Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.






  • pinitbutton Sucking on a Dogfish Head
wine 208x300 Sucking on a Dogfish Head

Our 2010 Summer Wine Newsletter is here!

by Jeff Hoyt 

Mom always told us to drink more when it gets hot, so our Summer Wine Newsletter should come in very handy. Beat the heat with our Top 10 Summer Beers which include pale ale, pilsner and wheat beer. When someone says they’re “Sucking on a Dogfish Head,” you’ll know what they’re talking about!

If you want to imbibe at home, we offer two versions of The Perfect Margarita Recipe: how to make a batch for friends and single serving. But instead of drinking home alone, go out to an adult-beverage event near you! We’ll show you where and when. It’s easy to make new friends when you’re attending a bourbon dinner or Sake tasting. Speaking of bourbon, check out our review of Maker’s 46, only the second whiskey ever produced by Maker’s Mark.



  • pinitbutton Horsing Around With Absinthe
horsie 168x300 Horsing Around With Absinthe

Horse-drawn carriages provided the transportation for the evening of absinthe tastings in downtown Los Angeles

By Jeff Hoyt


I had heard the stories of absinthe causing delusions, but I did not believe them until now. True, I had never imbibed it in such great quantities before. Pernod, the creators of absinthe more than two centuries ago, had invited me out on the town to try the anise-flavored spirit in a number of different ways, and now that I had consumed it in such great quantity, “The Green Fairy” was playing tricks on me. But my hallucinations seemed so vivid: was I dreaming, or was it possible that I was actually riding a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of downtown Los Angeles?

   Continue reading “Horsing Around With Absinthe” »



  • pinitbutton Drink Up and Cool Down
scheid muscat 214x300 Drink Up and Cool Down

Scheid Vineyards 2008 Muscat Canelli is one of our Top 10 Summer Wines

by Jeff Hoyt 


If you’re invited to a pool party, and want to bring a bottle of wine, how do you pick the right bottle? Consult for our Top 10 Summer Wines. There you’ll find whites, reds, sparklers, and even a dessert wine that will make your host happy during warm weather.


For a barbecue, you can also check out our Top 10 Barbecue Wines. And for Father’s Day, you can make a selection from our Top Father’s Day Wines. So if you’re asked to attend a Father’s Day Barbecue, you’ll have lots of options!   

   Continue reading “Drink Up and Cool Down” »

  • pinitbutton A Red Carpet Tasting with Mutineer
mut 300x199 A Red Carpet Tasting with Mutineer

The 2nd Annual Mutineer Magazine Red Carpet Tasting at the Falcon Hollywood

by Alexandra Rowinski

On Sunday, May 23, Mutineer magazine threw their second annual Red Carpet Tasting. The party took place at Falcon Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard, where a packed house of imbibers sampled a myriad of exotic, delightful and delicious beverages. And with a special guest appearance from Jonathan Goldsmith, the famous Dos Equis icon who everyone knows as, “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” how could it not be a great party?

Hosted by Mutineer editor-in-chief Alan Kropf and actor/comedian Ben Morrison, the event celebrated the one-year anniversary of the magazine’s launch, while raising money for the global water relief organization, A Child’s Right.



  • pinitbutton Dom Perignon Rose Oenotheque 1990
img 1102 300x225 Dom Perignon Rose Oenotheque 1990

Dom Pérignon Rosé Oenothèque 1990

Two-Bottle Lunch

by Alain Gayot

Every once in a while we have the chance to catch up with Richard Goeffroy, Chef de Cave extraordinaire at the fabled Abbey of Hautviller’s Dom Pérignon and France’s master Champagne producer. Real life people like Marilyn Monroe and fictitious characters such as James Bond have loved and publicized DP since the 1950’s, and we’d like to continue that tradition humbly.

It’s a rather easy task, however, considering the products we sampled during a “casual” lunch: we’re talking lobster and foie gras at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills with Richard and Dom Perignon Ambassador Nicole Ruvo. The entire experience was magical and ethereal and priceless considering the company and the two bottles we sampled.

Continue reading “Dom Perignon Rose Oenotheque 1990” »


  • pinitbutton Our Spring 2010 Wine Newsletter is Here!

wnl Our Spring 2010 Wine Newsletter is Here!


Raise your glass to a warmer season with help from our Spring 2010 Wine Newsletter!



Our Top 10 Brunch Wines are the perfect complement to a mid-morning meal and our list of Top 10 Wines Under $10 features ridiculously affordable vinos. Take lunch to the countryside with the Picnic Time Meritage Wine and Cheese Tote or learn about Malbecs from Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2010.




We also have reviews about sake, port, El Gardo Anejo Tequila, Woodford Reserve Seasoned Oak Finish Bourbon and more. Cheers!

Raising the Bar #3

on March 11th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Raising the Bar #3
sophiesgayotraisinghtebar 300x178 Raising the Bar #3
The contestants and the judges from Raising the Bar #2 (from left to right): Judge Nicholas Liberato/Comme Ca, Shana Street/Church & State, Victoria Recano, Sophie Gayot, Tim Loden/Comme Ca, Judge Yassmin Sarmadi/Church & State, Hector Bury/Joe’s, Judge Joe Miller/Joe’s

by Sophie Gayot

Join me at BOA Steakhouse in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 14th, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., for the third edition of Raising the Bar, a cocktail competition created by Joe Miller of Joe’s restaurant in Venice that is free to attend.


Continue reading “Raising the Bar #3” »



  • pinitbutton Which Wine Pairs with Oscar?
basterd henriot 300x207 Which Wine Pairs with Oscar?

It’s hard to get through Sonoma County without tripping over a sommelier. They’re everywhere, haunting the humblest of cafés and teaching sparkling wine classes in caves. It wouldn’t be surprising to find one at the Healdsburg 7-Eleven giving suggestions for your beef jerky-Funions combo. But award-winning wine writer and Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar sommelier Christopher Sawyer stands out because he has combined two of his passions, wine and film, to become the nation’s go-to guy on what to drink while watching movies.

  • pinitbutton The Food Paper Newsletter for February has been Published!
febfp1 300x185 The Food Paper Newsletter for February has been Published!

The Gramercy Park Hotel, one of our Top 10 Sexy Hotels in New York

Our February Edition of the Foodpaper Newsletter is here!

Spice up your love life! Check out our list of Top 10 Places to Kiss in the U.S., our favorite sexy hotels, and our Top 10 Valentine’s Day Wines. Mix it up in the kitchen with a decadent recipe for Dark Chocolate Dipped Pineapple with Pistachio or put our list of Top 10 Aphrodisiacs to the test. We also have a Valentine’s Day Guide, a sexy Car of the Month, and much more!

Who is the Sandeman?

on January 06th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Who is the Sandeman?
sandeman 199x300 Who is the Sandeman?
Sandeman’s Port iconic label

by Jeff Hoyt


George Sandeman, the eldest of the seventh generation of the port-making Sandeman family, recently visited Los Angeles and told the story of the mysterious character who graces every bottle. The figure, decked out in a Portuguese student’s cape and wide-brimmed hat, came to life in 1928 in a poster signed by G. Massiot.


French poster artists were very much in vogue at the time, which is why the real artist, George Massiot Brown, hid his Scottish roots behind the French-sounding name. The Sandeman became the first iconic logo for a wine, jumping from the poster to the port labels, and living on to this day, more than 80 years later.



Continue reading “Who is the Sandeman?” »

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