Wining in Valpolicella: an afternoon with Bertani

Since returning from our year off, I have had many people tell me how much they hated me in the past year. And that hurts! But I get it – all they saw was pictures of beautiful European capitals, amazing food and drink, sailing with dolphins, then an endless camera roll of beautiful white sandy beaches, palm trees, happy-hour cocktails and Caribbean sunsets. I am sure that it all got pretty old when it was -20 in the middle of February. But the tables have turned, and now I am the one being tormented by my own photos. Every day, my social media feeds remind me that One Year Ago, I was somewhere amazing. Continue reading

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Have you tried this affordable bubbly red wine? The lowdown on Lambrusco.

Hello my wine-loving friends!

I know it must be a shock to see Wining with Mel re-appearing out of the blue like this after such a long absence. Five months, to be exact. Rest assured that despite the lack of posts, you have not left my thoughts. I have been battling a heavy dose of guilt for not writing. Did you think of me a little while I was gone?

It goes without saying that coming back to the “real world” after a year off – first traipsing around Europe, then sailing around the Caribbean – has been a bit of an adjustment. I have gone from a completely unstructured life on a boat to being back in an office 5 days a week. I have gone from wearing flips flops or going barefoot to donning high heels. Continue reading

French kiss: a glimpse into the food and wine of Languedoc

Languedoc. Land of three kisses. Everyone knows that the French greet each other with kisses on the cheek. However, the French kissing custom can garner intense confusion for visiting foreigners. Like a secret code that only locals are privy to, the number of kisses exchanged varies based on geography, ranging anywhere from 1 to 5 (!!) kisses. Continue reading

Wining in Portugal

Hello friends!

For those of you who haven’t been to Portugal, you should go. It is an amazing country with something for everyone: friendly locals, a crazy selection of UNESCO world heritage sites, beautiful beaches, amazing seafood (which makes sense given its 1,794 km or 1,115 mi of coastline), and delicious and affordable wines. So affordable in fact, that on our first night in Lisbon, we ordered a 7-euro glass of wine. But when the server arrived with our order, we realized that the price was for the whole bottle! Of course, I was immediately smitten with Portugal. I don’t think we paid more than 10 euros for a bottle the whole week we were there. Continue reading

One last time before I go

Friends!

It has been quite a whirlwind since my last post, which seems like a lifetime ago. The last four weeks have included my last day of work, packing up the entire house, last-minute arrangements for the logistics of life and home ownership in our absence, trying to fit everything I need into a carry-on bag (yes, we are going to do 2 months in Europe with only carry-on), many teary goodbyes with loved ones, and not surprisingly, lots of wine. Continue reading