• The Best and Worst Wine Gifts

    Not too many years ago, I had what is still referred to in my family as the "Christmas of the Rack" -- an entire holiday season where I inexplicably received...


  • Wine for Weddings: The Toast

    Here's a confession: I served terrible Champagne (sorry, "Champagne") at my wedding. I was too young to know better and my guests were too Baptist to drink...


  • Reconsidering Pinot Gris

    Eventually someone will ask, ”What's the wine that got you into wine?” Then come the phenomenal answers of ancient Brunellos discovered on semesters...


  • Madeira for Mothers

    It's always a little weird to me when people market wines specifically for mothers. It's even weirder when the wines are terrible. (The worst offenders are...


  • 5 Ways to Get Lost in Spain

    When we talk about Spanish wine, we talk about Tempranillo, Garnacha and Albarino, the heavy-hitters that make up some of the world's most profound and...


  • Bonarda: The Other Argentine Wine

    Talk long enough about Bonarda and you'll hear all the keywords of ill-repute. High yield. Simple. Jug. Bulk. Once Argentina's most widely planted variety...


  • Malbec in Argentina

    There's this moment -- it happens after you've looked out the window for too long -- when you realize the clouds aren't clouds, they're the Andes. Giant,...


  • Fernet For Life

    There's a fairy tale quality to fernet -- we're talking Brothers Grimm, not Walt Disney. Alone in a glass, the cola-brown bitter conjures the woods and...


  • Apples to Apples

    Traditional hard apple cider is the spirit world's safe zone, a Switzerland of sorts where wine, beer, and liquor enthusiasts can lay down their arms and...


  • Top 5 Holiday Classics

    The word "classic" tends to get especially abused this time of year. Everything longs to be a holiday season tradition; in the past few weeks, I've seen...


  • A Spirited Exchange

    Every Christmas Eve, my father's side of the family gathers for three reasons: BBQ, our annual viewing of (and snarky commentary on) White Christmas, and a...


  • Buttered Rum Round-up

    Here's the best thing about hot buttered rum: It's perfect for whichever sort of cold day you're having. If you've somehow captured one of those...


  • Wine Gifts: The Good and the Bad and Ugly

    (Full page) Not too many years ago, I had what is still referred to in my family as the "Christmas of the Rack" -- an entire holiday season where I...


  • Baking with Booze

    Let us give thanks for this one day that is, by design, moderation resistant. May no American pretend to prepare healthy food or plan to eat sensible...


  • Scotch 101

    Make no mistake, it's coming. Even if you've long steered clear of that intimidating wall of Glenlivets and Glenfiddiches and Laphroaigs, the day will come...


  • The Armagnac Alternative

    While cognac has a reputation that precedes it, France's other famous brandy, Armagnac, seems to go largely unrecognized here in the States, though it's...


  • Advanced Bar Tools

    There's no harm in starting with the basics. Most people begin their home bar set-up with an all-in-one kit (the bridal shower / housewarming special, if you...


  • Oh, Schnapp(s)!

    It won't be the classiest or most versatile bottle in your home bar, but you still shouldn't go without a bottle of peppermint schnapps. For one, it's cheap...


  • Shoot from the Hip

    "Smuggling" is an ugly word, so let's just say the flask is the gentlemanly way of transporting alcohol into situations where it might not be otherwise...


  • In the Clear

    The House of Rémy Martin has spent 286 years sealing its reputation as the leading cognac producer in the world. Generations of growers and master blenders...


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