"Tasting menu" used to mean "expensive." Now it's become a relatively affordable way to explore the menu at casual places. At New York City's raucous Indian spot Babu Ji, chef Jessi Singh offers a seven-course menu for $60 that might include this yogurt kebab—perfect with a semidry Riesling or a beer from the serve-yourself fridge.
The Food & Wine Firstleaf wine club is unusually interactive, allowing members to choose which wines they want and also to rate bottles they've tried. Then a supersmart algorithm tailors shipments to each person's tastes. F&W executive wine editor Ray Isle curated the introductory three-pack. $30; firstleafclub.com/rayspicks.
Most retailers offer a discount if you buy wine by the case. But 12 bottles of anything can seem like a big commitment, especially for a wine you've never tried. The insider move: Find a friend to split cases of everyday or collectible wines—either someone who shares your tastes or someone who doesn't and can help you branch out.
You can buy a bottle of Rocca di Frassinello's superb 2012 Maremma red for $49. Or for $46,000 you can blend your own personalized barrel of super-Tuscan wine one-on-one with Rocca di Frassinello's winemaker, Alessandro Cellai. Once your wine is ready, it will be sent to you at home—all 300 bottles of it. The experience is only available to guests at the Baglioni Hotel Cala del Porto, a boutique property with gorgeous views of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Through October 2016; baglionihotels.com.