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Food + Drinks

Ask the Wine Wise Guy: How Do I Get a Sommelier to Offer Me Off-the-Menu Wines?

I'm going to assume that you're comfortable talking to a sommelier, which is both admirable and a tad abnormal. Most people who ask me questions about wine are terrified of talking to the somm for fear of broaching the "wrong" questions, revealing their inferior tastes, or, in general, sounding like a buffoon. In the other extreme, of course, are the buffoons who love to talk to somms just to hear themselves pontificate about things that make them feel important (i.e. "I see you have the '82 Blahdeeblah; I have six cases of that in my cellar, but they're coming along see more
Food + Drinks

8 Lessons from the World's Largest Booze Convention

More than 15,000 of the world's most hardcore mixology fans—and professionals—flew into New Orleans to experience this year's "Tales of the Cocktail". The five-day-long marathon is filled with pool parties, pairing dinners, special theme nights, and many nerdy seminars (I spoke at one called "A Better Understanding of Bitter Flavors"). I learned a ton of useless facts throughout the event. This one, which ended dramatically on Sunday with a sudden monsoon, proved full of unanticipated insights into our drinking habits. The oddest factoids are below. see more
Food + Drinks

How Global Warming Is Changing Wine—and Which Bottles to Snap Up Now Before They're History

Ever since a massive heat wave hit Europe's vineyards in 2003, winegrowers there have been racing to fend off the effects of global warming. Yet even they were stunned by a report last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which predicted that by 2050— well within many of our lifetimes—most of the great wine regions of Europe will have totally lost their charms. see more
Food + Drinks

The Ultimate Guide to Day Drinking

Proper daytime drinking requires the intestinal fortitude needed for marathons, not sprints. But it also requires a strategy (plus water and food, and did we say water?). Those rosé refills can land you in that sad, sad place where you nod off earlier than is socially acceptable. "You want to feel buzzed but also refreshed," says Natasha David, a bartender who worked under Keith McNally and Danny Meyer before opening Nitecap in New York City this year. "You want to go on a friend's roof and watch the sunset, not pass out in a cab." That's easier to avoid now, see more
Food + Drinks

Summer's Coolest Cocktail Ingredient: Sugar Snap Peas

There was a time when muddling mint in our mojitos was the zenith of fresh cocktails. Then the farmer's market craze befell us, and our martinis started blushing magenta with the addition of beets, gimlets got an herbaceous boost from celery, and kale started making its way into margaritas. This summer, bartenders are latching on to another green ingredient: sugar snap peas. The sweet, crunchy stir-fry staple—iron-rich and packed with Vitamin C—adds texture and color to the season's leading libations. see more
Food + Drinks

The 5 Best Food Festivals Remaining This Summer

Just because perennial food-festival favorites like the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and innovative upstarts like Sud de France came and went already this year doesn't mean that summer's good eats are completely over. Below, five food fests well worth planning a trip around. see more
Health

The MSG Debate is Back

Gwyneth Paltrow famously quipped that she'd "rather die than let her kids eat Cup-a-Soup." We're guessing the MSG content was high on her list of offending ingredients. The food additive has sparked controversy among scientists, nutritionists and the general public for years, causing many health-conscious eaters to navigate their way around MSG, while chefs like Momofuku's David Chang favor it—both as modern-day invention and flavor enhancer. As MSG re-enters the cultural conversation, the question remains: To eat it or not? see more
Food + Drinks

Ask the Wine Wise Guy (July 4th Special): What Are the Most Versatile Wines to Bring to Summer Parties?

At summer parties, like the one you're likely going to for the Fourth of July, you'll want to bring along a bottle of wine that's not only satisfying on its own, but will also pair with a wide range of foods. see more
Food + Drinks

Have We Hit Peak Rosé? 3 Signs the Wine Is on the Way Out

Oh rosé, as soon as Americans learn to love you again, you suddenly become passé. We're sorry to say, but you, you sweetish wine with the pinkish tones of a chubby teen's blush, you are no longer the belle of the ball, the bee's knees, the ne plus ultra, the go-to gal. Sure, we too have celebrated your return to popularity as recently as April—and noted that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are producing a Provençal rose at Château Miraval. Yes, you're on the wine list at The French Laundry and Le Bernardin. Trend-making "brosés" from Manhattan to L.A. quaff see more
Food + Drinks

Apple Cocktails and Brandies Are Back in a Big Way (Minus the Apple-Tini)

At the turn of the millennium, colorful cocktails were all the rage. Think: Jolly Rancher red or Cosmopolitan pink. But the most cloying of the Sex and the City-era bunch was the neon-green, mouth-puckering, sour-apple-flavored Apple-tini. Eventually the apple-flavored sugar rush wore off, and the Apple-tini and its apple-themed kin fell from favor for a decade and a half, remaining the déclassé nectar of choice for sorority girls celebrating the end of rush week, soccer moms on a rare night out, and your aunt and uncle visiting from Idaho. "We definitely shunned that fresh-apple flavor for quite a bit, because see more
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