Posts Tagged With: castles

Joseph Phelps Insignia. Still my favorite!

Image

Joseph Phelps Insignia, 2006.

I had a wonderful bottle of wine last evening and thought you might like to enjoy the tasting notes. I have included  video with comments from Robert Parker that offers some Joseph Phelps history and the history of their flagship wine: Insignia. Insignia is enjoying it’s 40th vintage!

If I tried to use one word about this wine, I would say FINESSE. The tannins are there but very soft allowing the fruit to elegantly flow forward. A floral note of LILAC rises from the glass without swirl – I always want to get the nose of the wine BEFORE a swirl. A nice swirl yields a spicy cherry aroma, one you might get when grandma is cooking a cherry pie.This is followed by light oak, licorice and heavy black fruit on the palate. This wine just simply flows evenly on the palate. Buy for about $200 and drink now. Pair it with pork or beef with middle range taste profiles (meaning nothing super bold or super light).

GREAT VIDEO: 39 VINTAGE TASTING WITH ROBERT PARKER.

Categories: food, wine | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers?

Thanksgiving Leftover Macaroni & Cheese

Prep Time: 20min

Cooking Time: 40min

Total Time: 1hr 10min

Servings: 8

This is definitely the cheesiest way to enjoy all of your Thanksgiving holiday leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Cooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 pound Shredded turkey meat
  • 1 cup Leftover stuffing (optional)
  • 3 Medium size sweet potatoes, cut into small dices, cooked in salted water till tender
  • 1 cup Cooked peas
  • ½ Onion, chopped
  • 5 Sage leafs, minced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup Leftover cranberry relish (optional)
  • 1½ quarts Milk
  • ¼ cup Butter
  • ¼ cup Flour
  • 4 cups Grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup Grated Fontina cheese

Preparation

Step 1

In a large pot add butter, onion, sage and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.

Step 2

Add flour, whisk and cook for another 5 minutes.

Step 3

Add milk and continue to whisk till mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

Step 4

After milk has thickened, whisk in the mascarpone, fontina and one cup of the cheddar cheese.

Step 5

Once cheese melts and sauce becomes smooth, fold in the turkey meat, sweet potatoes, peas and pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 6

Place pasta mixture in a 3-inch baking dish, cover with remaining cheddar cheese and bake at 350 for 20 minutes till golden brown.

Step 7

Serve with a tablespoon of cranberry relish.

Categories: food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walk Butt Naked on the Beach! And no one notice!

3 Seriously Sexy Travel Spots
What is a sexy destination? In my book, these are qualities that always rock my travel libido:
 Undiscovered: There ain’t nothing sexier than being able to walk down the beach butt naked without having a million pairs of eyes checking out what mother nature gave ya. Or, to saunter through a town square without having to fight your way through a throng of postcard shops and tourists.
Sensual cuisine: Think juicy fruit, young coconuts and fresh caught fish. I love being able to walk out my door and pick a succulent papaya, drink down some delicious thai coconut water or watch the sunset with some fresh grilled fish.
Steeped in Tradition: There is something incredibly sexy about cultures that are focused on preserving the “old ways.” Making things by hand, using all their senses, weaving offerings out of flowers, making feta by hand, picking your own herbs for brewing, bakeries that actually bake their own bread… sexy, sexy, sexy.
Topography: Undulating hills, blazing hot sun over a vista of sand and stone, dense jungles teeming with exotic flora and fauna, breathtaking deserted beaches, fields of fragrant herbs and wildflowers.
Well, now that I’ve laid out my criteria for a sexy destination, I’d like to share with you a few of my absolute faves that really get me going:
1. Ko Lanta, Thailand: A big part of what keeps this destination so damn sexy is that it is a bitch to get to. Ko Lanta is an island, so no matter how you slice it, you have to take a combination of planes, trains, buses and ferries to get there. But, what’s a little effort when heaven on earth awaits on the other side?
Chinese pole houses dot the breathtaking shoreline, and you can easily hire a boat for day excursions to remote islands and hidden caves. Ko Lanta is a stone’s throw by boat from the luxe tourist haven of Phi Phi… so it’s really the best of both worlds. Mango House has awesome traditional pole houses on the water, and Sun Island Tours has the best boat tours around. The village itself is traditional with some of the hottest – literally – food around. Lemongrass, basil, cilantro and chilies abound. Also, seriously, this place has the sexiest coconuts on earth.
2. San Salvador, Costa Rica: Costa Rica is synonymous with sexy: beaches for days, jungles with monkeys, sloths and exotic birds and fresh, delicious food at every turn. Costa Rica’s natural sensuality has been both a blessing and a curse. Now, people are catching on, and many areas of Costa Rica run the danger of becoming extremely unsexy.
But, there are still a few hidden, tucked-away gems that really get my mojo going. There are a few awesome well known retreat centers in Dominical on the coast. But, when I’m in Costa Rica I like to go a little further. I land in San Jose and head for the hills. About one hour north of Dominical is a little mountain village called San Salvador. In an open forest clearing is Finka De Vida. This place is beyond sexy. Just about everything you eat is grown on their local farm. You have the choice of picking and preparing your own meals, juices and smoothies or having there chef do it for you. The menu is as raw as you want, or fully cooked. It’s up to you. Activities include yoga overlooking the jungle, bathing in the local waterfall and beach excursions. I promise you will feel so sexy you’ll never want to leave.
3. Lesvos, Greece: Lesvos is not called the island of women for nothing. If Santorini, with its active volcano and harsh landscape, is the masculine side of the Greek isles, then Lesvos is definitely one foxy lady.
Lesvos is where a lot of Greece’s olive oil comes from, so it is covered in olive groves as well as an abundance of cherry, apple, pistachio and pine trees. Because it is so far north, most people don’t know about Lesvos. In fact, it’s so far north you can take a ferry to Turkey in 30 minutes.
The island is filled with cobblestone mountain villages, forts, castles, Turkish hammams and nary a white and turquoise domed structure in site. The houses are built of wood and stone and have more of an Ottoman feel. Expect quiet beaches that you can explore “in the all together,” sleepy villages where homemade feta and bread are served, freshly grilled octopus for supper by the sea and horses and donkeys that you can ride through the mountain groves and pick your own herbs for supper or tea. I lived on Lesvos for four years, and I swear by its undeniable sexiness. There are many many wonderful places to stay on Lesvos. My absolute fave for authenticity and sexiness is Elainonas Nikou on the Gulf of Gera. Rojo Caliente!
Travel is a sexy sport. Don’t be a wall flower. Vow to never hit a homely destination again… between you and me, they don’t call it wanderlust for nothin’.

ASK JOE about an AWESOME travel deal to Lesvos, Greece. Think 7days 6 nights all inclusive for $599!

Categories: food, travel, wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enhance Thanksgiving Dinner by Pairing the Perfect Wine

What’s the best wine for Thanksgiving Dinner?

The Top 5 Thanksgiving Wines (because just one would be ludicrous)

Top 5 Best Wine for Thanksgiving Dinner

Top 5 best Thanksgiving wines… er.. the last one isn’t wine?

Hopefully you’ll survive Black Out Wednesday and be ready for another day of drinking. While there are a few ideal turkey pairing wines, there’s more to selecting the best wine for Thanksgiving dinner than the bird. Consider the following:

    • Dinner also includes yams, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce.
    • Your house will smell redolent of turkey and pumpkin pie spice.
    • You may be on a tight budget after buying dinner fixings.
    • Ideally, you’ll be drinking all day.

wine for thanksgiving dinner

So what’s it going to be?

Thanksgiving Wine Legend

  • Crowd pleaser
  • Good gift wine
  • Will make you drunk
  • Good value

1. The Wine to Pair with Turkey

Zinfandel is America’s sweetheart. It’s the ideal turkey pairing wine because its lower tannin helps moisten even the driest turkey. Also, Zinfandel’s secondary flavors of cinnamon, clove and vanilla will put you in the mood for fall.

Green and Red Chile Valley Estate Zinfandel 2009

Zinfandel

These are our favorite turkey-wine Zinfandels that are ready to be guzzled now.

  • $25 D-Cubed Napa Valley Vineyards 2008 Zinfandel ( 14.4% ABV)
  • $22 Green & Red Vineyards Chiles Valley 2009 Zinfandel ( 15% ABV)
  • $14 7 Deadly Zins 2009 Lodi Zinfandel ( 14.7% ABV)

2. The Perfect Ice-Breaker Wine

The worst moments at a party are right when everyone arrives and they’re all standing around. Awkward. To alleviate superficial weather-talk and bullshit, just truncate it… with the sound of a pressurized cork being removed from a bottle of Champagne. Nothing says ‘let’s get this party started!’ better than the sound of bottles popping.

Treveri Cellars Brut Sparkling Wine Washington State

Champagne

Instead of classic Champagne for Thanksgiving, check out these amazing American sparkling wines that are fruity enough to stand up to yams.

  • $27 Taittinger “Domaine Carneros” Brut 2008 ( 12% ABV )
  • $14 Treveri Cellars “Blanc de Blanc” Brut ( 12% ABV )

3. The Wine to Match with Ham

While everyone is gawking at the turkey, you’re the one filling your plate up with baked ham. You might as well all admit that, for you, Thanksgiving is about pork products. You’re going to need some Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir, a light-bodied red wine, is a great choice for ham wine pairing because the high acidity cuts through the rich flavors. Red fruit flavors like cherry and cranberry work well with a juicy slice of ham.

  • $20 Alma Rosa Santa Rta Hills 2008 Pinot Noir ( 14.1% ABV )
  • $32 Raptor Ridge Willamette Valley Reserve 2009 Pinot Noir ( 14.2% ABV )

Raptor Ridge Oregon Pinot Noir 2009

Pacific Rim 2011 Dry Riesling

4. The Best White Wine for Thanksgiving Dinner

When it comes to the best wine for Thanksgiving dinner, nothing beats a glass of dry Riesling. Bright acidity tingles through all the fat in the gravy, stuffing, potatos, yams and the richness of spice in cranberry sauce. Every sip feels like hitting the reset button on your palate so you can stand to take another bite of dark meat. Disagree? They’re so cheap, I dare you to buy one and try it just to prove me wrong.

Dry Riesling

  • $9 Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2011 ( 12.9% ABV )

5. The Best Wine with Pumpkin Pie

The best wine to pair with pumpkin pie is beer. A Belgian style beer with the essence of coriander and lots of tiny bubbles. The lightness of the beer will help scrape all that gooey pumpkin pie from the insides of your mouth. It will also offer a pleasing compliment of bitter and sweet. Trust me, after all that wine, turkey and stuffing there’s not a better way to end the dinner.

Belgian-Style Beer

  • $12 (750ml) Ommegang Brewery “Hennepin” Farmhouse Saison with citris & coriander ( 7.7% ABV )
  • $9 (22oz) Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project “Fluffy White Rabbits” Tripel Ale ( 8.5% ABV )
Pretty Things Fluffy White Rabbits American Triple Ale
Categories: food, wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can anyone say…..Dinner Party?

Can anyone say.....Dinner Party?

Does it really get any better than dining in a 16th century castle?

Categories: food, travel, wine | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stay in a Castle…. TONIGHT!

Balfour Castle sits majestically on one of the Orkney Islands of Scotland


1. The Most Luxurious Castle- Amberley Castle

The privileged guests of Amberley Castle can arrive by helicopter if they so please. Standing at over 900 years old the Castle is a historic treasure, and a luxurious destination. Four poster beds, whirlpool bathrooms, decadent furnishings, two fine dining restaurants and a spot of croquet on one of the many lawns means guests are treated like royalty. 01798 831992

Amberley Castle- Images taken from Vonessen Media

2. The Most Extravagant Castle- Stobo Castle

A suite entirely decked out in the finest cashmere? Including the walls? Nothing is too indulgent at Stobo Castle Spa Hotel, where you can even bathe in a limestone tub. Don’t expect Travelodge prices, expect to be completely gob smacked. Claiming to fuse 19th century architecture with 21st century comfort, the appearance of a modern spa lumped onto the side of a classic Scottish castle is a particularly bizarre sight. 01721 725 300

3. The Oldest Castle (in Scotland)- Culcreuch Castle

Prices come slightly back down to earth at Culcreuch Castle, where a more traditional stay is the order of the day. Built between 1296 and 1320, the castle was the ancestral seat of the Scottish clan Galbraith for over 700 years. There are ten elegant rooms to stay in the castle itself, some with four-poster beds. The décor is a vintage delight, and fresh Scottish produce is served in the castle’s two restaurants. 01360 860555

4. The Haunted Castle- Craig–y–Nos Castle

This Welsh castle holds a stunning location in the Brecon Beacons, and was home to world-renowned Opera singer Adelina Patti for some time. Now a popular wedding venue and hotel, It is perfectly positioned to explore the Welsh mountains. The castle also has a reputation for being one of the most notorious haunted buildings in the country. It acted once as a TB sanitorium and a geriatric hospital, the derelict hospital halls still remain and attract many paranormal enthusiasts. It is said the ‘aura’ of the Castle can be felt throughout the building. 01422 323200

5. The Best Shooting Castle- Balfour Castle

The setting of Balfour Castle, is quite simply stunning. Sitting on Spaninsay, one of the Orkney Islands, surrounded by it’s own woodland and coast it is a magical location. If you are keen on a spot of shooting, Balfour is one of the most elite shooting clubs in the world. Primarily seeking wildfowl, but also open for pheasant shoots in the winter months- the weather, wild birds and location make it an extreme shooting experience. 01856 711282

One of the rooms at Thornbury Castle

6. The ‘may lose your head’ Castle- Thornbury Castle

Built in 1508, Anne Bolyen and King Henry VIII stayed here in the Dukes bedchamber, you can sleep there too- unless you fear a beheading! Thornbury is the only tudor castle in the country that you can stay in. Roaring fires, sumptuous meals, and royal bedchambers allow the visitor to step back in time. The hotel even has its own vineyard which produces Thornbury wine- to be enjoyed with one of their exceptional Sunday roasts. 01454 281182

7. The Royal Castle steeped in drama- Ruthin Castle

This historic Welsh castle has had many a grand visitor, from Queen Elizabeth I to legend has it- King Arthur. The suites are suitably royal, one takes the name of the Prince of Wales, commemorating HRH Prince Charles’ visit to the castle. The history of the castle is intriguing and dramatic; King Arthur is said to have disguised himself for a romantic liaison with a mistress in Ruthin. The man who recognized him was executed on a stone block displayed in the town square. There has apparently been many a liaison here, when the wife of army commander Edward I discovered her husbands mistress at the castle- she took her fury out on the women with an axe. She was executed for her crimes and buried outside of the castle walls. Visit Ruthin for your own romantic adventure (minus the bloody end!). 01824 702664

8. The Television Castle- Hazlewood Castle

Hazlewood is better know as the set of the Sky Living’s show Four Weddings where four couples have their dream wedding created for them in the stunning location near Leeds. The castle itself was mentioned in the dooms day book of 1086, its age is reflected in the many ghost stories that accompany Hazlewood- such as a habited monk which is said to stroll around the courtyard. 01937 535353

9. The Recently Flourishing Castle- Peckforton Castle

Peckforton Castle in the heart of Cheshire has had many various purposes over the years. Work on the building of the castle was started by the Tollemach family in 1842 but was not completed until 1851. Ownership was passed down through the family, and during the war the castle was even used as a hostel for 200 physically handicapped children. It was then unused until 1969. Interest from films such as Robin Hood in the eighties, and the castles stunning impression as a location made it the popular castle hotel it is today. 01829 260 930

Dalhousie Castle

10. The Fortress Castle- Dalhousie Castle

One of the most hospitable hotels in Scotland, priding itself on a luxurious stay and a truly Scottish welcome, was not always so. Dalhousie was once a fortress standing over some hotly contested Scottish land, and has bourn witness to many historic disputes. The 13th century fortress is surrounded by wooded parkland and is magnificent in stature. 01875 820 153

Categories: travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

World Traveling Joe

Passionate About Food, Wine, & Travel

The Wine Wankers

G’day, you’re at the best wine blog ever! We're all about wine; without the wankery.

Late Blooming Entrepreneurs

Making it big in business after age 40

Leadership Freak

Empowering Leaders 300 Words at a Time

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.