As we head into the second half of November, two events immediately come to mind: Thanksgiving, also known as America’s National Day of Overeating; and the release of the latest vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau (aka France’s National Day of Exporting Headaches.) Because they’re neighbors on the November calendar, the two are often mentioned as potential partners at the table. I give a qualified endorsement to … Continue reading Thanksgiving for Two: Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Roast Paired with a Beaujolais Cru
Wednesday will be no day at the beach for the peloton. Just take a look at the stage profile: With five categorized climbs and a difficult, uphill finish, this is a race for the die-hard climbers; one that slaps the sprinters with a hefty dose of reality. “Hey, you, muscular Sprinter Guy!” the Vuelta taunts. “I’m the Grand Tour for skinny little climbers. What the … Continue reading #Vuelta2017 Stage Five: Passing by the Blue Flag Beaches of the Costa de Azahar
I can’t believe the 2017 Tour de France is almost over – just three days to go until Paris and the final podium placements. And what an exciting three weeks it has been! Think about all that’s happened so far:
- In Stage 1, several riders abandoned the Tour after crashing into the spectator barricades;
- In Stage 4, Peter Sagan, the Tour’s five-time sprint champion was expelled from the race after a dust-up with Mark Cavendish in the final meters (see video below);
- Italian champion Fabio Aru blew away all the rest of the climbers in the first mountain stage;
- Perilous mountain descents in rainy conditions caused multiple accidents, forcing Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte (an overall contender) to abandon;
- After winning five stages, super-sprinter Marcel Kittel abandoned on Stage 17 after a crash.
But while the competitive battles have certainly caught our attention, it’s the enchanting countryside of France that has captured our hearts. Every day the peloton cycles through a different region, each one alive with history, culture and, best of all, winemaking. Since 2015 I have followed the Tour from a wine lover’s perspective, offering snippets of interest from each town on the circuit, highlighting the local wines and cuisine. Tour de France by the Glass is a labor of love, bringing together as it does three things I adore: cycling, wine, and the stunning scenery of France. Continue reading “It’s the Last Week of #TDF2017: Pour Some Rosé and Get Ready for the Drama!”
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”
If you’ve followed the first four days of the Tour de France, which kicked off Saturday, you’ve already witnessed enough drama for three entire weeks. In Stage One, wet road conditions and unyielding metal crowd barriers conspired to send two riders to the hospital and, the next day, out of the Tour. Stage Two seemed positively mild in comparison, giving German sprinter Marcel Kittel a pleasant moment in the sun. On the third day, fan favorite Peter Sagan worked his magic to out-pedal all the others on a tricky uphill finish. But none of that is unusual in the Tour; it rains, people crash, the favorites show up and win. And then we got to Stage Four. Continue reading “#TDF2017 Rolls Through Champagne: But That’s Not What We’re Drinking”
Can you believe that Fourth of July is just around the corner? It seems that the weeks since Memorial Day have flown by: before we know it the cool breath of autumn will be here, a welcome relief from scorching summer days. Until then, we will slake our thirsts with beverages that are cool, crisp, and refreshing. And that includes wine! We want to reach into the fridge and pull out a frosty bottle that does double-duty – as a cocktail hour quaff or as an accompaniment to a light summer meal.
The Italian Food Wine & Travel group has done all the research for you, with this month’s recommendations on the Summer Wines of Italy. Continue reading “Verdicchio and Vermentino: Italy’s Perfect Summer Wines (#ItalianFWT)”
Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of Hahn Family Wines. But while I was skulking around a wine shop one Saturday afternoon I came across two bottles from a sustainably farmed vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands near Monterey, California. Truth be told, I was trying to make off with the store’s remaining stash of Hacienda Arinzano Red from a recent #winestudio … Continue reading Rosary Beads, Wine, and Reminiscence