A Cheap Person's Guide to Fancy French Wine

As published by Food & Wine

We all want to drink like we’ve got Zuckerberg money. But the truth is, expensive wine doesn’t even taste as good as we think it does. According to science, we should be paying less attention to the price of each bottle, and more attention to what’s on the label. Fortunately, your friendly neighborhood Master Sommelier not only knows how to read a wine label—he or she can tell the difference between good stuff and total plonk. And as the guy or gal buying wine for your favorite restaurant or retail store, an M.S. also knows a thing or two about value. So I’ve asked four well-respected Master Somms from around the country to target some of the best wine steals in the seven most prestigious wine regions of France.

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The Hidden (Affordable!) Gems of Burgundy

As published by Food & Wine

While Burgundy gets most of its notoriety—both in price and quality—from its Premier Cru and Grand Cru classified wines, these bottles only make up a combined total of less than 20 percent of the region’s output. The real value can be found in Village wine (about 36 percent of all production), which is less refined than cru wine made from grapes grown on specifically designated plots of land, but generally more complex than regional Bourgogne (about half of all production). Of course, you can’t just pick any old village at random, as some present a very inconsistent range of quality. But a few appellations in particular reliably offer excellent wines that won’t require you to declare bankruptcy on your way home from shopping. Here's what you need to seek out, from north to south.

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The World's Coolest Beer Labels

As published by Mr. Porter

To stand out from the crowd, today’s breweries are going the extra mile with incredible bottle and can artwork. In the US, where there are about 6,000 breweries, brands such as Montauk Brewing Co. and House Beer owe much of their success to their suave labels. And as beer quality continues to improve, aesthetics is becoming more important in setting the phenomenal apart from the merely great. So which breweries’ containers are most worthy of placement on your mantelpiece after you’ve drained them of their sweet nectar? We’ve rounded up the five best examples of label art from around the world, so that you can drink in style wherever you are.

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Can a $2,500 Coffeemaker Change Your Life?

As published by Esquire

As a born-again coffee snob, I find myself unable to start my day with subpar joe. But as a full-time writer and new dad, I no longer have the 20 minutes to spare for weighing, grinding, heating, cleaning, and hand-pouring every single dinky cup. And who can afford a commercial macchiato habit that costs about the same as the mortgage on a very small house? Enter Breville’s Oracle Touch, one of the most expensive consumer coffeemakers on the market, retailing for $2,500.

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Hop of the Class

As published by Tasting Table

With standards of beer education and connoisseurship at all-time highs, a drinker can be made to feel like he or she must possess a Master Cicerone certification to appreciate a craft brew. (Is a “horse blanket” aroma a good or bad thing?) Fortunately, we have a network of knowledgeable friends who can help keep you afloat: After consulting some of the beer world’s leading experts, we’ve compiled a cheat sheet with their best insider secrets.

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The 5 Best Rock Beers On Earth

As published by Kerrang!

That rock bands collaborate with breweries to create their own beers is no news. A few rock and metal acts with especially discerning taste are finally getting it right, partnering with top notch breweries from around the world to produce beers worthy of their likeness. I’ve had the privilege of tasting the majority of these beers, and have rounded up the very best for you below.

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24 Hours in the Life of a Dad Desperate For a Beer

As published by Fatherly

As a full-time beverage writer, I drink quite a bit. (Sorry, honey: research. I research quite a bit.) But even in my profession, I found that sitting down to enjoy even a simple beer in the first month of my new life as a dad proved impossible. Facing this challenge, I documented a particularly harrowing 24-hour period of involuntary abstinence that occurred three weeks after my daughter’s birth. So I’d like to share my experience to commiserate with fellow dads who may be able to find solace in my struggle — and tell future dads who might like to know what they’re in for….

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Fino Sherry, Explained Through Food

As published by Vinepair

No matter how I may describe it with words, the key to actually understanding sherry is to simply pair it with food. I discovered this for myself at a small Jerez joint called Méson Don Paco, where I crushed cold Tio Pepe alongside a dish of green olives (I was there on a trip sponsored by Gonzalez Byass, Tio Pepe’s parent company). When a server, noting my excitement, brought over some salty, rich, fatty Iberico ham, I thought I had died and gone to Spanish heaven.

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