Wine Tourism in Bordeaux

Wine Tourism in Bordeaux

Our experience traveling to Bordeaux was far from planned out ahead of time. Instead, we made our way to this world renowned French wine region to house sit, or more accurately, dog sit, for a friend. We had no idea what opportunities existed for wine tourism in Bordeaux, and we were indeed surprised. When accepting the invitation to take care of Emma for almost two weeks, we sort of assumed we could get some work done, explore a new city, drink Bordeaux wine, and eat cheese. After all, wine and French cheese, how could we go wrong? Without a car, and with needing to be there to take care of Emma each morning and each evening, I figured we wouldn’t really get to explore the region of Bordeaux, or to learn much about their famous wines. What is Bordeaux Bordeaux is on the west coast of France, and has one of the longest, and most prestigious of wine histories. The region surrounded the city of Bordeaux, and includes over 50 wine appellations, or wine regions, surrounding the city. It’s the largest wine producing area of France. And, other than Champagne, Bordeaux probably gives off an impression of wealth, of luxury, and perhaps in pretentiousness. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about wines, particular Spanish wines, Italian wines, and even Portuguese wines. But, I am a mere novice when it comes to any French wine, outside of Champagne. This is what I learned, at a very high level, about Bordeaux wines. Most wine produced in Bordeaux is red wine, which is also called Claret in Britain. It’s always made with a blend...
The Best Guinness in Limerick – 2017

The Best Guinness in Limerick – 2017

Two years ago I wrote my first blog post that announced, in my opinion, where one could find the best pint of Guinness in Limerick. At the time, and over the last 2 years, this post, not surprisingly, caused a bit of controversy in the Limerick community. Since that first post, we’ve been to Limerick a few more times. We tried more pints and tested out more pubs. I thought it about time I update my original post. Now, for 2017, here is where to find the best Guinness in Limerick. 2015 Results For The Best Guinness in Limerick Before sharing some of the new pubs we’ve discovered over the last 2 years, here’s a look back at our findings from 2015. As I noted back then, I love my Guinness. I’ve been told what makes a good Guinness. It has to do with the length of the draw, or the length of the tube that moves the Guinness from the keg to the tap. It also has to do with how clean the draw is. Occasionally, I do taste a Guinness that is a little strange (particularly outside of Ireland). But, I’m no expert. Although with the number of pints I’ve drank over the last 15+ years you would think I would be an expert. What makes the best Guinness in Limerick, then, if I am a self proclaimed non-expert? The atmosphere of the pub, the story of the pub, and the people we are with. Because, as much as pouring a good pint of Guinness is important, many people head to the pub for the craic, or the conversation....
Dining at Locavore – Coming Home and Eating Local

Dining at Locavore – Coming Home and Eating Local

When we left Ubud 2 years ago, anyone who read the last of my Ubud blog posts would assume I would never return. In fact, when I left, I too assumed I would never return. But, when the chef at Locavore Bali invited us for lunch, I suddenly found an excuse to return to Ubud. I’m glad I did. Why We Returned to Ubud During our last week living in Bangkok, we attended an award ceremony for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, hosted by The World’s 50 Best. I’m still not entirely sure how we ended up on the invite list. I will assume it is because we met Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, the 2015 best restaurant in the world. Or, that I am a budding culinary author with my recent publication of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna, home to the 2016 best restaurant in the world. Sometimes, it’s just luck. We showed up at the W Hotel in Bangkok, where the top echelon of the Asian culinary world rubbed shoulders. We were fancy for one night. We tried to fit in. We drank Champagne. We sat in the large ball room and awaited the announcement of the top 50 restaurants in Asia. Only one of which we’ve actually eaten at. But, we met the chef during that visit, so I felt a little more fancy. At one point they announced the top restaurant in Indonesia, and without knowing anything more, one word crossed my lips: Locavore. In fact, Locavore also won the Highest Climber Award. Of the top 50 restaurants in Asia, Locavore rose from 49,...
The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna

The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna

It’s finally here! After hinting for the last several months, and after a full year of hard work, my first culinary travel guide is here! Introducing The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna: How to taste the history and tradition of Italy . . 0692870466″ alt=”” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ /> It’s no secret that Eric and I love Italy, and about three years ago, we discovered Emilia Romagna. Since that time, we have made five visits to the region, that encompasses Bologna, Modena, Parma, and more. Why do we love this region so much? Emilia Romagna is home to some of the best food, and food products, in the world. It is home to Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, traditional balsamic vinegar, and more. It is the home to Slow Food and Fast Cars. It is home to amazing wines, including world famous Lambrusco, and some Italy’s secret wines, including Negretto and Albana. It almost kills me when people tell me they are traveling to Italy and limiting their trip to Rome or Venice. There is so much more to see of the country than the primary tourist spots. I do understand the draw to those cities. I understand wanting to see the Coliseum, or the Bridge of Signs. But, after Rome and Venice, where should you travel to in order to experience the REAL Italy? Where should you travel to in order to eat the best food in Italy? The obvious answer is: Emilia Romagna! And, my new The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna can help you plan the perfect trip through the breadbasket of Italy. In...
How to Make an Old Fashioned Cocktail

How to Make an Old Fashioned Cocktail

We had a fabulous timing when visiting Chengdu earlier this year. We saw a giant buddha, spent time with pandas, and ate some amazing Sichuan cuisine. It is also where we learned how to make an Old Fashioned cocktail.   Now, generally I enjoy receiving a lesson on how to make a good cocktail. We learned how to make a proper gin and tonic at the Four Seasons in Lisbon, as well as at the Ritz-Carlton Macau. We’ve explored cocktails in Brno and drank many a Aperol Spritz in Italy, all in the name of research. This time, though, enjoying a few cocktails at The Bar in Chengdu, China, caused a little bit of a problem. What kind of problem can an Old Fashioned cause? A little bit of an addiction. Prior to our visit to Chengdu, the Old Fashioned was not in our repertoire of drinks. Now, we can’t get enough of them. Tips On How To Make an Old Fashioned There was a certain formality to making this particular Old Fashioned. There was a bit of pomp and circumstance. Part of that was because we were at one of the top cocktails bars in Chengdu. Part of it, though, was the bartender, who marched through the steps, with a seriousness not often found in cocktail making. A seriousness that was followed by a generous smile, and a pride in knowing he made a great drink. Back to that Old Fashioned. A heavy bottomed rocks glass. A large single ice cube, to ensure the ice doesn’t melt too quick. A sugar cube. The bartender slowly dripped just a few drops...
S2E21: Baton Rouge Craft Beer

S2E21: Baton Rouge Craft Beer

Talking Baton Rouge Craft Beer Looking for something to do in Louisiana, before noon, on a weekday? How about drinking down a few pints of Baton Rouge craft beer. That’s just what we did when we met Joe from Southern Craft Brewing Company. When he’s not a project manager for large oil and gas clients, he’s brewing beer, just through the back door of his uniquely located tasting room. We pulled off the highway, and wound our way to the back of an industrial park, and there’s where we found the Southern Craft Brewing Company. We talked with Joe about his transition from home brewer to official brew master. And, he’s off and running with award winning beers with names like Pompous Pelican, Red Stick Ryle, and Swamp Sting. We also got a quick little history lesson on Baton Rouge, and the famous red stick and what it means to follow your passion. And, when I said you should head over to the tasting room in the middle of the day, might want to check their hours first. In this case, Joe left his day job to open up the tasting room, and talk with us about the Baton Rouge craft beer scene. And, of course, there’s some country music playing in the background. Check out Southern Craft Breweing Company in Baton Rouge! Mentions on This Week’s Culinary Podcast Where to Find the Best Gulf Coast Eats! – Our guide on what to eat in Baton Rouge, and the rest of the region, including several of our restaurant recommendations where you can find Southern Craft Brewing Company beer. How We Survived Our...
Our New Food Traveler's Guide to Emilia Romagna is available on Amazon now!