Wine and chocolate in the Caribbean

Hello friends!

It’s that time of year again when I resurface from a hiatus!! We are nearing the end of our sailing season in the Caribbean. It has been a great winter of island hopping, hosting friends on board and enjoying a slower, simpler kind of life.

But all good things must come to an end, and our time in the Caribbean is no exception. And there is nothing more depressing for a cruiser than watching your boat come out of the water. Except maybe knowing that you are flying home to subzero temperatures and snow still on the ground. And then I seriously question all my life choices. And consume a vast amount of chocolate. And (obviously) drink wine. And that helps a bit. 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

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

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