A colleague just dropped an academic article titled "Ancient beer and modern brewers" on my desk, culled from a recent issue of Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. (I love working with nerds...I mean, people who are far more well-read than myself!)The article focuses on the production of chicha...
January 26, 2009 | By Amanda Bensen
Did you hear that?Um, nothing. Never mind. I meant to say, did you hear that consuming too much caffeine could make you more prone to "hallucinatory experiences?"According to a study published this week in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, "high caffeine users"* are three times mo...
January 14, 2009 | By Amanda Bensen
As my close friends know painfully well, I'm not exactly good at making decisions. At the wine store, I'm the customer who gets asked "Can I help you?" twice by the same salesperson because I've meandered between shelves for so long that they have forgotten our first encounter.Then I usually say so...
January 13, 2009 | By Amanda Bensen
I'll say it. The best beers in the world today are being made in the U.S. Let foreigners joke about our watery "macrobrews," but meanwhile our craft-brewing tradition has gathered steam the way all endeavors do in our young country: with enthusiasm, ingenuity, and heaps of technology. Give us a thu...
December 30, 2008 | By Hugh Powell
With the holidays in full swing, it's time to get serious about wine — something I regard as recompense for spending ages indoors with people I love dearly but who live in inconvenient parts of the country and tend to have very enthusiastic dogs.And yet I'm hopeless at it. My experience with wine i...
December 16, 2008 | By Hugh Powell
Exactly 75 years ago today, our nation changed its mind and decided that alcohol isn't so bad for the constitution after all...the U.S. Constitution, that is.In 1919, Congress had written a strict prescription (in the form of the 18th amendment and related Volstead Act) banning the "manufacture, sa...
December 05, 2008 | By Amanda Bensen
A roundup of recent food-related features worth checking out:On Sunday, the Washington Post ran this graphic about a "greener Thanksgiving," which gave me a nudge of guilt about buying Californian wine and South American asparagus, but I promise to eat all my leftovers...Topics like food miles and ...
November 28, 2008 | By Amanda Bensen
This isn’t meant to be a “how to" blog, but I recently stumbled across some useful tips at a Smithsonian employee event and thought I should share the wealth. The speaker, a certified nutritionist named Alana Sugar (I know, right? That’s her real name!) talked about people’s “love/hate relationship...
November 25, 2008 | By Amanda Bensen
An amateur wine competition in Manchester, Vt., features vintages that surprise the palate
June 03, 2008 | By Geoffrey Norman
For author Julia Alvarez and her husband, starting an organic coffee plantation was a wake-up call
October 17, 2007 | By Emily Brady
A few rounds with beermaker Will Meyers
October 11, 2007 | By Julia Kaganskiy
In the heart of the Lone Star state, wineries are giving Texans reason to toast
July 01, 2007 | By Beth Goulart
Learn what makes this coffee unique and how to place an order for your own cup
June 01, 2007 | By Rick Steves
The sweet wine rejuvenates its image
June 01, 2007 | By Dina Modianot-Fox
After two centuries, Mount Vernon's whiskey distillery returns
November 01, 2006 | By Cate Lineberry
During Prohibition, an odd alliance of special interests argued beer was vital medicine
April 2005 | By Beverly Gage
Persuaded that guilt alone won't get Americans to pay more for environmentally friendly coffee, importers are trying a market approach by giving farmers the tools to grow better beans
June 2004 | By Katherine Ellison