TIME Food & Drink

7 Ways to Make Bad Wine Drinkable

Image Source—Image Source/Getty Images

This post originally appeared on FoodandWine.com/fwx

So, the real wine shop was closed and you’ve lost the liquor store lottery. Must you suffer with your medium-gross wine until you’ve consumed enough not to care? No. There are steps you can take to improve almost any wine, or at least trick yourself into tolerating it. Here are seven ways to make the most of not-so-stellar selections.

1. Chill it down.

As temperatures drop, flavors become muted. Most of us drink our worthy white wine too cold, but just-above-freezing is the perfect temperature for lesser bottles.

2. Adulterate it.

That is, make a spritzer. Or sangria. Or the Basque specialty kalimotxo (red wine and Coke).

3. If it’s red, drink it with mushrooms.

For reasons that wine-world pseudoscience hasn’t yet ventured to explain, umami-rich mushrooms tend to make ho-hum reds taste better. If your wine’s specific problem is a sandpapery mouthfeel, add red meat: Fat and protein both neutralize rough tannins.

4. If it’s sweet, drink it with something spicy.

Sadly, assertive cuisines like Thai and Indian tend to obliterate the delicious nuances of great wines. Happily, they’ll also obliterate the unpleasant nuances of bad wines. If your palate is busy dealing with garam masala or another intense spice combination, it’s not going to notice that your low-rent Riesling is lacking a bit in acidity.

5. If it’s oaky, drink it while you’re grilling.

Does your cheap Chardonnay smell like a burning 2-by-4? It may have been subjected to a process whereby big tea bags full of charred wood chips were dunked in it prior to bottling. No matter. Smoky foods work well with smoky wines, and a charcoal-grilled burger is the best kind of distraction for your palate.

6. Drop a penny into it.

This won’t work on any old not-so-great wine, but if you have a bottle that smells like struck matches or rotten eggs, adding a penny to your glass might actually help. Certain sulfur-related compounds can cause these smells, and copper makes them dissipate. Clean a coin, drop it in, swirl, remove and enjoy. When it works, the difference is amazing.

7. Bake it into a chocolate cake.

OK, this is actually a tip for making bad wine eatable. While you typically shouldn’t cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink, that rule can be relaxed a bit for baking. With sugar, chocolate and whipped cream involved, the wine contributes only a mild boozy note to this surprisingly good dessert.

More from Food & Wine:

TIME Food & Drink

An Insanely Easy Way to DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches


Food & Wine’s Mad Genius Tips video might ruffle some ice cream shop owners’ feathers. In it, F&W Test Kitchen problem solver Justin Chapple reveals how to make picture-perfect ice cream sandwiches. All you need are cookies, a pint of ice cream and a sharp knife. Learn more smart skills by watching all of the Mad Genius Tips videos.

More from Food & Wine:

TIME food and drink

America’s Best Hot Dogs

America's Best Hot Dogs
America's Best Hot Dogs Gina Weathersby—Kiwi Street Studios

From classic franks to artisan wieners with toppings like kimchi, here are the nation's best hot dogs.

Senate Restaurant

Cincinnati, Ohio

Chef Daniel Wright has received national accolades for his playful takes on pub food, including a regularly changing menu of hot dogs like the Croque Madame (Black Forest ham, poached egg, béchamel) and the Lindsey Lohan (goat cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula and balsamic vinegar).

Hot Doug’s


At Doug Sohn’s hot dog temple, the specialty sausages are named after celebrities: the Anna Kendrick, for instance, is a spicy dog. Purists stick to The Dog, a Chicago-style dog with trimmings like celery salt, along with a side of duck-fat fries (only available on Friday and Saturday). The lines often stretch down around the block, and real dogs are allowed on the outdoor patio.

Crif Dogs

New York City

Childhood pals Brian Shebairo and Chris Antista differentiate themselves in the city’s crowded hot dog market by deep-frying their franks to a crisp snap before serving them in a choice of more than a dozen mad scientist combinations that include a bacon wrap and toppings such as avocado, cream cheese and a fried egg.

Dirty Franks

Columbus, Ohio

The franks served here are Vienna all-beef wieners; beyond that, Dirty Franks has made sure to create an option for just about everyone. There are more than 20 styles to choose from, including toppings like brisket, corn relish and Sriracha-cream cheese. Vegetarians are covered, too: The same treatments are offered for Tofurky pups.


Austin, Texas

Geoff Peveto and Christian Helms pair beer and cocktails with an artisan wiener menu that includes everything from Vienna beef hot dogs to house-made specialties like the Jackalope, a smoked antelope, rabbit and pork sausage. Bun choices include gluten-free, pretzel or a tortilla wrap.


MORE: 30 Best Takes on Fried Chicken in the U.S.

MORE: 25 Best Burgers in the U.S.

MORE: 30 Top Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.


10 Stunning Pies (Other than Apple) for the Fourth of July

Marilyn Batali's Blackberry Pie
Marilyn Batali's Blackberry Pie Quentin Bacon

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

Apple pie might be the ultimate American dessert, but we contend that it’s better in the fall. Here are 10 bright and tangy summer fruit pies to make for July 4th.

1. Marilyn Batali’s Blackberry Pie
This exquisite pie is made with Mario Batali’s “favorite fruit in life.”

2. Peach-Raspberry Pie
Serve this excellent summer pie with whipped cream or a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.

3. Deep-Dish Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
What’s the secret to perfectly flaky crust? Add some lard to the dough.

4. Passion Fruit Ice Cream Pie with a Ginger Crust
This over-the-top dessert is topped with a mix of dulce de leche and passion fruit nectar.

5. Coconut-Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry Caramel
Bobby Flay’s spectacularly creamy custard pie is topped with silky blackberry caramel.

6. Deep-Dish Peach Streusel Pie with Ginger
Andrew Zimmern upgrades the classic peach pie by adding ground and candied ginger.

7. Stone Fruit Pie with Almond Streusel
Any combination of stone fruits (apricots, peaches, plums, cherries or nectarines) is perfect for this delicious pie.

8. Berry Ice Cream Pie
Blueberries and strawberry ice cream star in this terrific, fast dessert.

9. Cherry Hand Pies
Save on time by using puff pastry to make these fantastic pies.

10. Yogurt and Apricot Pie with Crunchy Granola Crust
Healthful ingredients in this pie include low-fat Greek yogurt, oats and almonds.

MORE: 19 New Ways to Eat Pie

MORE: 11 Best Custard and Cream Pies

MORE: 10 Ways to Use Leftover Pie Dough


10 Ways to Make Ribs for the Fourth of July

Grilled Short Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
Grilled Short Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce Christina Holmes

This articleoriginally appeared on Food & Wine.

The Fourth of July is right around the corner! Get some grilling practice this weekend with these ten incredible recipes for ribs.

1. Molasses-Smoked Baby Back Ribs
What’s Tim Byres’s secret to delicious ribs? Rubbing them with a seasoned beer-based mop before cooking them in a foil packet ensures the meat is flavorful and moist.

2. Sir Winston’s Favorite Short Ribs
This savory-sweet Korean-style ribs recipe is quick and easy to make after marinating overnight.

3. Cumin-and-Coriander Grilled Lamb Ribs
“Lamb ribs are the most inexpensive and unsung part of the lamb,” says Tom Mylan, who flavors them with Middle Eastern seasonings.

4. Ribs with Hot-Pepper-Jelly Glaze
This recipe calls for three types of ribs, but it’s just as fantastic with one.

5. Grilled Short Ribs with Smoky Blackberry Barbecue Sauce
An easy blackberry sauce flavored with adobo chiles takes these ribs to another level.

6. Vadouvan-Spiced Lamb Ribs
Vadouvan, a French curry-esque spice blend, adds terrific flavor to these tender ribs.

7. Spiced Pork Ribs
These smoky, Mexican-style ribs feature a super-simple rub.

8. Grilled Apple-Marinated Short Ribs
Instead of braising, these ribs are marinated overnight in a mix of apple juice, lemon juice and soy sauce so they’re sweet, salty and tangy.

9. Grilled Short Ribs with Anchovy Vinaigrette
These thinly sliced short ribs are perfect for quick grilling.

10. Cumin-Glazed Ribs with Avocado-Pineapple Salsa
Susan Feniger’s sweet ribs are delicious with a grapefruity IPA.

MORE: 11 People You Always See When You Throw a BBQ

MORE: 19 Best BBQ Cities

MORE: 8 Things that Will Make Eating and Drinking on Your Camping Trip So Much Better


Celebrity Chefs’ Fourth of July Recipes

Lemongrass Pork Patties with Quick Cucumber Kimchi. A121002_FW_BillKim_4thJuly_July2013
John Kernick

Triple Pork Burgers with Quick Cucumber Kimchi

Bill Kim’s thin, triple-stacked burgers, loaded with ginger, lemongrass, cilantro and basil, are inspired by a lemongrass pork sausage he likes to serve.

Pug Burger

This delectable blue cheese burger is one of chef David Lentz’s most popular recipes.

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Although Jacques Pépin cuts a small, seedless watermelon into rounds with a melon baller (adding the trimmings to the salad, too, so as not to waste them), you can also chop the watermelon into cubes.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Okra Salad

Marcus Samuelsson drew on African staples like yams and okra to create this completely original recipe of roasted sweet potatoes tossed with red potatoes, wilted spinach and sautéed okra. Toasted mustard seeds and a caper vinaigrette give this delicious salad a nutty, tangy flavor.

One-Pot Sticky Chicken Wings

Sweet, spicy, gooey and crispy, Andrew Zimmern’s wings are glazed with an addictive sauce that he can’t get enough of.


MORE: More 4th of July Recipes

MORE: Best 4th of July Desserts

MORE: Refreshing 4th of July Drinks

TIME food and drink

15 Juicy Burgers for the Fourth of July

Beef Burgers with Peanut-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Beef Burgers with Peanut-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce John Kernick

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

Here are 15 amazing burgers from F&W’s grilling experts and star chefs like Bobby Flay.

1. Beef Burgers with Peanut–Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Bobby Flay’s incredible burgers are topped with a sweet-smoky sauce made with tomato puree, ancho chile powder, chipotle in adobo sauce and peanut butter.

2. Bacon Burgers with Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce
These complex-tasting burgers feature bacon, scallions, mint and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

3. Thai Tuna Burgers with Ginger-Lemon Mayonnaise
Tod man pla, a Thai fried white fish patty, was the inspiration for these delicious tuna burgers.

4. Red Chili Burgers
Creamy Crescenza-Stracchino cheese tops these fantastic burgers.

5. Fresh and Juicy Veggie Burgers
These are the ultimate veggie burgers.

6. Barbecue–Glazed Turkey Burgers
Gwyneth Paltrow loves these burgers topped with Swiss cheese and pickled jalapeños.

7. Tuna Niçoise Burgers
Turn the classic French salad into a fantastic seafood burger.

8. Caprese Burgers
Basil, tomato and mozzarella star in these juicy burgers.

9. Crispy Quinoa Sliders
Serve these crispy patties alongside a salad, or simply as fantastic mini vegetarian burgers.

10. Spicy 50/50 Burgers
Michael Symon’s spicy cheeseburgers feature a delectable mix of sausage and ground beef.

11. Lamb Burgers with Green Harissa
These terrific burgers get their bright flavor thanks to a harissa sauce made with a mix of hot and mild chiles.

12. Sausage Burgers with Sriracha-Honey-Mustard Sauce
The spicy-sweet sauce and ground pork–sausage blend make these burgers extra-flavorful.

13. Triple Pork Burgers with Quick Cucumber Kimchi
Intensely seasoned with Asian ingredients, these pork burgers almost taste like dumpling filling.

14. Blue Ribbon Barbecue Chicken Cheeseburgers
The combination of sweet–spicy barbecue sauce and smoky bacon makes this the ideal chicken burger.

15. Black Bean Burgers
This excellent black bean burger recipe yields thick, meaty patties that stay tender.

MORE: Best Burgers in the U.S.

MORE: Best Bacon Burgers in the U.S.

MORE: Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.

TIME Food & Drink

6 Ways to Create Your Signature Potato Salad

Creamy Cucumber and Grilled Potato Salad Christina Holmes

How to make your side dish the belle of the barbecue

This story originally appeared on Food & Wine.

Potato salad–making can be competitive business. Here are six ideas for crafting your way to a great one.

1. Pick a potato. Red potatoes are waxier and tend to hold their shape. Yukon Golds and baking potatoes are creamier. When peeled, they thicken the salad with their starch and help create that scoopable deli-counter texture (if that’s what you’re going for). For a really spectacular multi-toned salad, choose a mixture of colored fingerlings.

2. Choose your cooking method. The classic picnic salad is made with boiled potatoes, and that’s definitely the best option if you’re going to serve it chilled. Roasted potatoes add depth to the flavor of the salad; they’re best served warm or at room temperature with vinaigrette-style dressings. To give your potatoes a subtle charred flavor that works well with any type of dressing, grill ’em.

3. Mayo or not? Your choices here go way beyond the classic mayonnaise dressing. If you like a creamy-style salad, there’s also buttermilk. Or yogurt or hummus. (Bonus:Both add a hit of protein.) For a brighter salad, you can dress it with a lemony salsa verdeor super-simple vinaigrette. Or, for a salad that’s indulgent but not necessarily creamy, try a luscious brown butter vinaigrette.

4. Crunchy or not? Celery is a classic optional add-in if you like a little bit of crunch, but for a more modern take, try adding radishes or snap peas.

5. Flavor it up. Potatoes are a blank slate, so they love lots of bright, bold ingredients. You can go the classic route and add mustard and pickle relish (as well as hard-boiled eggs). Or add plenty of herbs. And, of course, there’s always bacon (along with a hit of barbecue sauce).

6. Want to lighten it? Make a not-just-potato salad, letting the spuds be the backup dancer instead of the star.

MORE: Best 4th of July Recipes

MORE: 26 Refreshing Summer Drinks

MORE: Video: How to Make Instant Ice Cream

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

TIME Food & Drink

The 24 Best Lobster Rolls in America

The Clam Shack J. Steven Kingston

In honor of National Lobster Day

Never mind the tired regional debate—whether they’re best Maine style (chilled, with mayonnaise) or Connecticut (warm, with drawn butter). Lobster rolls are delicious, and in addition to honoring the classic styles, seafood-obsessed chefs have embraced new possibilities. From a modern Asian spin with a charcoal-lacquered bun to a torpedo bun laden with a whole pound of meat, here are our favorites.

The Clam Shack

Kennebunkport, ME

Overlooking the scenic Kennebunk River, at the peak of the summer season, the cooks at the Clam Shack shell roughly 1,000 pounds of local lobster a day. For their assembled-to-order rolls, they pile a little of each part (claw, knuckle, tail) onto an oversize, locally baked burger bun. Customers choose between a swipe of mayo, a drizzle of warm butter or a little of both. The Clam Shack even sells lobster roll kits, shipped fresh overnight.

Neptune Oyster


This North End restaurant’s famous hot lobster roll features succulent pieces of lobster tail, claw and knuckle meat drizzled with clarified butter, served on a grilled and buttered brioche hot dog bun. A mayo-based cold roll is also available for purists.

MORE: 15 Epic Lobster Recipes

Bob’s Clam Hut

Kittery, ME

Bob’s Clam Hut hasn’t changed its lobster roll recipe in 50 years, for good reason: There’s no better way to serve their juicy chunks of Maine lobster than to toss them with a little mayonnaise and pack them into a grilled, buttered hot dog bun.

The Ordinary

Charleston, SC

Chef Mike Lata’s new seafood hall celebrates the “merroir” (ocean terroir) of the entire East Coast with a wide range of sustainably caught fish. His spin on the New England lobster roll includes a whopping half-pound of lobster meat bought straight off a Maine day boat. The mayo dressing is zingy with Tabasco, lemon, celery, garlic, mustard, chives, shallot and a light dusting of Old Bay.

Red Hook Lobster Pound

Brooklyn, NY

This food truck and storefront operation serves its Maine claw and knuckle meat rolls two ways: Maine style, with the lobster dressed in a lemony house-made mayo, or Connecticut style, the meat drizzled with melted butter. To keep things strictly New England, both versions come in a Country Kitchen-brand split-top bun from Maine.


MORE: America’s Best Hot Dogs

MORE: Best Fried Chicken in the U.S.

MORE: Best Burgers in the U.S.

MORE: Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.

TIME Family

10 Brilliant Grilling Gifts for Father’s Day

The Big Green Egg smoker The Big Green Egg

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

From smokers that can fit an entire hog to the best tongs for nighttime grilling, here are 10 fantastic Father’s Day gifts.

1. The Big Green Egg XXL
This cult-favorite smoker can hold a whole hog.

2. Weber Smokey Mountain
This inexpensive smoker is a great way to try the trend.

3. Double-Duty Grill
Perfect for the urban dad, the Hot-Pot BBQ features a charcoal grill hidden under an herb planter.

4. 18-Inch Grill Tongs
These Weber tongs are great for small foods such as shrimp or vegetables.

5. Pit Mitt
This flexible glove can withstand temperatures of up to 475°.

6. Pizza Stone
This fantastic ceramic pizza stone can be used on a gas or charcoal grill.

7. Herb Infuser
Charcoal Companion’s Herb Grid has hinged gates that hold herbs for extra flavor.

8. Sturdy Skewers
Double prongs keep the food in place.

9. Korean Barbecue Insert
This cast-iron round insert keeps thin-sliced meats from falling into the coals.

10. Illuminated Tongs
These tongs feature detachable LED lights for night grilling.


Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser