Terrific TURKISH Airlines!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The irrepressible and indomitable Travelling Gourmet jets to Europe on…

MULTI Award winning Turkish Airlines. Checking in online was very passenger friendly. Turkish Airlines picked up four awards in June 2017 in the Skytrax World Airline Awards. Turkish Arlines won the  Best Airline in Southern EuropeBest Business Class Onboard CateringWorlds Best Business Class Lounge, and Best Business Class Dining Lounge“! Wow!

I am looking forward very much to the food and wines my flight as I shall flying Business Class.

In Singapore’s Changi International Airport Terminal 1, I was invited to the SATS Premier Lounge.

Impressive Istanbul CIP Lounge!

The flagship Istanbul lounge is a humdinger with two levels and an open air atrium plus grand piano. Enchanting and numerous Turkish and international live cooking food stations, stand-alone cafes, Turkish coffee, tea and even olive stations, this is really, really nice! For your amusement, there are amenities like a full golf simulator, pool table, video gaming stations, and even an elaborate slot car racing setup for kids! as well as the usual Top class lounge goodies include free massages, showers, and private baggage lockers with built in USB chargers. By far the best business class lounge comparable with SIA’s First Class Lounge in Changi International Airport.

 

On the day of your flight you get an email for your online check in which is a breeze and very user friendly even for those that are not very good with computers!

DINING and Turkish wines!

As The Travelling Gourmet TM, a celebrated international Travel, Food and Wine Writer/Editor/International Wine Judge I have to say the food is OUTSTANDING! I especially like and appreciate the SKY Chefs and the Cheese and dessert trolley just like ina fine dining restaurant and they plate the food so nicely too! I love too the Turkish wines that are served. No mundane wines like Chardonnay and Cabernet sauvignon…wahaha!

 

To be continued…

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The Travelling Gourmet TM in Verona for VINITALY!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The audacious and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet TM goes to taste more wines in…

MUCH acclaimed VINITALY! Today on 18 April 2018, it is the last day of Vinitaly. Another warm and sunny day for exciting wine tasting! I am looking forward to it. last night was a grand dinner in the Palazzo Gran Guardia which is an ancient palace near Piazza Bra which has nothing to do with ladies’ underwear I assure you…The dessert of Millefoglia from a famous pasticceria called Perbellini was outstanding! So ueber creamy and a tirfle sweet but yummie! OMG!

 

I attended this Grand Tasting and learned a lot…

 

I was kindly given a VIP invitation for Opera Wine! On Sat 14 April the day before the opening of Vinitaly…they even gave me a piece of the ribbon after the cutting!

 

Wed 18 April 2018

16:21      VINITALY IS WINDING DOWN AS THE EXHIBITORS START TO pack up their wines and spirits. I went to have a Nardini Bitter cocktail with my dear friend Antonio Nardini before coming to the Press Center. I also visited Castello Monaci a Puglia wine producer to taste some of his wines earlier.

Before that I tasted the wines of another dear friend, Mauro Stival of Moletto wines in Treviso.

I also went to degustazione the wines of award winning Paladinwith Enrico Paladin the brother of my dear friend Lucia Paladin.

Castello Banfi was another stop to taste Tuscan wines of power and structure!

Early in the morning, I tasted the fine wines of Marchesi di Barolo with bellisimma Valentina Abbona of the family that owns Marchesi di Barolo. I fell in love with the Zagara which means flowers of the orange. It is a lovely seductive wine of Moscato d,Asti with superbo caramelised orange and sweet apricots…to kill a terrorist for. So delightful with sicilian Pannetone cake with candied orange peel and raisins!

Yes, it is a tough job being The Travelling Gourmet TM but somebody has to do it…

 

To be continued…

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Vinitaly letter from Verona

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmnet TM

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The intrepid and debonair Travelling Gourmet is in Verona for…

MARVELLOUS Vinitaly and today on

Tue 17 April 2018 it is DAY 3

Let the Tasting begin!

After a very good breakfast with a glass of bubbly prosecco I watch the golden sun rise over the snow capped Dolomites in the distance and get ready to drive to Vinitaly.

So many wines to taste!

What new wines shall The Travelling Gourmet TM discover and learn about today…

 

Her nickname for me is Bobby…:-)

 

 

Here The Travelling GOurmet TM makes dessert with Balsamico and Prosecco from Italy!

 

 

To be continued…

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The Travelling Gourmet TM in Verona – VINITALY

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The resourceful and audacious Travelling Gourmet Tm is in the City of Love for VINITALY 2018 on…

Monday 16 April 2018

Day 2 of VINITALY in Verona the city of Romeo and Juliet

The warm sun is up and it looks like a very beautiful day..After a jolly good breakfast it is off soon to VINITALY for more hard work…wine and food tasting…

VINITALY is getting bigger and bigger and so on the way into Veronafiere there are big jams of cars and buses. I am based in a nice 4 Star hotel in Villafranca called Hotel Expo where the GM is my friend.

First stop at the International Buyers’ Lounge to fortify myself with a hot espresso! Then I  visited Maculan and the owner Fausto Maculan for some salami and wine…a light Vespaiolo like the summer breeze.

On next to see a dear freind Chiara Lungarotti of the famous Lungarotti wines of Torgiano. Chiara told me her son, Giovanni is turning 11 and we tasted her best wines which was really lovely. My favourite is the Rubesco. i also tried their red Passito dessert wine which is most unique.

 

To be continued…

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The Travelling Gourmet in Verona!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The debonair and energetic Travelling Gourmet is in sunny Italy for the

MUCH awaited 52nd Edition of VINITALY the world’s largest edition of Wine , Spirits and Olive Oil!

Sunday 15 April 2018

Make Italian Wines great again! Wahahah!

Yesterday, Sabato 14 April 2018,  was the Grand Opening of the 7th OPERAWINE in the Palazzo Gran Guardia. With Italy having no governo/government, there was some confusion with the Guest of Honour, normally the Minister of Agriculture…So ist das Leben. It could only happen in Italy. While US, UK and French warplanes decimated the evil Syrian regime’s poisonous chemical weapons sites, here in Verona it was a celebration of 100 of Italy’s best wines selected by The Wine Spectator magazine. Viva la differenza! “Nemo me impune lacsessit” goes the ancient Roman saying…It means : war appeals to those with no experience of it…

 

They cut the ribbon which was the in Italian colours and they kindly gave me a piece of it for good luck! I also saw my friends, the Chief of Police who is a lady, as well as Commandante Ettore Bromato, the head of the Carabinieri.

At the Press Conference, Stevie Kim, the MD of Vinitaly elaborated on the close collaboration with Wine Spectator magazine and also introduced a very special guest. She was my friend, Gina Gallo of the E & J Winery in California, USA. My very dear friend, the late Dr. George Thoukis was the Chief Winemaker for Ernest & Julio Gallo. Talking about her late uncle Ernest, Gina became emotional and teary as she told how Italian Immigrants, Ernest and Julio Gallo, were the ‘American Dream’ personified. Gina said, ‘We are lucky to have some wonderful Italian wines in USA. In Gallo we are focussed on the earth and sustainability and making great wines!’ There were speeches also by Bruce Sanders, Senior Editor of Wine Spectator, and Maurizio Danese, the President of Veronafiere.

After that it was a long wait for the Light Lunch with Gallo wines which turned out to be a lavish and BIG lunch in true Italian style. Wow, so much yummie food and Gallo wines!

 

To be continued…

 

Su 15 April 2018

FIRST DAY of VINITALY!

1057 I am in the Sala Stampa or Press Room

My first wine was in the International Buyers’Lounge of Bresolin Asolo Prosecco Extra Dry which was most refreshing!

The OLDEST Grappa in the world!

I went next to hall 3 to see my dear friend Antonio Nardini who was in a meeting but I tasted a Mezzo e Mezzo cocktail with Sharla.

 

On next to Donnafugata in Hall 4 to see dear Jose Rallo the GM who told me, ‘You are the first one to taste our new wine, only 7000 bottles from Mount Etna!’ A most wonderful wine called Sul Volcano 2016 bursting with refreshing minerality, kalamansi flavours and flint. Velvety with a gold hue and stimulating freshness reminscent of the French sauvignon blancs.

Later I had a Mezzo-Mezzo Grappa cocktail with Antonio Nardini the 7th Generation of the Nardini Grappa, the oldest Grappa in the world. Before drinking you must knock the glass twice on the table for buona fortuna or good luck! Cheerful Antonio told me, ‘We have a new Grappa line with lower alcohol and a modern contemporary rebranding focussing on my ancestor Bortoli, and all in starkly impressively dramatic black and white…and a new video too! We saw 5, 6 different companies for the rebranding but they were all the same old thing…except for one! This is the one we chose.’ Antonio and I love dogs very much, and he told me about his 3 dogs, all Boxers, papa, mama and baby. They are named Caligula, Nerone and Poppaea…I was told also of a very exciting new Grappa Event in Singapore on 10th May 2018 so save the date!

to be continued…

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Pantelleria perfetta!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The suave and debonair Travelling Gourmet jets to Italy on…

MARVELLOUS Turkish Airlines to Venice…and then to explore the wind swept island of Pantelleria of the biggest island in the Mediterranean that is SICILY! Here I saw first hand the ‘heroic viticulture’ and winemaking of trend setting Donnafugata which creates some FABULOUS wines like one of my personal favourites…Ben Rye which means ‘Son of the wind’. How apt because Pantelleria means ‘daughter of the wind’! Thus Passito (dried) di Pantelleria is the most delicious and yummy dessert wine that is perfetta with cheese and foe gras and much more! In a small but highly manoeuvrable Fiat panda expertly driven by mid amico Baldo Palermo of Donnafugata, we explored every nook and cranny of this amazing and rugged island!

In Khamma contorda or district I visited the historic Winery of Donafugata and saw up close the small ‘bonsai’ Zibibo or Muscat of Alexandria vines…many over 100 years old!

I was up at 06:00 when my Breitling titanium watch woke me. From Trapanai airport near Marsala, I touched down in Pantelleria and it was off to a flying start! With dynamic Baldo at the wheel driving along winding roads like a sepent’s tail 200m ASL, we soon arrived at the historic Donnafugata winery. On the way we stopped to admire the views of the rugged coastline which reminded me of the movie, The Count of Monte Cristo. Baldo is a goldmine of information about Pantelleria and he pointed out Giorgio Armani’s luxury villa framed by palm trees near the sea.

In 1989, the late Giacomo Rallo got the brilliant idea for a winery on this rugged island while hunting for rabbits. He thought of planting the Zibibo or Muscat of Alexandria grape to make special wines. Now Donnafugata has 14 wineries all over the island and harvest starts between mid Aug to Sept.

 

 

To be continued…

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Gastronomic Safari Normandy

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

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The irrepressible and debonair Travelling Gourmet TM flies to…

MARVELLOUS Normandy to taste superb Cheeses, Caramels and Calvados…

One of the most delightful pleasures of travel is to taste and savour the foods, wines and spirits of the region you visit. This is especially true of Normandy that is justly famous for its coveted CHEESES!

Captivating CAMEMBERT!

Camembert cheese is inextricably linked to the vilage of Camembert. This yummie cheese was developed in 1791 by the wife of a local farmer, Marie Harel. Now its fame has spread far and wide. President Camembert from Domfront is excellent with a smooth texture and flavoursome nutty taste.

 

Beautiful BRIE!

Brie de Normadie is a superb cheese made from a specific herd of cows that includes at least 50% of cows native to Normandy. The milk is 50% higher in butterfat content and is FREE from hormones and antibiotics according to European law. Four types of milk are combined to make Normandie Brie. One is organic, one is raw milk, and two are AOC or appellation controlle d’origine, which designates products from a specific area. The Brie from President has 60% milk fat and an ueber creamy seductive mouth-feel which the French call “Texture cremeuse”.

 

When to serve CHEESE a la francaise!

In France, any cheese is served between the main course and a sweet dessert, typically  wine left over from dinner. It can also be served as a snack before appetizers.

 

Beurre d’Isigny

This wonderful PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) butter from Normandy is only made from the freshest cow’s milk, taken between 24 to 48 hours of natural production.  The milk used must come strictly from cows that are born, bred and fed in the Cotentin penninsula or Bessin area. Refined through the old-fashioned churning process, Isigny butter is known for its deep yellow tint, described as “bouton d’or” (‘buttercup’). This is due to an abundance of carotenoids in the creamy gourmet butter that has an 82% fatty solids content plus high levels of oleic acid & mineral salts, which give it a distinct hazelnut flavor & superb spreadabilty. So very yummie on hot baguette!

 

 

 

 

 

To be continued…

 

 

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