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Food & Wine

Food & Wine December 2020

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FOOD & WINE® magazine now offers its delicious recipes, simple wine-buying advice, great entertaining ideas and fun trend-spotting in a spectacular digital format. Each issue includes each and every word and recipe from the print magazine.

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United States
Meredith Corporation
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
what ray’s pouring now

2018 LETH STEINAGRUND GRÜNER VELTLINER ($19) People often think of Grüner as a springtime wine, but I like its crystalline clarity during the icy days of winter. Leth’s affordable Steinagrund (or “stony ground”) bottling suggests ripe pears dusted with black pepper. 2017 SANTA MARGHERITA CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA ($27) I drank this earthy, structured Chianti with a braised beef shank after watching a cooking demo led by legendary Italian butcher Dario Cecchini. Invite friends over—beef shanks are massive. NV CHARLES HEIDSIECK BRUT RÉSERVE ($69) Around the holidays, you can’t have too much Champagne on hand. Of all the nonvintage brut bottlings I tasted in 2020, this was my favorite, with its golden hue and aroma of fresh-baked brioche.…

4 min.
editor’s letter

Silver Linings ’TWAS LATE THE OTHER NIGHT, when from my kitchen there arose such a clatter that I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. But this was no jolly elf coming down my chimney: It was my sink. It had come loose from its seal and crashed down into the cabinet below. How very 2020. After I cleaned up the mess and called a plumber, it occurred to me that maybe my sink had failed because of the workout I’d given it this year. I’d cooked, and cleaned up from, uncountable family dinners while stuck at home. Maybe, I thought, I should see this disaster as a badge of honor. (“That’s right. I cooked so hard this year that I broke the kitchen sink!”) For the most part, I’m doing…

3 min.
last call

I MOVED TO NEW YORK in 1996, and it took me a while to get my bearings. Thank goodness for NYC Restaurant Week, which allowed a change-scrimping 20-something like me to indulge in a multicourse menu at a schmancy restaurant for just under $20. When I met a friend at the legendary Gotham Bar & Grill, every server treated me like I belonged, and I still think about how that meal opened the world to me. Lately, it can feel as if the industry has been swallowed whole. In fact, nearly one in six restaurants has shuttered due to the pandemic. But as we hunger for what will come next (and it will: Longtime Gotham general manager Bret Csencsitz is working on plans to revive the restaurant, and others may…

6 min.
the cookie connection

IN THE SCORCHING Australian summer of 1982, when the weather reached a record-breaking 105°F in Sydney, three catastrophic events occurred that promised to explode my four-year-old brain and ruin Christmas: Big Bird stopped speaking German, our Christmas decorations melted straight off the tree, and our holiday cookies suffered untold casualties from the heat. Six months earlier, my parents and I had emigrated from the storybook Bavarian Alps in Germany (where my grandfather yodeled and wore lederhosen for real) to the working-class suburbs of western Sydney. It was physically and culturally as far away from my hometown as you could get, but to my parents, Australia was the promised land of opportunity, sun, beaches, and cute marsupials. A few months later, a single shipping container of our belongings arrived that held, among other…

2 min.
the few new commandments of caviar

AS CAVIAR BECOMES increasingly sustainable and accessible, we’re thrilled to ditch the Champagne, stuffy white tablecloths, and mother-of-pearl spoons. Instead, we’re following the guidance of our favorite restaurant pros for how to embrace caviar as a choose-your-own-adventure that’s as fancy or quotidian as you want it to be. 1. THOU SHALT PURCHASE SUSTAINABLE CAVIAR. Choose caviar from farmed sturgeon, which Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch deems the best choice for sustainability. Not sure where to start? We’re big fans of Pearl Street Caviar’s Ossetra Caviar ($77 for 30 grams, pearlstreetcaviar.com) and Island Creek Oysters’ Sterling Two Color White Sturgeon Caviar ($150 for 50 grams, shop.islandcreekoysters.com). 2. THOU SHALT GIVE UP THY MOTHER-OF-PEARL SPOONS. “A pocketknife works just fine [to serve caviar], as does a bag of chips,” says Michael Passmore of Passmore Caviar. Most…

2 min.
the best cookbooks of 2020

WITH MANY OF US COOKING AT HOME more often, it’s been a great year to grow our cookbook collections. Some of these new additions delivered a much-needed refresh to our well-worn dinner repertoires, while others allowed us to channel newfound free time into incredibly rewarding baking projects. Here are a few of the best cookbooks team Food & Wine picked up and loved in 2020—each one would make a thoughtful gift that will yield good meals and memories for years to come. CHICANO EATS BY ESTEBAN CASTILLO “Just like his blog, Esteban Castillo’s book is filled with vivid storytelling surrounding his Mexican-American heritage. I can’t stop making the Chorizo-Spiced Delicata Squash Tortas, and his Cajeta Cream Cheese Brownie Tart recipe has ruined me for other brownies.” —KHUSHBU SHAH OPEN KITCHEN BY SUSAN SPUNGEN “The pandemic scuttled…