The Portuguese island of Madeira juts out of the Atlantic Ocean, a mass of volcanic precipices marked by tiny patchwork vineyards carved into its steep slopes. From these vineyards comes Madeira, the fortified wine that is like no other wine in the world.
More than two centuries ago, Madeira was the celebratory libation of choice at such auspicious occasions as the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the inauguration of George Washington. Thomas Jefferson frequently served the distinctive wine at the White House. But tastes change, and today few people know that Madeira is one of the world’s longest-lived wines.
Among the island’s most prominent shippers is the Madeira Wine Co., an association of four historic producers: Cossart Gordon, Leacock’s, Blandy’s and Miles. Other labels of note are Justino Henriques Filhos, d’Oliveira, Quinta de São and João Baptista.
Traditionally, fine Madeira has been made from one of four classic white-grape varieties. Sercial, the driest, is smooth and pale, with a keen, lively taste; it is often served chilled as an aperitif. Verdelho is golden and medium dry with a bright, vivid flavor. Bual (Boal in Portuguese) is sweet, satiny and darker, a wine to serve with dessert or with a pungent cheese. Malmsey, the sweetest and darkest Madeira, is full-bodied and rich, a dessert in itself. All Madeira share a vibrant, refreshing acidity. Another classic grape, Terrantez, is only rarely planted today. If you see one of its wines, buy it, as it will be an extraordinary experience. Vintage Madeira, produced only in exceptional years, is aged a minimum of 20 years in the cask and usually two more in the bottle before being released. Even then, it is considered a baby.
Along with the classic grapes, the red grape Tinta Negra Mole has been heavily planted since early last century. The reason: It grows easily and quite prolifically. Tinta Negra Mole accounts for much of the lesser-priced Madeira, such as the generic vintage called Rainwater.
But it is the classics that speak best for Madeira. Open a bottle and pour a sip each evening, and when you come to the last sip a month or two later, it will be just as flavorful as the first. Madeira is its own fountain of youth.
Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
United Airlines is making international travel more accessible. United announced the largest trans-Atlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new destinations including Amman (AMM), Jordan; Bergen (BGO), Norway; Azores (PDL), Portugal; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Spain; and Tenerife (TFS) in the Spanish Canary Islands. All new routes, set to begin in spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
The countdown to Halloween weekend is on! Are you are still unsure about plans? Do you go to a house party? Stay in to hand out candy? Try something different this year and join Philadelphia’s The Mütter Museum at its 6th annual Mischief at The Mütter.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Walker Hotel Tribeca is blushing pink with an exclusive offer benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Throughout the month, guests can book an all-pink guestroom, among additional amenities.
History and culture are etched into every corner of Greece. Beginning with its language, the oldest written language still in existence, and moving from the traces of passing civilizations and religions to pre-historic findings and works from many movements, there’s a wealth of culture to discover on your next trip to Greece.
Insight Vacations, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland are offering the chance to win a free trip to Ireland for two, valued at $6,000. Oct. 18–22, The Road to Ireland contest page will be updated daily with a new clue and question that contestants will need to answer for a chance to win a trip for two on Insight’s Country Roads of Ireland tour in 2022. Contestants have until 11:59 p.m. PST Oct. 29 to submit answers.