Join Me on an Amazing Reset Retreat

I consider myself very lucky that my job allows me to cross a lot of things off my bucket list as “all in a day’s work.” I’ve never been given the opportunity, though, to take two dreams off at once – until now. When I was approached by Cierra Savatgy-King, who along with Natalie Jenkins and Crystal Veness founded Reset Retreat, I didn’t have to listen much further than “Belize”...

Super Bowl Wine Pairings

Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, check out my five food and wine pairings over at Snooth.com. Benito’s Wine Reviews

Sleeping with the Lions. or Stuck in our Safari Truck next to 6 Sleeping Lions

You can’t make this stuff up. To update you, we are on a safari in South Africa as a prelude to our first ever wine tour to this amazing country. Everyday we do an early morning(6am) ride and evening ride through the bush, on the quest for visions of wild game. Last night we hit the bonanza: 6 sleeping female lions. Our lights flashed but they didn’t 6 Sleeping Lions budge, evidently...

Missouri Road Trip Continues into Lake of the Ozarks

My friend Jaimee and I left the Sheraton Westport Plaza Chalet in the suburbs of St. Louis and headed to Jefferson City, Missouri. We were to meet Deb Hendricks of the Lake of the Ozarks tourism board there to get our itinerary for our adventure on Fun Lake, as they accurately call the area. From Jefferson City it was only a short hour’s ride to the Country Club Hotel and Spa. We were surprised...

Our South Africa Itineraries: Follow Us Day by Day

Tour 1  April 17-25 4/17       Meet in lobby for city tour and welcome dinner at Africa Cafe 4/18     Visit Old Biscuit Mill and Table Mountain 4/19     Walking tour of Kayamandi Township with lunch 4/20     Kanonkop Winery/Waterford/Ken Forrester 4/21     Boekenhoutskloof/Rupert/Moreson 4/22     Babylonstoren/Fairview 4/23     Steenberg/ Eagles Nest/Constantia Glen 4/24     Groot...

New! Spirits of C’ville; Whiskey, Beer, Cider and Wine Tour

Taste the best of Charlottesville on this 5-hour whiskey, beer, cider and wine tour. Explore ultra premium vodka, gin, whiskey and bourbon at Silverback Distillery, sip from craft beers in the authentic biergarten at Wild Wolf Brewing Company, enjoy  Bold Rock’s crisp and refreshing ciders and taste some fine wine in the art-filled tasting room Wish Wish Charlottesville Wine Tours » Blog

Return to Brazil Flavor: Feijoada

Brazil Flavor opened a few months ago in my neighborhood as a small grocery store, selling Brazilian dry goods, beverages, as well as meats and cheeses. All of that is fantastic, but what got me really interested was the empty kitchen in the back. This week, they opened the kitchen. There’s not a menu yet, so expect different dishes each day. I would recommend following their Facebook page,...

Tastes of Chicago from Eataly to Godfrey

I enjoy attending events in Chicago whenever possible and I’ve learned to stuff my trips to get in as much as possible each time I go. When I received an invitation to a wine pairing luncheon I had just the excuse I needed to plan what would be a delicious trip. The first stop of the day was for the luncheon. It was at Baffo, the Mario Batali restaurant that’s a part of the Eataly plaza in Chicago.  The...

Upcoming releases and events at King Family Vineyards

King Family has some exciting upcoming releases and events planned for the first half of 2015: – First Wednesday – Wednesday, February 4, 2015 – Crosé 2014 Release – Saturday, February 14, 2015 – Barrel Tasting with Winemaker Matthieu Finot: Session 1 & Session 2 – Saturday, February 28, 2015 – “3” 2013 Release – March 3, 2015 – Wish...

The Woodhouse Wine Estates

The Woodhouse Wine Estates is run in Washington by Bijal & Sinead Shah. I recently covered their Daríghe, and their other wines are named after family friends (Steve Dussek, retired chief operating officer of Nextel) or their children (daughter Kennedy Shah). Bijal operates a number of enterprises both here and in India focused on haute coture and high technology, while Sinead is a 777 pilot...

Leaving Nevis for St. Kitts

I had fallen in love with the Nisbet Plantation on Nevis and was going to make the most of my final day here. Friend and fellow travel writer Sue Campbell, who was going to be heading back to snowy Montreal when she left, was right alongside me – on the beach. Fortunately, we did have a little more sun time, even when we left here. The first thing that excited me when I was reading about Nisbet...

Win tickets to Dave Matthews Band! 

Tickets for the upcoming 2015 DMB tour go on sale on Friday, February 13.  But you can win a pair of tickets to any show in the U.S. before they go on sale! One winner will receive 2 tickets to a concert of their choosing in the upcoming 2015 Dave Matthews Band Tour, as well as Lounge Passes, and Wish Wish Charlottesville Wine Tours » Blog

Saké and Cheese Tasting

In December, I got to participate in a very curious online tasting along with other wine writers around the world. We had a pairing of saké and cheese, two things that you don’t normally think would go with each other. How did this come about? Our tasting was hosted by a charming couple Jesse Pugach is the Sake Specialist Southern Wines & Spirits, while Liza Kaplansky works for the...

Wine and Food in Panama

Empty Red Wine Glasses in Panama March 2015 – There are no wineries in Panama, but there are plenty of wines in the restaurants, bars, grocery stores and occasional liquor store. Due to its location, linking Central America to South America, it is not surprising that the majority of the wine is from Chile and Argentina. However, we also found a large selection from Spain, and a few bottles...

Wintergreen Resort Wine Tours

Wintergreen Resort is the ideal starting point for exploring the 7 wineries, 3 breweries, 1 cidery and 1 distillery located at the base of the resort on Route 151. Wish Wish Wine Tours offers pick-ups at Wintergreen. Most guests book a 5-hour tour and enjoy a relaxed tasting at 4 venues. If you would like to include a Wish Wish Charlottesville Wine Tours » Blog

Renting a Car in Panama City and Visiting the Panama Canal

Simulation Room at Panama Canal March 2015 – Renting a car in Panama City was an unusual experience.  We reserved with Hertz and the check-in at the airport was normal, but the nice touch was they brought the car to the curb for us to climb in. No need to get on a rental car bus. The downside was that when we returned the car to the airport, there are no signs about where to return...

Relaxing at Playa Bonita and Watching Panamanian Dancing

Beach & Pool at Playa Bonita Resort March 2015 – In between attending conference sessions, we managed to explore several parts of Panama City. The first full day we enjoyed the beauty of the Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort, which is located 15 minutes north of Panama City just over the impressive Bridge of Americas.  The resort is situated on a beautiful blond sand beach on...

2012 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon

This is the third vintage of Faust that I’ve tried following the 2005 and 2011 releases. Previously I’ve tried these bottles on my own at home, but this one showed up at the family Christmas dinner last year. I brought Austrian dessert wines for my Mom and sister-in-law, but Faust was chosen specifically for Dad who had spent the afternoon smoking a ribeye roast to a perfect rare in...

My April Fools’ Day Posts

Folks, just a quickie to let you know I’m still here and busy as ever freelancing. In honor of the holiday, here are six of my April Fools’ Day pranks from previous years: Have fun! Benito’s Wine Reviews

Bachelorette Party? Go on a Wine Tour!

If you are the lucky one to organize a bachelorette party, here’s an idea everyone will love: a day of wine tasting at Charlottesville’s beautiful wineries. Think lush rolling hills, fine wines, gorgeous views, great food and plenty of time to talk, laugh and having fun with great friends. Your party will be driven in style to Wish Wish Charlottesville Wine Tours » Blog