Lauren Friel

Lauren Friel

I'm a freelance writer.

Timely lifestyle, food and wine content with a strong, modern voice. I play well with wine, beer, cocktails, tea, coffee, chocolate, restaurants, chefs, sommeliers, winemakers and travel alike.

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Read Water for Chefs—David McMillan, Joe Beef on ChefsFeed

Chef David McMillan needs no introduction, but let's give him one anyway. Joe Beef, Liverpool House, Le Vin Papillon. Foie gras, ice fishing, all of the offal. Taxidermy, tattoos, whole pig heads. Oysters. Burgundy. Game fowl. Cheese for days. Deep Québécois pride.

This guy. This guy is everyone’s Chef. Lucky for us, this guy also loves wine. This guy loves love. “Drink healthy beverages made from grapes,” he says. “Eat clean. Love everyone. Be a good person. Fight pedigree and pretense. We love you."

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The Unsinkable Maggie Campbell: How Boston's First Lady of Rum Beat the Odds

Campbell has performed the equivalent of a rum-soaked mic drop since landing at Privateer in 2012....

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Pass the Pét-Nat! These 6 Chic Sparkling Wines Will Make You Rethink Your Champagne Obsession

The Champagne shortage may be looming, but there's no need to panic. Of all the many other sparkling wines out there, one worth getting excited about right now is the delightfully named pét-nat....

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Unofficial Tour de France Drinking Guide - Gear Patrol

If we’re examining the route of the Tour de France with an eye toward wine, last year’s race was a greatest hits of sorts: the peloton made its way through Champagne, Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley, and France’s AOC boards laughed all the way to the cellars. Not so in 2015; this year, it seems the underdogs will be getting their due. The first leg of the race took us through the Northern hinterlands of Brittany and Normandy, where the chilly climate has lent its influence to the favor of cider and beer production for hundreds of years. When the route does turn south, it’s first to the rugged wilds of Southwest France in the foothills of the Pyrenees — through the overlooked regions of Jurançon, Gaillac and Irouleguy — before it heads east through the Massif Central and into the gauntlet provided by the cliffs of the Ardèche, Savoie, and Haut-Alps.
While it’s true that most of us are likely unfamiliar with these far-flung sub-appellations and rustic terroir, following this year’s route from your glass is perhaps a more authentic experience of French culture and history than the years past, when the regions represented were the usual suspects. This year, you might have to work a little harder to find some of the bottles we’ve paired with the route, but when it comes to the winner of the Tour, the best things never come easy.

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Read The Changing of the Guard on ChefsFeed


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What We Talk About When We Talk Chocolate

Chocolate is everywhere. The corner bodega. 7-11. Whole Foods. Starbucks. That place in the mall with the impossibly-huge dipped strawberries. That super-fancy specialty shop that just opened in your of-the-moment neighborhood. Odds are, no matter where you are, chocolate is there, in high-or-lowbrow form. We eat it, we drink it, we paint it on our naked partners. It’s ubiquitous with holidays and casual snacking alike. So, how do we talk about talk about something we take for granted?

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The Boston Globe

13 New England farmers markets and food festivals to visit this fall

From an oysterfest to open-air shopping to a celebration of fluff....

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5 Holiday Wine Buying Tips From A Sommelier -

This time of year, many of us are thinking about what wine to serve at our next holiday event. Click here for holiday wine buying tips from a sommelier....

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Wine Grapes, Explained - Gear Patrol

You might be a strict Cabernet Sauvignon guy. Maybe a Merlot die-hard. Or, perhaps Riesling is more your speed. Whatever your vinous affiliation, it feels good to have a “thing” when it comes to wine — an ID badge, a secret handshake among other like-minded drinkers in the crowded club full of untenable scores and vintage reports. Sitting around, swirling away and discussing things like terroir and that uncannily, awfully coined thing known as mouthfeel, it’s easy to forget the little guy that makes it all possible. No, not your friendly neighborhood sommelier or the dude who wields the scorecard. We’re talking about the grape. Wine comes from grapes. Remember?

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Read Water for Chefs—Brian Limoges, Quince, San Francisco on ChefsFeed

Read "Water for Chefs—Brian Limoges, Quince, San Francisco" via @ChefsFeed...

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Read Water for Chefs—Rachel Dow, The Betty, Chicago on ChefsFeed

Read "Water for Chefs—Rachel Dow, The Betty, Chicago" via @ChefsFeed...

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How Climate Affects Wine - Gear Patrol

Long (probably a few thousand years) ago in a vineyard far away (most likely somewhere in modern-day Iran), the Mother of All Grapes existed. At some point, a genetic mutation probably occurred, spawning another grape with slightly different genetic material. The rest, as a result of genetic commingling, nomadic migratory patterns, war, empiric expansion and collapse, immigration, human tinkering for fun and profit and a whole bunch of other stuff we’ll never know about, has gotten us to where we are today — i.e., with somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 different cultivars of the vitis vinifera species growing all over the world. We know this because grape geneticists are at work unlocking vitis vinifera’s family tree one vine at a time. For example: Cabernet Sauvignon? It’s the lovechild of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Boom. Science.

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Read Water for Chefs—Matthew Rudofker, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, New York City on ChefsFeed

Read "Water for Chefs—Matthew Rudofker, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, New York City " via @ChefsFeed...

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Read Water for Chefs—Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston on ChefsFeed

This ain’t your grandmother’s Willamette Pinot. In 2005, terroir whisperers Olga and Barnaby set out to bring the old school to the New World with Alpine-inspired wines made from the likes of Chasselas and Silvaner, and today they’re crafting some of the most interesting wines this side of the Atlantic. Esoteric aromatic whites aside, they keep it real with their super sought-after “Bergspitze” Pinot Noir, an earthy-yet-elegant expression of the peaks of the Chehalem Mountains that gives Alsace a run for its money. Making grilled sardines? Duck tagine? Wild Mushroom Lo Mein? There’s a super versatile, delicious wine for that (it’s this one).

Talk article

What We Talk About When We Talk—Booze

Think about biting into an apple. Think about how sweet it is, how juicy it is. Think about the bitterness of the skin against the ripeness of the sugars, how long its flavor lingers on your tongue, how much it makes you salivate. Think about its flavor....