Vintage Dom Perignon: Associate multimedia editor James Pomerantz lived it up at the Food & Wine All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas over the weekend with 2003 Dom Perignon brut and caviar-topped sushi.
Best Value Port: Senior digital editor Lawrence Marcus took respectable 3 p.m. break to taste selections from port wine revolutionary Dirk Niepoort. See the results here.
Martini with a Twist: At Old Homestead in New York, executive wine editor Ray Isle started his steak dinner with a crystal-clear martini with a twist of lemon.
Negroni To-Go: Even though it was served in a plastic cup, I still enjoyed Tooker Alley’s Crown Heights Negroni at the second annual Brooklyn Shaken & Stirred competition.
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Sparkling Wine Cocktails
F&W searched the web for the best photographers, recipe developers and lifestyle bloggers to cook and shoot our most popular recipes. One of our 2013 Digital Food Awards winners, Sarah Bolla is a trained chef who now focuses on food styling. Right now, she's particularly loving accents that feature "earthy, raw, organic pottery and stone." Browse this new F&W slideshow for her takes on delicious recipes like gingery steamed salmon with chives (left) and a speckled Giraffe-Spot Cake with cream cheese frosting.
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Cheap Wine Challenge
Here, wine experts reveal their favorite bottles for under $17. Many of the selections are lesser known but absolutely worth the search.
Who: Noel Sherr, owner of Cave Taureau wine shop in Durham, North Carolina.
What: 2012 Domaine de la Pépière, Vin de Pays de Loire-Atlantique, Cuvée Granit, $16
Why: Muscadet is more known for its minerally white wines that pair brilliantly with shellfish, but the cool region also produces a small amount of lively red wines. This blend from the revered winemaker Marc Ollivier includes Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Côt (a.k.a. Malbec) and Merlot. Sherr says: “It’s just delicious: supple and slightly smoky.”
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and co-founder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.
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French Wine Region: The Loire Valley
Where to Drink Wine Now
This Old Wine
You don't have to be a hoarder or deep-pocketed auction-goer to drink well-aged wine. Here, we spotlight affordable old bottles to buy now.
1999 Niepoort Colheita Port: Though Dirk Niepoort is well known as the man who put Portugal's Douro Valley on the map for dry table wines, his family's traditional ports are fantastic as well. This one is a colheita, meaning it's made like a tawny port but comes entirely from a single year's harvest (rather than being made from a blend of vintages).
The (Wonderful) Effects of Age: Colheitas spend at least seven years in porous oak barrels before being bottled, which means they oxidize and develop flavors like dried fig and toffee. Both of those flavors are here, along with bright red fruit and black walnut, and they all mesh together to form an incredibly delicious, salty-sweet dessert wine. While some ports can be cloying, this one has plenty of acid to balance the sugar.
Pair it With: Fall dinner party desserts, like a giant fig pancake. (And if you're already planning for Thanksgiving, it's hard to imagine a better wine to pair with a toasted pecan tart.)
Best Price Online: $39 at We Speak Wine. (Find more stores.)
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Dr. Vino's Verdict
Ever wondered where the experts stand on the best wine practices and controversies? In this series, wine blogger, teacher and author Tyler Colman (a. k. a. Dr. Vino) delivers a final judgement.
Don’t you think the risks posed by sulfites in wine are completely overblown? You’re right. Wines do contain the compounds, but they're not the reason you feel sick the day after overindulging. Sulfite reactions are both rare and severe; they include anaphylaxis, not a hangover. If you're still in doubt, here's a test: If you can eat five dried apricots without any adverse effects, then you don’t have a sulfite allergy. So, what's with the warning on the bottle? The intention of the phrase “contains sulfites” on wine labels was originally “not to inform but to frighten,” writes Thomas Pinney, in his book A History of Wine in America, Volume 2. Anti-alcohol lobbyists were trying to scare people away from wine in the 1970s and ’80s, and they found their man in Washington in the form of Strom Thurmond. The senator fought for the legislation that required the language. Of course, dried apricots don’t have warnings—because there's no anti-dried fruit lobby.
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