It’s the thought that counts. Well, yes, but even the mind reader who can channel that thought prefers a gift. Any gift says, “I’m really thinking about you.” But a special gift — like an exceptional bottle of wine — says, “Here’s a toast to your good taste.”
So, what kind of wine says that?
Albariño, for one. Grown in Galicia in the northwest corner of Spain, it is that country’s finest white grape, and Pazo Pondal Albariño 2004 is one of the finest examples of its wine. Pale and crisp, it offers complexity, a silky body and a basketful of floral and fruit aromas. Consider it a winter white. $20.
While many winemaking regions produce chardonnay, few can match the mother of them all: Burgundy. And one of its vintages that is elegance personified is Clos des Mouches, a premier cru (first growth) wine from Joseph Drouhin. Supple, satiny and exquisitely balanced, it has a bouquet that mingles citric fruit with vanilla and a creamy, rich, almond-like taste. Price varies with the vintage, from $70 to $91.
From California, J. Lohr Cuvée Pau 2000 is complex and concentrated, with hints of black currant, clove, chocolate and vanilla. Cabernet sauvignon with a small amount of petit verdot, Cuvée Pau is crafted in the tradition of Bordeaux’s Pauillac wines. The two other wines in this special cuvée series are Cuvée Pom (Pomerol) and Cuvée St. E. (Saint-Emilion). $56 each.
“Summus” is Latin for “highest,” and Castello Banfi Summus is a wine worthy of the name. This Tuscan wine, a blend of 40 percent each of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon and 20 percent syrah, is a dark ruby color and has an aroma that recalls cassis, cherry and a shelf of spices. Both the 2000 and 2001 vintages are currently available. $66.
A final suggestion is Montes Purple Angel 2003, a deep-colored red wine made by the outstanding Montes winery in Chile. Spicy, full-bodied and powerful, with layers of rich fruit flavors, it is 92 percent carmenère, a grape that until the 19th century grew in Bordeaux. Today, virtually all of the world’s carmenère comes from Chile. $48.
Raise a glass to good taste this holiday season.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.