Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ice Cream and Wine? Don't Mind If I Do...

It's not just for us plebeians...some icons of the wine world adore this creative pairing, too...especially in honor of birthdays. Important birthdays, like centennials.

Want to celebrate yours like Mr. Mondavi? Read don't have to be 100.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Surprise! You'll have no idea what's in store for you at these restaurants!

Are you the kind of person who despises surprises? If so, you may as well stop reading right now. Because these restaurants--culled from our Best 100 Wine Restaurants list in Wine Enthusiast Magazine--know how to shock and confuse diners, in the best possible way.

(This surprise from CityZen in Washington, DC is prettier than a bouquet of flowers)

Sometimes the chefs at these restaurants surprise themselves with their creations! I don't know about you, but I think this is very postmodern and exciting. Yes, I said postmodern. (Are you surprised?)

Slice of Heaven: Pizza and Wine

Are you a certified piazzolo? Oh, no? Do you at least have your MW? Oh, I see. I suppose the exact art of pairing pizza and wine is going to be completely lost on you. 

Wait! You DON'T have to be a certified sommelier or pizza expert to know how to combine America's two passions. I've got recipes, tips and tricks from the nation's top gourmet pizza makers (who appeared in our Best 100 Wine Restaurants issue in Wine Enthusiast Magazine) along with wine pairing suggestions. 

Kind of goes without saying this is going to be a pizza party...

(Bianca Pizza from A16)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Game On! Why Duck is the new Bacon (or so I hear...)

For us vegetarians, we have to marvel at the meat-centric debates that rile up the carnivores of the world. Good thing you have those flesh-ripping teeth! Meooow!

Yet while (civilly) creating Wine Enthusiast Magazine's Best 100 Wine Restaurants issue for 2013 (and munching on some sublime watercress, yum!), I noticed a trend: All of our restaurants were obsessed with duck!

Yes, duck is the new bacon. And did we mention it makes for a cool wine plaything? Sommeliers and chefs are in cahoots on this one.

(Ducks hanging in the meat locker at Saison...poor little guys..)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Wide World of Whisky (or Whiskey)

Please, don't get me started on the whisky vs. whiskey debate. Can we focus on the greater issues at hand, like where in the world you can find interesting whiskies? Merely spin the globe, it seems, and you can locate an innovative distillery.

Sweden? Yep. Japan? Of course. India? Makes sense.

See where else you can drink a dram in this story for Premier Traveler.

Where to Drink in New Orleans

Sure, Tales of the Cocktail has already come and gone (though some of us are still feeling the effects.) If you're wondering where to drink, though, in the Big Easy, read this piece for The Daily Meal.

It's geared to the professional drinker, but that's you, right? Did we mention there's "handsome juice?"

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Best Bike Vacations!

So, you like to ride your bike, do you? Well good for you. It's better for our environment and it's great for your bod! Just look at those calf muscles!

(Uhoh, this particular rider appears to be running over a smiley face. Oops! Mistakes can happen.) 

But have you, fellow gear head, considered going on a bike vacation? Trips specifically for those who want to make tracks on two wheels (or one, if you're REALLY special) are making the news, just read my story in Fodor's: 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wonders of the American Whiskey Trail

Like the bold explorers of olde, I took a perilous trip down the American Whiskey Trail this Spring. All of my days spent playing Oregon Trail could not prepare me for the wonders of whiskey I would unearth along my journey. And I did not die of dysentery, or snake bite!

(A Herculean feat, powered by Jim Beam...)

Read it and drink:

Just Back From: Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans

Thousands of cocktails.
Hundreds of spirits brands.
Dozens of New Orleans venues.
And several dwarfs shooting vodka off of an ice luge in clown costumes. (Um yes, that really happened. We have proof.)

Read all this, and more, in this riveting recap for

Top Spirits Festivals

Some of us are still recovering from Tales of the Cocktail (more on that to come), which took place in New Orleans last week.

But if you're ready for more great shots and stellar sips--not to mention the general shenanigans that come about whenever the cocktail community collides--check out this story in Premier Traveler, rounding up the top spirits festivals in the whole wide world: