Our new trip: Madrid and Basque Country

First off, some housekeeping.

I took my own advice and consolidated my on-line life, here on So, you'll find all my adventures in one place:  the blogs, the trips, the recipes, the acerbic observations.

Here's what you have to do to stay in touch:  follow me here on You'll continue to get my blogs and an occasional newsletter, but other than that, I won't bother you. If the spirit moves you, you can check in about trips and recipes at your leisure.  

Thanks in advance for keeping up with my goings on.

In June, one of Jonathan's dreams will come true: we'll bring a group to his beloved Spain. With so many great regions to choose from, we finally landed on Madrid and Basque Country, the perfect combination of urban excitement and pastoral pleasure. The trip sold out almost immediately, and over plates of jamón serrano and queso Idiazábal, we finalized an amazing itinerary.

One stop will be the Marques de Riscal Winery, where we’ll enjoy a private lunch on the terrace of the Michelin star restaurant set within a striking Frank Gehry-designed building. For dessert, we’ll take an English language tour of this venerable Spanish winery, with wine-tastings of their award-winning reds and whites along the way.

Check back for highlights. You'll see we've carefully crafted a blend of cultural, culinary and wine experiences guaranteed to immerse our guests in the unique destinations we visit. 

photo credit: @hotelsandresorts

photo credit: @hotelsandresorts

Tripe? Truffles? Tastings? It's a Barolo Trifecta.

The annual Tripe Festival. Of course! What else would make the already virtually impassable winding mountaintop roads of Barolo, Italy narrow even further with cars parked haphazardly along both sides? On the sunny October Sunday afternoon of our visit to the famed Marchesi di Barolo Winery it was the tripe festival.

An embarrassment of riches.

Imagine asking the fine gentleman below "Can you please demonstrate your 200 year-old, ultra-secret ricotta-making technique for my group and me?" 

Carpe Barolo!

I could go on and on about how spectacular the Taste Workshops are at Slow Foods' Salone del Gusto food show. But perhaps sharing just a few of the inspired offering from the 2012 Program will whet your palate.