1. Recommended Wine: Château Fuissé Le Clos 2007, Burgundy
2. Wine Tour Day Excursions: Sauternes, France
3. Culinary Tours: Cooking in Cascais, Portugal
4. Featured Tour this Season: Spain Gourmet Tour
5. Wine Region Highlight: Loire Valley, France
6. Restaurant Review: Ombrone, Tuscany
7. Hotel Highlight: The Cliff House, Ardmore, Ireland
8. What’s in season: Garlic
9. Summer Cocktail Recipe: Smoked Palomino
10. Luxury Gourmet Tours in France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain
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1. Recommended Wine: Château Fuissé Le Clos 2007, Burgundy

Château Fuissé Le Clos 2007
Château Fuissé Le Clos 2007

Burgundy, usually more famously associated with reds from the Pinot Noir grape, is also home to the rich and complex Burgundy White made from Chardonnay. The gentle, rolling landscapes of this world renowned wine country adds classic subtleties of chalk and flint to their wines; Pouilly-Fuisse’ being no exception. Chateau Fuisse’ an old, truly picturesque family-run estate with almost 30 hectares of prime vineyards in the Maconnais of southern Burgundy has been producing wines since the mid 1800s. As the name “Le Clos” would suggest, the grapes used to make this full, refined, buttery white are picked from the Chateau’s prime, enclosed holding on chalk and limestone. Harvesting late to maximise ripeness adds to the complexity which this wine has in abundance.

On the nose the Le Clos 2007 has a buttery undertone of subtle tropical fruit and citrus acidity. The rich, smooth flavors of hazelnut, kiwi, melon/honey and lime excite the palate with great mouth-feel resulting in round, long length. Silky and creamy but not heavy. This is a white which is age worthy and needs to be enjoyed with food to enhance both the flavors of the wine and the cuisine. Truly enjoyable and a must try especially for all those ABC (anything but Chardonnay!) believers.

Wine Style: Dry white wine
Appellation: Pouilly-Fuissé AC
Region: Burgundy, France
Grape Varietals: Predominantly Chardonnay
Food and Wine Pairing: Veal, chicken, shrimp, lobster, cream sauces.

2. Wine Tasting Tours: Sauternes, France

Sauternes Winery
Sauternes Winery

Whether you are a fan of dessert wines or not we defy anyone not to be impressed by Sauternes and neighboring Barsac, both geographically and historically. This special VIP tour designed for the true wine lover incorporates private and intimate tours around first class wine estates where you will be able to taste and compare various vintages and styles of these formidable wines. All the visits are in English so ask your ultra-knowledgeable hosts as many questions as you like. Over the course of your personalized day tour with us, you will travel in a private chauffer driven Mercedes allowing you to sit back, relax and really soak up the stunningly beautiful rolling hills and rustic charm. Throughout the day you will witness the fascinating contrast and diversity within the dessert wine typology, have a delicious lunch with a wine family at one of the most prestigious wine estates in the region and include the possibility to experience a wine blending master-class in St. Julien. English Aquitaine towers, classy Châteaux, luxury transportation, French family hospitality, five course feasts and stories about Thomas Jefferson; just a few of the highlights that await you on our Sauternes VIP tour.

More info on our private VIP Wine Tours in Sauternes

3. Culinary Excursions: Cooking in Cascais, Portugal

Cascais Lighthouse
Cascais Lighthouse

Cascais is a delightful seaside town just north of Lisbon and home to one of our most interesting culinary offerings- a private cooking class and market tour. With your own private chef in a classy Italianate villa setting you’ll prepare three dishes, partially hands on, and sit down to an elegant lunch afterwards. Then it’s on to gorgeous Sintra, without a doubt Portugal’s most beautiful town. You’ll have a private tour here including the whimsical Pena Palace and then some free time for foodie shopping (you’ll find great ceramics, olive wood, gourmet goodies, etc).

More info on this cook’s tour in Portugal- Cooking Classes in Lisbon (Cascais)

4. Featured Tour this Season: Spain Gourmet Tour

Spanish Tapas
Spanish Tapas

Spain is one of the most interesting destinations in Europe for food and wine lovers. You have wonderful traditions like olives and olive oil; artisan cheese; smoked paprika; piquillo peppers; saffron; fish and seafood from hake and cod to “percebes” and Galician style octopus; Asturian fava beans and pulses used to make succulent dishes like Fabada; Basque tapas and pintxos; rice specialties including Paella; and of an incredibly diverse number of wine regions where you’ll find top examples of rosé white, red and sparkling vino. We specialize in custom designed luxury food and wine tours of Spain and feature many different sample itineraries on our website to use as inspiration for your private tour. Here is one of our most popular offerings, the Grand Gourmet Tour of Spain which includes private wine tours, personalized cooking classes in convivial and informal settings, market tours, cheese tastings, Spanish tapas tours and more

More Info on our private Spain Gourmet Tour

5. Wine Region Highlight: Loire Valley, France

Chateau in Loire Valley
Chateau in Loire Valley

The Loire Valley in France is renowned the world over for its fairy tale Châteaux, dramatic verdant landscapes (which can be best admired from hot air balloon tours) and indeed for its wines. Sancerre for example is one of France’s most prominent wine appellations, where zippy and grassy whites are made with the Sauvignon Blanc grape. The Loire is most famous for its white, sparkling and sweet wines, although an increasing number of dry reds are also being made here. The region is a delight for the wine lover to visit as most wineries are small, family run (so you have passionate, welcoming hosts) and the snob factor associated with other regions is absent here. The wine tours here are generally casual, friendly and fun. Learn more about the Loire wine region and best wine estates here.

For more information on the Loire Valley Wine Region

6. Restaurant Review: Enoteca Ombrone, Tuscany

Enoteca Ombrone proprietors
Enoteca Ombrone proprietors
Via Cerrini, 44,
57021 Venturina (LI),

Tel: +39 348 842 0895

Ristorante Ombrone in Tuscany’s Maremma region (and featured in our Super Tuscan wine tours) is one of our all time client favorites. This cozy trattoria run by the Bini family offers our guests authentic and stunning country style dishes like Fett'unta in bizzarria di extra vergine (Bruschetta with a variety of extra virgin olive oils), Pasticcio ghiotto di lasagne (Special alternative style of lasagne), Lombatina di Cinta Senese in confit di pepperoncino (Loin of “Cinta Senese” pork -Tuscan breed- with chilli confit), Julienne di carote e ananas all'aspretto (Carrot Julienne with tangy pineapple), Semifreddo di cioccolato bianco (White chocolate semifreddo), and we pair the meals with local wines from the Val di Cornia DOC (appellation). This is the kind of food your Italian nonna used to make and the kind of warm atmosphere and welcome you dream about when travelling to Italy.

7. Hotel Highlight: The Cliff House, Ardmore, Ireland

Cliff House Hotel
The Cliff House
Co Waterford,
Tel.: +353 (0)24 87800
[email protected]

The Cliff House Hotel overlooking the spectacular Ardmore bay in County Waterford is a state of the art building which stands on the very edge of a cliff top making use of the 180 degree stunning sea views. Seaside tranquility is what the Cliff House aims to offer its guests as well as warm Irish hospitality, tailor-made spa treatments and fine, fresh Irish produce in their Michelin starred restaurant. All the rooms are kitted out to a very high level while the suites offer luxury on two levels with unique artwork in each and a bathroom leading on to a veranda permitting its inhabitants to enjoy a private shower under the stars.

Daytime activities can be as energetic as water sports, boat fishing, equestrianism or golf to name but a few which the staff are only too happy to organize for you or as relaxing as an indulgent pampering at The Well, their in-house spa. Pampering may be an understatement. A pool with a glass external wall to make sure you are never far from the seascape, an extensive list of treatments to boggle the mind and an outdoor Jacuzzi with another outdoor bath for seaweed soaks being installed this month. Beauty products include Dermalogica and Voya an Irish certified organic seaweed range. Pure bliss! In the evenings guests can indulge at the highly acclaimed restaurant or the bar menu is a bit more casual but equally as enjoyable while the tasting menu is pure heaven for the indecisive among you. Vegetarians may feel the choice is limited however the chef is more than happy to make any of your favorite veggie dishes whilst adding his own touch of class. Staying at The Cliff House Hotel is a feast for the senses and a truly luxurious holiday hideaway for honeymoons, special occasions or just a special weekend treat.

Recommended and included in our Private Tours of Ireland

8. What’s in season: Garlic

What's in Season: Garlic

Garlic (Allium Sativum), an extremely popular and versatile member of the onion family originates from a wild version first grown in Central Asia. Although now grown worldwide, China is by far the largest producer where the sticky juice is also used as an adhesive for both porcelain and glass! This tiny vegetable with its characteristic pungent flavor (and smell!) can also be used to ward off not only vampires but mosquitoes, rabbits and moles too! Its medicinal properties have been widely documented as a powerful antibiotic (great for clearing a chesty cough), antioxidant and for lowering high cholesterol levels. The stronger the garlic, the more sulphur content and therefore higher medicinal value. So eat to your heart’s content; literally! However, garlic needs to be finely chopped or crushed to release Allicin, garlic’s strongest medicinal compound.

When storing garlic, choose a dry place at room temperature where it can breathe and never keep it in the fridge (unless immature) or a plastic container where it will soften and/or go moldy. Do not buy in bulk as it loses its wonderful properties over time. Two of my favourite dishes where garlic plays a starring role are Garlic Mushrooms and Pesto Trapanese. The mushrooms could not be simpler. Your favourite mushroom varieties sautéed with lots of garlic and extra virgin olive oil in a covered pan and served as a tapa with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and warm crusty bread. For the pesto which hails from Trapani on the west coast of Sicily, put rosy-red, juicy tomatoes (skinned and cored) into a food processor along with whole almonds, heaps of basil, enough chili to give a kick, garlic (one clove per person), olive oil and salt to taste and blend until slightly chunky. Serve with trenette, linguini or bucatini, grated caciocavallo or pecorino and a generous glass of Nero d’Avola DOC. Vampires beware!

9. Summer Cocktail Recipe: The Smoked Palomino

Smoked Palomino
Smoked Palomino

We are huge fans of Sherry and like many wine lovers lament its lack of popularity with the general public. While Sherry on its own may be an acquired taste, it’s a best kept secret that the wide range of Sherries (Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Oloroso, etc) make terrific ingredients for cocktails and are the perfect accompaniment to summer barbecues. Here is a wonderful cocktail recipe that uses the nutty and dry Amontillado Sherry (excellent Amontillados are made by Lustau, Sandeman, Emilio Hidalgo, Gonzalez Byass and Domecq.).


  • 2 ounces (Dry) Amontillado (type of Sherry)
  • Sea Salt( Kosher salt) for Rim of Glass
  • Lime Slices for Garnish
  • 1 ounce Crema De Mezcal
  • 1/2 ounces Simple Syrup (1 part sugar to water)
  • 3/4 ounce Lime, freshly squeezed
  • 1 ounce Fresh Grapefruit Juice
  • 3/4 ounce Club Soda


Wet the mouth of the glass with lime juice and dip in thick sea salt. In a cocktail shaker mix the syrup, grapefruit and lime juices, the Crema de Mezcal (vital ingredient) and the Amontillado Sherry. Poor over ice cubes and then add the club soda. Use a fancy straw and garnish with lime slices. Pop on the Flamenco music, olé!

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

Verdicchio Grapes

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

Cellar Tastings S.L.
Address: C/ Zurbano 45, 1st Floor,
28010 Madrid, Spain
Spain Headquarters Tel: +34 91 143 6553
Calling from USA (310) 496-8061

Email: [email protected]

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.