We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The LA Times editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more

Lifestyle

For the Connoisseur
  • If the only rose you've ever tried is White Zinfandel, you're missing out on a world full of excellent wines. There's a lot of variation when it comes to rose wine, so no matter what your tastes, you're sure to find something that's up your alley. Rose can be sweet or dry, one-note or complex, flat or bubbly. In fact, some of the best Champagnes are roses made from Pinot Noir grapes. Rose can be made in a number of different ways, but the vast majority of best rose wine in 2022 is made from 100% red wine grapes. Rose wine is sometimes made by fermenting the wine on the skins for anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks to get its color. Once the correct color is achieved, it’s taken off the skins so that it doesn't turn into red wine. Alternatively, rose can be "bled" from red wines by siphoning off the lighter wine at the top of the fermentation vat. Finally, rose can be produced by blending white and red wines, though this method isn't commonly used and produces inferior quality wine. Though California White Zinfandel is the most popular style of rose in the New World, rose is also commonly enjoyed in France. French roses are usually dry and floral and are very popular in the summer months. Of course, rose is made wherever winemakers put down roots from Spain to South Africa to New Zealand. With so many different rose wines to try, this is one style that definitely worth trying.
    February 03, 2016
  • Made from a flavorful green grape that packs a punch, chardonnay is one of the world's favorite white wines. chardonnay grapes are grown all over the world, though they were first cultivated in the Burgundy region of France. Though they reached the peak of their popularity at the end of the 20th century, there are still more acres devoted to this chardonnay than any other white wine grape. Though its popularity has made it unchic in some circles, there are so many ways to style chardonnay that most people who claim to dislike it would probably appreciate at least one of its incarnations.Since it's a relatively hardy varietal, chardonnay can be grown in many different regions. Depending on the weather and the quality of the soil, wine made from these grapes can show flavors of apple, pineapple, ripe fruit, or vanilla. There are several ways to style chardonnay wines. These wines can be aged in oak and finished with malolactic fermentation, resulting in the big oak and butter flavors frequently seen in California chardonnays. Alternatively, they can be aged in steel, a fermentation technique that allows the green apple tartness of the grapes to shine through. In Champagne, France, chardonnay grapes are also the only grape that can be used to make blanc de blanc Champagne.No matter what you need it for, our list of chardonnays will help you out; check out the below buying guide to teach yourself more about wine, too!
    February 03, 2016
  • Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply looking for an intriguing wine to go with a seafood dish, a sparkling wine is a great choice. Sparkling wines are made all over the world, including Australia, South Africa, the United States, Italy, Spain, and France. There are a number of different types of sparkling wine. Prosecco is an Italian wine made from Glera grapes. This wine is carbonated in large steel vats and designed to be enjoyed soon after bottling. Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, is made from any number of classic Spanish grapes. This wine is bottle fermented and can be aged in the cellar for a number of years. Finally, there are Champagne-style sparkling wines. These commonly made around the world and make use of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, the three grape varietals that grow in Champagne, France. These wines are also bottle fermented and most are aged for at least a few years before they're ready to enjoy.The techniques of bottle fermenting were perfected in Champagne, France, which is why many people call any sparkling wine a "champagne." Technically, only wines that come from this region are allowed to use the name Champagne, though the vast majority of sparkling wines are made in the Champagne-style. Since there is live yeast in the bottle, these wines have a toasty aroma.When shopping for a sparkling wine, you may notice that these wines are organized by the level of residual sugar. Dry, extra-dry, and brut are the three most common sugar levels, with dry being the sweetest, and Brut being the driest. Less commonly, you may find wines labeled extra brut and brut nature, which are extremely dry, and demi-sec and doux, which signify sweeter wines.Finally, sparkling wines will be labeled with either the year harvested or the letters NV, which stands for Non-Vintage. Non-Vintage wines are blended from wines from a number of different harvests taken over a number of different years. They tend to be less expensive and more consistent than vintage wines though they are rarely as complex as a good vintage wine. When selecting a vintage wine, you'll want to make sure that the year was a good one for the grapes. Vintage wines are usually more expensive but are excellent when made in good years.For more information on what to look at in selecting the best sparkling wine in 2022, We have listed below the sparkling wines available for you to help you decide what product is best to buy.
    February 03, 2016
  • The third-most planted wine grape in the world, merlot is popular both as a stand-alone varietal and as a blending grape. This grape is native to Bordeaux, France, but has been grown throughout warmer European areas for around 200 years. Now, merlot has made its way all over the world and is popular in the Americas, Southern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. A relatively subtle grape with less tannin than the closely related cabernet sauvignon, wine made solely from merlot grapes tends to be fruity and smooth and usually won't hold up to many years of cellaring, reaching its peak after 5 to 15 years. Of course, there are some exceptional merlots that continue to mature for many decades.There are two main styles of best merlots in 2022: the Old World style— which makes use of earlier harvests in order to emphasize soft fruit flavors— and the New World. Old World wines are lower in alcohol than New World style merlots; New World merlot grapes are often left on the vines a little longer, giving them a chance to develop a more concentrated flavor and an increased sugar content. The extra sugar in the grapes does not lead to a sweet wine but is instead metabolized by the yeast in order to make a wine with a higher alcohol content preferred by many New World drinkers. These wines have jammier flavors with an emphasis on plum and blackberry, and more soft tannins that give them more body than their Old World counterparts.No matter what type of wine you prefer, we have done the research to come up with a comprehensive list of the best merlots of this year. They vary in region, flavors, and price, so you're bound to find something suitable for your taste and budget. Take a look at our favorites below.
    February 03, 2016
Looking for a way to support Black-owned businesses? Then head over to Amazon’s Black-owned business storefront. Dedicated to showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of Black entrepreneurs, you’ll find everything from coffee to grooming supplies to purses (and much more).
February 22, 2022
If you are want to add some shimmer and shine to your homemade candles, you can’t go wrong with mica powder. Mica powder is made from natural stone, and its main use is to add color or shine to materials like soap, cosmetics, fabric, arts and crafts projects and clay, and you can certainly add it to your candle.
February 01, 2022
You’ve probably thought to yourself, “Hey, I could sell my homemade scented candles for a lot of money!” Or you’ve ordered scented candles online, were disappointed with the purchase and from then on, vowed to make your candles yourself. You are not alone. The candle making business can be a profitable one. The start-up capital is one you can scrape together in no time, but if you are not one for entrepreneurship, you can have fun experimenting with fun candle scents for your own personal enjoyment. But, it all starts with finding the right candle making kit.
February 01, 2022
Latest Reviews
  • One of the best ways to add intricate deals to your artwork, enhance your paint stroke, and get the best results is by using detail paint brushes. They are designed to be extremely sharp and deliver excellent results. There are a few of the best detail paint brushes in 2022 to consider because of how well they work and their durable construction to ensure professional results.
    August 10, 2021
  • So, you’ve got a friend who’s expecting a baby. What wonderful news! If you want to make sure they’ll be welcomed with open arms, you’ll want to give a gift that matters during the baby shower. Not sure what to give? Don’t worry - we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best baby shower gifts your friend or colleague will certainly be happy to receive.
    August 06, 2021
  • Anybody with a dog can tell you just how difficult it can be to keep on top of your pooches’ fur and nails. Sure, you want your dog to look as beautiful as possible, but they think you are trying to maim and murder them whenever you turn on the clippers - or at least that’s the way it seems, judging by my dog’s reaction.
    August 05, 2021
  • Dog ramps are essential to a dog's well-being. These compact pieces allow dogs to move up and down furniture or vehicles without placing too much stress on their joints. Here are some of the best dog ramps in 2022 for you to consider that will make it easier for your dog to snuggle next to you on the couch or get in the car.
    August 03, 2021
  • When J.K. Rowling introduced the world to the titular boy wizard Harry Potter way back in 1997, we would wager she had no idea just how popular her fictional creation would prove to be. It wasn’t long after that the entire planet was enamored with her enchanting school of witchcraft and wizardry. And so, a global phenomenon was born. Not only did those novels spawn a successful movie franchise, they also gave way to an avalanche of merchandise and toys, not to mention a theme park and studio tour experience on both sides of the Atlantic. If you’re as nuts about Potter as we are, you’ll want to get your hands on as much merchandise as possible. This includes Harry Potter keychains. What better way to spruce up a set of keys than a token of your devotion to all things Hogwarts? To help you make a decision, we’ve collected some of the very best Harry Potter keychains in 2022. No matter your favorite character or Hogwarts house, you’ll be able to find the perfect piece of merch to show off your adoration with our help. Don’t be a muggle - check out the rest of the article below!
    July 30, 2021
  • We have all experienced the love, compassion, creativity, and strength of our healthcare workers. Here are some carefully selected gifts for the essential workers in your life. Look no further if you want to show some appreciation and respect to the men and women who work tirelessly to bring us comfort in our time of need.
    July 30, 2021
  • Every parent wants the best for their kids. Reading to your little ones helps with brain development and further develops a strong bond. Seeing them getting involved and watching their eyes scan through the pages can be a heartwarming and memorable experience. Reading not only helps babies in developing language skills but also helps them make sense of worldly objects. To help bring the outside world to your little ones, you need to choose the best baby books in 2022 and beyond. However, with a plethora of options available, choosing the right book can be intimidating. To help you out in this regard, we have listed some great options that aren’t just engaging but also age-appropriate.
    July 27, 2021
  • It's not always easy to get the perfect color, especially when blending— it's crucial to have the right brush to make that happen. Watercolor is a great way to create unique works of art with the depth and vibrancy you're looking for. While you can certainly use traditional watercolor palettes, watercolor brushes are an easy-to-use alternative. There are many different types of watercolor pen options to choose from, so here are the best watercolor brush pens in 2022 worth considering.
    July 27, 2021
  • An excellent set of colored pencils is a must-have for any art classroom. They're a classic and timeless way to create art, and even if you're not planning to use them for art projects, colored pencils will always be a useful tool for everyone in the classroom. Here are some of the best colored pencils in 2022 to consider when buying for your art classroom.
    July 23, 2021
  • When it comes to your dog, you have to make sure they receive all the important nutrients, minerals, and vitamins necessary to keep them happy and healthy. In addition, whether you choose dry or wet dog food, you need to ensure the ingredients are high quality and the composition is suitable for your pup.
    July 06, 2021
  • The last thing you’d want for your pet is for it to get sick from diseases or feel weak from a lack of nutrients. Often, this can be remedied by providing your pet with the right lifestyle it needs to stay healthy, but even then, it may not be enough. Read on to find out why you really need to start investing some money in better pet vitamins for your dog or cat.
    May 10, 2021
  • Whatever the occasion, candle gift sets have come in handy time and time again as an excellent fancy gift option. Most come with great aromas, beautiful designs, and can be used just anywhere in the home to create a relaxed atmosphere.When scouting for a candle gift set, you will have to decide whether to go for single candle or multiple-candle set, the aromas, specified burn time, and designs to ensure it fits seamlessly into home décor.To save you the hassle, we have compiled a list of candle gift sets spanning these different considerations and won’t have you breaking the bank.
    April 13, 2021
  • One of the best ways to remember your travels is by taking photos. When done right, you’ll be able to fondly remember all the memories you made throughout your trip just by looking at them. To really immortalize your trip properly, here are ten tips that’ll make your next vacation one to remember.
    April 01, 2021
  • Much like any other piece of art, crafting takes a level of skill that often requires specific tools. One of these tools is a cutting mat, which not only helps protect your workspace from unintentional gashes caused by rotary blades, x-acto knives, or similar tools but also provides guidance for precise angles and measurements. We’ve tested numerous best cutting mats in 2022 to help you find the best fit for your next project.
    March 09, 2021
  • Crocheting is a relaxing activity that exercises your creativity and enhances your sense of accomplishment. It can boost your happiness and provide stress relief. With the right tools, like crochet hook sets, getting into crocheting is made a lot easier. Here are some of the best crochet hook sets in 2022 to consider.
    March 09, 2021
  • Miniaturized train sets have remained a staple of every child toy set for generations, thanks to their exceptional versatility and pure fun. With the best electric train sets in 2022 are lightweight, more efficient than ever, and exceptionally interactive.When scouting for an electric train set, you want one with a beautiful design that closely mimics real trains, is lightweight, easy to set up, and boasts long battery life. We have compiled a list of best electric train sets in 2022 that check all these boxes and don’t cost a fortune.
    March 08, 2021
  • Art is a fantastic expression of ideas and personality, something all ages can enjoy. Whether for holiday crafts or detailed masterpieces, a set of quality acrylic paint markers helps you achieve superior color and detail in your project without the mess of paint jars and brushes. The following list of best acrylic markers in 2022 are excellent choices for their color variety, quick-drying ink, and ability to be used on most surfaces.
    March 05, 2021
  • Wet dog food is an excellent choice for most pups and adult dogs because it contains a lot more protein with fewer carbs, so it’s healthier. The best wet dog foods in 2022 are also deliciously-flavored, and because it’s soft it’s easier to chew, especially for mature dogs or small breeds. Moreover, top-notch food options don’t contain preservatives which are not just unhealthy for most dogs, they can also cause cancer.
    March 04, 2021
  • Tea comes in a wide range of varieties, and it may be impossible to try them all in one lifetime. With tea samplers, however, you can get to taste several types of tea and pick out which ones you prefer. Find your favorite blend and enjoy a cup of tea with our selection of the best tea samplers in 2022 below.
    March 04, 2021
  • Finding the best puppy foods in 2022 can be tricky because the food needs to provide all the nutrients, minerals, protein, and vitamins that a budding pup requires to grow. At the same time, the food kibbles must be small enough for a pup’s little jaws and teeth, and it must not contain harmful ingredients. Therefore, the best puppy food options are healthy, manageable, and delicious - perfect for your furry little companion.
    February 26, 2021
  • Has it been too long since you’ve gotten something nice for a friend? There doesn’t always have to be a special occasion, just as the gift doesn’t always have to be a big thing. Here are some of our best weird gifts in 2022 for any non-occasion.
    February 26, 2021
  • Kids can explore their imagination and create fantastic shapes with a set of play sand. These sets provide a hands-on experience that allows kids to develop motor skills and express their artistic side. Not only is play sand easy to clean, but it also never dries out. Here are some of the best play sand sets for kids in 2022 to consider for their colorful designs and inclusion of molds and toys.
    February 23, 2021
  • While family-friendly games have their perks, especially when trying to entertain the kids, these are not as likely to please a crowd of grown-ups. When the kids are tucked away, you might want to get something a bit more daring on the table – and this is exactly where a few of the best board games for adults in 2021 can save the night.With the board games we share in this list, you’ll be able to keep every adult at your gathering happy all night long.
    February 22, 2021
  • A pet is a part of your family, and it's important to keep them happy and healthy. You can do a lot of things to make your life easier, but one of the most important is to give them the right accessories to help them do their best. These accessories can help make them look and feel more like their human counterparts. Here are some best puppy accessories in 2022 you should consider buying.
    February 20, 2021
  • Inkbox is a relatively new company (founded in 2015) specializing in temporary tattoos. No, not the ones you spent a quarter on out of a gumball machine at your local grocery store. Inkbox tattoos are a premium temporary tattoo marketed towards an older crowd. Not only do they have thousands of designs to choose from, but they partner with artists to help support and promote their work as well. On top of that, you can create your own custom tattoos by using software on their website to upload your own image.
    October 21, 2020
  • This year has been an interesting roller-coaster ride, but that isn't going to stop people from having fun when it's possible. Not that we condone flouting lockdown and social distancing guidelines, but there's no doubt that people will want to enjoy the last little sliver of summer before the days shorten and the mercury plummets. Here are a few suggestions to get the most out of Labor Day weekend while staying safe and healthy.
    September 04, 2020
  • Hot sauce is a curious food staple - nearly everyone uses it, and there's an overwhelming selection available on the market. Even so, a handful of names dominate the segment, making it difficult for new brands to compete for attention.
    June 24, 2020
  • Despite all the challenges and craziness we've seen in 2020, students in the Class of 2020 will still be graduating. Though the circumstances and procedures surrounding graduation may be modified due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it's still an event that can be made even brighter with a gift or two. We've gathered some ideas based on feedback from grads.
    June 18, 2020
  • Fathers are an important figure in our lives, and we have a special day in June set aside to show our admiration. We came up with a few gift ideas ranging from leisure activities to thoughtful gadgets to celebrate Dads across the country.
    June 11, 2020
  • (Updated 5/4/2021) Cinco de Mayo is here once again! Despite how many of us may feel about 2020, we're all enjoying a new year with more things to look forward to. Here are some of our favorite Tequila picks for Cinco de Mayo!
    May 01, 2020