Matt Stamp

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Wine

The secret of champagne? Size does matter when it comes to bubbles

It has long been said by the cognoscenti that the key to a perfect glass of champagne is a steady stream of tiny bubbles rising to the surface.<p>But now, just in time for Christmas, it can be revealed this is not the case. In fact, it is the size that matters.<p>Scientists based in the heart of France's …

When the Napa Valley Restaurant Scene was Young

Just came upon this trove of menus from a visit to St. Helena in 1988. This French Laundry (same place, different restaurant) belonged to the Schmitt …

Napa Valley

The basic rules of tipping that everyone should know about

What is it about tipping that makes the process so fraught? Whether it’s confusion about what’s appropriate, guilt that you might not be leaving enough cash or just fuzzy math, there’s no part of the dining experience that creates more debate.<p>Making matters even more complicated, the rules change …

Alcohol

The world’s most expensive coffee is a nightmare for the animals who produce it

The most expensive coffee in the world can go for $100 a cup, but it comes with a hidden cost: the well-being of a forest-dwelling cat-like creature native to southeast Asia.<p>Even in the world of specialty coffees and nitro cold brews, civet coffee—also known by its Indonesian name, <i>kopi luwak</i>—is a …

Coffee
Wall Street

A 19th-Century Map of Our ‘Square and Stationary’ Earth

How could the world be spinning? Wouldn’t we fall off?<p>According to Orlando Ferguson we are not living on a globe but in a giant donut mold.<p>In 1893, …

8 Days in North Korea

Welcome to the world’s most isolated civilization<p>In September 2015, I traveled to North Korea to see, first-hand, what life was like inside the …

In Search of Ambergris, a Highly Prized Slurry of Squid Beaks and Whale Feces

Also known as the secret ingredient in Chanel No. 5.<p>Ambergris is a classic component of perfume. (Photo: vagawi/CC BY 2.0)<p>For well over a thousand …

A Definitive Ranking of ‘Star Wars’ Jackets, From ‘A New Hope’ to ‘The Force Awakens’

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, dudes wore dope space jackets. Judging from the just-released and possibly final trailer for <i>Star Wars:</i> …

10 Charts Show Where Donald Trump Stands on the Issues

With so many interviews, press conferences, tweets, Instagrams and Facebooks, it’s hard to keep track of where presidential candidate Donald Trump …

Tasting notes are really bad, aren't they? — Jamie Goode's wine blog

I think I really hate tasting notes. But I write them all the time. Have to. It’s a large part of my job.<p>I don’t think my tasting notes are …

Alexander Hamilton

Italian Wine Terms You Need To Know In Piemonte

Whether you are a novice or connoisseur, it is always fun to go through wine glossaries and check your knowledge, especially before visiting.Although …

Wine & Spirits

Maps show exactly where 30 famous cocktails were first created

We love cocktails, a lot. And although the reemergence of cocktail culture means there are hundreds of great cocktail bars across the world whipping up new cocktails every night of the week, we still love the classics. But when a cocktail attains classic status, it's often hard to remember how and …

Cocktails

Sacrificing the Basics for Babel

This weekend I listened to a panel of chefs from Texas who brought national attention to Southwest cuisine. They were Robert Del Grande, Dean Fearing …

China Surpasses France In Vineyards But Trails In Wine Production [Infographic]

According to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, China now has the second-largest vineyard area worldwide after Spain, pushing France into third position. That begs the question: how often have you enjoyed a glass of Chinese wine with your evening meal? Probably not too often. That’s …

Wine

When It Comes to Wine Glasses, Size and Shape Matter

A spiffy new camera set-up devised by scientists in Japan indicates that glass shape–just like the wine snobs have been telling us all along–affects the flavor of wine.<p>In a recent study, Kohji Mitsubayashi and colleagues at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University topped wine-filled glasses with a …

Honest wine labels tell you which wines 'go well with revenge'

Need to know which wine pairs nicely with signing your divorce papers, or will please your pet goat?<p>Unless you happen to be a wine expert, picking a bottle to drink with dinner is never easy. The groaning shelves of different wines easily overwhelm us, and even the offers aren't particularly …

Video Games As Vintage Sci-Fi Books

Artist Joshua Ketchen has designed a series called Arcade Adventures, imagining video games as covers of vintage sci-fi books with in a …

California Vineyards Report Early Bud Break

In 2010 Bien Nacido Vineyards reported bud break in mid- to late March (above). This year, vineyard manager Chris Hammell said buds are starting to …

Wine & Spirits

Does Your App Actually Sell Wine? Here's The Answer.

Picture it.<p>San Francisco, in a coworking office space in SOMA.<p>You’re a wine app developer, and nearly every single day you field this question from potential winery clients: Does your app actually <i>sell</i> wine?<p>(It does, it turns out, but it isn’t always easy to distill the data into digestible …

Wine

France: the birthplace of binge-drinking

So, Dry January draws peacefully to a close. It seemed an odd idea – a twitch of residual Puritanism, which demands that pleasure be paid for by self-flagellation. (Unless self-flagellation itself be your pleasure, then heaven knows where you go. Swindon, perhaps.) Odder yet was that people …

Champagne Was Created By Accident, And We Have Mother Nature To Thank

Champagne is a tongue-tingling symbol of celebration, extravagance and class. Poppin' bottles is an exclusive activity reserved for blinged-out rappers, dripping in diamonds and costly furs, well-paid athletes who've won it big and the general elite. (Marilyn Monroe allegedly bathed in a tub filled …

Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies

<b>“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”</b><p>An industrious young woman neglects to charge for her housekeeping services and is rightly exploited for her naïveté. She dies without ever having sought her own happiness as the highest moral aim. I did not finish watching this movie, finding it impossible to …

What New World Sommeliers Need to Know About Old World Italian Wine

This came up last week over a bottle of Nebbiolo. I was in discussion with industry folk and the Old World/New World subject came up. With a recent …

Transitioning from the Floor

Moving from the sommelier world to the supply side.<p>When Matt (Stamp) asked me to write this article, my gut reaction was: “Sure, no problem.” Why? …

Our Ability To Digest Alcohol May Have Been Key To Our Survival

As we're sipping away on a glass of stout or Merlot, we probably take for granted our ability to digest the alcohol in the drink. Alcohol, or dietary ethanol (as scientists like to call it), is technically a toxin — imbibing too much can lead to a hangover and even poisoning, of course.<p>But thanks …