Index

1. Seasonal Tour: Sept 24-27 Gourmet Oyster Festival Galway
2. Recommended Wine: Anthìlia, Donnafugata, Sicily
3. Wine Tasting Tours: Lisbon Wine Tasting Weekend
4. Food Tours: Portofino and Cinque Terre Culinary Tours
5. Gourmet Day Excursions: Cooking and Gardening in Cork
6. Restaurant Review: Tragabuches, Ronda
7. Hotel Highlight: Château Cordeillan-Bages, Bordeaux
8. Summer Cocktail Recipe: The Amalfi
9. What’s in Season: Blueberries
10. Luxury Gourmet Tours in France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain
Bordeaux Chateux

New! Gourmet Food and Wine Quiz

Test your food, wine and travel knowledge on our new Cellar Tours Quiz and enter the raffle to win a fabulous gourmet prize! Last month the Quiz prize winner was Pádraig O'Flaherty who won a copy of New France: A Complete Guide to Contemporary French Wine.

1. Seasonal Tour: Sept 24-26 Gourmet Oyster Festival Galway

Gourmet Oyster Festival Galway
Irish Oysters and Guinness

Ireland has some of the best seafood festivals in the world and the Galway Oyster fest is one of the liveliest. Galway is located in the supremely atmospheric region of Connemara on the rugged Atlantic coast, and a great base for exploring the western side of the emerald isle. We have designed this luxury gourmet package for those of you looking for a great food experience along with stunning scenery and a bit of Irish “craic”.

Sample Program for Private Luxury Tour of the Galway Oyster Festival:

Day 1 Sept 24

  • Arrive to Shannon or Dublin airport and private Mercedes transfer to Galway. Check in to your luxury design hotel, the G (with fabulous spa!) and settle in. This afternoon the Irish qualifying competition for the Guinness World Oyster Opening Championship takes place in the Kings Head. Grab a seat and chat with the locals over Guinness and oysters. Welcome dinner tonight at a nearby castle.

Day 2 Sept 25

  • With your private driver, go sightseeing today in the wild west of Connemara. Visit Roundstone and Oughterard, two of Ireland’s loveliest villages and taste organic smoked salmon at a local smokehouse, with the charming owner. Tonight you will have tickets to the colorful 'Mardi Gras' Party, at the Radisson

Day 3 Sept 26

  • Oyster Tasting today, get ready! Enjoy seafood chowder and platters of oysters in Galway´s Eyre Square. Free afternoon to take in some spa time at your hotel’s splendid spa. Tonight you will conclude your gourmet break in Galway with the Oyster Festival Gala Ball, at the Meyrick. Begin with a glass or two of champagne and oysters and follow with an elegant six course food and wine pairing in a glamorous setting.

If you are interested in this private luxury tour of Connemara, Ireland, contact us at [email protected]




2. Recommended Wine: Anthìlia, Donnafugata, Sicily

Donnafugata
Donnafugata

The Sicilian Donnafugata winery is one of our absolute favorites in Italy and they make a wide range of terrific value dry reds and whites along with sweeties. We have featured their delicious (sweet) Ben Rye wine before in fact. This time we want to tell you about their “Anthìlia” wine - the perfect summer white. The eye catching label was inspired by the ancient Elymian civilization and shows a mysterious woman, hair blowing in the wind. This was the first wine the estate made. The name in fact comes from the Roman name for Entella where the wine originates. Made with the native Sicilian Ansonica and Catarratto varietals, it is a zesty white with aromatic white peaches and lemon zest on the bouquet. On the palate it is invigorating with great mouthfeel and refreshing acidity. It’s a white that you can happily sip at a barbecue party, as well as a more elegant summer dinner, preferably al fresco! The beautiful label makes it a nice gift as well, recommended.

Wine Style: Dry white wine
Appellation: IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) Sicilia
Region: Western Sicily
Grape Varietals:50% Ansonica, 50% Catarratto
Food and Wine Pairing: Tonna Ammuttunatu (Sicilian style tuna with peas and mint), grilled fish with finocchio selvatico (wild fennel), Arancini (rice fritters)

More on the Donnafugata wine estate in Sicily




3. Wine Tasting Tours: Lisbon Wine Tasting Weekend

Bacalhôa Winery
Bacalhôa Winery

Lisbon is Europe’s most fascinating and undiscovered capital. Rough at the edges and still frightfully poor in European terms, Lisbon is nevertheless a truly beautiful and rewarding city to visit with countless hidden corners and gourmet secrets. And we know the best places to show you! We have designed this long weekend to show you the best of Lisbon and its surrounding villages and wine country- all by private chauffeur and with excellent local guides. Enjoy a Port Wine Tasting in the gorgeous aristocratic hamlet of Sintra, admire the sweeping views of the Tagus from Lisbon’s Moorish castle, poke around antique shops with a local art guide, swirl wines in Azeitão, and indulge in high end gourmet cuisine contrasted with honest, rustic Portuguese cooking in local tile-covered haunts.

More info on these fabulous gourmet wine tasting weekends in Lisbon Lisbon Wine Tasting Weekend...




4. Food Tours: Portofino and Cinque Terre Culinary Tours

Portofino, Italy
Portofino, Italy

The Italian Riviera- is this the most beautiful place on earth? It sure comes close with its pastel villages spilling off dramatic vine covered hillsides over the Mediterranean sea, its effortlessly chic resorts, protected marine reserves and lush forest. Come here and you will understand what all the fuss this Dolce Vita is about. Balmy weather, jaw dropping scenery, sea caves, ancient monasteries, glamorous yachts, beautiful locals, sexy food, aromatic wines… this is Liguria. Experience the crème de la crème of the Riviera from elegant Portofino to darling Monterosso in this private luxury food and wine tour. Learn how to make authentic pesto and focaccia with your own private chef, visit a boutique wine estate making Sciacchetrà, explore the coast by private boat and much more!

More info on culinary weekends in Portofino and the Cinque Terre...




5. Gourmet Day Excursions: Cooking and Gardening in Cork

Rory O’Connell
Rory O’Connell

Ireland has long attracted garden lovers with its countless country manors and castles with their manicured gardens. And with the current foodie revolution taking place in Ireland, it is attracting globetrotting gourmets as well. For our very special guests who love cooking and gardening, we have an exciting new offering in East Cork (southern Ireland): a full day experience with a celebrity chef passionate about gardening. Rory O’Connell is the ex-Head Chef of the mythical Ballymaloe House and one of the main teachers at Ballymaloe Cookery School- and is one of the best chefs in the country. Charming, too! Spend the day with Rory at his beautiful private home in Ballycotton and experience the best of Irish fine living. This can be included as a one day activity within a longer food and gardening tour as well.

More info on private gourmet tours in Ireland [email protected]




6. Restaurant Review: Tragabuches, Ronda

Tragabuches, Ronda
Tragabuches, Ronda

José Aparicio, 1.,
Ronda (Málaga),
Spain,

Tel: +34 952 190 291
www.tragabuches.com

Ronda is simply and utterly one of the loveliest towns in Spain. Along with the nearby hamlet of Grazalema, indeed Ronda is probably our favorite town in the south and the ultimate location for a romantic weekend. And there is one place you cannot afford to miss in Ronda- Tragabuches. This Michelin starred restaurant surprises and delights even the most seasoned food tourist. Named after a famous bullfighter and located not far from the bullring, this restaurant is far from traditional Andalusian cuisine. While rooted in tradition (with dishes like ajoblanco and salmorejo), the presentation and final touches are innovative and creative. Yes, we have the inevitable El Bulli foam here, but it is used sparingly and the food is not pretentious (no silly “inside out” Spanish tortillas or mushroom cappuccinos like you have in other Michelins). Just a terrific, multi course gastronomic tasting menu that we highly suggest you enjoy alongside the wonderful local Ronda wines. Stay at the ultra romantic La Fuente de la Higuera while in Ronda and don’t miss the nearby “white villages” in the Grazalema national park.




7. Hotel Highlight: Château Cordeillan-Bages, Bordeaux

Château Cordeillan-Bages
Château Cordeillan-Bages
Relais & Châteaux Cordeillan-Bages, Pauillac,
Route des Châteaux ,
33250 Pauillac (Gironde),
France
Tel. : + 33 (0)5 56 59 24 24
www.cordeillanbages.com

Famous Bordeaux vineyards on your doorstep? Check. Michelin starred celebrity chef? Check. Top class service and smiley staff? Five star classic Relais and Châteaux luxury? Check. On a recent visit to Bordeaux we called in on a surprise visit to “inspect” the hotel and the Château Cordeillan-Bages passed all the tests and more. Located on Bordeaux’s left bank in the wine mecca of Pauillac, this is THE place to stay while wine touring in the region. The refined hotel is located inside a tastefully renovated 18th century Bordeaux mansion and the interiors are sleek and contemporary. Thierry Marx, one of Europe’s most celebrated chefs, runs his two Michelin starred eatery here. Foodies travel hundreds to thousands of miles just to dine here.

The rooms (24 rooms and 4 suites) are plush and airy with all the extras you would expect in a five star- plasmas, power shower and the rest. The Château Lynch -Bages vineyards creep right up to the hotel (same owner) and the hotel is in fact located on the famed Route des Châteaux, in walking distance of stunning estates like the fairy tale Château Pichon Longueville. Check out the little hamlet of Bages a couple minutes away, that the owners are restoring. They have a wonderful French bistro (Café Lavinal), ultra high quality gourmet “bazaar” shop (where we picked up a beautiful French Basque tablecloth) and bakery. Highly recommended.




8. Summer Cocktail Recipe: The Amalfi

The Amalfi
The Amalfi

When you think summer you think sun and drinking Limoncello is like drinking sunshine, hence it being the ideal summer tipple. Limoncello on its own though is best served in a chilled single shot glass after dinner- not as an aperitif. Which is where this drink comes in- the ultimate glamorous summer cocktail which can be served poolside, at a dinner party or a sunset barbecue- The Amalfi. Zesty, sexy, summery

Recipe:

  • 1 part citrus vodka
  • 1 part limoncello
  • 1 part fresh lime juice
  • 2 sprigs lemon thyme/ Lemon rind

Preparation

Throw the limoncello, vodka and freshly squeezed lime juice and the one sprig of thyme into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake well. Strain and pour into a perfectly chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and serve at your stylish barbecue or dinner party. Goes down a treat!




9. What’s in Season: Blueberries

What’s in Season: Blueberries
Blueberries

One of the so called “super foods”, blueberries are one of the most delicious seasonal summer fruits. Native to North America, they are grown all over the world today especially in Australia and South America. North America in fact hosts many annual blueberry festivals in locations as varied as South Haven, Michigan; Marshall County, Plymouth; Nacogdoches, Texas; Burgaw, North Carolina and Sioux Lookout, Ontario. In Europe, blueberries are grown and consumed mainly in Germany, France and Austria. Blueberries are a natural anti-oxidant (containing anthocyanins, flavonols and phenolics) and are a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Sprinkle them into natural yogurt, blend them into a smoothie, bake them into pies and throw them into a walnut salad- delicious and incredibly healthy. Research has shown that blueberry consumption helps lower cholesterol and helps prevent urinary tract infections. Eaten daily, blueberries are even said to slow the ageing process!




10. Luxury Gourmet Tours in France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain

Red Door

If you would like us to customize a luxury private tour for you (in Spain, Italy, Ireland, France or Portugal), contact us and we will prepare a tailored itinerary just for you. Let us show you our favorite gourmet corners in Europe!

We organize chauffeured wine tours and luxurious cooking vacations. Private tours, just for you....

Let us show you our favorite gourmet corners in Europe!

Cellar Tastings S.L.
Address: C/ Monte Esquinza 24, 5C ,
28010 Madrid, Spain
Spain Headquarters Tel: 34 91 182 9790
Calling from USA (310) 928-7559
Calling from UK 020 8144 6806

Email: [email protected]
Web: www.CellarTours.com
Blog: www.CellarTours.com/blog

Contact us today!

CELLAR TASTINGS S.L. is a Fully Licensed and Bonded Tour Operator and Travel Agency, and a proud member of ASTA and the IACP.