A Catalan Porro – How To Drink Wine in Costa Brava

A Catalan Porro – How To Drink Wine in Costa Brava

It’s no secret that Amber and I enjoy our wine, beer, cocktails, and well, basically any hot or cold beverage. A proper pint of Guinness on a wet day in Ireland, the sweet chicory deliciousness of a Vietnamese cafe sua da (black coffee with condensed milk and ice), or an aromatic gin tonic. These past five years exploring the world for food and drink have lead to some tasty drinkable discoveries. Then, we discovered the porro. Now that Girona, Spain, is home, we finally have the opportunity to dive deeper into our favorite beverage of them all: wine. A stone’s throw to the north of Girona, the Emporda wine region has a long history dating back to the 5th Century BC and the Phoenicians. Influenced by the Greeks and the Romans, today the region produces some of the best wines you’ve never heard of. Of course, it’s possible to drink Emporda wine and simply pour it into a glass. Or, it’s possible to be a bit more adventurous and use my new favorite drinking vessel: the porro. What is a Porro Picture a glass bottle, bulbous on the bottom, and narrowing at the top, with a small spout sticking out from one side, which contains an entire 750ml bottle of red wine. Instead of pouring the wine into a glass, the wine is drank directly from the porro itself. But, it’s not like just drinking straight from a wine bottle. There is an art to it. It’s necessary to pour the wine from the porro directly into the mouth. The goal is to lift the bottle higher and higher and farther and farther from the...
How to Live Like a Local in Paris

How to Live Like a Local in Paris

This was a unique city break to Paris. We did absolutely none of the things that normally top a tourist’s must-do list in Paris. Instead, we spent a handful of days learning how to live like a local in Paris. And, this worked fine for us. This is my fourth trip to Paris, and Eric’s second. We’ve seen the Eiffel Tower, and the Musee d’Orsay. I’ve seen a lot more than Eric, but he’s okay with that. Instead, for both of us, this trip was more about living the Parisian life. We hoped a quick flight on Air France to Paris, and started to live the Paris life. Rent a Luxury Airbnb Apartment This was the first time we rented an apartment in Paris. And, when searching for flats on Airbnb, we choose the most Parisian one we could find. It was a little far to the north, in the 10th Arrondissement, or neighborhood, of Paris. But, it was Parisian, to the extreme. The apartment was in an old building, with wrought iron balconies, crown moulding, ancient hard wood floors, and a claw foot bath tub. The owners kitted the flat out with artwork from famous artists I had never heard of. And, like I imagine most Parisian apartments to be, it was filled with stacks of books, on politics, and travel, and famous art exhibits. It’s exactly how I imagine the French to live. Surrounded by art and intellect. If you’ve never stayed at an Airbnb before, try it out, and get a discount on your first stay here. Eat Like a Local in Paris And, because we...
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...
Saying Farewell to the Nomadic Lifestyle – Why We Settled After 5 Years Of Travel

Saying Farewell to the Nomadic Lifestyle – Why We Settled After 5 Years Of Travel

We can hardly call ourselves “nomadic.” Not in the way that some of our friends have been nomadic. But, we’ve been without a certain home for almost 5 years. And, we realized it was about time to remedy that. There were a lot of factors that influenced the decision to settle after 5 years of travel. A lot of factors in saying farewell to the nomadic lifestyle. But, as this week is the 5 year anniversary of when we left the US, it seemed like the perfect time to explain our decision. Happy Travelversary to us!  What Is a Nomadic Lifestyle? We have nomadic friends. Friends who are way more nomadic than we have ever been. Our friend Kerwin (as in #WhereIsKerwin) claims Houston as a home base, but doesn’t have an apartment there. The Hecks from Hecktic Travels have been nomadic for the last 7 or 8 years until they recently settled down (for reasons out of their control). The Queen of the Nomadic Lifestyle has to be our friend Sherry over at Otts World, who just settled down after over 10 years of travel. The closest thing she had to a home was a storage locker in a borough of New York. In comparison to these folks, we barely can consider ourselves nomadic. We often explain the last 5 years this way: We left the US, we traveled for about 10 months, we had a home base in Bali for almost a year and a half, traveled for about 9 months, and then had an apartment in Bangkok for about 16 months, and then we traveled for...
El Celler de Can Roca Menu

El Celler de Can Roca Menu

The meal that requires more than one blog post. I wrote about our surreal dining experience at El Celler De Can Roca. But, I wanted to dive more into the menu items, for the true food lovers out there. Here is a recap of the over 30 different courses and bites we had during our 4 hour Can Roca menu. We chose the Feast Menu, with about 15 named courses. The other alternative is a tasting of their classic menu. The tasting menu is about 7 courses, where you have a choice for two of the courses. Of course, we went all in. And, I did the best I could with photos considering the lighting, and I did not want to disturb diners nearby. Bear with me.   The Can Roca Menu: Snacks We started with The World, a paper lantern, ceremoniously untied at the table, and opened to reveal 5 bites reminiscent of flavors from all over the globe. In this case, our world included: From Thailand, Thai chicken, with coriander, coconut, curry, and lime From Japan, miso cream with nyinyonyaki, the Can Roca version of a fried, breaded snack From Turkey, focaccia with lamb, yogurt, cucumber, onions, and mint From Peru, a Causa limeña, or a potato based bite with avocado From Korea, a panko fried bread, with bacon, soy sauce, kimchi, and sesame oil The next snack was a Can Roca-themed diorama, with black of white photos of each Roca brother when they were young. This presentation is called “Memories of a bar in the suburbs of Girona, a reference perhaps to the family’s traditional restaurant,...
Surreal Dining at Can Roca in Girona

Surreal Dining at Can Roca in Girona

In part, this dining experience was not about the food. I mean, of course it was. But, having eaten in Costa Brava, and having learned about the history of gastronomy in the region, this was a pilgrimage. And, a surreal one at that. This was our experience dining at Can Roca in Girona. El Celler de Can Roca I’ve written about El Celler de Can Roca before. We were fortunate enough to have a little taste from the menu, after meeting all three Roca brothers, back in 2015. That visit occurred just after Can Roca won the number one restaurant in the world, and the whole world was a buzz about Girona. El Celler de Can Roca is set in a residential neighborhood, just outside the center of Girona. The 3 Michelin Star restaurant is around the corner from the family restaurant and bar, Can Roca. But, the two restaurants could not be more different. Can Roca is traditional Catalan. A family run establishment, for everyday dining. El Celler de Can Roca is not for everyday dining. It is, indeed, a surreal experience. We’ve dined at Michelin Star restaurants before, and even 3 star Michelin Restaurants. But, somehow this was different, and I am not sure why. Perhaps it was due to the influence of Ferran Adria and elBulli in the region. Perhaps it was because we were dining at the number 3 restaurant in the world. Perhaps it was because we scored a last minute reservation, and only had less than 10 hours to let it sink in that we were dining at Can Roca in the first...
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