Saturday, August 30, 2014

Female PhD Winemaker Behind Château d’Yquem~









Chateau d'Yquem is one of the world's most expensive, prestigious, and sought after wines--that many consider the ultimate wine. The storybook vineyard sits back on a little traveled country road, and at 100 hectares is the largest in the Sauternes area of Bordeaux. 

For hundreds of years Château d’Yquem was owned by the Lur-Saluces family, until 1999 when it was sold to French luxury conglomerate Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton (LVMH). I recognize that "luxury conglomerate" would strike one as ironic if this weren't the 21st century where paradox is king...
Yquem's PhD Winemaker~

From her youth, Château d’Yquem's winemaker, Sandrine Garbay, was fascinated with biology, agriculture, and in working for a laboratory. At 18, she studied oenology, and at age 20 apprenticed at the magnificent vineyard Château Latour. After receiving her oenologist’s license, she worked in a lab for 5 years, winning her PhD.

In 1994, Garbay began working in the new lab at Château d’Yquem, the sole premier cru classé supérieur in Sauternes, and eventually became the chief winemaker.

Tours of the winery are given in the afternoon by the assistant cellar master in French and English, almost exclusively to members of the trade. However, there are tour companies that specialize in high-end winery itineraries like Yquem, Cheval Blanc, and Petrus. 

Classic Combinations~ 

Personally, I would most like to pair Château d’Yquem with a two week stay at the Four Seasons in Geneva (above)... Others find that lobster, shellfish, or blue cheeses like English Stilton and French Roquefort Comté make a marvelous combo. Three chefs, three lunches developed for Yquem: (HERE).

Excellent short video at Château d'Yquem with Wine Master, James Cluer: (HERE) and his overview of Sauternes: (HERE). Interesting conversations with Château d'Yquem winemaker, Madame Garbay: (HERE) and (HERE). Beautiful tasting menu developed by 3-star chef for the wine: (HERE). 

Thank you so much for stopping by~Cheers to your lovely weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ultimate Highs During Cannes Sept 9-14 Yachting Festival~

Enjoy this Bucket-List Dinner Spot During
The Cannes Yachting Festival September 9-14







The 37th Annual Cannes Yachting Festival is staged at a time of spectacular Côte d'Azur weather and in the classic venues of Vieux Port, Port Pierre Canto, and the Palais des Festivals. Event video overview: (HERE). 

During the September 9-14 festival enjoy a meal on the hilltop terrace of the 5-star boutique Chateau Eza high above the Mediterranean and the ultimate dinner setting in "The Bucket List" film ...

Yacht Racing's Mountaintop Is Also From France~

The Vendée Globe single-handed, non-stop, round the world yacht race was founded by Frenchman Philippe Jeantot in 1989...and takes place every four years. 
This is the only non-stop round-the-world race, and thus regarded as the ultimate in ocean endurance racing. Other races take place in stages. 

The race circumnavigates a clipper route that begins and ends in Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Videos linked on the race website attest to the grueling nature of this ultimate challenge that runs from November to February when severe conditions hit a course pragmatically removed from rescue. 

Something special this way comes tomorrow. Thank you for stopping by. Rod Stewart's "Sailing" (HERE).

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Days Of Wine And Roses~

The Days of Wine and Roses
A St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat rental with a CZ Guest air...(HERE)
La Maison du Vin Kurkoff with a popular wine bar~ 
La Table du Royal in the harbor...



Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a petite French Riviera peninsula of posh. Posh villas. Posh nature. Posh history. A posh yacht harbor ringed with posh restaurants that serve everything from posh French cuisine to posh pizzas. And it's chock-a-block with posh billionaires... 

Eateries to check-out: Harbor-side La Table du Royal and La Maison Du Vin Kurkoff. The later is also a wine bar with possible sketchy Russian Mob connections. Or as Hollywood Screenwriters call it: Atmosphere. Plus a world class collection of rare and fine wines available by the glass...

Tomato and Tapenade Tartlets to serve 6~
by Dorie Greenspan

This is easy to make and delicious. Ensure the tomatoes are meaty and the tapenade thick, not runny, otherwise you’ll risk a soggy crust...

1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
1/2 cup green- or black-olive tapenade 
5 to 6 ripe medium tomatoes, preferably assorted colors, cut into 1/4-inch slices
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
18 small fresh basil leaves
6 green or black olives, pitted, sliced

Position racks in top third and bottom third of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 pastry sheet at a time, roll out on floured surface to 13-inch square. Using 6-inch-diameter plate, cut out 4 rounds from 1 sheet and 2 rounds from second sheet (reserve remaining pastry for another use). Transfer 3 rounds to each baking sheet. Pierce each round with fork. Top rounds with another sheet of parchment. Place another baking sheet atop parchment on each sheet.

Place 1 baking sheet stack on each rack in oven and bake 10 minutes. Rotate baking sheets and bake until rounds are golden, about 10 minutes longer. Using oven mitts, carefully remove top baking sheets and top sheets of parchment. Continue baking pastries until deep golden, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer sheets to rack to cool. 

Increase oven temperature to 450°F. Spread generous tablespoon tapenade over each pastry round, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges. Alternate 4 tomato slices with 4 mozzarella slices atop each pastry in pinwheel pattern. Bake just until cheese begins to melt, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and pepper, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Arrange a few basil leaves and olive slices atop each tartlet and serve immediately.

Gorgeous St-Jean Sunrise: (HERE). Thank you so much for stopping by~

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stunning Paris Heist, Dessert, And Read~

The George V famous for its High Tea...









On a recent quiet Paris Sunday afternoon, following High Tea at the Four Seasons George V--a billionaire Saudi Prince who'd been a guest of the luxury hotel for 45-days...departed in a MBZ van with a bodyguard and driver--trailed by a convoy of 10 staff vehicles. They headed to Le Bourget Airport 9-miles away where the 1% park their jets, and for a planned flight to Ibiza.

Suddenly, a cinematographically executed ambush blocked the MBZ with two BMWs. Eight masked gunmen jumped the occupants... 

Within seconds, they'd grabbed a suitcase stuffed with $335,000., and sensitive diplomatic documents, then drove off with the MBZ, its driver, a Saudi official, and a bodyguard. Later, the hostages were found unscathed alongside their torched vehicle.

The scenario reads like the 2013 New Year's Eve heist at the flagship Paris Apple Store. Another choreographic villainy that occurred in the heart of Paris with hundreds of police saturating the posh arrondissement. No suspects. No word of either crime being close to solved. Did a few of the BCBG watch The Italian Job one too many times and adopted a side-line? We'll all have to stay-tuned, to watch and see...

Strawberries with Basil Ice Cream Recipe~
From “At the Crillon and at Home” by Jean-François Piège
Serves 4

Strawberries:

1 lb (500 g) flavorful strawberries
2 teaspoons (10 ml) balsamic vinegar
Sugar for seasoning

Strawberry Juice:

7 oz (200 g) strawberries that are soft 
1 2/3 cups (400 ml) water
5 teaspoons (20 g) sugar

Basil Ice Cream:

4 cups (1 liter) milk
1/3 cup (60 g) sugar
3 tablespoons (8 g) chopped basil
7 oz (200 g) egg yolks
2/3 cup (110 g) sugar

To make the strawberry juice, combine the strawberries, the water, and the sugar in a mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Cook over low heat until the strawberries reach the consistency of a puree. Press through a fine sieve to obtain a clear juice. Set the juice aside.

To make the basil ice cream, bring the milk to a boil with 1/3 cup (60 g) sugar. Add the chopped basil. Lower heat and blend for 10 minutes. 

Beat the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar—2/3 cup (110 g)—until light and fluffy.

Pour this over the hot milk and heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Strain through a small sieve and chill for 5 or 6 hours. Process in an ice-cream maker and freeze. 

Wash the strawberries without removing the stalk and gently dry them before hulling. Season with balsamic vinegar and granulated sugar. Arrange the strawberries in dessert bowls, pour the juice over, and marinate for 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Presentation: Accompany with an oval scoop of basil ice cream and a few basil leaves.
Am reading, "Mrs. Hemingway" a novel, by Naomi Wood: (HERE). It expands on and fictionalizes themes from "Paris Wife"...also tremendous.

Thanks so much for stopping by~ Charming music from the era when Hem and Hadley first hit The City of Lights: (HERE).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The French Saint-Lucia Islands~








Photo Credit: Reagan Johnson
The Ladera Resort and Saint Lucia Tourism: (HERE). To get that, 
"I just vacationed in the Hamptons” look before you leave...

I witnessed astonishing results in a lawyer friend who was suddenly on death's doorstep from pancreatic cancer. Among other treatments she started drinking one daily fresh-squeezed shot early each AM at Whole Foods. Her results were stunning. Thus I began the regime, too.

Within a week or two my eyes, skin and hair had a lustrous glow. I was so energized that I was power walking 4+ miles early AMs followed by weight training for 45 minutes. Within weeks strangers were stopping me in the street and in stores asking what I did to look so healthy and fit.

When I moved to Carmel-by-the-Sea where there’s no convenient outlet to purchase fresh wheatgrass shots, I stopped and those gains disappeared. 

Fresh squeezed wheatgrass juice contains most of the important vitamins and minerals, and its 70% chlorophyll helps to detoxify the lymphatic system and destroy free radicals. It’s an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, cobalt, zinc, with high levels of Vitamin C, E, K and B complex, plus 17 amino acids.

The high levels of chlorphyll, nutrients and enzymes offers powerhouse cleansing and building effects, in addition to being highly alkaline—which is crucial for health. Cancer can’t grow in an alkaline system. 

The live enzymes in wheatgrass are the crucial link to life, health and function. We lose vitality when enzymes are depleted—as they are the spark of all energy and function.

80% of the body’s energy is spent digesting and converting food into nutrients. Enzyme value is lost by cooking food, and in processed, chemicalized, canned, GMO, fast and microwaved ‘foods’. 

Enzymes are depleted by pollution, stress, lack of sleep, lack of fresh air and clean water, by chemicals in household cleaning products, and in extreme hot and cold. Thus, the body breaks down.

Energy and vitality can be enhanced, and aging reversed by re-fortifying your body with high-quality enzymes. To me it is truly a magic elixir and like landing at your hotel in Saint Lucia…you feel transformed from the start...Pavoratti's gorgeous Santa Lucia:(HERE). 

Watermelon Delight Cocktail~

2 oz. Chairman's Reserve rum
2 oz. Perrier or club soda
1 tsp. brown sugar
Cubed watermelon
1/2 lime juice 
Mint leaves

Muddle the mint leaves and lime juice in a glass, add brown sugar, then ice. Next, add watermelon cubes, then pour rum and soda and serve with a garnish of mint or lime. Serves 1.

Thank you for stopping by. Apologies that my posts are sometimes late these days. ATT has been going down at night on an increasingly regular, inexplicable basis...