Riesling on the Rise!

Riesling & Co. Tasting invitation
Riesling & Co. Tasting invitation

Riesling & Co. 2011 Vintage Tasting in Tribeca


by Michelle Kwan


German engineering, bratwurst, beer. These three things come to mind when thinking of Germany. But wine? Not so much. Flanked by France and Italy, Europe’s powerhouses of winemaking, Germany has long existed under the shadow of these two regions — despite the fact that Germans began making wine more than eight centuries ago.


The German Winegrowers’ Association has been taking its vintages on tour in parts of Europe and the United States for several years now in an attempt to introduce German wines to the industry and public alike. Germany’s 2011 vintage has proven to be “the best in recent years,” according to Norbert Weber, president of the Association. Germany’s soil works together with the climate to produce primarily Rieslings and Pinot Blancs, with the former most recognized in the industry. Rieslings range from very dry to very fruity depending on the sugar alcohol level at processing, and the versatility of this wine makes it equally ideal for both pairing with food and drinking on its own.

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Tourcrafters’ Spanish Cuisine Package – Travel Special

An aerial view of Barcelona
An aerial view of Barcelona

Embark on a Culinary Adventure with Tourcrafters’ Tribute to Spanish Cuisine


Featuring meals rather than monuments, Tourcrafters’ seven-night Spanish Cuisine Package invites travelers to discover the culture and history of Spain through its cuisine.


Catalan and Basque chefs have long been lauded for their mastery, and it is this expertise that is the highlight of this tasty package. Along with three nights at Hotel Front Maritim in Barcelona, two nights at Hotel Husa Jardines de Albia in Bilbao and two nights at Hotel Intur Palacio San Martin in Madrid, this package features the following culinary experiences Continue reading “Tourcrafters’ Spanish Cuisine Package – Travel Special” »

Foie Gras Ban in California, Really?

by Sophie Gayot


In a little more than a month, on July 1st, 2012, foie gras will be illegal in California.


Here is what California Senate bill No. 1520, signed on September 29, 2004, by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, says (extracts):
CHAPTER 13.4. FORCE FED BIRDS
25980. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
A bird includes, but is not limited to, a duck or goose.
(b) Force feeding a bird means a process that causes the bird to consume more food than a typical bird of the same species would consume voluntarily. Force feeding methods include, but are not limited to, delivering feed through a tube or other device inserted into the bird’s esophagus.
25981. A person may not force feed a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size, or hire another person to do so.
25982. A product may not be sold in California if it is the result of force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size.

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Sideways in Santa Monica

Jack and Miles wining and dining Maya and Terra
Jack and Miles wining and dining Maya and Terra

by Barnaby Hughes


First there was Sideways the novel, then Sideways the movie, and now there is Sideways the play. The world premiere production of Sideways is currently running through July 22 at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, California.


The novel’s author and first-time playwright Rex Pickett focuses the stage adaptation on the friendship between Miles and Jack and their wine-soaked wanderings through Santa Barbara County wine country in search of sexual satisfaction and the perfect Pinot Noir. To help with their latter quest, performances are paired with complimentary Pinot Noir tastings, courtesy of wine event company Affairs of the Vine.

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Oceania Cruises Launches the Riviera – Travel News

Oceania Cruises' Riviera
Oceania Cruises' Riviera

A New Contender Joins the Upscale Cruise Market


With this month’s maiden voyage of the Riviera, boutique cruise line Oceania Cruises increased its fleet to four luxury ships. Sailing from Venice to Athens, the ten-day “Pearls of the Aegean” introduced a new contender in the upscale cruise market. Following a gala christening ceremony in Barcelona, the 1,250-guest Riviera debuted just sixteen months after the launch of her sister ship, Marina. The new ship even has its own godmother — Cat Cora, the American chef, restaurateur and co-host of Bravo’s “Around the World in 80 Plates.” This pairing is apt, since the Riviera has been specially designed for epicureans and features ten dining venues, including a French bistro from Jacques Pépin. Continue reading “Oceania Cruises Launches the Riviera – Travel News” »