Covid-19 Vaccine Passports Are Coming…..What Will That Mean?

Sometime soon, you might arrive at an airport or a stadium or a restaurant, open an app or flash a card, and be admitted to a place or experience that was denied you during the pandemic. You will have just deployed a vaccine passport, a certification of either vaccination status or immunity following a natural infection that confirms you no longer pose a risk to others.

“Soon” is right now in Israel, where a passport debuted in February that lets vaccinated people attend events and patronize restaurants and gyms in the country, and in Estonia and Iceland, where proof of vaccination allows non-citizens to enter without quarantine. Soon is probably the near future for other rich countries that vaccinated their citizens early—including in the United States, where the Biden administration has committed to the concept of vaccine passports and is pushing the Department of Health and Human Services to set standards for competing private-sector products.

….continued…https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-vaccine-passports-are-coming-what-will-that-mean/

Source:  Wired

#science #VaccinePassport #vaccine #covid19 #travel #travelnews #Monday #travelnews #instatravel #mondaymotivation #mondaymood #mondayvibes #travelgram #traveltheworld

 

Direct Train London to Bordeaux Planned for 2020

A direct high speed railway that would take passengers from London to Bordeaux in under five hours could be in operation by 2020, according to the chief executive of the HS1 rail network.

 

Currently travellers from London to Bordeaux have to change trains in Paris. The Paris route takes 5h 25m, including a 1 hour 5 minutes connection in Paris, travelling from London to Bordeaux.

The current return connection in Paris takes 6h 26m, with a longer 1h 55m connection in Paris, owing to the need to pass through border and security controls.

The new direct service would cut travel times to less than five hours in both directions, through a direct route and security controls located in Bordeaux, with trains reaching speeds of up to 200 mph between the two cities.

The proposed route bypasses Paris and takes advantage of a newly completed 302km French high-speed rail line linking the French town of Tours with Bordeaux.

“As we’ve seen with the recent introduction of the Eurostar London-Amsterdam service, there’s a real demand for international train services to provide a comfortable and better-connected service, especially for leisure journeys,” said Dyan Crowther, chief executive of HS1 Ltd.

“This is the first time that railway operators have collaborated in this way and saves the train operator having to do a lot of legwork. The route is almost ready for a train operator to turn up and turn the key as soon as the UK and French Governments agree on border controls.

“With the right commitment, we could be looking at new services in the next couple of years. The service will take passengers direct from city centre to city centre, taking the hassle out of travel to South West France.”

HS1 Ltd, the owner and operator of High Speed 1, is in advanced planning with three other international railway operators along the proposed route, and is working on pre-planned timetable slots and train routes, meaning that a new international train operator will be able to get the route up and running in “a couple of years”.

The four railway operators along the proposed route (HS1 Ltd, Lisea, Eurotunnel and SNCF Réseau) are meeting at the end of April, beginning of May, 2018 to discuss developing a Gare de Bordeaux-Saint-Jean station, to facilitate international departures.

Source Drinks Business, UK

BULGARIAN WINE – PART 1 – CHATEAU KOLAROVO

Bulgaria is one of the oldest winemaking countries in the world; this Balkan nation has been stomping grapes since the time of Thracians who were big fans of Dionysus.

With the fall of communism and recent investment and innovation, they’re again immerging on the international markets. Bulgaria has five official wine regions, each with their own microclimates and grape varieties.

Danube Plain (northern) region

Taking in the fertile plains between the Danube and the vast Stara Planina range, this dry, sunny region is home to 35% of Bulgaria’s vineyards – plantings include Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Aligoté, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pamid, Merlot, and the sweet Muscat Ottonel. The deep purple, slightly spicy Gamza is the region’s signature variety.

Black Sea Coast (eastern) region

Running down the coast from Romania to Turkey, this region encompasses 30% of Bulgaria’s vineyards. With long, hot summers and mild autums, conditions are ideal for white varieties including: Dimyat, Traminer, Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Valley of Roses (sub-Balkan) region

Specifically known for rose oil production, this small region produces dry whites. It’s particularly famous for Misket.

Struma River Valley (western) region

This small but significant region is home to the village of Melnik. Despite having a population of 400 people, Melnik is a nation-leader in producing strong reds; its signature, Shiroka Melnishka Loza, was a favorite of Winston Churchill. The region’s arid, Mediterranean climate also makes it ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

Thracian Lowland (southern) region

This region – south of Stara Planina and extending to the Sakar Mountain – produces one of Bulgaria’s most famous wine grapes: the red, spicy Mavrud. Other ripper reds include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Muscadine and Pamid. The Bessa Valley sub-region has serious vintage: wine has been produced there (by the Dionysus-doting Thracians) since the 5th century BC.

 

CHATEAU KOLAROVO

 

There are over 37 mountains in Bulgaria with most of them in the south. Our next appointment took us to Sakar Mountain which is in the southeast. Between four mineral-rich rivers: Maritsa, Tundzha, Sokolitsa and Sazliyka and close to the borders of Greece and Turkey, there has been an increased concentration of aspiring newcomers. These new producers are seriously concentrating on bigger reds like Cabernet, Syrah and Mavrud and Merlot.

After another lengthy and fun bus ride, we came to Chateau Kolarovo, which is housed in a former Soviet warehouse. The facilities are very basic. This boutique winery was founded in 2009 by businessman and horse lover Stoyan Stoyanov.

Chateau Kolarovo currently has 12 ha of old vines in cultivation, manly red varieties. Founded six years ago this small winery now produces 40,000 bottles annually. Since its first vintage in 2009 Chateau Kolarovo has won many international awards including two recent Decanter awards this summer for Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 (Silver) and Ahal 2011 (Highly Recommended). We learned that the “Ahal” wines were named after a Bulgarian horse breed that is bred for long-distance racing – hence the logo.

IMG_1321

We had an informal tasting and lovely regional-style lunch outside in the garden area, led by winemaker Iliana Koeva and Stoyan Stoyanov’s son.

Stoyan Stoyanov and Iliana Koeva

Some excellent reds tasted:

Kolarovo Ahal 2010

Kolarovo Ahal 2011

Kolarovo Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

Kolarovo Merlot 2010

Kolarovo Special Selection 2009

Kolarovo Syrah Premium 2011
Chateau Kolarovo is definitely one to watch out for.

 

Liz Palmer

Miami’s Beaudevin Wine Bar is Tres Magnifique!

Hues of green line the interior and exterior of Beaudevin while upbeat, popular music fills the air. You know the songs – they’re the ones you hum to. The atmosphere is so relaxing that you’ll forget you’re in an airport. Keep an eye on that time so you don’t miss your flight!

Beaudevin is my favorite spot in MIA and is a one-of-a-kind airport wine bar. Located in Terminal D right across from gate D24, I find myself here every single time I’m in Miami, no matter my departure gate (thanks to the Sky Train, which makes galavanting around Terminal D very easy). In fact, this morning I sat down at the bar for a pre-departure mimosa and breakfast. My adorable, attentive server, Andrea, actually recognized me from previous visits. It’s kindness like Andrea’s that really make the Beaudevin experience a gold medal one.

The stemware here is gorgeous. My champagne flute is very tall and luxurious. The wine glasses are so elegant and weighty that you automatically stick that pinky finger out when drinking from them. Love this attention-to-detail.

Speaking of wine glasses, three charming chandeliers dangle gracefully from the ceiling. What’s so special about that? They’re adorned with wine glasses! Clever and cute!

The menu is well rounded and perfectly suited to Beaudevin’s impressive wine menu. Following is just a teeny sampling of Beaudevin’s not-so-standard wine list. Since I’m a chardonnay & cabernet drinker, that’s what I’ll focus on here because that’s what I’m familiar with. As a side note, reds dominate the wine list. However, there are enough whites and bubblies to make everyone happy.

The Sky Team

THE CHAMPAGNE REGION IS #2 ON THE LIST OF TOP 10 WINE DESTINATIONS FOR MEN

Where does one go for the full oenophile experience? Men’s website AskMen.com offers its top 10 list of wine destinations for those keen to travel for the grape.

No.1 Burgundy

The ancient ocean beds that have receded to give life and fertile soil to the Beaune give Burgundy its depth and complexity. Like an ever-evolving maze, each sip of luscious Pinot Noir or clean, crisp Chardonnay lends itself to a bevy of adjectives and thoughts. The gem among the subclassifications of Burgundy is the Côte d’Or, or the “Golden Slope.” The hillsides in Burgundy gather up the sun’s rays, and paired with the nutrient-rich dried seafloor, give character to famous vineyards like Domaine Romanée-Conti, Vosne-Romanée and Chassagne-Montrachet. Not only do these wines age perfectly if kept in a climate-controlled storage system, but the subtle nuances of the Pinot Noir evolve and mature into silky, smooth perfection.

No.2 Champagne

Champagne is a region known not only for its quality but also its consistency. Big-name producers make both consistent house styles as well as single vintage products, and the quality is unrivaled. With a combination of steady prices and a surge of smaller producers who are meticulous about their quality — like Pierre Gimonnet et Fils — the region offers new products as the big names of Perrier Jouët, Dom Perignon and Moet & Chandon continue to provide classic styles that define elegance, sophistication and celebration. Life would be a little less special without Champagne.

No.3 Tuscany

The home of some of the most recognizable and consistent wines in the world, Tuscany produces such wines as Chianti Classico, Brunello, Carmignano, and the red blends known as Super Tuscans. (Due to the government regulation on the blending of wines, Super Tuscans do not have to adhere to a formula.) Tuscany embodies hard work, dedication and passion. The terroir and texture imbue Tuscan wines with a richness that stands out.

No.4 Bordeaux

No one region has had as much influence over the past century as Bordeaux. Creating everything from a wine culture to mythical vintages that garner more attention than some celebrities, these wines have set standards and tasting profiles worldwide. The two rivers that separate Bordeaux into “left bank” and “right bank” are the Garonne and the Dordogne. Merlot is the granddaddy here and lends its texture to historic wines like Pétrus and Château Ausone. Due to over production, many of the Châteaus are failing to make the same landmark wines they were able to in the early 2000s.

No 5. Mosel

Two rivers, the Saar and Ruwer, cut through the dramatic German landscape and converge into the Mosel River, creating a gorgeous backdrop for some of the most complex wines in the world. The steep south-facing slopes gather as much sun as possible as the delicate Riesling grapes gain a deep minerality from the rich slate soils. Riesling, the soft wine grape, is king here. Before Bordeaux took the world by storm, it was the Rieslings produced here that basked in the world’s attention

No. 6. Napa Valley

The first of the wine regions in the United States to garner international praise and attention, Napa, California, is home to some of the world’s greatest wineries. With a tradition that spans from early settlers to finding a “legal” way around prohibition, the American “cowboy” mentality comes through in the determination to make a world-class wine when they were told they never would. The outstanding Mediterranean microclimate and a mixture of decomposed oceanic fossils and lava ash give the rich grapes of Robert Mondavi, Chateau Montelena and Harlan Estate their bold and elegant flavors.

No. 7. Piedmont

Wine in Piedmont is as much a part of life as breathing. The leading grape here is Nebbiolo, which produces the superb Barolo and Barbaresco wines. To complement the depth of the Nebbiolo wines, sweeter wines Moscato d’Asti and Asti Spumante are made from Moscato Bianco. The mineral-rich wines from Azienda Cerreto feature the citrus and pear flavors of the Arneis grape.

No. 8. Ribera del Duero, Spain

Sitting on the northern plateaux of Spain along the Duero River, the rocky terrain of Ribera del Duero is home to the vines that give birth to the most expensive wine in the world, Vega Sicilia. The Tempranillo grape and the ability to grow world-class Cabernet Sauvignon give this region the leg up on its Rioja brother.

No. 9. Barossa Valley, Australia

Wines from Australia continue to push the envelope in terms of the amount of flavor you can pack into a bottle. An anonymous Australian winemaker once said, “We make wines that punch you in the face and then kick your teeth down the road.” Even though they’re jam-packed with intense fruitiness, the wines are well balanced. For wine drinkers who are looking for a fruit-forward wine that cuts through a meaty steak or a rosemary lamb roast, try a Grenache or a Shiraz.

No. 10. California’s Central Coast and the South of France.

Dubbed by aficionados as “the next frontier,” California’s Central Coast is filled with bar-setting vineyards like Longoria, Foxen and Sanford. Heavy producers of fresh, strawberry-scented Pinot Noirs and clean, woody Chardonnays abound, and producers often experiment with biodynamic farming.

The South of France sets the tone for most of the “green” farming in wine. Coupled with huge flavors and floral bouquets, these wines span palate ranges and have set the groundwork for a new breed of wine making. Regions like Côtes du Rhône and Gigondas produce some of the most complex and dynamic wines in the world. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape style of red-blended wines inspired some of California’s Central Coast’s best Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre wines.

LA Times