Sure, you could walk into any wine shop and walk out with a bottle of big-name Champagne. But to show that you really put some thought into the bubbly you are gifting to that special someone, why not choose something unique — and made in the United States? From California to Vermont (and everywhere in-between), wine makers are crafting surprising sparkling wines that are perfect for Valentine’s Day, or honestly every day. Here are a few of my favorites right now.
This wine is not playing. It demands attention with an intense zippy palate that gives green apple, with just a very subtle toast on the nose. Harvested from a small vineyard block of Chardonnay, three weeks prior to their famed Carneros Estate Chard, it was aged on the lees for an extended period to develop complex secondary flavors, then hit with a nearly nonexistent dosage— just three grams of sugar. Donum means gift in Latin, making this vibrant wine an apt present for educated wine lovers while pleasing novices.
I’ve been hearing rumblings about the good things growing in Virginia for a while now — and this 100 percent traditional method Chardonnay bubbly speaks volumes. Sourced from grapes in a cooler part of their vineyard and from younger vines, this wine retains a citrusy bright palate due to aging in a combination of stainless steel and neutral oak. The edges are rounded — and layers of flavor arrive — thanks to 32 months on lees before disgorgement. If Virginia is for lovers, as the tourism slogan goes — this wine is a great way to express your affection.
Winemaker Ethan Joseph is in love with the geography and territory of Vermont, and expresses it succinctly with this pétillant naturel, or pét-nat — a method where the wine is bottled while still fermenting, capturing subtle bubbles as the wine finishes in the bottle. Made from La Crescent grapes specifically developed to perform well in cold climates, this wine is surprisingly luscious considering the weather it endures along the way. Figure 2 pops with apricot, grapefruit, and white pepper, funky and unique- perfect for a love affair that is outside the box.
The third vintage of sparkling wine from this storied winery, the 2018 Ovation is somehow creamy and vibrant all at once. It offers pure sipping pleasure, but if you take the time to savor it, you’ll get an orchard full of peaches and green apples — and maybe even some lemony florals. This wine spends 44 months on lees and was just disgorged a few months back, giving some lovely brioche toastiness. A blend of 80 percent Chardonnay and 20 percent Pinot Noir, it is sure to cause your beloved to clap with delight.
Sometimes, you want some simple charm —and a really great conversation piece, and that’s where this sparkler comes
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Crossbody bags, totes, fanny packs—certain purses lend themselves especially well to travel. But on some trips, you might find yourself leaning a little less practical and a little more on-trend. Enter: the bucket bag, which in recent months has been spotted on the arms of celebrities like Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Katie Holmes. Sure, it won't lie flat across your body or hold quite as much as a backpack, but it will tie your look together when meandering in and out of shops in Paris or spending an afternoon at a cafe.
Escape the winter chill and whisk mothers and mother-figures to warmer climes. From spa treatments and gourmet delights, to bonding over a new skill, not only does a trip to Saudi promise much-welcomed boost of vitamin D to mark the end of winter, but an opportunity to enjoy some truly special experiences in the world’s newest and most exciting tourist destination.
Anyone who’s set foot in America’s Deep South will know ‘Southern charm’ is no myth, and Savannah — Georgia’s oldest city — embodies just this. Situated at the mouth of the Savannah River in the east of the state, the city has retained its ‘olde world’ atmosphere since its founding in 1733 through its well-preserved cobblestone streets, pre-Civil War architecture, horse-drawn carriages and manicured parks. Meanwhile its more modern array of offerings, including quirky ice cream parlours, moody speakeasies, cosy coffee shops and independent bookshops, have all helped earn its more recent nickname of the ‘Hostess City of the South’. Its urban beauty is also undeniable. Though ravaged by naval blockades during the Civil War, Savannah is said to have charmed Union general William Sherman so much that he saved it from the fires being set by his soldiers during the battle, and instead offered the city as a Christmas gift to President Abraham Lincoln. Today, Savannah plays a much larger role than just being easy on the eye; it’s a vibrant cultural and historical hub for the state and the perfect jumping-off point for various coastal adventures.
Millions of people around the world, Irish or not, celebrate St Patrick's Day on March 17. Major cities from Chicago to Buenos Aires and Sydney to Vancouver, especially those with large Irish communities, host vibrant festivities open to everyone.
When I first left the hospital after my spinal injury and began adapting to life with a disability, air travel was one of the most intimidating barriers I went up against. In my former life as a non-disabled person, I had never thought about the challenges of navigating narrow aisles or accessing facilities on board an aircraft. As a paraplegic and manual wheelchair user, that privilege had been revoked.
Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Roy Acuff and Patsy Cline: when one thinks of Nashville, country music reigns supreme. This is, after all, the city that gave the world the Grand Ole Opry — America’s longest-running radio show, which propelled country music into US homes, bore witness to the birth of bluegrass music and transformed both genres into something bigger, more electric and symphonic.
From dense forests and desert plains to dramatic canyons and snow-capped mountains — the west-central US state of Colorado is a wellspring of wild and wonderful landscapes. The eighth largest of the states when it comes to square mileage, Colorado's vastly varied topography has seen it become a magnet for travellers seeking the best of the great outdoors. And as a base for adventure, it doesn’t get much better than the state’s sunny capital, Denver, a destination that seems made for nature-lovers and active travellers. Here you can join the locals out cycling the city’s trails, jogging across its plentiful green spaces or even kayaking down the rapids that run right through the centre of the city. But Denver is not just a jumping off point for outdoor adventure. Head deep into its streets and you’ll discover an urban destination that's a hub of ever-evolving cuisine, arts and entertainment.
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