Food, Wine, Travel Magazine—The ABC Issue

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July 2020

the ABC issue

letter from the editor It’s the end of July, and I can tell you that between the pandemic and everything else going on in the world and my life, I am tired and anxious to travel again. I imagine that most of you feel the same way. Since most of us will not be traveling in the near future, I thought it might be fun to ask our writers to come up with a letter-related food, wine, or travel item to share with you. I’m hoping that it will inspire you to check out a variety of places, foods, and wines that you might not otherwise think about. Let us introduce you to a number of different wines from around the world and to foods that will make your mouth water. Of course, we will take you to places in Canada, the US, Spain, France, and Africa. We’ll show you that xenophila is the antidote to some of the distrust in the world, introduce you to a James Beard Awardwinning chef, and tell you where you can find some natural healing vortexes in the desert southwest. We even have some ideas if you are still quarantining or socially distancing during this difficult time. I do hope that by the time our next issue comes out in September that we will be able to start planning travel again. Until then, stay safe. Cheers!

Chris Christine Cutler Executive Editor

Christine Cutler | Executive Editor Amy Piper | Issue Editor Debbra Dunning Brouilette | AssociateEditor Noreen Kompanik | Associate Editor Irene Levine | Assistant Editor Jan Smith | Assistant Editor, Columns Robyn Nowell | Marketing Manager Paula Schuck | Marketing

Editorial Board

Debbra Dunning Brouilette David Drotar Mary Farah Kurt Jacobson Irene Levine

David Nershi Robyn Nowell Amy Piper Jan Smith

Contributing Writers/Photographers Debbra Dunning Brouillette MaryRose Denton Diane Dobry Mary Farah Betsi Hill Noreen Kompanik Debi Lander Linda Milks Nancy Mueller Robyn Nowell Amy Piper Valerie Fortney Schneider Cori Solomon

Christine Cutler MaryAnn Desantis Robin Dohrn-Simpson Joeann Fossland M’Liss Hinshaw Sharon Kurtz Irene Levine Lisa Morales David Nershi Rose Palmer Paula Schuck Jan Smith Lori Sweet

All articles & photographs are copyright of writer unless otherwise noted. No part of this publication may be reproduced without express written permission. Magazine Layout & Design Christine Cutler

Contact On the cover: Old neon letters Photo courtesy of

Editor: IFWTWA: Marketing: Visit our website:

Food, Wine, Travel Magazine is an official publication of the International Food, Wine, Travel Writers Association.



Arancini By Sharon Kurtz


icilian street food at its best, arancini are fried balls of risotto, crunchy on the outside and soft and savory on the inside. They are said to have originated in Sicily in the 10th century during Arab rule, later made popular by the working man as the ideal traveling meal. The traditional arancini come in two main variations: the first is round in shape and filled with a ragu sauce of meat, mozzarella, and peas. The second is called al burro (with butter), pear-shaped and filled with diced mozzarella and prosciutto. There is a gender dilemma that has been a problem for decades behind Sicily's most

iconic snack. Those living on the eastern side of the island (Catania) use the masculine name of arancini, whereby residents of the western part (Palermo) advocate for the feminine form, arancine, when referring to the fried delicacy. Today, residents in Palermo keep the original round shape and preserve their Arab roots by adding saron to the rice. The arancine in Catania evolved into a cone to represent Mount Etna, the volcano rising above the eastern coast. Whatever the name or origins, I think we can all agree that they are simply delicious.


ho would have guessed that San Diego has an urban beekeeping program?

Travis Wolfe of Bee Leaf USA’s Urban Bee Keeping Program launched this innovative and unique enterprise five years ago on the rooftop of the Marriott Marquis Marina. Travis was working at the hotel when he proposed the urban beekeeping program to produce property-sourced honey along with vitally important pollinization for local vegetation. Marriott jumped on it. The program not only addresses the area’s falling bee population but also proves sustainability can occur even in an urban setting. The bee population consists of two roof-top hives housing 150,000 to 350,000 industrious pollinators. Bees produce honeycombs that are harvested twice a year. Honey production has been a boom to Marriott’s unique site-specific libations. Since 2015, the hotel has served three honey beers on property thanks to a collaboration with local breweries, Port Brewing and Monkey Paw. Master Distiller Ken Lee from Malahat Spirits developed a process of “honey aging” whiskey to produce the first-ever proprietary sourced distilled spirit. A honey-infused rum is next, and Marriott’s signature restaurant, Marina Kitchen, uses honey in its offerings. Other San Diego hotels have expressed an interest in the program, especially after the program contributed to the hotel’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) global certification. This prestigious award highlights eco-friendly businesses highlighting their significant accomplishments in environmental responsibility and efficient use of resources.

Beekeeping’s ABuzz in the City By Noreen Kompanik



u'a vist Paris, se noun a vist Cassis, pou dire: n'ai rèn vist." (He who has seen Paris, and who has not seen Cassis, can say…I have seen nothing.”) - Frédéric Mistral, Nobel Prize laureate. I’ve been to both, and a gree. Cassis (pronounced Kasi), is one of those small Provencal villages that easily becomes a favorite. The village is located less than a twenty-minute drive from Marseille and is considered a lesser-known wine region. There are twelve wineries to enjoy. Clos Sainte Magdeleine is a 15-minute walk up the hill from the heart of town. The winery specializes in white and rosé wines certified organic. A breathtaking panoramic view of

the Mediterranean from the winer y’s backyard is a must. A walk through the numerous alleyways of fragrant open-air markets and the famous La Tarte Tropézienne Cassis; a delicious brioche topped with a blend of creams and sprinkled with sugar, are not to be missed. Cassis’ crescent-shaped harbor offers gorgeous beaches and pastel buildings housing outdoor cafes, boutique retail, and inns. Cassis can be a day trip, but a few days is optimum for experiencing al l of its charisma.

C Cassis, France By Jan Smith

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taly is known for many things, especially its culinary wonders. Who hasn’t swooned over that first taste of spaghetti cacio e pepe? But all that wonderful food is sullied if you end up moaning with indigestion. That’s why Italians have the digestivo. Alcoholic herbal brews appear at the end of meals to aid the gastric process along, and Italians swear by them. Most digestivi are created using various wild weeds, each specific blend aimed at aiding digestion. The tradition dates back centuries when certain monastic orders made elixirs for health remedies, all based on herbs, flowers, and plant essences extracted with alcohol. The herbs are mostly bitter, which is why they’re often called "amaro" (bitter), so the concoctions are frequently highly sugared to make them more palatable. The waiter will ask you "Vuoi un'amaro?" Limoncello is perhaps the best known digestive liqueur, but grappa and amari are also popular. In my region of Basilicata, it is Amaro Lucano that comes to the rescue. The blend of 30 herbs has been a southern staple since 1894; it earned the producer, Pasquale Vena, knighthood for his digestive accomplishment. Enjoy your pasta, and then enjoy a digestivo.



Elvis Experience By MaryAnn DeSantis


lvis Presley’s Memphis provides the ultimate Elvis Experience.

If it’s been years since you visited Elvis Presley’s Graceland, things have changed — not so much with the Colonial Revival-style mansion itself, but with the 40 acres across the street where the Elvis Presley’s Memphis attraction sits. After all, the home will always look the way it did when Elvis died in 1977 because fans have a burning love for the place and want it to remain the way the king of rock ‘n’ roll left it. Although Graceland always will be the crown jewel, the $45 million, 200,000-square-foot entertainment complex, open since 2017, provides a look at Elvis’ life from his lean years as a U.S. Army private to his extensive car collection, including his pink 1955 Cadillac and 1975 Dino Ferrari. The attraction’s cornerstone is “Elvis: The Entertainer,” an entire section dedicated to Elvis’ music, movies, and live touring career. Some visitors may get all shook up at the admission price for the Elvis Experience Tour, but the exhibits and archives are so extensive that they get their money’s worth —especially if they grew up loving Elvis. Admission for Elvis Presley’s Memphis begins at $63 and includes a tour of Graceland and as much time as you want at the entertainment complex. Admission for Graceland alone is $42.50, but if you’ve made the journey to Memphis you might as well experience it all.

Fresh Florida



By Betsi Hill

ith miles of deep indigo water teeming with sea life just minutes from shore, fresh seafood makes an appearance on menus across the state of Florida.


prime location on the Intracoastal Waterway in Ft. Lauderdale and close proximity to deep water offshore fishing, what you eat at the Secret Garden tonight was swimming in the ocean that morning.

Crab Beignets at Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen, Key West—these luscious, light, crab filled delights will make your mouth happy! With a smattering of Old Bay seasoning and bit of lemon for a tangy taste bite, this dish is a must try when visiting Key West.

Latin Fusion at—De La Vega is all about fresh tasty food, with a Latin twist. And nothing is better than De La Vega’s Hibiscus tacos. These tacos use hibiscus flowers that have a tangy, slightly spicy taste that will make your taste buds jump for joy.

Key Lime Everything at Kermit’s Key Lime Shop, Key West —The best for that delicious dessert that Florida is known for - Key Lime Pie! Kermit’s has expanded, and is in Key West, DeLand, and online.

Conch Chowder at 12A Buoy, Fort Pierce±—We all know those little hole in wall restaurants that serve up some incredible food. In Fort Pierce, that hole in the wall is 12A Buoy. One of our 12A favorites is their “Miami Vice” chowder which melds the subtle creaminess of New England clam chowder with the flavorful spiciness of Bahamian conch chowder. One bite and you’ll be in heaven!

Farm-to-table and Ocean-to-table at the Secret Garden / Pillars Hotel, Ft. Lauderdale—Chef Youssef Hammi believes that “food is what brings people together.” He strives to use locally sourced produce, meats, and fresh caught seafood. With a

Granada’s Top Two Romantic Spots By Lisa Morales


ranada deserves to be more than a jaunt to the Alhambra. Plan a few nights to escape from the more populated areas of Spain and enjoy fine wine and food, fresh air, and a little romance! Situated away from busy Granada Centro and in a picturesque area called the Albaicín, you’ll find Paseo de los Tristes. The narrow streets of this World Heritage Site widen into a paved area where you’ll find restaurants with patios and an artisan market on Saturdays. Reserve a table at night and enjoy stunning views of the Alhambra lit up while being serenaded by the Darro River’s gentle ripples or a strolling flamenco guitarist. In two visits to Ruta del Azafrán restaurant, I tried many dishes that pay homage to the prized Saffron that

among other benefits, is a mood elevator. Musthaves are the Apple and Goat Cheese Mille-Feuille with Pedro Ximénez Reduction; Grilled Salmon with Saffron Sauce; and Chicken Couscous—all pair well with the Cava offered on Ruta del Azafrán’s choice wine list. At La Silla del Moro (Moor’s Chair), enjoy a vigorous nature hike and upon reaching the top, be rewarded with the best 360-degree views of Granada. The remaining walls of the Generalife military outpost offer a nice ledge to sit on. For romance on a budget, add a bottle of Rioja and Jamón Ibérico to your backpack, enjoy the Andalucian sunset, and make memories to last a lifetime.



hale hale means home By Joeann Fossland


ale is the Hawaiian word for home.

The traditional Hawaiian hale was a thatched dwelling made from sustainable materials. Long wooden poles, often olonā wood, were notched and tied with string or rope. Sweet scented pili grass most often was used for the thatching, although sometimes Lauhala (Pandanus leaves) or ti leaf bundles called pe’a were used. The bundles of grass were then overlapped from bottom to top with the only opening being the door. Through the years, the meaning of hale has been expanded to refer to be general term for a home. You’ll see the term used as part of the name of a residence or other lodging. The boutique Bed and Breakfast, Hale 'Ohu, is an example of this usage. A modern day hale experience existed at the historic Kona Village Resort. A favorite retreat of Steve Jobs and other celebrities, this idyllic resort offered 125 individual hales spread over 81 acres on the west shore of the island of Hawaii. Sadly, It was destroyed in the 2011 tsunami. Now owned by Kennedy Wilson and being developed by Rosewood Resorts, it is scheduled to reopen in 2022 with 150 gorgeous standalone hales. Think of a hale as the original tiny home!



We all scream for ice cream By M’Liss Hinshaw


is for Ice Cream. It’s delectable and delicious. Versatile and always satisfying. Ice cream is good when you’re sick, depressed, happy or celebrating. I’ve eaten my share of ice cream and even made it myself according to the seasons. Lemon for the summer, pumpkin for the fall, pistachio for the winter and vanilla for spring. I’ve come to love the Italian ice creams, semifreddo as well as gelato. My friends and I like ice cream when its dripping down a cone and when scooped frozen on apple pie. There is an ice cream for everyone, low fat and high fat, plain or added bits like chucks of chocolate. Ice cream knows no age boundaries. It is one of the first creamy sweets little ones associate the rest of their life with a comfort food. When traveling in your community or on a trip, there’s ice cream around the corner. The day becomes brighter and life looks good one scoop at a time.

James Beard Award Winner By Nancy Mueller


or anyone versed in the culinary arts, the name “James Beard” is synonymous with quintessential American cuisine. Beard’s gastronomical flair reflected his roots in the Pacific Northwest together with his lifelong love affair of European travel, especially in France, which called for cooking with the best, freshest ingredients prepared simply. Today’s non-profit James Beard Foundation, honors the visionary chef, teacher, and mentor by celebrating outstanding leaders “making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.” To receive a prestigious James Beard Award signifies the highest level of culinary achievement as a chef, restaurateur, or humanitarian, among its list of recognized categories. Industry experts also recognize celebrated chefs by invitation to “perform” at the prestigious James Beard House, now the official headquarters of the James Beard Foundation. Considering James Beard’s roots in the Pacific Northwest, it seems only fitting that the region boasts its own share of award-winning restaurants and chefs. Take Seattle-based restaurateur, Ethan Stowell, for instance, whose culinary achievements include several James Beard Award nominations, like “Best Chef Northwest” in 2011 and “Outstanding Restaurateur” as a semi-finalist for several consecutive years. Currently, Stowell serves on Holland America Line’s Culinary Council where he features the fresh flavors of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. To watch Chef/CEO Ethan in action, click here.


Kingston, Ontario, Canada By Lori Sweet



s Canada’s first capital, Kingston is a city with hundreds of years of history. With a population of over 100,000 and located midway between Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, it’s a great place to visit for a day or a week or more. Are you a foodie? One of the things Kingstonians (locals) and visitors alike may have a hard time deciding is where to eat. There are more than 400 eateries to choose from, most of which are locally owned and operated, using locally sourced products. Do you consider yourself a history or art buff? Known as Canada’s museum capital, there are 20 museums and national historical sites, including Fort Henry, a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are 15 art galleries, including one with a collection of three Rembrandts. Do you love being around water? Whether you like to be in the water swimming or scuba diving or on the water canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, or enjoying one many boating activities, you will never find yourself far from the water when visiting Kingston. No matter how long you stay in this familyfriendly destination, The Limestone City, YGK or K-town, as Kingston, Ontario, is sometimes called, has something for everyone.

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Lobster By Amy Piper


ith over 8264 miles of coastline, Nova Scotia yields one of the world’s most abundant lobster fishing grounds.

To honor this wealth, Nova Scotia’s South Shore Lobster Crawl celebrates everything lobster— rolls, chowder, pizza, fondue, and even beer. In addition to delivering a cornucopia of lobster dishes, the South Shore Lobster Crawl offers a variety of unique lobster experiences for the travelers’ enjoyment. Mahone Bay’s Saltbox Brewing brews a lobster beer, Crustacean Elation, as part of the festivities. Capt. Kat’s Lobster Shack serves award-winning lobster rolls in Barrington, the Lobster Capital of Canada. At Fo’c’sle Tavern Chef Scott Youden’s specialty is the lobster chowder garnished with a lobster claw. To learn about the lobster’s journey from the ocean floor to your table, spend the morning on a working lobster fishing boat, an activity arranged by White Point Beach Resort. From the fishing vessel, many lobsters find their way to a lobster pound where they’re sorted, tubed, and shipped. Explore Fisher Direct’s Lobster Facility to see first-hand how it happens. While you can experience lobster year-round in Nova Scotia, visit the South Shore throughout February for unique lobster offerings available only during Lobster Crawl.

Müller Thurgau By Cori Solomon


üller Thurgau represents one of Italy and Germany’s unique white grapes. Hermann Müller developed the grape variety in 1882 in the Swiss Canton of Thurgau. The grape propagates best in Germany, Austria, and Northern Italy. Today it is the second-largest planted grape in Germany. It also grows very well on the hilly slopes in the Alto Adige region of northern Italy. The grape is a cross between Riesling and Madeleine Royale. In Austria, the variety is known as Rivaner. The variety ripens early and yields more fruit than Riesling, needs less sun and more rain.


In the 1970s, most producers created an uneventful sweet wine that went out of fashion. Today its resurgence has winemakers producing a lovely light dry wine. One often finds the wine displays herbal aromatic aromas along with a bouquet of florals accented by citrus type fruits as well as hints of stone fruit. The wine also exhibits a crisp, bright, and refreshing qualities. The grapes flavor profile includes stone fruit, lemon, and lime. Müller Thurgau makes an ideal summer wine that lends itself to complimenting chicken, fish, or a charcuterie board and pairs especially well with cheese. The wine goes well with or without food.


New Mexico Wines By Linda Milks


f you love wine, you will appreciate New Mexico wines. After all, New Mexico is home to the first wine region in the United States. Grapes were brought from Europe and planted in 1629 along the banks of the Rio Grande by monks for sacramental wine. Wine growing in New Mexico has had its ups and downs, but in 1978 a study encouraged winegrowers to grow heritage grapes and to work with Italian, Spanish, and French growers to create hybrid grape varieties. The high altitude for growing is part of the reason for New Mexico’s success. Today there are over 50 wineries and tasting rooms. Some examples of fine wineries in New Mexico are the following. Vivac Winery produces a wonderful Nebbiolo wine, a medium bodied red wine reminiscent of a Pinot Noir. Luna Rossa Winery makes Nini, a wine from seven Italian grape varietals with a predominance of Dolcetto and pairs well with a hearty dish. Noisy Water Winery offers a Montepulciano with soft tannins that pairs well with turkey kabobs. Of course, the winery best known in this region is Gruet Winery, home to sparkling wines and loved by top sommeliers. All of these wines can be ordered online. As they say in New Mexico, “Viva Vino.”


es, by all means, take the trolley and explore what was the outskirts of downtown San Diego in the 1800s.

San Diego’s history is inextricably intertwined with the first nation Kumeyaay Indians, the Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo, Father Junipero Serra and the first California mission in the 1700s. Eventually San Diego became a pueblo, adopting Spanish and Mexican cultures that are honored and celebrated in current day. Today there are three historic parks, many museums, 32 restaurants, 10 hotels, a theater, boutiques, a cemetery with markers on the street, and the Whaley House, a genuine haunted house that stands silently watching over San Diego Avenue. It has been a courthouse, a theater, a

museum, a general store and a home. Can you feel the spirit of Yankee Jim, who was hanged in the courtyard in 1852, or the presence of Mrs. Whaley breezing through on her way to fulfill a household chore? Join a ghost tour and see other haunted sites. Not into spooks? Then relax in the plaza. Visit the miniature railroad village. Sip a strawberry or mango margarita, some as big as a bird bath if necessary, while listening to the mariachis. Enjoy a Mexican dance show in the Fiesta de Reyes. Walk the avenue and watch women making tortillas by hand. They smile and of course, you go in for a taco. Two tacos? Another margarita? Why not, you’re in Old Town San Diego.

Old Town San Diego By Robin Dohrn-Simpson



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e offer local, vegan, and organic food straight from the earth,” reads the sign of Café Wylde in Everett, Washington. It is a late February day and uncommonly dry for the Pacific Northwest. I stand on the sidewalk and wait for my friend to arrive for our late afternoon dinner. Both of us just had birthdays, and this is our celebration together. Knowing I am vegetarian, she suggested a “plant-based” restaurant. This may conjure a picture of tie-dyed hippies with long hair and Birkenstocks serving behind the counter, but today “plant-based” diets reach across many demographics. There are several derivations for the term, “plantbased,” encompassing diets which exclude red meat to the more commonly associated vegan diet. It is the latter which most people may think of when seeing this description on a menu. Wikipedia says it this way, “a diet consisting mostly or entirely of foods derived from plants, including vegetables,

grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, and with few or no animal products.” People may choose “plant-based” diet for a variety of reasons. Ethical, environmental, and health are usually the most common reasons leading someone to alter their food habits. At Café Wylde, they encourage that extra leap of health by using locally sourced, organic ingredients. Keeping it local reduces the carbon footprint as well as ensures the highest nutrient value because the produce is picked daily, from the field to your table. Along with creative and delicious main dishes, there are a variety of healthy teas, smoothies, and fresh juices all prepared in house and on the spot at Café Wylde. The women who dreamed this vision also incorporate gratitude as their motivation behind the scenes. Gratitude for the planet, its abundance, but most of all for the support of customers celebrating their birhdays.

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Quarantine Travel Fixes By Diane Dobry

ravelers and the tourism industry were forced to rethink the idea of global adventures as the whole world went into lockdown in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the real world quickly went virtual. Travel-focused social media posts shared destination photos as a way to “armchair travel.” Favorite songs in various native tongues were posted, and travel book lists offered ways to hit the road while self-isolating.


Some rocked a staycation--stargazing and backyard camping, taking advantage of binge-fests on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, or just enjoying nighttime talk shows produced on Zoom. Time at home ignited a slew of creative activities—including baking bread, coloring, making face masks, and sharing virtual dinners, as comedian Jim Gaffigan did nightly with his family of five children, or enjoying everyday Italians singing and dancing on their balconies.

Virtual experiences showed up online featuring tours of places such as New York City, U.S. National Parks, or the Eiffel Tower, and one site covered webcams all over the world. Museums, like the Louvre, Budapest’s Műcsarnok-Kunsthalle, and New York City Museums, could be visited from home. Online symphonies and operas, as well as other musical performances, were also available.

Though quarantine denoted a global crisis, this time of staying safe by staying home was a unique place in time, a pop-up occurrence of sorts—unplanned, unexpected, and never again to be experienced in quite the same way. Fortunately, there was internet.



aris has long been seen as the place to visit to fulfill your gastronomic dreams no matter what level you dream, and fresh produce markets can be traced back to the fifth century, with Rungis opening in 1969. Rungis Markets are the largest wholesale market in the world. At 234 hectares/573 acres, these remarkable markets are the modern-day replacement for the famed Les Halles Paris market. Situated 20 minutes-drive from Paris, divided into five areas—fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood, dairy, and gastronomy and horticulture—the market is an experience you will not forget. Partake in a unique experience you will never forget and tour the market. The markets are open from 1:00 am with tours beginning at 4:30 am. As you make your way through the various areas, you’ll note that

the variety is almost overwhelming. Whist 50 percent of the produce is from France, 50 percent is from every other corner of the world, and all are on display in the one location. It is an amazing sight and a gourmand’s dream. For a complete experience, enjoy a Rungissian breakfast at one of the 17 restaurants on site. Generally served at around 8:00 am, which is towards the end of the working day for many, it will not be your predictable breakfast. Wine will flow, and steak, sausages and meat products of every description will abound. Read more on Rungis Markets

Rungis Markets By Robyn Nowell



San Sebastian, Spain By Irene Levin


an Sebastian is located in Basque Country in northern Spain—a region with its own language, customs and culture. The destination first became popular as a summer playground for royalty but is best known now for its international film festival that draws celebrities from around the world. After Anthony Bourdain filmed a TV segment there, the city experienced a rapid tourism boom, especially among culinary travelers intrigued by the city’s food and wine scene that includes 11 Michelin-starred restaurants. The cobblestone streets of Old Town are filled with more than 180 pinxtos bars where locals gather over small snacks (called pintxos) and sip traditional drinks such as cider, local wine called Txakoli, and renowned wines from the nearby Rioja Valley. San Sebastian’s geography and architecture are also compelling: The city sits on the dramatic Bay of Biscay where waves crash up against the rocky shoreline as beachgoers laze on one of three sandy beaches (the most visually spectacular, the shell-shaped La Concha Beach) or participate in water sports. San Sebastian’s charms are best experienced on foot, especially along the coastal promenade lined with bars and restaurants. Visitors can plan day tours to local small cheese and wine producers, to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, and to the French portion of Basque Country just across the border. Luxury travelers will want to stay at Hotel Maria Cristina, a city landmark constructed in Belle-Epoque style, that offers spectacular service and every modern amenity.


ahiti has its own wine? Yes, surprisingly, it does! Vin de Tahiti is produced from grapes grown in the heart of the South Pacific. The vineyard is on Rangiroa in the Tuamotus chain of coral atolls. Since the soil largely consists of coral from the surrounding reefs, they sometimes informally call it the “coral wine.” Soil from Tahiti and natural compost, including seaweed and vine canes from pruning, enhanced the terrior. The Dominique Auroy Winery is named for its owner, a French businessman who imported the vines from France and Italy in 1992. Winemaker Sébastien Thépénier, a native of the Burgundy region of France, lives on Rangiroa and oversees the vineyards and production of the wine. A natural fresh water source waters the grapes using drip irrigation. Since there is no winter on Rangiroa, a pruning process provokes the vines to form new buds, making it possible to harvest grapes in both May and December. Twelve hours of daily sunlight contributes to its character and complexity. The winery produces four varieties—three whites and a rosé: Blanc de corail, Blanc Moelleux, Clos du récif (a white white made from red grapes), and Rosé Nacarat (from a blend of white and red grapes). Annual distribution of its 30,000+ cases is limited to French Polynesia, France, New Caledonia, Luxembourg, Germany, and Bulgaria. If your travel plans take you to Rangiroa, you may visit the winery and tasting room, or arrange a private vineyards tour by contacting Sébastien Thépénie at


Tah!i Wine By Debbra Dunning Brouillette


Ultimate Safari Memories By Debi Lander


y ultimate safari memories don’t arise from a luxury glamping tent, the lantern-lit bush dinner, or my favorite photos. Rather, my most profound memories come simply from watching the wildlife interact within their native habitat.

Like most international passengers, I arrived in Nairobi, the capital. The next day I visited David Sheldrick’s famed Elephant Orphanage seeing close-up views of rescued elephants drinking from a bottle and one fella joyfully playing in the mud. Eventually, this facility moves the elephants to another shelter to allow them a gradual introduction with a wild herd. As a fan of the book and movie Out of Africa, I was thrilled to tour the former African home of author Karen Blixen at the foot of the Ngong Hills. I felt like a cast member walking on the set. But, my stay in Sweetwater’s Tent Camp. one of Kenya’s wildlife preserves, brought me heart-stopping sunrise and late afternoon game drives. Guests ride in safari vans hoping for a glimpse of the big five: elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and water buffalo. For me, the sight of a huddle of baby lions, baboons frolicking in trees, a parade of rhinos, and a grisly kill became images now are etched deep into my brain. You can’t visit Africa and return home without a greater love of wildlife and connection to Mother Nature.


V Courtesy: Visit Sedona


By Mary Farah

Courtesy: Visit Sedona


ach year, over four million people visit Sedona to experience a vortex, a mass of whirling fluid or air that many believe holds special healing energy and spiritual awakening. While Sedona itself is a vortex, four particular places have the highest energy "crackles." These special places emanate energy in different amounts, and each visitor has a unique interaction with it. Airport Mesa is very accessible and central to town, while Cathedral Rock offers the most strenuous hike. For a moderate mile trail, many seek out Bell Rock. To actually reach out and touch a vortex, head to Boynton Canyon. Although guided tours of the vortexes are available, anyone can explore the area on their own. Imagine contemplating life under the shade of spiral-trunk juniper trees with breathtaking views of wildflowers and red rock formations. It’s no wonder one feels closer to nature and rejuvenated after a visit to the vortex.



Wyoming By Paula Schuck


ith more space than people, Wyoming is ideal for travelers who want to reconnect with nature. Visit a dude ranch, explore western history or embrace hiking, white water rafting and skiing while marveling at the wide-open plains and endless topaz skies. Wyoming is a perfect spot to retreat to when you crave a break, or when you need to connect with the outdoors in a meaningful way. In fact, with a mere 500,000 people, the antelope outnumber humans! That’s refreshing. Historically, Wyoming was the gateway to the west, so countless settlers passed through the trails and mountain ranges here to get to the states they’d eventually settle in Idaho, California, or Oregon. Visit Cody Wyoming at the gateway to Yellowstone and tour the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. If you visit Wyoming, one of your first or last stops should be America’s first national park. Yellowstone National Park is a geothermal paradise and an active volcano. Don’t miss Old Faithful, Biscuit Basin, the Lamar Valley and also Mammoth Hot Springs and Terraces.


am second-generation American and grew up where the people do not speak English, where I in a multi-cultural household. Because my know no one, where life and food are so different. parents were of different ethnic backgrounds, I learned to appreciate the There is a boundlessness differences in food, culture, and xenophilia[ zen-uh-fil-ee-uh, zee-nuh- ] of human kindness and customs of both. I lived an love throughout the American life spiced with the noun world, and most people histories of my grandparents. are willing to share parts an attraction to foreign peoples, of their lives and cultures. cultures, or customs.
 It was when I was in college, Strangers have invited me though, that I fell in love with the into their homes for diversity of the world. A Spanish espresso and biscotti; major, I spent a semester in Saltillo, Mexico, others made pasta with me in their kitchens. In completely immersed in the colors, flavors, sounds Barcelona, we’ve joined crowds cheering the of a world so different from mine. Once I returned gigantes and castellars and dancing the Sardana. I home, I could not wait to travel and experience could go on, but the point is that the people, not the other cultures. I didn’t realize it then, but that first beaches or churches or museums, that are the trip out of the country turned me into a xenophiliac. cultural foundation of a place. It took time, but over the past 20 years I have been able to travel to dozens of countries. While I’ve spent generally a day or two in most of them, I’ve lived in others—especially Italy. People often ask me how I can not be afraid of living in a place

I think most travel writers would tell you the same thing: To experience a place, you must embrace and celebrate its culture and customs. Once you do that, you’ll fall in love with the world.

Xenophilia By

X Christine Cutler


ant to travel in Canada’s Yukon but not sure how to do it? The easiest way is to do it as an Alaskan cruise shore excursion for a day from Skagway, Alaska to Carcross, Yukon. The cruise ship shore excursion desk will most likely have several options, but it is easy enough and much more scenic to do it on your own. If you have a very long day in port in Skagway, rent a car and drive the 1.5 hour route on the Klondike Highway to Carcross and grab lunch there. On the way you’ll drive through a dense coastal forest as you climb up to the stunning White Horse Pass near the US-Canada border. Then the scenery changes to rocky glacial carved opal blue lakes ringed by distant peaks. It is one of the most beautiful drives you’ll ever get the chance to take and you’ll be glad that you got to do it twice as you drive to Carcross and then back again to Skagway. Just be sure to remember your passport for the border crossings.



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Zinfandel By Dave Nershi, CSW


infandel is considered an All-American grape. It does not originate in France, unlike most of the famed international grape varieties. Until recently is was California’s mystery grape, with its origin unknown.

In 2001, DNA profiling by University of California at Davis unraveled Zinfandel’s secret. Zinfandel is genetically identical to Crljenak Kastelanski, an ancient Croatian variety, and Italy’s Primitivo. Despite these international roots, American winegrowers cultivate it differently and winemakers have a style different from that in Europe. This gives “Zin” its own particular flavor profile. The Zinfandel name is truly American with the earliest documented use of the name in America in 1832. During the Gold Rush, California miners slaked their thirst with Zinfandel. It thrived in the state’s soil and climate and became the most widely planted red grape in California until Cabernet Sauvignon surpassed it in 1998. Zinfandel has medium tannins and satisfying flavors that range from blackberry, raspberry, boysenberry, cherry, as well as black pepper, cloves, anise, and herbs. The Lodi AVA has some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in California, something that delights Zin fanatics. Very old vines produce relatively little fruit concentrating the vine's efforts into fewer grapes of great flavor and intensity. Lodi is the self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of the World producing over 40 percent of California’s premium Zinfandel

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