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Archive for Travel

GOURMET TRAVEL: Oregon Truffle Festival

Calling all truffle lovers:

Registration is now open for the Oregon Truffle Festival, January 28-30, 2011—a fantasy for fans of the fabulous fungus. Activities include:

  • Truffle and wine dinners
  • Cooking classes and seminars
  • Winery luncheons
  • Truffle hunt
  • Farm tours
  • A fresh truffle marketplace to bring home a truffle “souvenir” or two

 

The sixth anniversary Grand Truffle Dinner will feature Oregon’s native winter white and black truffles in a sumptuous five-course meal paired by some of Oregon‘s top chefs—and of course, paired with acclaimed Oregon wines.

Hunt your own truffles! Photo courtesy
Oregon Truffle Festival.

Find more information and purchase tickets at OregonTruffleFestival.com.

P.S.: If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

 

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FOOD TRAVEL: Seattle Culinary Arts Show

Pick up tips from some 20 chef demos.
Photo courtesy Seattle Food & Culinary Arts
Show.

Planning a visit to Seattle? You might want to consider the weekend of November 20-21. You’ll be able to take in the Seattle Food and Culinary Arts Show, highlighting the best of Northwest cuisine.

  • Held at the Key Arena, 100+ exhibitors will provide tastings and sell products just in time for holiday shopping.
  • The area’s top chefs will conduct cooking demonstrations and share recipes.
  • You can take a break in the Wine, Beer and Spirits Lounge and stroll through the Hall of Cakes.

 

For more information, visit the show‘s website.

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GOURMET TRAVEL: Napa Valley Mustard Festival

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A prior year’s winner in the phototgraphy
competition, by Sally Wood.

We wish we had gotten advance notice of the 17th annual Napa Valley Mustard Festival, to be held next weekend, March 12 -14 in Napa, California.

If you can get there, you’re in for a treat. The vineyards, blooming with wild mustard, are breathtaking. There are an impressive number of fine mustards from around the world to be tasted, along with food from the best Napa Valley restaurants and caterers, consumed with great Napa Valley wines.

Makers of the best-judged mustards will receive awards, as will photographers who take the best photos of the mustard fields.

The Napa Valley Mustard Festival is a non-profit community service organization. For information and tickets visit MustardFestival.org.

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FOOD EVENT: Rhone Wine Tasting In San Francisco

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Caliza Syrah will be at the Grand Tasting.
Photo courtesy CalizaWinery.com.

Are you a lover of Rhone wines?

How about Rhones from the U.S.A.? California wineries have found great success planting Syrah, Viognier and other classic Rhone grapes.

The Rhone Rangers will convene in San Francisco on March 27th and 28th for the thirteenth consecutive year. It’s the largest American Rhone wine event in the country.

  • The Rhone romp begins Saturday, March 27th with seminars such as Pairing Good with American Rhones, Grenache and Ageability of American Rhones.
  • On Saturday evening, fifteen wineries will participate in a winemaker dinner at the Log Cabin in the San Francisco Presidio. The dinner will be followed by a live auction of 15 lots of wine, unique wine country experiences and travel packages, donated by the host winemakers. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Rhone Rangers Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to winemakers.

 

And then, there’s the opportunity to taste as many of the wines as your tolerance will allow.

  • On Sunday, March 28th, more than 100 Rhone Rangers member wineries will present 500 of the best American Rhone wine at the Grand Tasting. In addition to the wines, attendees can sample gourmet foods from more than 35 specialty food purveyors—cheese, bread, olive oil, charcuterie, fruits and chocolates. A silent auction will feature wines from Rhone Rangers member wineries and will benefit Meals on Wheels of San Francisco.This is no intimate gathering: The organizers expects 2,000 consumers and members of the trade.

    For more information and tickets, visit RhoneRangers.org.

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TRENDS: Can The Beer?

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Buckbean Beer, a Nevada craft brewer, uses
cans for its Black Noddy Logger and Orange
Blossom Ale. Photo courtesy of Buckbean
Beer.

Is canned beer making a comeback among those who enjoy the finest? More craft brewers are turning to canning their brews. In the past, canning lines weren’t made small enough to handle small craft beer lines, so brewers had to use glass; glass became associated with quality beer.

While canned beer comprises a fraction of craft brews, some companies have started canning their beer exclusively, for environmental reasons as well as for consumer convenience:

  • Cans are more easily recyclable than glass.
  • Cans don’t have to be washed when they arrive at the brewery, thereby saving water.
  • A delivery truck can only be stacked 2/3 full with bottles but can be filled 100% with cans, thereby saving on fuel expended.
  • Cans are lighter and don’t break: They’re safer and easier to transport.
  • Cans are better for storage: Light and air affect the quality of the beer (and all food products—including wine, olive oil, and spices). Clear beer bottles expose the beer to light; it’s possible for air to seep through caps and for carbonation to get out.
(Although note that beer should be drunk fresh and not stored longer than six months, so this should be a theoretical argument. Resist the temptation to buy more beer than you need in any given month.)

On October 23rd a competition of canned craft beers, CANFEST, will be held in Reno, Nevada. Beer seminars, beer and food pairings, tastings of the competing beers and a forum of brewers are planned; celebrities from the beer world will judge the beers. A sample of the entrants includes Big Sky Brewing Company, Buckbean Brewing Company, Maui Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewing Company, Oskar Blues, Rochester Mills Brewing Company, Surly Brewing Company, Ukiah Brewing Company and Uncommon Brewers. Ticket prices are $35 and room packages will be available. For more information, email Constance Aguilar, constance@abbipr.com or call 1.775.323.2977.

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