News and insider tips about travel in the United States and to International destinations. Visits to exotic locations and unexpected adventures. Restaurant reviews. Secrets known only to locals. My travel articles also appear in Luxury Travel Magazine, New York Daily News & Westways Magazine
The 2018 Vini d'Italia tour was an invitation-only gathering to sample wines from some of Italy's best small-production wineries. After Philadelphia and Austin, the last stop was Terra , Eataly 's rooftop dining room in the revitalized Century City Mall. Marilyn Krieger works for the Winebow Group which organized the tour. She said that the event was an opportunity to taste premium Italian wines distributed by Leonardo LoCascio Selections (LLS) and to talk with the winemakers. The wines we would taste that afternoon would evoke the location of their cultivation and the winemaker whose palate guided the creation of that year's bottling. Each wine was unique. Each winemaker had a story to tell. I understood completely what Krieger meant. I love visiting vineyards and enjoy meeting winemakers, like Shawna Miller at Luna Vineyards in the Napa Valley and Mélanie Weber in her vineyard overlooking Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The wines serv
Which Swiss wines do you love? Hands? Anybody? Nobody? Know why? Only 2% of Switzerland’s wine production is exported. All the rest, 98%, is consumed domestically. The best way -- actually, the only way -- to sample Swiss wines is to visit Switzerland. That’s what I did. The Valais’ Microclimate Having grown up with images of Switzerland as a land of snow-covered mountains, when I visited the Valais, a wine-growing, French-speaking canton east of Geneva, I expected cold weather. But the climate was better suited to shorts and T-shirts than to parkas. Neatly trellised vineyards climb up steep hills taking advantage of a hot, dry microclimate. With 300 days of sun a year, the Valais feels like Napa and Sonoma except for the Matterhorn looming in the distance. In Switzerland, family-owned vineyards and wineries (called vignerons-encaveurs) are the rule. Even if unprofitable, they stay in the family. During a hosted trip w e met one wine maker whose family was reg
Heading inland from Seattle , a city he knows well, our foodie adventurer, David Latt, explores Spokane and Eastern Idaho in search of restaurants that fly the flag of the farm-to-table movement. Like fashion, food delights the soul but is often subject to hype. "Organic," "Natural" and "Low Fat" have been co-opted by marketing campaigns, obscuring the true intent of the words. When we think of "farm-to-table," w e imagine a farmer driving a beat up 1980's Ford pick-up to the back door of a neighborhood restaurant and unloading wooden crates filled to overflowing with leafy bunches of arugula, round and firm beets, thick stalks of celery, fat leeks, freshly laid eggs, plump chickens, freshly cured bacon, ripe apples, dark red cherries and juicy peaches. The high quality product inspires the chef who quickly writes the menu for that day's meals. In the ideal, a farm-to-table meal reconnects diners with the seasons and the land.
Having visited Napa for Wine Boot Camp , I continued my exploration of California's wine country, this time in Sonoma County. Thirty miles from San Francisco, Sonoma County is one of the world's great destinations. With beautiful farmland, a dramatic coastline, fields of wild flowers, world-class wineries and upscale restaurants, the valley offers travelers, especially oenophiles and foodies, the best of the best. My wife and I needed some serious R&R. We wanted a trip somewhere casual, where we wouldn't get stuck in traffic jams, could enjoy beautiful countryside, have some good meals and do a bit of wine tasting. So we put our suitcases in the car with a plan to explore Sonoma County, from the inland wine growing valleys to the coast. There is nothing like a road trip to clean out the cob webs and refresh the soul. Somona County's Natural Beauty Driving on Sonoma County's two-lane black-tops in summer, the sun owns the sky as it shines do