Sir Richard Branson to Open the First Virgin Hotel in Chicago – Travel News

Virgin Hotels logo
Virgin Hotels logo

Virgin Brand Continues to Expand


With the opening of PUBLIC Chicago, Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago and Longman & Eagle, the Windy City seems determined to prove itself as the new mecca for hot hotel openings. This reputation is cemented with the announcement that Sir Richard Branson’s first Virgin Hotel is set to begin construction this May. Taking over the 1928 Old Dearborn Bank building, the sure-to-be-hip hotel will include 250 rooms, a pool and a rooftop venue — with terrific views, we assume, given the location. Continue reading “Sir Richard Branson to Open the First Virgin Hotel in Chicago – Travel News” »

Jordan Winery Celebrates 40th Anniversary – Wine News

Jordan Winery's 40th anniversary celebration at the London West Hollywood
Jordan Winery's 40th anniversary celebration at the London West Hollywood

Top Form at 40


It was 40 centuries ago that the production of wine took place in what is today Armenia and Iran and, yes, China most probably had been making fermented fruit juices another 40 centuries earlier. At 40 years young, John Jordan and Jordan Winery are following in our ancestors’ footsteps and more recently his Mom and Dad, Sally and Tom Jordan, who gave birth to the winery and their son forty years ago. And what an enterprise it is. It took a fortune made in the oil and gas exploration business to power its development. Tom, a geology engineer, had to keep his hands and feet underground to satisfy his thirst.

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Mt. Brave Wines – Wine News

Mt. Brave wines
Mt. Brave wines

A Brave New Wine


Native Americans and early settlers hunted animals with bows and arrows so they could feed themselves and their families. But a lucky few wielding those old-school weapons were able to enjoy a gourmet wild game meal on Sunday, washed down by fine Napa Valley red wines, no matter how badly they aimed.


The occasion was the exclusive launch party for the new Mt. Brave wine label at the Houdini Estate in Los Angeles, where three wines and a mini-archery range magically appeared. Mt. Brave winemaker Chris Carpenter, who has worked on other top Kendall-Jackson Napa mountain vineyards such as Lokoya and Cardinale, introduced the inaugural 2008 vintage, which includes 1,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon ($75), 100 cases of Merlot ($60) and 100 cases of Malbec ($60).

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Kia Design Experience

The Kia Soul in Seoul, South Korea
The Kia Soul in Seoul, South Korea

A Design DNA that Started with a Soul

by Alain Gayot


Kia, the South Korean automobile manufacturer, is on fire, having come a long way from their early days when they simply manufactured bicycles. The name itself means “arise out of Asia,” and that’s exactly what’s happening. Sales of the well-priced cars are up as consumers are taking a liking to the style, performance and value offered by the brand. Not long ago, sophisticated buyers would have frowned at the thought of settling for a Kia automobile. Today, many are proud and consider their purchase a wise investment.


Kia Motors started producing steel tubing and bicycle parts in 1944 and their own bicycles in 1951, then graduated to scooters and motorcycles and manufacturing trucks and automobiles designed elsewhere. Over time, the company gained more expertise in building engines. It was not until 1994 that the Kia Sephia, an entry-level sedan, was offered in the United States, followed a year later by the Sportage, a small SUV with off-road capabilities. From there, things grew exponentially.

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Johnnie Walker Double Black

Johnnie Walker Double Black
Johnnie Walker Double Black

by Jeff Hoyt


“Make it a double!” is an oft-spoken command to a bartender, but it takes on a different meaning when the spirit in question is Johnnie Walker Black Label Scotch whisky. Jim Beveridge, Master Blender of the House of Walker, has produced the company’s newest release, Johnnie Walker Double Black.


If you enjoy the smoky, peaty flavor of Johnnie Walker Black Label, then this new limited release gives you more of what you look for in a Scotch. The distinctive blend is even smokier, even peatier and even bolder than its younger brother, but eminently drinkable.


Double Black is composed of select single malts of naturally smoky aged whiskies and whiskies that have matured in deep charred oak barrels. Despite its strength, it is still quite complex, with fruit, vanilla and spice flavors also evident. We recommend drinking it on the rocks with water, which helps release more of the flavor.

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