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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

Dr. Vino's Verdict

Sugar-Free Champagne: Trendy and Tasty, But Don't Drink It Alone

Sugar-Free Champagne: Trendy and Tasty, But Don't Drink It Alone

Don't you think low-dosage Champagnes are better with food? The high acid levels in Champagne have traditionally been balanced by adding a little sugar, known as the dosage (pronounced dough-SAAJ) right before the cork goes in the bottle. Read more >

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Wine Intel

Three Minute Interview: On Beaujolais with Joe Campanale

Tomorrow is the third Thursday of November, which marks the release of Beaujolais Nouveau. This wine, made from the Gamay grape in southern Burgundy, is the first release of the just-completed 2013 harvest. Beaujolais Nouveau is made very quickly, resulting in a juicy, light-hearted wine—perfect for an end of harvest celebration. Joe Campanale, a 2013 F&W Sommelier of the Year and owner of several wine-forward New York City restaurants will not be celebrating with Nouveau, however. Instead, tomorrow he’ll be opening a bunch of what he’s calling Beaujolais Vieilles at his West Village wine bar, Anfora. Here’s why... Read more >

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Cheap Wine Challenge

A Loire Chenin Blanc that Over-delivers

2011 Cave de Vendôme Blanc Lieu-Dit Cocagne

Here, wine experts reveal their favorite bottles costing less than $17. Many of the selections are lesser known but absolutely worth the search.

Who: Lee Campbell, wine director at Reynard, at Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. Read more >

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Ray Isle's Tasting Room

How to Make a Bottle of Wine Last Forever

Ray Isle demystifies the art of wine preservation

Wine preservation is de-mystified thanks to Ray Isle, who tested every method to make wine stay fresh longer. Here are his favorites. Read more >

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The Food & Wine Diet

Live-to-100 Salad with Pinot Gris

Warm Sweet Potato-and-Barley Salad with Miso-Lime Dressing

This luscious vegan salad includes plenty of sweet potatoes, tofu and miso—star ingredients in Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture where an extraordinary number of people live to be well past 100. Thankfully, a small amount of alcohol plays a roll in the Okinawa diet, so you can feel good about eating this dish with a glass of wine. Oregon Pinot Gris is especially delicious with the sweet potatoes and savory miso dressing. Read more >

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Dr. Vino's Verdict

Why You Should Buy Wine in Bulk

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 it’s smarter to buy wine by the case rather than one bottle at a time? Most stores offer a discount on purchases of 12 bottles or more. Also, local delivery is often free or close to free, so someone else can do the heavy lifting for you. One caveat: shop around. A 10 percent discount at a pricey store may sound good, but still mean a more expensive bottle than one from a retailer who charges less to start with.

Related: More From Dr. Vino
In Search of Good Cheap Wine
Affordable Aged Bottles

Cheap Wine Challenge

A Fruity, Floral Red from Spain’s Ribeira Sacra

2011 D. Ventura Viño do Burato, Ribeira Sacra

Here, wine experts reveal their favorite bottles costing less than $17. Many of the selections are lesser known but absolutely worth the search.

Who: Brad Ball, proprietor and wine director, Social Wine Bar, Charleston, South Carolina

What: 2011 D. Ventura Viño do Burato, Ribeira Sacra

Why: “This medium-bodied wine is the perfect fall red, brimming with bright red fruits of pomegranate and red cherry, and intense floral notes of rose petal and geranium,” says Brad Ball. The wine is produced from the indigenous Mencía grape, which grows on some of the most dramatic vineyards in the world in northwest Spain. “It’s also just straight up delicious!” he says.

Related: More Value Wines
Spanish Wine Country Travel Guide
Chef Dream Trips: Spain

This Old Wine

Lebanon's Weirdly Great Red Blend

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.

2003 Chateau Musar: This famous Lebanese wine is made by a charismatic storyteller named Serge Hochar, who kept Musar in production even as bombs struck nearby Beirut during the country’s 15-year civil war (as chronicled in GQ by Elizabeth Gilbert in 2004). Musar’s provenance is not it’s only unusual characteristic. It typically displays noticeable levels of Brettanomyces (a yeast that creates a distinct horsey smell) and volatile acidity (which creates a brightly unhinged salty-sour note). These things are usually considered outright faults, but in the case of Musar they add up to an unusually wild-tasting but excellent wine.

The (Wonderful) Effects of Age: Hochar says his wines shouldn’t be consumed before they’re 15 years old, but 2003’s fantastic weirdness is perfectly enjoyable at age 10. With notes of tomato, thyme and balsamic vinegar (from the VA) mixing with dried cherry and cinnamon, it’s a terrific example of a great red that has strong savory flavors in addition to fruit. This bottling is browner in color and brighter in flavor than the more darkly fruity 2004.

Drink It With: Daniel Boulud’s basil-crusted leg of lamb. Two of the grapes used in Musar, Carignane and Cinsaut, are typical components of southern Rhône blends, which are always a great choice with lamb.

Best Price Online: $44 at Woodland Hills Wine Company. (Find more stores.)

Related: More Affordable Aged Bottles
Delicous Lamb Recipes
Dispatch From an F&W Editor On the Road: Beirut

At-Home Sommelier

Why Sparkling Rosé Pairs with Everything

Chef Ignacio Mattos, left, and wine director Thomas Carter of New York City's Estela.

Estela's Thomas Carter shares fantastic sparkling rosé pairings that show why this style of wine is incredibly versatile and food-friendly. Read more >

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The Food & Wine Diet

Crispy Flounder and Sautéed Mushrooms with Cabernet Franc

Crispy Flounder and Sautéed Mushrooms with Cabernet Franc

These healthy recipes are all created to pair with wine (a 5-ounce glass has anywhere from 110 to 150 calories)—all for 600 calories or fewer. Read More »

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The Dish
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