Showing posts from April, 2010

Effen Vodka and Architecture at the Wit

I’m often asked how I choose the events I go to. Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing and other times it’s something that just makes me stop and go “Wow, I’ve got to get there.” The Effen Vodka Party at the Wit Hotel the latter – and I wasn’t disappointed. It was a first for me in many respects. I had never made it to Chicago’s Theatre District, never been to the Wit Hotel and had yet to learn about the rich architectural history of the Windy City. And how can you say “No” to an invitation that arrives on a USB drive accompanied by a bottle of vodka?! The one thing that was familiar to me was Effen Vodka . I had sampled it during My Flavored Vodka Party and was quite a fan of the black cherry. The party took me to the rooftop of the Wit Hotel for one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen. It was a cool night so the party remained inside, where I was warmed by as much Effen as I wanted. Before I get to the plentiful drink selection with the incredible cocktail choices, I hav

Tennessee’s Whiskey Country

Whether it’s Opryland or Graceland, many come to Tennessee for its rich musical background.  There’s no shortage of music here in a variety to suit everyone, but when it comes to beverages, there’s only one that Tennessee owns – good ole American whiskey. I don’t know that there’s any place more famous worldwide for whiskey than Jack Daniel's and they put on quite a show.   At times I felt like I was on a movie set instead of at a distillery and that may be why they get the crowds.  In the end what really matters is the product, and there’s plenty of quality product at Jack’s and no one goes there without wanting a taste. We got started with a sample of the Single Barrel, the whiskey with the highest maturation and a 94 proof.  This is a beverage for the true whiskey fan, with its strong oak flavor.  Old No. 7, the one the bartender takes right out when you just say “Jack,” is more a well-rounded whiskey.  You will taste the caramel and vanilla and with much less wood.  I was

Create your own adventure with Wine Travel Guides

It's hard to keep up with all the wine regions out there all over the world.  One site on the web  is making it a little easier to navigate your way around European wine. Wine Travel Guides has over 50 guides with 2,500 pages worth of information -- for free! I don't usually write about websites, but I was quite impressed with Wine Travel Guides .  It provides detailed guides for trip planning or interesting reads for the armchair traveler.  The guides are divided into France, Italy and Spain and then broken down into very specific regions. Within Burgundy , for example, there are guides for Chablis , Côte de Nuits , Côte de Beaune , Côte Chalonnaise , Mâconnais and northern Beaujolais and Heart of Beaujolais .  The pages on each region on Wine Travel Guides offer in-depth information on the area's wines, places to stay, food of the region, visiting wineries and additional detail. All of the guide writers are well-published and experienced in the regions they write ab

History and Whiskey in Mount Vernon

Washington, DC is so full of attractions we often forget its namesake’s home, but a trip to Mount Vernon is well worth it.  It’s not surprising that this estate is a landmark full of history, but not many realize that some of that history is the spirited kind. My trip to Mount Vernon actually began at a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia called The Majestic .  It’s a small place that you can easily miss on this busy street, but it’s worth checking out the extensive cocktail list (loved the Mint Julep) and Nana’s Sunday Dinner (incredible Tiramisu, something I’m not usually wild about).  After dinner I was lucky enough to be able to stay at the Mount Vernon Guest Quarters, owned and maintained by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.  This group is actually the oldest national historic preservation organization in the U.S. – and quite hospitable. The next day it was off from the quaint house to the big house, Mount Vernon.  Though the property now has a modern museum and classroom