Category Archives: Wine

A Northern Italian Coastal Town

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It’s great to have friends who do some of the work for you when traveling. It can take hours, even days searching for the spot, the wow place. Then finally an “Ah yes, that’s it”. That’s how we bumped into Camogli. This little town lies on a strip of rocky coastline south of Genoa and north of Portofino (and the… Read more »

The Vino in Veneto

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Scenario: Trip planned, then just days before we learned of an excellent opportunity causing us to completely change things up. That’s how we landed in Verona, land of Romeo, Juliet, and wine. Purpose: Mark attended the Tenth International Symposium on Grapevine Physiology and Biotechnology. Location: Verona is an easy 1.5 hour train ride from Milan and 1 hour from Venice…. Read more »

Studying – WSET Level 2

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Dabbling in wine for years was fun but I recently stepped into the land of getting serious. I began this journey with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) last December. WSET is a London based organization founded in 1969. They expanded across the globe to make learning for professionals and wine enthusiasts easier. I’m presently studying with a WSET… Read more »

Nutty Blue Cheese Shortbread with Port

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When I ask people what they pair with port, the first response is usually chocolate. Deep, dark, silky and smooth, it’s wonderful with many port wines. But people not fond of chocolate want something different. A few years ago, I set out to find an offering when chocolate gets thrown out. What I found will be nice to enjoy on… Read more »

The Chinon Adventure

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Up early on a rainy Sunday, Tram C to Gare Saint-Jean, Chinon was waiting. Mark remained home working on a paper and oodles of statistical analysis. Wow, did I just call Bordeaux home?!? It takes 4 to 5 train-bus hours to get to Chinon from Bordeaux. (TGV or regular train to Tours  Centre or Saint-Pierre-des-Corps, then bus to Chinon). As… Read more »

Carcassone Vins et Vinos Afternoon

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Vins et Vinos in Carcassonne

This is a continuation of our holiday Carcassonne adventure focusing on wine. After hiking and exploring, we were off to learn more about the wines of the Languedoc-Roussillion. Since we didn’t have a car, and we were smack in the middle of the holidays, visiting wineries was a bit harder. Research uncovered Vins et Vinos, a small wine shop in… Read more »

Off to Carcassonne

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Carcassonne was a planned stop on our way home from Ille sur Tête. How could one not stop in such a town, so much history and wine?!? To set the stage, Carcassonne draws about 3 million visitors annually. People primarily come to see the Cité de Carcassonne, a  medieval fortress that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s basically a… Read more »

Cooperage Visits

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So far, I’ve had opportunity to visit two barrel making operations (cooperages) in the Bordeaux area, of which there are dozens.  Depending on the style of red wine, after fermentation is complete, wines are often aged in oak barrels.  In some cases, such as in Bordeaux and Bourgogne (Burgundy), white wines are both fermented and aged in oak barrels.  Barrels… Read more »

A Movie and a Wine

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“Had She oones Wett Hyr Whystyll She couth Syng full clere Hyr pater noster.”- 1386 Towneley Mysteries There was Sideways, then Bottleshock. How about French Kiss (a wine movie of sorts), or the classic many people may not know, The Secret of Santa Vitoria. And there was Somm which came out a few years ago showing viewers the intensity (and… Read more »

A “Portes Ouvertes” Weekend: Sauternes

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Chateau Closiot

Hold this thought: Sauternes is Not Just For Dessert! Bordeaux has what’s called Portes Ouvertes (Open Door) weekends in most appellations once per month. Many of the wineries within the specific “open” appellation are available for degustation (tasting) without a prior reservation. Because châteaux require reservations, taking advantage of these weekends is a must for those interested in tasting. We… Read more »