Bottle Service

Wine

A Cooking School in a Medieval Tuscan Village

In this idyllic region of Italy, visionary entrepreneurs are transforming entire medieval villages—beautiful, abandoned, on the brink of extinction—into phenomenal places to sleep, eat and shop.
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Top 10 Grower Champagnes

The biggest change over the past decade has been the rise of “grower” Champagnes from unknown to ultra-popular. Essentially the opposite of the wines made by the big houses, these come from individual, family-owned vineyards, often farmers turned winemakers who used to sell their grapes to the grandes marques. Grower Champagnes aren’t necessarily better or worse than those from the big houses, but they do tend to reflect vineyard character more directly. (They can be identified by the letters RM on the label, which stand for récoltant-manipulant, meaning a producer who grows grapes and makes wine only from his or her own vines.) These 10 winners from our tastings at F&W are more than worth seeking out.—Ray Isle
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Drink These 25 Bottles and Become a Wine Master

Ask any wine expert what’s the best way to learn about wine, and they’ll tell you to taste as much as you can. But where to start? And for that matter, where to finish? There are almost 20,000 different wines for sale in the U.S. at any given moment. So even if you’re a zillionaire with a ton of spare time, tasting more than a tiny fraction of what’s available clearly is not an option.To save you from getting completely overwhelmed, here’s a 25-bottle starter guide to wine wisdom. You’ll need a budget of roughly $1,000, which sounds like a lot, but you don’t have to buy all of the bottles up front—one a week will suffice. Also, the point here isn’t to drown you in technical wine geekery. If you are keen to know the geological origins of Portugal’s Douro Valley, Google’s your friend. The purpose of this exercise is to leave you with a mental library of tastes that you can refer to anytime you try a new wine.Related: 18 Wine Racks We Love From Amazon and WayfairIn fact, maybe the thing to do is to think of this as a game rather than a rigorous course of study—like The Game of Life for wine. Follow the path in order. Each bottle leads to the next. You accumulate experience. But instead of retiring at the end, you wind up with a bunch of wine smarts and the rest of your days ahead of you. Not bad, right?
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Liquid Diet

Liquor Cabinet Roulette


The New Spirit That Allegedly Smells Like a Patagonian Forest

Three winter cocktails to make with Träkál.