I find happiness in an honest meal. Whether it's a simple pasta or an exquisite risotto, a perfectly cooked steak or an intricately prepared curry, all great dishes are a seamless blend of ingredients and indulgence, of style and substance.


Many poets have waxed philosophical about the values and virtues of wine, about its power and principles, its joy and attraction.


Travel isn't about the destination; it's about the journey. It is about the people and places you meet along the way.


As I crisscross the globe I often discover innovative wine products, new gadgets or the perfect gift for wine lovers; and so I have created a collection of Wine Portfolio merchandise.


Wine can sometimes seem complicated and intimidating but it doesn't have to be. Wine should bring joy not stress and you don't have to be an expert to learn to love wine.


Winemaker brings his passion to the Chinese vineyard

November 27, 2015 12:16 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink


Sporting a cap with a red star on it, French veteran winemaker Bruno Paumard is among the most eye-catching individuals in Wuhai – one of the few Caucasians living in the small northern Chinese city. Since 2010, the 51-year-old has worked at Chateau Hansen in Wuhai, in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, which he calls “paradise… read more

Thanksgiving Cocktails: 12 Drink Ideas That Will Wow Your Guests

November 23, 2015 1:13 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink


Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, turkey, casseroles, getting pampered back home and for spicy cocktails. In fact, the night before the Thanksgiving holiday has become one of the most popular nights for drinking, debauchery and everything else that happens when you finally get home to your high school friends. So to enjoy a great… read more

The Proper Names of a Wine Bottle

November 20, 2015 3:34 pm - Posted by Jody in Learn


The Insider’s Guide to Wine Tasting in Temecula

November 16, 2015 7:25 pm - Posted by Jody in Travel


Question: Where’s a wine region that has a history of being disrespected, but is now winning medals? Answer: Temecula, my friends. Those lovely rolling hills so near and yet so far have come into their own, and you can enjoy an easy short trip — or spend a week — sipping, rinsing and tasting, all without… read more

Food, Wine and the Arts in the US on the Cheap

November 13, 2015 4:28 pm - Posted by Jody in Travel


Major cities like New York, Chicago and Miami are consistently named among the go-to travel destinations, but what about those places that are just waiting to be discovered? The ® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®) has revealed up-and-coming destinations to fuel traveler wanderlust for less. From food and wine, to music and arts, is bringing those lesser-known destinations to the forefront for your next adventure.

Using the average price paid* for a hotel night by Americans in the first half of 2015, the travel experts recommend these cities:


Los Angeles ($175) and San Francisco ($217) are consistently mentioned as two of the best food cities in the U.S., but a number of more affordable cities have received national attention for being underrated foodie destinations.

Kansas City ($131) is renowned for its sweet and spicy BBQ style and restaurants serving some of the best BBQ in the country, but its up-and-coming restaurant scene offers innovative Latin American, Japanese and Southern food options. The city is also home to a number of craft breweries and new distilleries.

Other Food Cities Under $135: Sacramento, Calif. ($113); Houston ($129); Cleveland ($133)


While Napa ($255) is the best-known wine destination in the country – offering a combination of top-notch wineries and critically acclaimed restaurants – there are many under-the-radar wine destinations to be found around the country.

Grand Junction, Colo. ($88) offers the picturesque backdrop of the Grand Valley along the Colorado River for anyone visiting Colorado’s Wine Country. In addition to the region’s 20+ wineries, the city is also a gateway for hiking, mountain biking and rafting activities.

Other Wine Cities Under $135: Salem, Ore. ($101); Walla Walla, Wash. ($120); Petaluma, Calif. ($120)


New Orleans ($191) is the birthplace of jazz and home to some of the most vibrant music clubs in the country, but these destinations also boast a unique combination of music and nightlife.

Athens, GA ($111) may be best known for being one of the greatest college towns in the country, but it also packs a strong indie rock scene. With iconic venues like the 40 Watt Club and Georgia Theater and legendary bands that call the city home, Athens definitely holds its own.

Other Music Cities Under $135: Detroit ($121); Memphis, Tenn. ($123); Madison, Wisc. ($125)


New York ($245) is home to some of the best and most popular art and history museums in the world, but travelers looking to get their art fix on a budget can find it in these destinations.

Milwaukee, WI ($124) is a city full of great museums like the Milwaukee Public Museum – home to the iconic Streets of Old Milwaukee exhibit, which features a three-quarter scale recreation of life in the city at the turn of the 20 th century. And the Milwaukee Art Museum is a work of art in itself, featuring a movable, wing-like brise soleil that opens up during the day and closes at night or during inclement weather.

Other Arts Cities Under $135: Tucson, Ariz. ($103); San Antonio ($131); Santa Fe, N.M. ($135)

Please visit for more information about average hotel prices and the most popular destinations from the first half of 2015. To find more travel ideas and tips, follow on Twitter at @hotelsdotcom and #HotelExperts.

*Average prices paid per night inclusive of taxes and fees and based on data from the first six months of 2015.

Microbrew Trend in Holy Land Turns Water to Hummus Beer

November 9, 2015 3:00 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink


(AFP) In an industrial zone among the hills of Galilee in northern Israel, a ponytailed sociologist with an intolerance for gluten explained what he was up to: beer made with chickpeas and dates. “It’s a very Middle Eastern food,” 52-year-old Bryan Meadan said of his gluten-free beer made with chickpeas, familiar to most through hummus and… read more


What to Drink as the Northeast Gets Colder

November 6, 2015 3:50 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink


Sometimes even the Canadian autumn extends a generous hand, a warm reprieve before shackling us and casting us into the long punishment of winter. It’s handy to have a pleasant sipping wine on hand for that contemplative glass during this transitional time of year, to make the most of the moment. But what wine? Last fall,… read more


Arsenic found in American wines

November 2, 2015 3:45 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink


Lola Gayle, Wine is a big deal for a lot of people. In 2014 alone, Americans consumed almost 9 million gallons of wine. That accounts for about 2.80 gallons per person! But there’s something hiding in that lovely bottle. New research has found that all but one of 65 American wines tested contained arsenic in… read more


Romesco is Spain’s everything condiment

October 30, 2015 2:53 pm - Posted by Jody in Eat


I first tasted garlicky, crimson romesco sauce in Tarragona, Spain, the city where it originated, and it was a revelation. Called a fisherman’s sauce or Spanish ketchup, it was slathered over freshly grilled fish. In Catalonia, romesco is stirred into seafood stews, spooned over fish and served in bowls as a condiment. Since that first bite,… read more


Cooking with rosemary: This is no delicate herb

October 26, 2015 2:39 pm - Posted by Jody in Eat


Any English major will tell you that rosemary is for remembrance. In “Hamlet,” poor Ophelia in her madness hands out herbs and flowers just before she drowns herself. The first one she gives is rosemary, saying “that’s for remembrance.” Rosemary is easy to remember because it is so strong and powerful. It is not a delicate… read more

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