Spirited traveller: Sourish Bhattacharyya.
vacation. Plan it now if you're the type who likes to chalk out your
holiday plans well in advance, this is the time to take a serious look
at options in California, which I insist has the most well-oiled system
of wine tourism in the world.
Californian Wine Whirl
You needn't be an oenophile to be able to appreciate the value of a wine vacation. Plan it now if you're the type who likes to chalk out your holiday plans well in advance, this is the time to take a serious look at options in California, which I insist has the most well-oiled system of wine tourism in the world.
California is the only wine region where you can take a hot-air balloon ride 2,000 feet over scenic vineyards and have a gourmet wine breakfast once you land on the ground (www.napavalleyballoons.com and www.up-away.com), or wear your hiking shoes and join Zephyr Adventures to discover the Sonoma County, starting with one-horse town Geyserville, which has some fine restaurants and a lot of vineyards to visit in the neighbourhood (www.zephyradventures.com).
I got all this gyn (plus valuable links) after reading up Stacy Slinkard on About.com. Of course, the best way to move around is to drive a rental car, but if you're not very comfortable with the left-hand drive, hop on to a Harley Fat Boy or a BMW R1200RT and zip through Napa Valley, breaking journey for well-deserved wine tastings and epicurean meals, including a cheese factory lunch (www.vineyardriders.com). Alternatively, you could choose to explore the back roads and byways on bicycle, on your own or in a group, by signing up with www.napavalleybiketours.com. Of course, people like me believe in letting others do the hard work. For our kind, too, options abound in California's wine country.
You could go on a winery tour, with barrel tastings and gourmet meals thrown in, perched comfortably in a horse-carriage (www.napavalleywinetours.com), or hop on to the Napa Valley Wine Train for a three-hour, 36-mile journey, which includes a white-tablecloth meal ($114 or $144 per person, depending on the coach (www.winetrain.com), or better still, take a shuttle from San Francisco's Ferry Building, get driven down the Golden Gate Bridge, go on a tasting tour through five of Napa Valley's wineries and end the experience with a ferry cruise down the Bay (www.winecountrytourshuttle.com).
If you love your Absolut, how about getting it wrapped in denim? Like all fashion statements, the idea germinated from a utilitarian need--keeping vodka at its ideal chilled temperature at a garden party or rooftop gathering without having to be dunked into a messy ice bath. Absolut teamed up with Brooklyn's hand-crafted denim designer, Loren Cronk, who explains that it's easier to dress a human being than drape a bottle, for an error of even one-16th of an inch can make Absolut's form-fitting deep blue indigo denim jacket (actually, it's a cooling skin) look ugly. Absolut Denim is an absolute must-have--it has a shelf life, as a showpiece, much after you've consumed its contents.
Pick of the month
A shot of Valour
The whisky business is all about reinvention and mythmaking to turn an alcoholic beverage into a cultural experience. And in the blink-and-you-miss-it world of airport retail, the pressure to tell stories is even greater, which explains why whiskies have to keep acquiring new identities. The Dalmore Valour, which you can pick up from Qatar Duty Free, celebrates the rescue of the King of Scots, Alexander III, from a charging 12-horned stag by an ancestor of the Clan Mackenzie in 1263. Of course, it's another matter that the Highlands whisky has nothing to do with the clan--it is owned by Whyte & Mackay.
The honey side up
Honey-flavoured scotch whisky is the new rage in the US and Bacardi, according to The Spirits Business, is the latest alcobev giant to cash in on the trend with Dewar's Highlander Honey, which is slated for an April release. It follows Jim Beam Honey (Beam Inc.), Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey (Brown-Forman) and Wild Turkey American Honey (Campari), whose market share ballooned last year, prompting speculation of a major copycat effect.
The area in square metres of the world's largest duty-free mall opening in early 2014 in the Chinese resort city of Sanya in the Hainan province, which received over 33.2 million tourists last year.
Sourish Bhattacharyya writes on food and drink. Mail your questions for him to firstname.lastname@example.org Reproduced From India Today Travel Plus. Copyright 2013. LMIL. All rights reserved.
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