Wine and Travel Concierge

Welcome!

This website, is a place for me to share my wine, culinary and travel experiences locally and around the world.

It’s for anyone who shares a common interest in flavours and cultures.

ENJOY!

Donita

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A Rosé that says “HELLO THERE, GORGEOUS!”

Can you sense Spring in the air? I can. It’s delayed, but soooo soooo welcome.

So I thought I’d share my first article written for a friends brand new online magazine called: The Planters Guide.

 

Here is my article, I hope you enjoy it!

I don’t know about you, but when I start to see buds on trees, and feel the temperature change in the air as Spring arrives, truth be told, I get a little giddy. Do you remember that schoolgirl excited kind of feeling?

If you’ve forgotten what ‘giddy’ looks like, Urban Dictionary explains it: “…as if you just saw a rock star, crush, celebrity, that made you seem speechless or incompetent of acting normal.” So for women, this could be seeing George Clooney at Starbucks; for men, perhaps it could be when Kate Upton says hello and smiles at you on the street.

And if I were to pick a wine style to match that “giddy” feeling, well… it would be Rosé wine every time. To me, it’s like a happy dance from winter to spring, from cozy and cold to fresh and warm. If this wine could talk, it would say “hello there, gorgeous!” And I am definitely drinking a wine that talks to me like that!

So as spring is arriving around British Columbia, it seems only fitting to share a must-have-giddy-inducing-wine that will help you transition from winter rain into buds and flowers. Intrigued?

Just chill a bottle of the 2017 TIME Winery Rosé, made from 100% Syrah grapes, and you’ll get fun notes of candied fruits and red liquorice on the nose; while it dances on your palate with red raspberries, a little citrus, a touch of bramble fruit and hints of orange peel.

It’s refreshing and fruit-driven, all rolled into one little pink package. And you’ll need this wine on hand for when you dust off that patio furniture for the first time; grilled zucchini and red pepper skewers with friends; Serve up an antipasto feast with BBQ’d marinated vegetables; or with a bruschetta platter including fresh tomatoes, fruits (think strawberries, cantaloupe) and pesto. And what’s even better news, it’s a local BC wine that is about to open a brand new downtown winery in the heart of Penticton in the South Okanagan Valley. Can anyone say “road trip?”

What: TIME Winery 2017 Rosé

Where: TIME Winery (opening this spring), 361 Martin Street, Penticton, BC, online at timewinery.com and various private retailers and restaurants across BC

Price: $22.99 / 750ml

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To me, this online magazine is a cool new concept.

It’s got three main headings: Ingest – all about vegan and vegetarian foods; Imbibe – about wine and other beverages; Inhale – is about cannabis – from an educational perspective.

What did I just write?! Yes indeed. I said that controversial word – cannabis. But truth be told, we all know about it. It’s about to be legalized in Canada. And we all have pre-conceptions of who uses it too. And yet, I think we know very little about it. I personally don’t use it. But with its pending legalization, there are more products popping up (think body lotions and bath products) and more articles, and I am starting to learn that there are tonnes of health benefits to do with fighting disease (specifically cancer). Who knew?!

So, I believe there IS a place in our society for The Planter’s Guide; it educates, informs and has a very mindful purpose. So I am happy to be the monthly “Rosé Wine Correspondent”!

You can read the article on The Planter’s Guide HERE, and poke around on their website. 😉

One Amazing Winery in Italy

So I know there are thousands of wineries to visit in Italy, let alone the rest of the world. But I discovered an amazing one that you must know about.

the vineyard

 

On a recent trip to Italy in late September, I was visiting in and around Florence and Bologna in the province of Emilia-Romagna. I had wanted to explore the small towns of Modena, Reggio-Emilia and Parma, so I went researching what wineries were in that area. There are a few, however I would say only a handful stand out, and in that handful is the gem I discovered!

the owner and the view

Emilia-Romagna province is known for growing and producing a traditional yet modern wine called Lambrusco. Have you heard of it? I hope so, because its not just delicious, but unique. You see, it’s slightly frizzante (light bubbles), and meant to be chilled and paired with charcuterie, antipasto and well, it’s just perfect with pizza! I am a super fan of Lambrusco, I love that it has history, it’s complex, and it can range from a natural rosé style to a deep, rich burgundy in colour and style.

So, imagine my surprise when I learned Opera 02 Winery made 4 kinds of Lambrusco, had their own cellar for producing Balsamic Vinegar, were a small hotel and had a restaurant. I couldn’t have booked it any quicker!

aging barrels in the vinegar cellar

Located just 15-20 mins. taxi ride from the Modena train station in the countryside. This quaint yet very modern winery is a slice of heaven. The views are like being in a painting, it almost doesn’t seem real. From the restaurant and its patio and every single room you overlook the valley filled with vineyards. It offers a mini retreat with a steam room and sauna for guests, a pool, private or public tours of the Vinegar cellar and of the winery. If you care to take a country walk, just 30 minutes or so is a small village called Levizzano. But really, who would want to leave this beautiful place! The rooms are simple yet modern and extremely comfortable with linen sheets and pastel colours, which just add to the view outside the window.

pasta with zucchini and truffles

I did a tasting of vinegars and can now really appreciate why Modena is home to the true original Balsamic Vinegars, and why they are what they are. They offer 6,9,12,20 and 51 year aged vinegars, a great way to discover your favourite style. Mine was between the 9 and 12 year aged. I also tasted through the delicious, naturally made, bio-dynamic Lambrusco wines produced. Out of the 4, the Opera Pura was the highlight for me. And let me tell you, these Lambruscos were the best I have ever tasted (so far). From a traditional dark coloured to a rosé version, all naturally made, these were all pure finesse in a glass. And to be able to have them with lunch or dinner was a perfect way to enjoy them. On their restaurant wine menu they also feature their neighbours wines which represent the area – and on of their own still wines –  Fiano (an overlooked white and not often available).

the view from my room with a glass of rosé lambrusco

I left with a full and happy tummy, luggage bursting at the seams with lambrusco, and a slight glitter in my eyes from the wine I’d been drinking at lunch while taking in the view. Probably the best way to depart any beautiful place. If you get the chance and are in the area during your next trip to Italy, please visit this wonderful gem of a place – Opera 2 Winery.

Until next time, ciao! 😉

The view