Trying to dance partnerless with just one left foot is like appreciating good food without wine. To get the most out of the multifaceted delicious food we eat today, a marriage with wine is essential— think dance—be it the slinky, exhilarating tango; sexy, slithering samba or just plain ol’ twisting in a ’60’s dance hall, a partner is needed, paid or unpaid.
To the rest of world, sake is an alcoholic drink imbibed by many in the Far East, mostly in the company of good friends with food. It was discovered originally by the Chinese and introduced to Japan about 700 years later, where in the 3rd Century, Kuchikami Sake was first recorded. This mouth chewing sake consisted of rice, millet, chestnuts and acorns chewed by young maidens and spat into bowls and left to ferment. Sake certainly has evolved and refined immensely by the Japanese since.
Valley of the “Californian Wine” Kings … Innovative and Creative Wineries
Part two of the wine journey brings me to the Disneyland of Napa Wineries where money is big and so are the wines. When in California, one expects to be surprised.
Valley of the “Californian Wine” Kings … Food and Restaurants
“4 Days and as Much as I Could Do” being my motto and mantra, the Napa trip was finalised after much deliberation, mapping, planning and of course, travelling across the pond. For a change, Nerdy Geek played the PA and personal chauffeur, ringing wineries and booking restaurants, setting up meetings, organising the tastings, maps and driving, making me feel rather important.
Valley of the “Californian Wine” Kings … Small Interesting Wineries
Bright and early we arrived at Corison Winery a short 3 minute ride away. Cathy Corison is one indomitable lady. With over 25 years of wine making experience Cathy is certainly of the the Napa ladies to follow. Small winery run by Cathy and her team, this little gem is definitely a diamond found amidst the giants along the 128.
Di Brunno Brothers
DBB is a treasure trove of all things Italian and Mediterranean. More Italian than a tipici deli. The produce was just sensationally FRESH. Many made by local artisans, using local ingredients. My eyes and nose were in full dizzy ecstasy. Cheeses, hams, salami, sausages, olives, oils, antipasti, bottles, jars, tins, and the list just goes on. FRESH, so fresh and immaculately stored. This tiny institution joins my Aladdin’s cave list of the foodie world. Zabars, Eataly, Peck, Fortnums, Harrods, Valvona and the likes have serious competition.
Skipping all the boring travel bits from LHR to JFK including being searched 3 times between check-in to boarding at LHR. I had NO hand luggage. Just a little handbag. Convinced it was due to my old yellow RL sweatshirt, it’ll be the last time this old favourite sees the inside of a plane.
Heathrow, headed for the Bag Drop. Simple task, so I thought, armed with check-in luggage of an old LLBean bag, I put it on the scale. Weighed in at 8.6Kg. To my surprise, Red Riding (without) Hood asked me to weigh my hand luggage. 8.9Kg. OK, more than the checked in bag but the silly thing is that I only had my 11inch MacAir, makeup, chargers for computer, iPhone and camera, and 3 magazines in the rather empty roller. Maybe they should have weighed me as well!
That’s it, the faithful cabin roller is going into retirement. I must remember to pick up a Bric, the lightest cabin bag on the market weighing in at an amazing 2.5kg or the new Tumi.
Virgin is really no longer the airline it used to be. I guess being up for sale does not help it’s credibility. With a zillion air miles I still cannot trade them for Upper Class flights as there are so few on offer these days. Upgrades are also limited, sadly.
30th March 2012
Another fabulously warm, sunny day in London, spoilt only by the ridiculous panic buying of petrol and diesel.
NerdyGeek woke me up at 6am, this time without back up alarms – maybe old dogs can learn new tricks. With paperwork and emails, WhatsApp, texts all done by 7.30am, I began planning my exciting day and preparing lunch. Working from a small kitchen having just returned from a trip is never easy, even with my trusted timeplan/cribsheet of almost 25 years from my Cordon Bleu days. Disposable gloves to debone the chicken, cocktail sticks, proper Riedel tasting glasses were amongst the missing items. The chicken was a little too plump for the largest pot I owned at the flat. The list goes on but one manages.
Continue reading “South Africa Rules”
Rudely awakened this morning by iPhone’s foghorn at 5.50am, actually, 4.50am as clocks went forward in tune with the British Summer Time, last night. And in case the digital radio gets it wrong, Nerdy Geek (NG) sets my iPhone to go off five minutes later, just to make sure. I had NO clue how to turn it off. The radio then comes on at 6am.. no, 5am.
He is lucky to be alive.
Taxi waiting outside 15 minutes early. Don’t cab drivers have a life? It’s the sunday morning of time change in UK. Silence in the cab while I iMessaged my world. Kids – telling them Mum was unavailable for emergency duties and not to even try coming home as the house had been set to maximum security. The plumber and the builder to confirm start of work next week and a few more urgent ‘messages de femmes’.