Friday, September 23 07:00 AM
Oenophile gridlock. Dot-com blowhards pontificating on tannins. We hate to be whiny winos, but if there's one thing California wine country needs, it's a shot of tequila. Thankfully, chef Mateo Granados has answered our plea with a new Yucatán-inspired restaurant in the tony hamlet of Healdsburg.
Granados shored up his Sonoma cred with roving restaurant Tendejon de la Calle but is now ready to put down roots in a rustic-modern space heavy on salvaged materials, along with a communal dining garden. You can watch him work his magic in the open kitchen, adding French flare to Yucatán Peninsula favorites like achiote marinades, homemade habañero salsas, and pit-roasted pork. And, of course, there's the fully stocked tequila bar--just the thing to wash away grape fatigue.
Photo: Courtesy of Mateo's Cocina Latina
Thursday, July 21 07:00 AM
Port used to rank alongside boxed wine on the oenophile scale of hipness. But the cool kids have rediscovered the complex little sipper and the Portuguese city that gave it its name. And now, the vintage-lovers heading to Porto to drink at the source have a wine-centric spot to lay their heads, the new InterContinental Porto Palacio das Cardosas.
Housed in a 200-year-old palace on the main city square, the hotel makes an ideal base for exploring the region's wineries. Or you can taste your way through the dedicated port wine cellar in the clubby hotel bar. The 105 guest rooms create a sense of occasion, with grand upholstered sleigh beds, handsome inlaid floors, Art Deco-style chests, and entire walls of antiqued mirrors. Because this is the kind of vintage worth reflecting on.
Photo: Courtesy of InterContinental
Tuesday, June 28 07:00 AM
You've done Paris, Rome, and London, but where next on your grand tour? We suggest it's time to venture off the beaten track to the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The folks at travel company Cox & Kings have launched a tour of Georgia as part of a new package of undiscovered destinations across the pond.
The eight-day trip goes from a fourth-century fortress in Tbilisi to the birthplace of Stalin to the underground monasteries of Davit Gareja and the famed vineyards of Kakheti, the oldest wine-producing region in the world. Medieval churches, Soviet-era history, and ancient booze? That's enough to get Georgia on anyone's mind.
Cox & Kings' Wonders of Georgia tour, from $1,735. 2011 departures: July 17, September 4, October 2.
Photo: Courtesy of Michael Runkel / Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images