Thirsting for Knowledge

The problem with sampling beer at a brewery, sherry at a bodega or cognac at a château is that you're captive to a particular brand. You can't complain too much, of course—especially if it's free—but what if you want a broader education that allows you to explore all the varieties of that beverage, regardless of who makes it? Increasingly, you're in luck.

For starters, more luxury hotels now offer alcohol-appreciation lessons as a way of keeping guests amused. "There is growing competition to offer guests paying premium rates an experience which carries some bragging rights when they return...

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