The Ribera del Duero Wine Region

Wine Touring in the Ribera del Duero Long considered one of the most legendary winemaking regions in Spain, the Ribera del Duero, which lies only a short 2-hour drive northwest of Madrid on Spain’s northern plateau, is home to some of the most elegant red wines in the world.   its extremes of weather, from…

Portugal’s Historic Port City

Porto (Oporto) Port wine became popular in England in the late 17th century, when British merchants who settled here began to add brandy to the wine of the Douro valley to prevent it from souring during transit.  They discovered that the sweeter and stronger the wine, the better the taste. In 1703 Britain and Portugal…

Bodegas de Navarra on The Way of St. James

Savoring the food and wine of Navarra on the way to Santiago – The French Route Señorío de Arínzano Your first stop along the route will be in the Terra de Estella sub zone at the stunning and vast estate in the tiny village of Aberín on the route of the Camino de Santiago, the…

Portugal’s Michelin stars for 2019

Three new Michelin Stars for 2019 G Pousada, in the Pousada de Bragança São Bartolomeu, tucked away in the far northeast corner of Portugal, was awarded its first star for Chef Óscar Gonçalves’ creative cuisine of the Transmonte region.  Chef António Loureiro was also awarded a star for his modern Portuguese cuisine at A Cozinha in Guimarães.  Chef Pedro…

Your Guide To Dining In Lisboa

Lisboa Dining Lisbon’s Top Tables These are the eight restaurants out of the 126 entered in the 11th edition of the gastronomic competition, Lisboa à Prova Concurso Gastronómico, deemed to be Lisbon’s top tables, awarded 3 Garfos (forks) for 2018.  26 received 2 Garfos, 92 received 1 Garfos: A Travessa – Travessa do Convento das…

Porto’s Port Lodges

Visiting Porto’s Historic Port Lodges Porto’s acclaimed port lodges, or port cellars/warehouses, are all located on the southern bank of the Douro River in the riverfront area of Vila Nova de Gaia, referred to locally as Gaia, technically another town, completely devoted to the port wine trade.  This is where all the port wine production…

Wine Touring in the Rioja Alta – Haro

Haro We usually start our wine touring in the Rioja in Haro, the wine capital of the Rioja Alta, a town of 12,000 inhabitants, where you’ll find a fairly large concentration of wineries that can be visited, both highly traditional and new generation, most all requiring a prior appointment.  Most of the notable wineries are…

Wine Touring in the Rioja Alta – Briones

After a visit to Haro, with a possible detour to a winery in Ollauri, my next suggested stop on the wine trail comes about 5 km down the N-124 / N-232.  You should exit at Briones for a visit of several hours and lunch.  Briones, coupled with neighboring San Vicente, are the two most interesting…

Wine Touring in the Kingdom of Navarra

Like the Ribera del Duero and the Rioja, Navarra is home to a wealth of premium wineries including 4 of Spain’s 17 official Vinos de Pagos, or DO de Pago; Señorío de Otazu, Prado de Irache, Señorío de Arínzano, and La Finca Bolandín, which was added in 2014.  What is a DO de Pago, a…

Madrid’s Best Casual Dining

Our favorite “Foodie” Gastro Bars in the Retiro For a more authentic, non-touristy tapas crawl, or gourmet sit-down meal, we highly recommend visitors to the city find their way to the upmarket residential area just east of Retiro Park.  This neighborhood has by far the best taverns per square meter in the entire city, it’s…