last year. But it’s no surprise, when you think about it. Provençal rosé, which is light, crisp and not sweet in the slightest, is one of the best springtime (and summertime) wines around.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Wine


Gee, this wine tastes hamtastic!
April 18th, 2014
01:45 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.

Easter and ham. Sure, there are plenty of people whose idea of Easter dinner is roasting up an herb–crusted leg of lamb (or chowing down on a bucketful of Peeps), but if you ask me, ham is the classic Easter food. The rest of the country seems to agree—U.S. ham sales climb to 10 times normal during the week leading up to Easter.
 
This situation, of course, leads to the question: What wine do you pair with ham? The answer is easier once you know a couple of the basic facts about pairing wine and food, specifically regarding salt.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Easter • Food and Wine • Sip • Wine


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