An African retreat with a 2,000-bottle wine tower, a gazpacho flavor enhancer, and a wine-focused cruise are three of the topics in today’s list of 10 wine tidbits and tips…
1. MUMM’S THE WORD — Reims is the capital of France’s Champagne region, and is home to numerous sparkling wine houses that offer informative and entertaining tours, including at least one each day presented in English. The cellars at Mumm are particularly impressive, and the Mumm facility is conveniently located near the center of the city and train station.
2. SIZING THINGS UP — The average size of a vineyard in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is 373 acres, according to Food and Wine magazine.
3. PALATE PREP — “A glass of Champagne excites the appetite and is a reset button for your palate,” says Bobby Stuckey of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colo., quoted in Food and Wine. “There is nothing more perfect to get you ready for eating.”
4. CRUISIN’ — Zinfandel Advocates and Producers (a.k.a. ZAP) has planned a cruise from Lisbon to London, with stops in Spain and France’s Bordeaux region along the way. On-board private wine tastings will help pass the time between ports of call. The cruise is called “Masters of Zin,” and is set for May 30-June 6, 2015. You can get more info here:
5. WINES OF A PLACE — One of the first vineyard-designated wines to attain widespread recognition was the Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, made by Napa Valley’s Heitz Cellars. It debuted with the 1966 vintage.
6. FLAVOR ENHANCEMENT — To help brighten up gazpacho, a splash of red wine can be a real eye-opener. Looking to enliven your next tuna salad? Add a little bit of white wine. Bonus tip: When adding wine to dishes, use the wine you intend to drink with the dish.
7. IN THE BELGIAN QUARTER — Regional dishes get a delicious makeover at Sorgenfrei Wein und Speisen in Cologne. It’s a cheerful place with a solid wine list — which makes perfect sense, considering its name roughly translates to “no worries wine and food.” More: http://www.sorgenfrei-koeln.com
8. WEEKEND GETAWAY — Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is Sonoma County’s signature charity event, bringing together more than 200 of Sonoma’s top winemakers and growers, along with the area’s best chefs. It’s jointly produced by the Sonoma County Vintners and the Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Foundation, and all proceeds benefit local charities. Since its inception, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend has raised more than $12 million for charities that benefit students, children, farm workers and people in need in Sonoma communities. Francis Ford Coppola Winery, MacMurray Estate Vineyards and Chateau St. Jean are the main event hosts, Aug. 29-31. Info: http://sonomawinecountryweekend.com
9. WINE AND WILDLIFE — It’s called Segera Retreat, and it’s situated in the heart of Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau, known as an important migratory corridor. Indeed, the facility was built specifically for wildlife viewing, but the owner has created a destination that offers much, much more. The eight villas are on a working cattle ranch, yet luxury is everywhere, from the oversized beds to the collection of local art, and from huge bathrooms to a restaurant known as the Wine Tower, stocked with more than 2,000 bottles — all from family-owned wineries in Africa. Info & Photo credit: http://www.segera.com
10. TIME TO TASTE — The dates have been announced for the 6th annual Taste of Tulalip, an annual celebration of wine, food and tradition held at the Tulalip Resort Casino, near Seattle. Award-winning guest chefs will prepare special meals, more than 120 wineries will pour their current releases, and there will be an array of wine seminars and cooking demonstrations. Info: http://www.tasteoftulalip.com