dining & travel

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Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Keeping It Real in Mendocino

Known for its laid-back atmosphere, this Northern California County offers an authentic wine-and-food experience

Posted: May 15, 2013  By Tim Fish

In California wine country, Mendocino County is out in left field in more ways than one. Not only is it the Golden State’s most remote and northernmost wine region, but the attitude there is different compared to places like Sonoma or Santa Barbara. Life moves at a slower pace and the mindset is more unconventional, some might even say eccentric.

It’s not quite like any wine region you’ll ever visit, which is just what we discovered while researching “A Wine and Food Tour of Mendocino” in the June 15 issue of Wine Spectator.

News & Features  :  Matchmaking

8 & $20 Recipe: Indian-Spiced Grilled Chicken and Chardonnay

A warm side salad of wilted spinach and chickpeas rounds out the meal

Posted: May 14, 2013  By Jennifer Fiedler

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

From Farm to Table, Except for Wine

The new hipster restaurants of Portland, Ore., are emblematic of a national phenomenon

Posted: May 8, 2013  By Tim Fish

I spent a few days in Portland, Ore., last week, and you can't deny it has a distinctive personality, a combo of the laidback vibe of the West Coast with the rusty sneer of an old East Coast port city. It's also one of the hipster capitals of America. Every generation has its young, counter-culture crowd, from the beatniks and hippies to the punks, rappers and beyond, but today's hipsters have created a lifestyle. You may have seen it parodied on The Simpsons and Portlandia on TV.

One thing that distinguishes this new generation of hipsters is its passion for serious food and wine and, in the past five years, dozens of hip restaurants and wine bars targeting that crowd have sprung up in Portland. These aren't places you just stumble upon. They're generally smallish and quirky, hidden away in one of the city's numerous neighborhoods. You have to go looking for them.

News & Features  :  Seasonal

A Tasty Family Meal and Sauvignon Blanc for Mother's Day

Celebrate Mom with two great recipes from Union Square Hospitality Group's new behind-the-scenes cookbook. Plus, notes and scores for 12 Sauvignon Blancs from California and New Zealand

Posted: May 3, 2013  By Laurie Woolever

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Barcelona Channeling Japan

Two of the Catalan city's most exciting restaurants owe much to sushi

Posted: April 30, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

Here in Barcelona on vacation, I could not resist trying what by all accounts is the go-to sushi place, Koy Shunka. Having explored the sushi cultures of Japan and America in my cover story of the May 31 issue of Wine Spectator, I wanted to see how another great food culture, that of Catalunya, translates the subtleties of Japan's most famous cuisine using the products of the Mediterranean Sea, as abundantly revered here as those of the Pacific Ocean are in Japan.

And then, for good measure, wouldn't you know that Japanese cuisine and sushi would play a critical role in the latest venture from brothers Albert and Ferran Adrià (who famously closed his own celebrated restaurant, El Bulli). They opened Pakta in early April, serving what they call Nikkei cuisine. Sushi is a part of the cuisine, Japanese by way of Peru, an east-west fusion made famous in America by Nobu Matsuhisa.

April 30, 2013 Issue  :  Features

The Adventurer

Posted: April 30, 2013  By Mark Pendergrast

April 30, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Sorcetti and Lamb Ragù With a Southern Italian Red

Chef Jenn Louis, Lincoln, Portland, Ore.

Posted: April 30, 2013  By Owen Dugan

Learn Wine  :  Ask Dr. Vinny

How should a wine's name be written on a restaurant wine list?

Posted: April 26, 2013  

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

The Zen of Food and Wine

Sweat the details only if, like me, you really enjoy the exploration

Posted: April 16, 2013  By Harvey Steiman

A common trope about wine pretension says that we wine folks intimidate the rest of the world with our insistence upon always drinking the right wine with the right food. I don't know anyone who does that. Do you? I gave up a long time ago believing that there's a perfect wine for every dish.

That doesn't mean I ignore the message from my own taste buds that certain wines and foods can make beautiful music together. But I stubbornly resist didactic rules. The day I absent-mindedly picked up my glass of red wine to sip with my grilled fish, and discovered how the wine just brightened up and sang more clearly, started me on a lifelong quest for similarly unexpected but terrific wine-and-food combinations.

Learn Wine  :  Ask Dr. Vinny

Why don't restaurants keep a few bottles of non-alcoholic wine available?

Posted: April 12, 2013  

Learn Wine  :  Ask Dr. Vinny

Can I bring a bottle of wine to a McDonald's?

Posted: April 10, 2013  

News & Features  :  Matchmaking

8 & $20 Recipe: Asparagus and Lemon Ricotta Bruschetta

A Chilean Sauvignon Blanc makes an ideal pairing for this easy spring meal

Posted: April 9, 2013  By Jennifer Fiedler

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

Why Don't Food and Wine Trends Match?

Trendy menus get fattier while edgy wine lists focus on restraint

Posted: April 4, 2013  By Jennifer Fiedler

Can I ask a question? Why does it seem that menus in young, trendy restaurants tout big flavor from fat and spice, while the dog-whistle words of trendy wines are "balance" and "restraint"?

OK, I know the word "trendy" is problematic, so here, a warning: There will be some broad generalizations ahead. To avoid putting everything in "quotes," when I say young and trendy, I mean those restaurants designed to appeal to twenty-somethings in the creative class living in urban areas, and trendy wines are on those restaurants' wine lists.

Learn Wine  :  Ask Dr. Vinny

Are they really letting us bring corkscrews through airline security?

Posted: April 3, 2013  

March 31, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Shaking Up Bourbon

Posted: March 31, 2013  By Jack Bettridge

March 31, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Brewing Without Borders

Posted: March 31, 2013  By Mark Pendergrast

March 31, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Something New in Bordeaux: Wine Bars

Posted: March 31, 2013  By Robert Camuto

March 31, 2013 Issue  :  Features

Lobster With New World Chardonnay

Chef Mitchell Kaldrovich, Inn by the Sea, Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Posted: March 31, 2013  By Owen Dugan

Learn Wine  :  Ask Dr. Vinny

Restaurant wines are so expensive. Can I haggle them down?

Posted: March 29, 2013  

Learn Wine  :  Ask Dr. Vinny

What are some good wines to pair with Easter dinner?

Posted: March 27, 2013  

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