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Posts tagged ‘wine’

I need your help!

It’s almost four years since I first began my blogging journey. I left my secure job and set off in a camper van around Europe in search of tastes and experiences. Over the past four years I have been to some wonderful places – France, Spain, Portugal, Australia and of course, beautiful Lithuania. I have taken many, many beautiful photos – more than I could ever hope to share. Read more

Food Word of the Day: Agraffe

Getting a bit technical today, but haven’t you always wondered what that thing was called?! Read more

Food Word of the Day: Jeroboam

I’d imagine these are quite tricky to handle – a box with a tap on the side sounds easier to use. That said, I know quite a few people who would like their wine to come in one of these! Read more

Food Word of the Day: Riddle

We got to witness this process on our tour of the cellars at Taittinger while on our tour of Europe. You can see a video of the process showing the speed of the riddlers here. Read more

On the Way

I love a good road trip. I love wide, open spaces and diverse scenery. I would far sooner be in a car travelling through stunning countryside than on a city tour, no matter how beautiful the architecture. Some of the most surprising and spectacular sights are between places of interest rather than in them. These are some of my favourite “on the way” shots from our European road trip two summers ago. Taken in Rioja, Spain, within a 15 minute period, they demonstrate the enormous variety of landscapes in the region. Think we might be due another visit. Read more

Scale

Sometimes it’s hard to put your finger on why you prefer one thing over another – a place, a product, even people. Research has shown that when asked to explain our preferences we often unconsciously make stuff up. I love that idea. Perhaps it’s a kind of natural defence mechanism, to prevent us from looking weak or foolish in front of the rest of the herd. I digress… Read more

Zigzag

During our food tour last summer we got to visit Porto, home to one of my favourite tipples. After a boozy and interesting visit to Cockburn’s Port House we drove out through the Duoro Valley to see where the grapes were grown. I was fascinated to see the vines planned up the steep sides of the valley in a zigzag manner to make best use of fertile land in an inhospitable space. The result is stunningly beautiful. Read more

Turning 40

It wasn’t as bad as I expected. Actually, I’m not sure what I expected. I’ve been doing a countdown to my 40th birthday for about 2 years, wondering what “luxury item” I’d treat myself to for the occasion. A car was top of the list for a while – either a BMW or a 4-wheel drive. A new watch also featured – one of those fancy ones you see the tennis stars modelling in the glossies. In the end I opted for something with far more longevity than any of those items – I chose this life. Read more

On the Move

One of my favourite “on the move” shots from our trip around Europe last summer. You can just make out the “Europe on a shoestring” and “Wines of the world” books on the dashboard. We didn’t pass many other cars so I thought this one, plus the surrounding view, were noteworthy. Read more

New beginnings – a good life

Sometimes dreams really do come true. This time last year I was sitting in an office feeling exhausted and dejected, despite having just completed a major project. There was little or no thanks, no recognition of the tremendous effort required by all involved to complete the project on time. Instead, there was criticism and blame. The focus was on the 5% that was not complete rather than on the 95% that was fully complete and performing well above all expectations. Something was clear to me – I was in the wrong place. Read more

So, how was your trip?

Open roads, rugged mountains, wandering long-horned cows, winding river valleys, terraced vineyards, sparkling seas, ice lakes, snowy peaks, colourful markets, majestic cities – these are just some of the sights we encountered on our recent tour of Europe. Read more

Beyond Bristol Cream

I’ve always loved Port. It reminds me of Christmas, of overindulgence on Stilton and crackers, of spicy pudding and squabbles over Monopoly. Sherry, too, reminds me of Christmas. Someone would invariably give us a bottle of Bristol Cream, which would sit in the cupboard until some elderly neighbour came to visit and fancied a sip of the overly sweet syrup. Brandy (generally cognac) was always considered a luxury and was saved for very special occasions, sometimes mixed with a drop of port for added exorbitance. Read more

Tapas Hunting – from San Sebastián to Seville

Tapas bars are ubiquitous in Spain. A bit like the “chipper” back in Ireland, even the smallest towns and villages seem to have at least one tapas bar. Not only that, but they tend to be good quality. While some are undoubtedly better than others, I did not encounter a single tapa that I didn’t enjoy on my recent trip through Spain. From San Sebastian to Santiago and Seville to Antequera, all of our investigations met with positive results. Read more

A taste of things to come

After 76 days on the road we’ve decided to take a short break from our travels. Much as we’ve been enjoying ourselves, we have a few wrinkles we need to iron out to ensure we get the most from our experience. Read more

Ibérico Ham School – Day 2

We returned to La Posada the following morning for an enormous breakfast, full of Lucy’s homemade Andalucían delights, before setting off with Angel to an organic pig farm nearby. The farm is set in a huge oak forest (known as a “dehesa”) and has goats, ducks, geese and chickens as well as over one hundred black Iberian pigs. Read more

Tara Sparling writes

Book Humour. A Sideways Perspective on the Bonkers Business of Books

Julie Powell - Photographer & Graphic Artist

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I o a n a C i o c a n

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