explainer

Everything You Think About Tannins Is Probably Wrong

Everything You Think About Tannins Is Probably Wrong

Everything you think about tannins is probably wrong, but it’s not your fault. Tannins are complicated little bastards, and the wine world has turned them into one of the least-understood aspects of wine drinking. Technically, tannins are an evolutionary healing and defense mechanism. They break down proteins in plant life, which dissuades grazing herbivores and […]

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The 10 Cheeses You Need to Know to Understand All Cheese Ever

The 10 Cheeses You Need to Know to Understand All Cheese Ever

Staring down a cheese case can intimidate even the most confident cook. The array of styles, textures, hard-to-pronounce names (bonjour, chabichou!), and ingredients is puzzlingly labyrinthine. Is goat’s milk stronger than sheep’s? What is a bloomy rind, exactly? Cheesemonger Liz Thorpe, formerly of NYC’s legendary Murray’s Cheese, devised a system to demystify cheese, helping mere mortals explore […]

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11 Things You Should Know About Pappy Van Winkle

11 Things You Should Know About Pappy Van Winkle

If there’s such a thing as bourbon royalty, it’s Pappy Van Winkle. The whiskey is one of the hardest-to-find bottles out there, and it’s cherished worldwide as the ultimate example of quality. But how well do you really know Pappy? We separated fact from fiction and explored the Frankfort, Kentucky distillery and its beloved bourbon. Here are […]

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The 10 Most Popular Botanicals in Gin, Explained

The 10 Most Popular Botanicals in Gin, Explained

Gin is a spirit defined by, and famous for, its botanicals. To be classified as gin, it must have some level of juniper, which is where the pine taste comes from, but other than that, gin distillers are free to choose their botanicals at will. That freedom makes gin one of the most diverse liquors […]

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The Secret to Reading Sake Labels

The Secret to Reading Sake Labels

Sake is often misunderstood. To many Americans, the Japanese beverage is only consumed hot or dropped into a beer after pounding the table and yelling, “When you say sake I say bomb! Sake! Bomb!” That’s starting to change. Restaurants in major cities are increasingly featuring sake menus with a range of options.

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You Aren’t Imagining It. Many Famous Wine Varieties Smell Like Salad.

You Aren’t Imagining It. Many Famous Wine Varieties Smell Like Salad.

If you nose a wine and get a distinctive whiff of salad, don’t be alarmed. A green, vegetal aroma that presents itself as bell pepper, jalapeño, or grass is characteristic of some of the world’s most famous wine varieties. These aromas can be fresh, spicy, overripe, or stinky, depending on how the wine is made. […]

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The Differences Between Czech, German, and American Pilsners

The Differences Between Czech, German, and American Pilsners

Pilsners are clean-slate beers. Best known for versatile drinkability, these are refreshing, palate-rinsing, and thirst-quenching brews. The style started with the Pilsner Urquell brewery in Plzen, Czech Republic in 1842, and has since been adapted around the world. Today the most prominent pilsner-style beers come from the Czech Republic, Germany, and America. Pilsners from these three […]

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12 Things You Need to Know About Heady Topper

12 Things You Need to Know About Heady Topper

Among all the hazy New England IPAs, trendy sours, and special releases out there, one year-round beer has captured the hearts and minds of beer lovers: Heady Topper from The Alchemist. This is a unicorn beer with limited distribution, and it’s on nearly every craft beer drinker’s bucket list. Here’s what you need to know […]

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