Wine Tasting in Chile

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Wine Tasting  In Chile

“I like on the table,when we’re speaking,
the light of a bottle of intelligent wine.” Pablo Neruda

Casablanca is a newer wine region between Valparaiso and Santiago. In the 1980s some entrepreneurs started drilling for water underground and the first vineyards were planted. The climate is good for grapes. Cold air from the nearby Pacific Ocean give the grapes a long ripening period.

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The summers in Casablanca are warm but not hot, which is perfect for white wines. In the beginning, the wines in Casablanca were mainly white. Now Pinot Noir and Syrah are also doing very well here.

Our first winery at 10am was Loma Larga Vineyards. It is a Chilean boutique winery.  Alejandra Guiterrez  greeted us with a smile  and was very knowledgeable about all things related to wine.  This vineyard is a good place to taste red wine in an area that is famous for whites. The setting is beautiful with the vines growing among apple, avocado, almond trees and rose bushes.

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We toured the production room, a modern facility with a steel walkway overlooking the tanks, and the barrel cellar.

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The vineyard produces two lines, Lomas de Valle and Loma Larga, which ages in French oak casks.

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The tasting took place indoors because it was a really cold morning. Breakfast is the most important wine tasting of the day. We bought wine. They have a warehouse in Napa, California and they deliver.

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Our second winery was Kingston Vineyards. It is another boutique vineyard with a small but high quality group of wines.

It was closer to lunchtime and still very cold for spring.

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We walked through their exquisite vineyards. By we I meant  me and my stray dog.

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The American Kingston family splits their time between the US and Chile. This vineyard was founded in the 1900’s by their ancestors as a dairy and cattle ranch. They began growing grapes  in 1998. In the wine production room there are stainless steel tanks, French oak casks and concrete eggs.

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The shape of the eggs allow for optimal circulation of the juice. I had never seen that before. A few other vineyards in the valley use them.

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We then had a tasting and lunch in a small private room. It felt more like sitting and tasting their delicious wines with friends. Lora Kelley our guide was from the US and taught us a lot about the vineyard.

Kingston also has free shipping to the United States. We bought more wine.

Our last vineyard of the day was The Matetic Vineyards which are located in the Rosario Valley. This completely enclosed valley is perpendicular to the ocean and features ideal climatic and topographic conditions for both red and white wines.

The Matetic family emigrated from Croatia to Chile in the late nineteenth century. Chile has the largest Croatian community outside of Croatia. In 1999 they planted their first vineyards.

The winery now owns about 120 hectares of vineyards, all which are certified organic and biodynamic. They produced the first cool-climate Syrah in Chile, and with their success, other wineries began producing their own cool-climate Syrahs too.

In 2004, the Matetics constructed a state of the art winery.

The wine tasting was outside overlooking the beautiful vineyards. The wines were superb. It had warmed up by then. Tipsy and happy by the third vineyard, I could not remember this pleasant French guide’s name. They don’t deliver to the United States. We had brought wine travel pouches with us so we bought more wine.

We broke one of the cardinal rules of wine tasting that day, which is that evaluating the later wines will be difficult if you swallow the earlier ones. The alcohol you consume will cloud your judgment  and your memory. A few weeks after we arrived home, bottles of wine started arriving. We did not remember buying that much.

Fly safe,

JAZ

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Street Art Around The World

Street Art Around The World

“I laugh at the way some people think graffiti is all selfish tagging and vandalism. Thoughtful street art is like good fiction – it speaks out on behalf of everyone, for us all to see.” Carla Krueger

Since cave painting, human beings cannot resist the urge to draw and write on walls. It is my favorite art. I am drawn to the bright colors, the fact that it is available to everyone and especially, the mystery. Who did this? Why? What does it mean? Sometimes I see the same artist in different countries. Here are some favorites from around the world. 

Lisbon, Portugal

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Capetown. South Africa

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Tel Aviv, Israel

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Bogota,Colombia

Los Angeles, USA

Melbourne, Australia

Rio, Brazil

Fly safe,

JAZ

Weird Things I Have Learned In Los Angeles

Weird Things I’ve Learned In LA

“You’re not going to see people like this again for a long time, he said and I said I always saw people like this & he looked at me for a moment and said, You’re not from around here, are you?” Brian Andreas, Story People

You can drive one block in Los Angeles. In fact most people do.

Parking meters in Venice can only be used for their allotted time. If you try to put more money in, you have to move your car and come back. Is this something new?

The bus system in Los Angeles is a lot like a third world country.  The bus is on a major street and for no reason makes a turn to go down a quiet residential block and then come back. I picture the driver saying “Hm that looks like a nice street. I think I will go there.”

The subway system goes no where that I need to be.

Every few blocks in LA  is a different city or named something different. Ex Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills Adjacent, Beverly Hills Post Office. Beverly Hills Flats.

Los Angeles is the most populated city in  California and the second most populated in the United States, after New York City.

It is illegal to manufacture pickles in the industrial zone of downtown Los Angeles.

When Los Angeles was founded in 1781, 44 people (14 families) lived in El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de la Porciuncula (Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angeles of the Small Portion). The population grew, but the name shrank to simply “Los Angeles.”

Animals are banned from mating publicly in LA within 1500 feet of a tavern, school or place of worship. It is a big problem for my dog.

The citizens of Los Angeles are called ‘Angelenos’, which  rhymes with casinos.

The Shirley Temple, a non-alcoholic cocktail, was invented in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is home to over 1.2 million college graduates. Many of them are actor waiters and their parents are not happy.

There are lots of beautiful people in Los Angeles – highly concentrated in upscale nightclubs and expensive shopping areas . There are also lots of ordinary people who make the effort to look their best. Sometimes too much effort leads to scary.

It is not a great place to grow old. I picture plastic surgeons who look at these women who try so hard and say after the anesthesia” Ok, let’s have some fun.”

Los Angeles is considered to be the world’s entertainment center. Here, on an everyday basis, there are over 100 movie and television production crews shooting for their respective soaps/films on location.

Los Angeles is not filed with beautiful blondes. It is 70 per cent non white with Hispanic being the largest percentage. Orange County is filled with beautiful blondes.

There are sixty-five people in Los Angeles who have the legal name Jesus Christ.

The Summer Olympics have been hosted twice by the city of Los Angeles, first in 1932, and then again in 1984.

Jeans and flip-flops go just about everywhere in LA.

The most important industry in LA is manufacturing.

Most of your waiter and waitresses are actors, models, dancers and comedians.

It is illegal for human beings to marry rocks in the City of Los Angeles. But it is not illegal to marry rock stars.

The Rams came to L.A. from Cleveland in 1946. The Dodgers arrived from Brooklyn in 1958, the Lakers from Minneapolis in 1960, and the Kings were an NHL expansion team in 1967. Prior to the Rams’ arrival, the L.A. sports scene centered on UCLA, USC, and two minor league baseball teams

You rarely get a straight answer when asking people in LA what they do for a living. They are between projects or a life coach or a pet psychic etc. 

Every year, about 100,000 women in Los Angeles County have their breasts enhanced.

Someone in LA will always tell you when mercury is in retrograde. Someone from NY will never know this.

In LA, they know how to make a great salad but not bagels, chinese food or cannoli.

In LA most people do not come to a complete stop at a stop sign. It is called the California slide or roll.  I learned that it is illegal. Long day at traffic school for trying to fit in.

There are four times more hamburgers eaten in Los Angeles County than in the rest of California. Is that because we have more In and Out Burgers?

Fly Safe,

JAZ

How to Avoid The Paparazzi Or How To See Celebrities In Los Angeles

How To Avoid the Paparazzi   or How To See Celebrities In Los Angeles

“Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else.”  ~Will Rogers

Since many  of you who read this blog don’t live in Los Angeles, you may be planning a trip.   Most people in LA do not use their feet as a method of transportation. We  jog or walk our dogs.  Streets are never crowded. Paparazzi in LA are very noticeable. They don’t blend in like they do on the crowded streets of New York or Rome.

It is one thing for paparazzi  to stand outside a trendy restaurant  or club. We anticipate that. We expect to see them on Robertson Blvd looking for Kim or Paris ( Do we still care about Paris?). On a Saturday afternoon, we know that they will be outside Barneys, the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and Rodeo Drive.    But it is another thing to encounter them all day long.  So I thought I would tell you how to avoid the paparazzi  or places to see celebrities in LA,  which ever you prefer.

1. I was  eating my lunch ( tuna salad and green juice – it is LA after all) in a beauty salon.   The door was open. I looked out and saw three paparazzi aiming their cameras at the open front door.  I was about to be the background shot for whoever walked out that door. I was going to be unknown woman with a mouthful of tuna. Luckily it was my turn. (Anastasia, BH)

2.Lately,  they hang  out  at the parks.  You can see them hiding behind trees like pedophiles with cameras.  They need to get that photo of a child on a swing who happens to  have a famous parent. My dog peed on their camera  cases.  To distract them, I said “Doesn’t that look like  JLo and the kids?.” They ran.  (Santa Monica Park)

3.There is always the market.    Am I the only person who doesn’t care that Jennifer Garner’s daughter can push the shopping cart? Is there something I am missing?  Is she a grocery cart pushing prodigy?  Is it really necessary for me to be woman who ran into the market to get ice cream because she was depressed, in the background of this shot?  (Vicente Foods, Brentwood)

4. The traffic is stalled on Ventura Blvd.  I am in the right lane.  I edge up and notice that  at least eight cars in front of me have no one in them. As I slowly maneuver into the left lane, I see all the paparazzi at the newsstand –  It must be for the Stars Are Like Us section – yes, some stars still buy  their own magazines. It probably isn’t  someone as famous as Beyonce or anyone who thinks they are like Bravo’s Real Housewives. It might be someone who grew up in the valley and knows this newsstand – like the Kardashians or the Jacksons. Unlike us, they don’t have to explain why they are late for work because the paparazzi stalled traffic. (Newsstand on Van Nuys and Ventura, Sherman Oaks)

5. Paparazzi Heaven is Malibu – so many celebrities in such a small area. .  Malibu shopping center  used to be charming. It felt like a small town.  It has been redone with  many expensive stores and trendy restaurants.  I was having breakfast with a friend  at an outside table when she said ,”Turn around”. I did and faced the camera lenses of twenty paparazzi, aimed for the door  right behind our table.  “How can you eat like this?,” I asked.   She replied, “No problem, I used to be a model.“  (Malibu Kitchen, Malibu)

6. There were two homeless people sleeping on Carbon Beach. .  This is a  stretch of beach with multimillion dollar beach houses.  I had never seen that before. When I got closer, I could see the cameras under the layers of clothing. Really guys? Did you think they wouldn’t notice? You are the only  people sleeping on an empty beach in winter clothes.   (Carbon Beach, Malibu)

7. I had a  bad cold and ran out to the pharmacy wearing pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt.  The paparazzi is standing at the front door. “Don’t shoot,“ I yell as I run through  the door. I do not want to be mystery woman in pajamas behind reality TV star in sweats running to the pharmacy. (Longs Drugs, now a CVS – and you can tell the difference, Brentwood.)

8. The woman who walks my dog when I can’t  get home during the day,  told me that my dog has a girlfriend.  It is the dyed pink poodle of a famous celebrity and she cannot tell me who it is. She said that my dog  ended up in paparazzi shots the other day. If you want to see a celebrity that owns a dyed pink poodle, follow them home from Barrington Dog Park in Brentwood. They go on Wednesdays.

9. The famous ex-governor/ movie star/ cheater and father of housekeeper’s child lives in a gated community on my street. I live in a canyon. It is a small road that you can’t park a car on.  During all the commotion , you would drive down the quiet  road to a circus of paparazzi and tv vans everywhere. I’m glad no one cares about him anymore.

10. One day, I walked out of a frozen yogurt store and there were thirty paparazzi  across the street. Their cameras were aimed at the entrance to the spray tanning store next door. It’s true. Your favorite celebrity has a fake tan. A bus load of Japanese tourists pulled up. They all jumped  out and stood next to the paparazzi with their cameras poised ready to have their LA paparazzi moment . Now that was funny. (Portofino, BH)

Im sure  the LA people have  more stories.

Say cheese and fly safe,

JAZ