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Is Beer on Tap Really the Best?

Is Beer on Tap Really the Best? Bottle or tap? When choosing a beer, I used to think: "Tap, of course. Always." Yet, in Charles Bamforth's book Beer Is Proof God Loves Us, the professor of malting and brewing sciences at UC Davis was asked by a reporter, "If there are 50 beers on tap, what do you order?" His defiant answer was, "Something out of a bottle." READ MORE

What’s “Wineglass Sake”?

What’s “Wineglass Sake”? In recent years, sake consumption has been declining in Japan. And rough times have been compounded by the recent earthquake and tsunami. (The Japanese practice self-restraint, or "jishuku," when others are suffering.) But I recently found out that there's new hope for sake, in the form of "wineglass sake." READ MORE

Pairing Syrah with Spring Ingredients

Pairing Syrah with Spring Ingredients Not long ago I was with a couple of friends in the country. It was raining heavily, and we were making a meal of some of the first treats of spring: nettles, delicate little spears of asparagus, bright green watercress. There were oranges and fennel, and we had a chicken. The only problem was that we didn't have a white wine, which all that brilliant spring chlorophyll seemed to demand. I did happen to have a bottle of Saint-Joseph—Syrah from France's northern Rhône—which, it turned out, was a magical elixir. READ MORE

100-Plus Proof: Crazy, or Trendy?

100-Plus Proof: Crazy, or Trendy? The other day, I gave a curious friend a sip of rum from my bar. Before I could say anything, he eagerly tilted back his head and downed it. Almost instantly he began waving his arms and hopping around like someone who had just swallowed a Scotch bonnet chile. "What the *!#%?" he screamed when he'd finally regained his breath. READ MORE

The Next Big Drink You’re Going to Hate

The Next Big Drink You’re Going to Hate Sorry, tequila, mezcal, and pisco. I love you, but the most naturally complex (no flavors added) white spirit in the world is Moutai (also spelled Maotai), the national spirit of China. Despite the fact that it's existed, in one form or another, since the first century BCE, most people in our country have never heard of it. READ MORE

Beer Pints Are Just Too Big

Beer Pints Are Just Too Big When we use the cliché "pint-sized," we're generally talking about something very small. So why is it that the pint glass, as the most common American vessel for beer, is—among its other faults—entirely too large? READ MORE

Why Loire Wines Are Like the Movie “Moneyball”

Why Loire Wines Are Like the Movie “Moneyball” I recently was in France, checking out natural wine bars in Paris and attending an epic tasting of the wines of the Loire Valley. On my flight home, Moneyball was playing in the main cabin. Watching it, I couldn't help but think that Loire Valley wine is a bit like Moneyball, which stars international superstar Brad Pitt and ... who else? Most casual wine drinkers only know the Loire's one megastar, Sauvignon Blanc of Sancerre. But there are so many more great wines. READ MORE

Belgian Brewers Are Copying Us!

Belgian Brewers Are Copying Us! Sure, Belgian beer is big in America. And American brewers have been making their own versions of Belgian styles for a handful of years. But did you know that Belgian brewers are equally as impressed with American beer? That's the word on the street. READ MORE

Vodka Tries to Get Hip

Vodka Tries to Get Hip First off, I have to confess that I'm drinking gin as I write this meditation on vodka. And this gin tastes really good after taking several days to figure out if I liked the world's most popular spirit (vodka). READ MORE

New Year’s Drinking Resolutions

New Year’s Drinking Resolutions Most people's New Year's resolutions contain something about not drinking, or not drinking as much. I, on the other hand, set goals about what type of drinking I want to focus on in the new year. Last year it was cider and Calvados (among other things). Check. What about this year? READ MORE