From the Mountains to the Sea: #Vuelta2017 Heads Southeast to Catalonia on Stage Four

After the Pyrénéean punishment inflicted on them during Monday’s stage, the riders will certainly appreciate a relatively flat course, with rolling hills and just one categorized climb. We could even joke that it is a day at the beach, since that’s where the peloton will cross the finish line. Descending from the Andorran slopes to the Mediterranean coast, Tuesday’s route winds up in Spain’s storied … Continue reading From the Mountains to the Sea: #Vuelta2017 Heads Southeast to Catalonia on Stage Four

Andorra: Home to Stage 3 of #Vuelta2017 and Snow Wine

Oh boy. Today brings the first test for the climbers in this year’s Vuelta: two category 1 ascents, followed by an interim sprint, and then one, last battle to the top before a precipitous descent to the finish line. By the end of the race, the peloton will have climbed over 15,550 feet! And it’s only day three – two-and-a-half more weeks of torture to … Continue reading Andorra: Home to Stage 3 of #Vuelta2017 and Snow Wine

Pedaling Toward Spain with French Wine in Hand: #Vuelta2017 Stage Two

As I write this post I’m lounging on the couch watching Stage Two of this year’s Vuelta a España (the Tour of Spain.) After yesterday’s (somewhat) ennui-inspiring team time trial, I’m thrilled to hear about crosswinds and splits in the peloton. And I never tire of the stunning scenery of Southern France. France? Yes, this year’s race began in the Roman city of Nîmes, and … Continue reading Pedaling Toward Spain with French Wine in Hand: #Vuelta2017 Stage Two

Exploring the Languedoc with Domaine Magellan (#Winophiles)

This Saturday I get to indulge in a few of my favorite things: the Vuelta a España (Tour of Spain) cycling race begins, which takes me – strangely enough – to Southern France for the first two days; and the Winophiles blogging group meets to discuss affordable French wines. Spain, France, cycling, and wine – who wants to come with me?

If you’re so inclined, please join our chat on August 19th at 11 am EDT. You can find us on Twitter at the appointed time, using the hashtag #Winophiles. We’d love to hear your wine suggestions too, so chime in at any point. Just be sure to append #Winophiles to your tweets so we can welcome you. Our host this month is Jill Barth, who captures the exquisite beauty of France in her blog L’occasion; you can read more about this month’s topic here. Continue reading “Exploring the Languedoc with Domaine Magellan (#Winophiles)”

All Aboard: the Italian Food Wine & Travel Group Heads to Emilia-Romagna (#ItalianFWT)

Italy offers an embarrassment of riches to those who explore her lands: miles upon miles of pristine beaches, dramatic mountain passes, rushing rivers, and tranquil forests. One would need weeks – or a few splendid months – to experience all of it. But Emilia-Romagna, a region encompassing Adriatic coastline, Apennine foothills, and acres of rolling plains, has all that and more. It is, in fact, … Continue reading All Aboard: the Italian Food Wine & Travel Group Heads to Emilia-Romagna (#ItalianFWT)

Hearts on Fire – A Summer Tradition in Alto Adige (#ItalianFWT)

For a country of its size, Italy is wonderfully diverse. Home to two mountain ranges – the Alps, which dominate the northern border, and the Apennines, which form a longitudinal spine down the center – Italy also boasts beautiful beaches, exotic islands, and fertile farm land. Any student of basic geography would tell you that this results in a wide array of climates and soils, all leaving their mark on the wines of a particular place. And that’s before we consider the staggering number of grape varieties that call the peninsula home; indeed, many of them are grown nowhere else in the world.

While each region offers vinous temptations and delectable food pairings (all worth delving into, by the way) today my sights are set on the far northeast corner of Italy: Alto Adige, aka the Südtirol. Its Alpine location abutting the Swiss and Austrian borders offers a clue to its culture, which gives more than a cursory nod to Germanic tradition. Even today, nearly two-thirds of its inhabitants are native German speakers.

Geisler Summer in South Tyrol
Summer in the Südtirol (http://www.suedtirolerland.it/en)

So let’s take a trip to the snow-capped peaks of Italy’s Alpine wine regions. Continue reading “Hearts on Fire – A Summer Tradition in Alto Adige (#ItalianFWT)”

Burgundy Beckons on Stage 7 #TDF2017

Vins de Bourgogne

A few years ago, it was a stage like this one that inspired me to create Tour de France by the Glass, a wine lover’s companion to the three-week race. Day after day, the peloton pedaled through some of the world’s most famous vineyards, and I thought, I can’t be the only person interested in both cycling and wine. Not to mention the fascinating history, culture, and cuisine unique to each village along the way. Someone ought to write about that! So I did. And here I am, three years later, still relishing every minute of the best sporting event in the world.

Tour organizers change the route each year and, to be honest, that means some years lend themselves to wine exploration better than others do. The layout of the 2017 Tour is a wine-lover’s dream! Already we’ve skirted around the vineyards of Alsace and plowed right through the esteemed acreage of Champagne – and it’s only the first week.  Continue reading “Burgundy Beckons on Stage 7 #TDF2017”