Spoleto

By Catherine | On Oct 1, 2013 | No Comments

Saturday’s day trip was to Spoleto, home of the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, conceived by Gian-Carlo Menotti in 1958. Charleston is home to the US version of the famous music festival. Spoleto is an ancient city built high on a hillside, dating back to 240 B.C.  Today, the city is accessed via a series of escalators that easily take…

On to Umbria

By Catherine | On Sep 30, 2013 | No Comments

Thursday we said goodbye to the Villa Montecastello and headed east into Umbria and the town of Gubbio that would be our home for the next three nights.  Gubbio is built into a steep hillside and dates to the early 1400’s.  We have been staying at Relais Ducale, a charming old hotel that features beautiful patios and gardens.  One of…

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Siena

By Catherine | On Sep 27, 2013 | No Comments

Tuesday’s destination was Siena. I had a brief visit there three years ago and was anxious to return.  Siena is built on seven hills and to visit the city requires traversing many steep streets.  It is known for its magnificent black-and-white-striped cathedral and also for the bareback horse race called the Palio, held in July and August, and whose origins…

Pienza and Montalcino

By Catherine | On Sep 26, 2013 | 1 Comment

On Monday we made the drive to Pienza, a tiny Renaissance village.  The views out over the rolling hills were spectacular and I wandered the cobbled side streets taking in the charming architecture and browsing in small shops.  From Pienza, we made a stop at a beautiful 12th century Benedictine abbey, Abbazia di Sant’Antimo, with a bucolic setting among olive…

Andiamo a Toscana

By Catherine | On Sep 24, 2013 | 1 Comment

On Saturday, our group met at the Rome airport and off we went to Tuscany.   It is about a three hour ride and we were all glad to arrive at our beautiful home for the next five days, the Villa Montecastello, which is in the area of Monteriggio.  The villa dates back nearly 1,000 years and was originally a…

Kudos to the Culinary Team at Cincinnati State

By Catherine | On Sep 8, 2013 | 1 Comment

Last month I visited my home town of Cincinnati to visit friends and attend the Western and Southern Tennis Masters tournament. The culinary highlight of the trip was a wine tasting dinner at The Summit, a restaurant operated by the culinary arts program at  Cincinnati State.  The wines were presented by Vintage Point, a distributor with an eclectic collection of…

Roses from Around the World

By Catherine | On Aug 13, 2013 | No Comments

  Rosé’s are wonderful anytime, but they are especially appealing during the summer as they complement lighter fare and are a great choice as an apértif. Marie Sauer recently hosted a rosé tasting at her Sauer Grapes Wine Lounge.  Six wines were featured including three from France, one from Germany, one from Austria, and one from California’s Russian River Valley. …

Cinsault, Vino Volo, and More

By Catherine | On Jul 21, 2013 | No Comments

In June I made a short trip to Frederick, MD to visit my daughter and son-in-law.  We had dinner at a favorite spot, The Tasting Room.  Conversation with the sommelier, Jarrett Walsh, led to the decision to “go out on a limb” just a little and try a wine made from 100% Cinsault.  This particular wine is made by Michael…

Jerry Sass and The Macintosh Team Up

By Catherine | On Jun 30, 2013 | No Comments

Sass Winery in Salem, Oregon, was founded by wine maker Jerry Sass in 1989 when he purchased 19.4 acres of land and began planting Pinot Noir vines. The production is small, approximately 4,500 cases per year across all of the varietals. Jerry is passionate about the land, the grapes, and the wine making techniques he employs and the results are…

May Musings

By Catherine | On Jun 3, 2013 | 1 Comment

May has been a tasty month.  A friend, who also has a May birthday, and I celebrated our special days at McCrady’s.  Once again, the four course chef’s tasting menu did not disappoint!  Lee was in the mood for Merlot and we couldn’t resist ordering the Velvet Devil.  The Velvet Devil is made by  Charles Smith, an interesting character who…


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