Living

The wise way to buy whisky
Whisky connoiseurs need to look before they leap into buying their favorite liquor at auction or in a private sale. As has happened in every category of collectibles, counterfeiting is on the rise. In just the past few weeks, Alice Lascelles reports, an arrest was...  more
Meet Rémy Martin’s 100-year-old luxury icon
Like a legacy for a future generation, Rémy Martin's Louis XIII cognac is aged for 100 years, distilled down to a rich essence of Grande Champagne eaux de vie. It would be found on top of the top shelf in the best bars and restaurants. In this article for Spear's WMS,...  more
Rums of comfort: The seductive spirit is back
Rum may not have quite the cachet of single malt whiskey but it is the basis for many well-regarded cocktails. There is also a similar tradition of artisanal makers, found throughout the Caribbean. Jonathan Ray took on the task of visiting rum distilleries on a...  more
A master sommelier’s list of top wine regions to visit now
“Wine travel may well be the ultimate edu-vacation,” travel writer Katie Bell says, and it is difficult to disagree with her when she asks, “who doesn’t love ‘learning’ about rosé sitting on a sunny patio in Provence? Even the sommeliers preach the virtues of getting...  more
Food lovers, Las Vegas wants you for America's top culinary event
Las Vegas’ reputation as the paragon of glitz and the home of the unlimited shrimp cocktail buffet is probably deserved. Less well known is that the city is a restaurant showcase. “That’s because just about everyone who does restaurants at a high level has one in...  more
Thanksgiving’s perfect wine pairing: Top American pinot noir
The Thanksgiving wine quandary is solved at last. Katie Bell promises to end your confusion about which is the best wine to serve with a feast that can include "every manifestation of cuisine imaginable." Her answer is American pinot noir--popular, high quality, and...  more
How to buy wine at auction—and why you should
Wine auctions may seem intimidating but they really shouldn’t be. If you educate yourself about the process in advance of your first auction, you will do fine. Consider that auctions often have a better selection than even a high-end wine store. “The biggest reason...  more
The Dalmore Quintessence
Akin to a rare wine vintage, limited edition blends of a single malt whisky are aged in casks that add unique notes to the final product. A recent release by The Dalmore was made available at a tasting in London recently, attended by Alistair MacQueen, a longtime...  more
The most famous champagne you probably never heard of
Ayala has been producing champagne for nearly 150 years but as food writer Larry Olmsted says, you probably have never heard of it. Part of the reason for its low profile is a period of quality issues, after, it should be said, many decades of great popularity....  more
French cooking goes green
French cuisine has been noted for the myriad of ways to prepare every kind of meat and fish, from boeuf bourguignon to sole à la meuniere to coq au vin. But times change, and since 2000, a new generation of chefs de cuisine have made room for vegetarian and even...  more
Stellar cellars: The proper way to store wine
“Today’s wine cellars are no longer dark, windowless basements but sophisticated, temperature-controlled galleries for the true connoisseur,” Nicola Venning says. And high technology has upgraded security beyond a lock and key. “Fingerprint recognition and wireless...  more
The rise of vintage champagne
It may be “the thirst for the kind of singularity that vintage embodies,” or just appreciation of its quality, but vintage champagne is getting more attention from wine collectors and aficionados. Tastings are expanding from different houses to verticals, where several...  more
Seven key things to know about whiskies
Like wine, whisky has a host of producers around the world, from the everyday to the most rarified. Unlike wine, whisky is more stable and easier to store, which makes it easier to collect. And as a collectible, whisky’s status seems secure, with rare bottles...  more
A tour of London’s best afternoon teas
Afternoon tea can be found outside the U.K., but the tradition began and is upheld there, for tourists and locals alike. With nearly 300 choices in London, one must have a guide to the highest quality offerings, as travel writer Dan Crane found on a recent visit. ...  more
Why whisky connoisseurs are truly in love with Islay
Japanese whisky has come a long way in less than 100 years, and challenges from Taiwan and Australia are not to be ignored, but Islay, Scotland, remains a center of single malt scotch whisky production. Among the historic distilleries housed there are Bowmore,...  more
New wave of sommelier clubs will change how you experience wine
The Book-of-the-Month Club started the subscription club concept in 1926, with a panel of experts to recommend the most important of the latest books. Wine of the month came quite a bit later, held back by rules and regulations that limited shipping wine across state...  more
America’s best food festival
Food writer Larry Olmsted’s favorite consumer food and wine festival in America doesn’t take place in New York, San Francisco, or Miami. Think Las Vegas. Since his first visit to Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appétit in 2011, Olmsted has been back every year, and he remains...  more
Valentine’s Day gift or dinner? Rosé champagne is best choice for romance
Any reason to drink champagne is a good reason by definition, and Valentine’s Day is an excellent reason to enjoy a glass or two of champagne. As food and travel writer Larry Olmsted observes, ““Nothing in the world of food or beverage shouts ‘romance’ quite like...  more
Art on the Palate: The niche appeal of cognac
Cognac may be shedding its niche image, observers say, as Asian buyers bolster the market and auction prices remain strong. Americans buy most cognac, but it is at auctions for older bottles that collectors duel it out. Earlier this year, two bottles of Hennessy...  more
When luxury turns laughable
It used to be said that too much is never enough, but the experience of the Great Recession left many people wary of lavish displays of conspicuous consumption. Not everyone shares that opinion, though, and over-the-top products and services are still available. In...  more
Tasting the Balvenie’s compendium of ultra-rare whiskies
Single-malt whiskies have inspired a host of collectible offerings, but few will have reached the level of the Balvenie’s DCS Compendium. To honor the 53-year career of David Stewart, the distillery’s malt master, the Balvenie will release just 50 sets of 25 bottles...  more
Is now the time to buy a case of Château Lafite?
That markets can be fickle is shown over and over again, and the recent slide in Chateau Lafite prices is a textbook case in fickleness. In four years, the price of the 2010 vintage is down 55 percent, according to sales tracked by Liv-ex. And to be perfectly clear,...  more
A cellar full of collateral, by the bottle or the case
For an asset that is liquid, wine isn’t much of a liquid asset. Typically, it is bought at retail and sold in an auction, where the house collects fees and there is no guarantee of a sale price. But like many assets, wine can be leveraged, as Robert Frank reveals in...  more
The top ten iconic wines every collector must have
Rarity has an undeniable appeal in the world of collectible vintages, but it may lead a wine aficionado to ignore wonderful examples that are simply less well known. A great deal of pleasure can be had from what wine consultant Omar Khan calls “icons,” his term for...  more
How to buy a Bordeaux château
Wanting to own a vineyard is one of the unexpected effects of wine on the human brain. Surprisingly, it is not impossible, even if your dream vineyard is in Bordeaux. Yes, in “France’s most famous fine wine region,” Elin McCoy says in this article for Bloomberg...  more
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