Rosé wine is not a cross between red and white wines! It gets its delicate colour because the red grapes are crushed as soon as they arrive in the cellar. It’s best to buy young rosé, and serve it well-chilled. Look for bottles with screw caps. They keep wine much fresher than cork.
Pressed from frozen grapes, ice wine is luscious and intense. It is sweet enough to be enjoyed as dessert, and perfect for rounding up a meal, preferably starring foie gras and blue cheese. Accented with lychee, papaya and pineapple, it gets a whole new dimension. And added to sparkling wine or cocktails, it is a seductress.
Canada (Icewine) and Germany (Eisewine) are the world’s largest producers of Ice wines. About 75 percent of the Icewine in Canada
is grown in Ontario. Canadian law requires that the grapes must hang on their vines well into early winter – until they are frozen to -80 C and reach a minimum of 350 brix (amount of sugar). The fruit must be picked by hand, in the cold. It takes at least six hours to harvest and press the grapes – usually during the night. The labour and complex fermentation process makes it expensive, but a chilled bottle of Icewine is totally worth it.
Niagara Ontario Canada boasts 25 beautiful vineyards just 15 to 20 minutes outside Niagara Falls, Canada in quiet and charming Niagara-on-the-Lake. The entire Niagara wine region along the shores of Lake Ontario-is home to over 50 wineries. Discover the best of the region’s vineyards by following the Wine Route of Ontario through the countryside by car, bike or guided tour.
Team TS toured the Inniskillin winery on a crisp winter morning. The full, grape-scented vineyards were soaked in gentle sunlight. Then we tasted the first sip of ice wine, and it was love at first sip. If Canada is on your plans this year, do tour the Niagara wine belt. You’ll thank us for the idea!
Travel Secrets editor Shubhra Krishan recently spent a few sunny days in Cyprus. Here are her suggestions on souvenir shopping on the island.
Typically, souvenirs and touristy tidbits will be sold to you as ‘Cyprus this’ and ‘Cyprus that.’ Steer clear of those traps, and take time to observe where the locals are going and what they are buying.
Commandaria Wine: said to be the world’s oldest. I cannot verify the claim, but can vouch for the wine: it is sweet divinity!
Honey: the blossoming farms on the island yield some wonderful varieties. Also, figs and fresh fruit from the local markets. Better still, pluck them straight off the trees. As my guide Georgia Constantin said, “You can never go hungry in Cyprus; there’s always fruit hanging low on the trees!”
Olive oil: after all, the locals have grown up with olive trees since times Neolithic! But beware: we bought a big can of olive oil at a farmer’s market, and paid 18 Euros for five litres. But when we weighed the can later, it was only four litres. Also, check with the airline if you are allowed to carry oil. Some don’t allow it, even as part of your checked baggage.
Lace and embroidered fabric: from Lefkara village if possible, where fine lacemaking has been a tradition for generations. In the streets of Omodos village, we saw old women working away at lace kerchiefs and tablecloths.
Local handicraft & ceramics: Browse and buy traditional craft items — weaving, basket making, wood carving, pottery, and the production of leather and traditional copper items are Cyprus specials. Mesogi village near Paphos specialises in colourful baskets made of bamboo and wicker.
Bath salts: did you know, Cyprus is one of the only regions in the world to produce gourmet bath salts!
TS Editor Shubhra Krishan met the lovely, lively Laurie Trognon, PR head at the iconic Printemps in Paris. The young lady wrote a beautiful ode to her home city, spilling lots of local secrets along the way!
Over to her:
I am 23, and have lived in Paris all my life. I live in the 17tharondissement in a quiet residential neighbourhood called Villiers, which is sprinkled with parks and French brasseries.
Every morning, I wake up in my apartment and feel lucky to live in Paris. I open the window and look out to a beautiful old Haussmannian building. In the very early hours, we can hear birds, wind, or rain.
Like any other big city, Paris gives you the feeling of being on your own—in a nice way! I start my day with a typical Parisian breakfast of croissant or a chocolate roll with fresh orange juice or a tea. Sometimes, I keep it simple with just bread and butter.
It takes me 20 minutes by Metro to reach my workplace, which is PRINTEMPS (the departement store) in the nine area (75009).
In summer, I like to wear colourful long dresses to work. Parisian women are very fashion-conscious, and enjoy sporting avant garde fashion.
I enjoy going out with my friends in the evenings. My favourite hangouts in the city are as follows:
Best pizza: Paparazzi restaurant (75009)
Best cup of coffee: Kooka Boora (75009) / Angelina (75001)
Best French cuisine: La petite Cour (75006)
Best bar: O Chateau (Wine bar)
Best bakery: Ladurée
Some of the restaurants, pubs and bars that the people of Paris love, and you won’t find in most guidebooks are :
– La Félicité (75010)
– Pershing Hall (75008)
– Le Club des 5 (75017)
– Candelaria (75003)
– Razowski (75001)
– Lefty (75002)
Paris looks most beautiful during summer time, when everybody is on vacation. All people are very open-minded, the weather is great and you can enjoy parks, terrace, swimming pools.You can really appreciate space at Rosa Bonheur which is a restaurant in the Buttes Chaumont park.
When I am unhappy and need some peace, Paris comforts me with wine! I sit with a glass of wine and a friend at Bertie or Vert Tulipe; very affordable, great wine, and perfect for forgetting your woes!
Plus, I like to practice sport and more particularly Aquabiking; sport is something very important when you live in a big city. It’s a great way to decompress.
When I’m looking for a moment of rest, I go to the NUXE Spa at Printemps Haussmann and get a manicure.
The city’s loveliest street is Rue des Francs Bourgeois, a typical Parisian street with trendy but not-too-expensive shops such as Zadig & Voltaire, Isabel Marant. For bargain shopping, I would recommend the area of Chatelet – Les Halles. For high-end purchases, you should head to Printemps Haussmann or Rue Saint Honoré.
In the evening, Paris looks an old city which is waking up; all brasseries and terrace are full, even during the winter and my apartment fills up with the sights/sounds of my neighbours who invite their friends for the cocktail hour.
I don’t have the time to cook, so I usually order food from a website named AlloResto. One of my favourite foods when I can’t cook is Japanese.
A typical Paris weekend is never complete without a brunch on Sunday morning.
All in all, I love my city because this is a city with a real history. The typical Haussmannian buildings are majestic, and I can’t get enough of admiring them!
(This story was first published in May June 2013 issue of Travel Secrets Magazine)