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Smoked salmon crostini bites with mustard butter and dill

This elegant appetizer is easy enough to prepare, you’ll whip it up party after party. Pour your guests some Chardonnay and snack on these salmon bites to get the engagement going! Notes: Substitute Italian bread if that’s what you have on hand. Also, you can use goat cheese instead of butter, or chives or capers instead of dill — all delicious alternatives. Smoked salmon crostini bites with mustard butter and dill Ingredients 1 stick butter, softened  1 tbsp stone ground mustard 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp lemon juice 1/2 tsp lemon zest 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill + 1 tbsp chopped dill for garnish 1/8 tsp salt Freshly ground pepper 1 long, thin French baguette, sliced about 1/4-inch thick About 10 ounces of best quality smoked salmon, thinly sliced and cut into 1-to 2-inch pieces Lemon wedges (for serving) Directions Preheat oven to 375ºF. Position baguette slices in a…

8 Best Subscription Gift Boxes for food lovers

Subscription boxes are so much more than just Jelly-of-the-Month-Club nowadays. If you’re not sure what to get that hard-to-buy-for someone, why not leave it to the pros? Each of these subscription boxes is curated by a team of experts in the category, to deliver just what your snack-loving sister or healthy-eater husband need. So give everyone with a big question mark next to their name one of these gifts and have them be thankful for you all year long. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bb923u_jXp7/ For the coffee obsessed: Mistobox Cost: $20 per month What you get: When you sign up for Mistobox, you’ll tell the company your coffee preferences and an expert coffee curator will get to work selecting the coffees that best match your tastes from over 300 fresh-roasted blends. Then, every 30 days you’ll get to open a new 12-ounce bag of whole beans. More info here: Mistobox.com https://www.instagram.com/p/BjpiLq7HXWI/ For the snacker:…

15 sangria recipes ready for fall

You drank sangria all summer long, and now that days are beginning to shorten, it’s time for a cold-weather cocktail makeover. So toss on your favorite fall cozy cable-knit sweater, sink in to your extra cushy couch, and consider what you’ll make for all those fall Friday night friends’ house parties. Here are 15 tasty sangria recipes that will make you welcome the new season: Pear Pomegranate Sangria Pear, pomegranate and prosecco pair up to help you make the leap to lightly cooler weather. Get the recipe. Autumn Apple Rosé sangria This inexpensive blend is perfect for larger crowds. Think anything from engagement parties to tailgates to Thanksgiving feasts. See the full recipe. Blood Orange Sangria Nothing will be more gorgeous on your table than a glass of this fall-hued blood orange sangria. Make it now.  Honeycrisp Apple Sangria Honeycrisp is the king of all fall fruits. It’s firm texture…

Prosecco’s popularity has experts warning consumers of counterfeits

Prosecco is one of the most popular drinks, but experts warned that the demand for this high quality Italian sparkling wine has meant an increase in counterfeits products. So what is so special about Prosecco? Prosecco is a controlled designation of origin in North east Italy, where sparkling wine, or semi-sparkling, is principally made from the Glera grape variety. Two quality assurance labels help protect the Prosecco region outside of Italy — DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata (controlled designation of origin) and DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (controlled designation of origin guaranteed). Despite these labels, the Food Standards Agengy says they are seeing an increase in the number of knock-offs coming out of Eastern Europe. They’re being passed off as the real deal, but out of the 4,000 samples sent to laboratories for testing every year, around 1,000 are counterfeit. According to FSA wine inspector, Mark Dawson, a…

New Wine Water has all the taste without the alcohol

If you’re in the mood for wine, but can’t or don’t drink alcohol, pretty soon you’ll have a solution. An Israeli startup has created O. Vine Wine, a grape infused water that is supposed to taste like your favorite red or white. The beverage made its debut on June 30 at the Fancy Food Show in New York. O. Vine is the newest comer in the ‘new water’ category. Brands like La Croix and Bai have everyone reaching for the lower calorie seltzer and tea alternatives and skipping out on sugary sodas and soft drinks. O. Vine mixes the smell and taste of wine with clear, spring water. It contains extracts from wine grape skins and seeds, which includes resveratrol, a compound found in red grape skins though to have heart health and anti-cancer properties. Not too shabby for a water replacement. “Our mission was to create a pure water sensation that…

Hail storms wipe out eight million bottles worth of Champagne grapes

Today the Champagne industry has nothing to toast. Strong hail storms hit the famous wine growing region of France and wiped out the equivalent of eight million bottles of bubbly. The strong hailstorm damaged 4,450 acres of Champagne vineyards — completely destroying about 1,000 of those. This isn’t the first storm to wreck havoc on this year’s harvest. The northeastern Champagne region was hit hard four times between late April and May, which is unfortunately the exact time that the delicate vines begin to flower. The fourth storm, which hit May 27, caused the most harm. “Of course storm and hail are not unusual phenomena in Champagne, but what is rare is to see them at this very early stage and with this level of violence,” the industry’s Champagne Committee said. Thanks to the region’s reserves, the hail damage is not expected to result in a shortage for customers this…

You can now buy a keg of rosé because dreams do come true

Just in case you were worried about running out of rosé for your next party, one company has taken note of our favorite millennial pink summer drink and is producing a party-sized keg of the stuff. Bridge Lane Wine is selling bright blue kegs of rosé, perfect for Memorial Day parties, outdoor weddings or just about any other type of gathering you might be having. https://www.instagram.com/p/BizSgFMh1fr/ Bridge Lane Wine sells its wine kegs in five different varietals: chardonnay, red blend, sauvignon blanc, white merlot, and rosé — each with a different colored label. Each wine keg is the equivalent of 26 bottles, or about 130 glasses. The kegs costs around $240 each, meaning that you’re paying less than $2 a glass, making them a great economical alternative to filling up your recycling bin with empty glass bottles. According to the description on Bridge Lane Wine’s website, the rosé is fruit-forward with notes of  guava, peach blossom, strawberry and…

Bob Dylan makes whiskey to become latest celebrity with branded booze

Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan is the latest celebrity to create his own brand of alcohol. The Nobel Prize winner worked with bourbon maker Marc Bushala to create Heaven’s Door. The small-batch whiskeys come in three varieties: a straight bourbon, a straight rye and a double-barreled whiskey. “Dylan has these qualities that actually work well for a whiskey,” Bushala told The New York Times. “He has great authenticity. He is a quintessential American. He does things the way he wants to do them. I think these are good attributes for a super-premium whiskey as well.” The whiskey is only available at the online store for Heaven’s Door, but it will be available in mid-May in stores in select states. Dylan joins a crowded market of celebrity-branded or -owned spirits, as seen below: • Drew Barrymore — Barrymore wines. The actress has a partnership with Jackson Family Wines that’s produced Pinot Grigio, Pinot…

How to avoid getting gouged on wine at restaurants

If you’ve ever glanced at a restaurant wine list, you know adding a bottle of red or white can inflate your bill pretty quickly. You may be left wondering how you can buy an entire bottle of Merlot at the state store for under $15, but a single glass is going to run you the same price at a mid-range restaurant. Of course, we expect there will be a markup on any type of alcohol, but why so high with wine? Sommelier Mark Oldman clues us in. In his book “How to Drink Like a Billionaire,” Oldman writes that the typical restaurant will markup a bottle of wine at least 200 percent, so that $15 brand you’re familiar with, quickly becomes a $45 bottle  — or in extreme cases, even 400 percent with a $75 price tag. “The need to cover glassware, staff wages, rent, inventory — the reasons are sundry for why wine is marked…

You’ll soon be spending more for that cheap wine

Just when you found a few good, cheap wines to rely on, they’re about to get way more expensive. According to data from the Paris-based International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), wine production was down this year to the lowest production levels seen since 1957. According to Reuters, it’s the weather causing the problem. Three of the world’s top wine producers, Italy, France and Spain, were hit by harsh and unusual weather last year, like drought, hailstorms and late spring frost, leading to an overall drop of 14.6 percent in production. The 2017 harvest only brought 25 billion liters of wine. That’s down from the 2015 harvest which produced 27.6 billion liters, and the 2016 harvest which brought 26.7 billion liters. The continent accounts for 65 percent of global wine production. The OIV told the Independent that this doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a shortage of wine unless the weather conditions and poor harvest…