The Wines & Gastronomy of Portugal – The Western Algarve

Suffering from none of the Alentejo’s extremes in temperature because of the chain of mountains that run from the Atlantic coast to the Spanish border, the area receives more than 3000 hours of sunshine each year, and the grapes love it.  It’s never too hot or too cold in the Algarve.  You’ll find it more…

The Wines & Gastronomy of Portugal – The Alentejo

With it’s gently undulating plains and endless horizons, the Alentejo covers about a third of the country and is divided into eight DOC sub-zones.  Once regarded simply as a poor agricultural backwater, the ‘bread basket’ of Portugal, it is a land of large estates or “Latifundios” and has recently come into its own as an…

The Wines & Gastronomy of the South of France – The South West

Pays Basque & Béarn Bordeaux marks the northern limits of France’s “Hidden Corner,” its 5th largest wine growing region, and the least populated. The region is divided into four sub-regions, each distinctive in character, climate and grape varieties. The four sub-regions are the Bergerac and Dordogne River, Garonne and Tarn, Lot River, and the Pyrénées,…

The Wines & Gastronomy of Spain – Ribera del Duero

Considered one of the most legendary winemaking regions in Spain, the Ribera del Duero, a short drive northwest of Madrid on Spain’s northern plateau, is home to some of the most elegant red wines in the world.  The appellation, or DO, straddles four provinces in Castilla y León: Valladolid, Burgos, Soria and Segovia.  The fabled…

The Wines & Gastronomy of Spain – The Rioja

Rioja Alta, Alavesa & Baja No adventure in Spain would be complete without a visit to Spain’s oldest and best known wine region, considered the “benchmark” of Spanish winemaking.  Stunningly beautiful year around, the Rioja is an ancient region dating from the Neolithic era, where you’ll find atmospheric fortress towns on a hill, some with…

Madrid’s Haute Cuisine Temples

Michelin stars and Repsol suns For a splash out, or budget-be-damned, celebratory dinner, Spain’s capitol city has an abundance of outstanding restaurants from which to experience some of the countries best cuisine, including twenty-two of which have been awarded Michelin stars, and eighty-five earning 1 to 3 Repsol suns for 2020.   Álbora Without doubt…

The Sherry Triangle – Day Three, Sanlúcar de Barrameda

  Along The Guadalquivir River Sitting at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, Sanlúcar is well known for its sherry cellars, fresh seafood and horse races on the golden sand beach in August.  The Carreras de Caballos de Sanlúcar de Barrameda is now in its 175th year.  Parque Nacional de Doñana lying across the river,…

The Sherry Triangle – Day Two, El Puerto de Santa María

Located just 8-minutes southwest of Jerez on the MD commuter train (4,05€/one-way), El Puerto, across the bay from Cádiz, is known for its beaches, pine woods and whitewashed houses, and from where Columbus set sail on his second voyage to the Americas.  The old cities cobbled streets are lined with orange trees and typical Andaluz architecture,…

Day Trips in the Sherry Triangle – Day One, Cádiz

Should you find yourself in Jerez de la Frontera for the 25th Flamenco Festival in late February 2021, you’ll discover that you can easily do a day trip to visit the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe, Cádiz, Spain’s ancient port city on the Costa de la Luz, as well as the main Sherry centers of El Puerto de Santa María and…

Celebrating Easter in Spain’s Capital City

Semana Santa Visiting Madrid for Semana Santa is a little different than being in Sevilla, Málaga, Jerez, Úbeda or even San Vicente de la Sonsierra (Rioja), but only in the number of Brotherhoods or in the overall intensity of their processions.  You won’t see any flagellation, “los picaos”, but if you know what’s going on, Holy Week…