Someone get me on a flight to Santorini!
The Greeks on Santorini have had almost 5000 years to perfect the art of winemaking, but it’s clear the folks at San..Torini Winery (by Artemis Karamolegos) have become masters of the art.
We taste lots of wines here at TravelPlusWine, but few evoke emotions as strong as their 2008 Assyrtiko that we tasted last night. It is often said you can taste the land in a bottle of wine and I have noted this to be mostly true… but every single element of Santorini comes to life in this particular bottle of dry white wine.
You can taste the gentle, salty breeze floating in from the ocean and the sweet kiss of the Greek sunshine giving life to grapes growing on the ancient volcanic island. The taste of olives is dominant in this wine, which is no surprise as these trees dot the island.
There’s no better food for this creamy, buttery Assyrtiko than a fresh Greek salad with sun-ripened tomatoes, mouth-watering local feta, and deliciously salty olives.
When you taste this wine, be prepared for a virtual tour of Santorini. So, sit back, relax, and imagine yourself sitting in a cliff-side café, wine glass in hand, overlooking the whitewashed town with views of the Mediterranean as far as the eye can see.
Who wouldn’t fall in love with a wine like this?
To learn more about Santorini wines, follow the Wines from Santorini blog.
Another Greek wine we love is the 2007 Robola of Cephalonia from Gentilini
147 Brook Street, Suite 4
Brookline, MA 02445
19-06 42nd Street
Long Island City, NY 1105
(Disclaimer: This is a sample wine)
“Wherever they go, they search for the back story that makes a great wine… and they won’t rest until they can bring it home in a bottle!”
This sounds like the ultimate TravelPlusWine adventure! Fortunately, for those of us who can’t be in wine country at the moment, there’s a way to live vicariously through others.
Winemaker and Three Thieves star Joel Gott ensures this isn’t your average sip-and-swirl television show. Joel and the other two thieves, Roger Scommenga and Charles Bieler, worked hard with the Food Network to create a show that mixes in what’s exciting like scenery, food, people, and wine.
The first episode of Three Thieves takes viewers to Chile. The idea, Gott explains, is to visit and explore, so people see and experience what’s out there in wine regions around the world.
Three Thieves sounds like a great show for travel and wine lovers, so check it out!
Who needs A Year in Provence when you can spend a magical weekend at this luxury hotel.
After all, the views are amazing and the wine is plentiful. Swim laps in the heated pool, get competitive with a game of tennis, be pampered in the “mini-spa”, or take a cooking class from Hotel Crillon le Brave’s gourmet chef. If that’s not enough, their sommelier Cedric Demeneix can arrange vineyard visits to quench your wine-loving thirst.
The property itself is made up of restored stone mansions dating from the 16th and 17th centuries that are linked by bridges, cobblestone walkways, and hidden courtyards. The rooms, of course, offer every modern comfort and amenity. Suites at Hotel Crillion le Brave feature terraces with outstanding views and there’s even a small house with two bedrooms.
Hotel Crillon le Brave has a few favorite suggestions for your stay:
> Explore the picturesque villages in Provence
> Take a bike tour
> Wade and swim down the peaceful Toulerenc river in the summer
> Sip a glass of rosé at the hotel as you watch the sunset
> Visit in March for a week of truffle hunting, wine tasting, and culinary experiences.
If these options don’t offer enough wine and physical activity, the hotel runs a “Vendanges” program where guests can participate in the wine harvest, picking grapes, visiting the cellars and tasting the early stages of the new vintage!
It’s a TravelPlusWine destination at its finest.
2011 is going to be a very busy year here at TravelPlusWine! There’s lots of wine and travel on the itinerary and it’s only mid-January. With travel and wine on the mind mind (as always), plus all the questions we receive about our favorite travel gear… here’s a list of my favorite travel items as we begin the new year:
1. Canon S95
This is, hands down, the best point and shoot camera I have ever owned. After too many frustrating and missed photo opportunities with my last camera, I decided it was time to upgrade to something that would take great pictures and allow me to manually adjust settings as needed.
The Canon S95 has delivered on everything. I’ve been especially pleased with the low light pictures as well as its amazing ability to shoot in macro mode (wine labels!).
2. Amazon Kindle – 3rd Generation
I put off getting an eReader for the longest time because I never like to buy first generation products. I finally folded and bought the Kindle because I know I’ll be doing lots of traveling this year and want to save space in my bag.
The price also dropped to an affordable $139 which definitely played a part in my purchasing decision. If you’re going to travel a lot, be sure to buy a cover for your kindle.
You can laugh all you want at 18 pockets, but they come in handy! This past fall, I took a trip to Eastern Europe and didn’t carry a purse for most of the trip. Instead, I picked a few key items and hid them in various pockets of my ScotteVest. Ricardo did the same thing with his and we vowed to never leave our ScotteVests at home again!
Buy an extra size bigger if you plan on utilizing the pockets… so, if you’re a small, buy a medium.
I might be a gadget-loving blogger, but I can’t leave home without a moleskine. It simply takes me to long to type things into my Android phone. I carry it in my purse or ScotteVest wherever I go because I never know when it’ll come in handy. This is great for list-makers and writers.
Moleskines can also double as a pocket size travel journal.
5. Wine Skins
Each wine lover needs to travel with a couple of these in his or her suitcase because they pack flat and then do a great job protecting your wine for the long trip home. In fact, Wine Skins are so handy, I can’t imagine how I ever traveled without them!
If you do find yourself on vacation visiting wineries without a Wine Skin, dirty socks do the trick as well!
What’s your favorite must-have travel item for 2011?
American Airlines has upgraded its reservation system and is now expecting third party operators like Expedia and Orbitz to keep up with the times and customer expectations.
The result: A media storm timed perfectly around the holidays.
During the hustle and bustle of a busy holiday travel season, American Airlines announced mid-December that it was pulling fares from Orbitz. This was quickly followed by an Expedia announcement on January 1 stating that American Airlines was no longer an option on their website.
Then, in the midst of this airline vs. middleman showdown, AA fares became really hard to find on Sabre as the rankings dropped dramatically. A rebuff from the middleman club? Perhaps.
AA filed a lawsuit yesterday in response to Sabre’s actions claiming they are “discriminatory and patently inconsistent with… contractual obligations,” although further details about the suit are still under wraps.
So what is the fuss really all about?
AA is working with Direct Connect, a system that allows the company to present more options to consumers. How about upgrading to a Premium Coach seat at checkout? Direct Connect. Or have more flight schedule offerings? Direct Connect.
Sites like Expedia work on a GDS (Global Distribution System) that isn’t currently keeping up with where AA’s business is headed and what customers are seeking. The airline is being vocal about it and appears to be moving away from sites incongruent with these new demands.
But is AA moving more towards exclusive availability on their own website? Spokesman Ed Martelle told TravelPlusWine this isn’t the case. AA currently appears on a number of distribution systems and airline is currently negotiating with Expedia as well as talking with Orbitz about a Direct Connect upgrade. “We want to make it easy for the customer and we understand the scope and reach of these large GDS systems,” states Martelle.
It’ll be interesting to see what plays out during this travel industry showdown as both the middleman and airline duke it out for control. Nobody wants their cheese moved, but taking a “my way or the highway” approach isn’t in anybody’s best interest either.
The question is: Do sites like Orbitz, Expedia, and Sabre want to continue being leaders in the travel industry? If so, they’ll need to make this upgrade sooner rather than later.
We’re willing to bet other airlines will soon be following in American’s footsteps. Change is in the air.