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.
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.