January's Bests

Our favorite bites from the past four weeks

January is given over to naming the best: We get the consensus of top acts in movies, football, music and television. To that aim, allow us to indulge in the month's theme of favorites; in case you missed them, here are our January nominees:

Most Educational Read Most wine books are filled with esoterica and condescending words, which send us running for the hills. But you can drink confidently with the help of this new down-to-earth manual, which is equal parts informative and enjoyable.

Best Bulk Booze You can continue running back to the liquor store for your weekly whiskey re-up, or you can get smart and buy by the barrel. Several distilleries now create products to your exacting custom standards and sell it to you at wholesale prices.

Raw-est Deal If your resolution was to eat more salads, you're in luck. Vitamin-rich kale is the headliner in leafy dishes across the country. Tucking into one from NYC's Northern Spy, which is loaded with kabocha squash and Cabot clothbound cheddar, is all gratification, no deprivation.

Bovinitarian Award Let go of your guilt surrounding veal: Small- and large-scale producers have adjusted their eco-conscious tuning and are creating humanely raised alternatives to a once-controversial protein.

Handiest Website Here's an unfortunately familiar scenario: You've got your heart set on making a recipe, but you can't remember where you saw it. Avoid this frustration by subscribing to Eat Your Books, a digital, easily searchable database for whatever's on your cookbook shelf.