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.


The right red wines to uncork with your barbecue

October 12, 2015 2:07 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink


Who doesn’t love barbecued ribs? When that craving hits, there’s nothing to do but give in to it. Object of desire: a massive slab of pork ribs suffused with smoke and char. So they wrap it up for you and you tuck the bag tenderly into the backseat of the car, careful not to spill any… read more

Fall in love with the taste of Burgundy with Ontario wines

October 10, 2015 3:01 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink, Eat


It’s nearly impossible to talk about the best wines for Thanksgiving without mentioning Burgundy. This French region just southeast of Paris doesn’t just make straight-up gorgeous wines from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that pair perfectly with roast turkey, it is the birthplace of those varieties. Crisp Chablis is the quintessential unoaked Chardonnay with its cool scent… read more

Celebrate These Emerging Wine Destination in the U.S.

October 9, 2015 2:00 pm - Posted by Jody in Travel

The U.S. is a big country with many wine growing regions outside of the better known Californian icons. While some areas such as Napa have long been known for their fine vintages, a growing number of destinations are appearing in states throughout the U.S., from Washington to Texas. Those looking to enjoy some of the fastest growing regions need to look no farther than one of these five wine destinations.

Finger Lakes – New York State

Already well-known for its award winning wines, the Finger Lakes region continues to grow and now offers over 80 wineries centered around Cayuga, Seneca and Keuka Lakes.

Walla Walla Valley – Oregon and Washington

While Oregon’s Willamette Valley has long been considered one of the best regions for wine in the U.S., a growing number of vineyards and wineries are popping up in Walla Walla Valley as well, making it one of the fastest growing wine regions not just in the U.S., but in the world.


Michigan may be small, but it more than makes up for its size in flavor. Not only is this Great Lakes State home to more than a few wineries and wine trails, but it is one of the top five grape producers in the country. From the urban centers of Southern Michigan to the more rural areas of Northern Michigan, this region has quickly become one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country.

Texas Hill Country

Wine can now be found in areas throughout the State of Texas, from El Paso to Houston, and while all these areas offer up their own appeal, the region which has become the most well-known and fastest growing is the Texas Hill Country. Located in the “Heart of Texas”, not far from Austin, this warm, dry climate is ideal for grapes and has become home to a growing number of wineries. Today, the area includes over 30 wineries featuring a variety of grape species from Spain, France and Italy.

Paso Robles – California

California may be old when it comes to wine in the U.S., but there are still regions that are just getting started. While Napa and Sonoma may still have a hold on the production, the Paso Robles region of California is quickly becoming a contender in terms of wine making in the country. Home to over 200+ wineries and vineyards, this region is fast becoming famous for its blends.

Chinese Winemaker Changyu snaps up Spanish wine firm

October 6, 2015 1:43 pm - Posted by Jody in Eat


Yantai Changyu Pioneer Wine Co Ltd, a leading Chinese wine producer, has stepped up its overseas moves with the acquisition of Marques del Atrio, a wine company in Spain. Changyu, which has more than 100 years of history, was established in 1892 by Chinese diplomat Zhang Bishi. Since then, it has made its presence felt at… read more

Ancient Beer Recipes Lead to Modern Health Remedies

October 2, 2015 1:31 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink


While today beer is mostly thought of as a fun and savory drink that makes us social, talkative and happy, it might also be much more than that. It could be a key to unlocking the secrets of ancient medicinal remedies that humans created over millennia to fight diseases that plagued them from the beginning of… read more

Rioja wine region of Spain is home to spectacular architecture

September 28, 2015 1:30 pm - Posted by Jody in Travel


Laguardia, Spain (dpa) – The Rioja Alavesa in the Basque region of northern Spain is an area of stunning natural beauty, where the local business is vineyards and bodegas (wineries) that range from small family businesses to spectacular buildings designed by the world’s best architects. Celebrated American architect Frank Gehry, creator of the Guggenheim Museum in… read more


Tuscany of the East

August 24, 2015 8:34 am - Posted by Jody in Drink


From New York to Sao Paulo, epicureans have been reveling in a new generation of exciting wines from one of the least expected places – Slovenia, a vintner’s paradise in full renaissance. In fact, the small country has a viticultural tradition stretching back 2,400 years to the Celtic era, long before the Romans introduced winemaking to… read more


Summer is the Time for California Wine Country

August 7, 2015 11:32 am - Posted by Jody in Travel

PETALUMA, Calif. – Summer is a splendid time to take in the waters, wine and delights of Napa and Sonoma counties in Northern California. Head across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, through the hills of Marin County, and then up Highway 101. The highway runs through California’s sensuous golden hills, past happily munching cows,… read more


Italy Beckons

August 3, 2015 11:21 am - Posted by Jody in Learn


THIS place doesn’t look real. From the top of a steep hillside covered in lemon trees and grapevines, the village of Manarola tumbles out below, like a handful of pink, orange and yellow blocks that have been shaken, then poured from a toy bag. Manarola is one of five hamlets strewn a few miles apart along… read more


A Small Inn in Sonoma Making a Big Impression

July 31, 2015 11:14 am - Posted by Jody in Travel

The Farmhouse Inn

How does a relatively small Sonoma County inn find itself ranked among the world’s best hotels?

The answer lies partly in the simple richness of the guest experience; from the farm-to-table organic food served in the Michelin-starred restaurant, to the relaxing and energizing spa featuring botanical massages and wraps, everything at Farmhouse Inn is designed to make each visit to the wine country memorable.

Now, satisfied guests have had their say, voting Farmhouse Inn onto the short list of Travel + Leisure’s best hotels. Farmhouse Inn not only earned a #2 ranking among Small Inns in the U.S., but also ranked 8th on the 100 World’s Best Hotels list. That’s truly rarefied air, and it speaks to the elite experience enjoyed by guests. Not only that, but 2015 marks the third year in which Farmhouse Inn has achieved a ranking.

The hotel was also recently selected as the Best Wine Country Hotel/Resort in Sunset Magazine’s 2015 Travel Awards this June. The award honors the West’s top destinations and those displaying excellence in the tourism industry.

Guests quickly fall in love with the inn after the first visit—which explains the high praise bestowed by Travel + Leisure readers. The mission of this unique inn is simple: to provide an authentic, “insider” experience of California Wine Country. Hidden treasures abound in this large and diverse region, just an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. Through connections with local vintners and an intimate knowledge of the community, guests can expect a one-of-a-kind experience every time.

The passion of sibling owners, Joe and Catherine Bartolomei, comes through in a myriad of little details, like the farm fresh eggs on the breakfast table. As fifth-generation Sonomans, the Bartolomeis have deep roots in the community.

“Our goal here at Farmhouse Inn has always been to create a unique and vital Sonoma wine country experience. This last year we added nine new luxurious rooms, a completely new spa building, and complete revamped all outdoor spaces while maintaining the luxury and attention to detail the staff is known for. Our guests can see and feel the love that has gone into our intimate boutique hotel; that’s how we’ve created such a sense of loyalty with many of our guests returning time and time again,” said owner Catherine Bartolomei. “The recent accolades from Travel + Leisure and Sunset Magazine are just more evidence that we’re doing something quite special. Please come celebrate with us.”

Travel + Leisure readers rated hotels and accommodations on five criteria: rooms/facilities, location, service, restaurants/food and value. See more

Sunset Magazine is the leading lifestyle brand in the West covering the West’s best flavors, destinations, design trends, and innovations. See more

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