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

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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

Rainy-day Oregon pinot noirs

Oh spring. You are such a tease. Last week, it was 26 degrees Celsius (let me translate that for my American readers: 79 degrees Fahrenheit), which is amazingly warm for April in Ottawa. I even biked to work for the first time this season, and it was glorious! But this morning when I woke up, it was cloudy and cold, and when I let the dog out, I kid you not it was freezing rain. Really, spring? Really?? Come ON!

Rainy Day

For the purpose of this post, let’s just pretend it’s still beautiful and sunny, like spring is not holding out on us. Continue reading

Intro to Bordeaux: an afternoon with Dourthe

On a beautiful, spring sunny day, I headed to the Andaz Hotel in Ottawa’s Byward Market for an exciting afternoon of wine tasting with Dourthe, a long-standing Bordeaux winery which prides itself on excellence and quality achieved by respecting the land. Established in 1840, the winery owns nine gorgeous châteaux in the Bordeaux region, each representing a distinct sense of place, i.e. terroir.

Continue reading