Tag Archives: California

Shot of the Week

La Jolla Cove, California

If there is a such thing as reincarnation, it wouldn’t be so bad to come back as any of the marine life in La Jolla Cove near San Diego, California.

Tara for TKGO

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Drinking Wine Like Grown-Ups

For the past couple of months, we’ve been touring the world of wine. We signed up for the weekly, introductory Wine Appreciation “mini course” at Northwestern University’s student center to start drinking wine like adults instead of college kids. Below is a regional run-through of what we learned, as well as descriptions of some of our favorite bottles, most of which cost under $15. This is by no means an exhaustive tour, but you have to start somewhere!

The Basics

  • Hold the glass by the stem so your hand doesn’t warm the wine.
  • White wines in this price range are better when younger (more recently bottled).
  • The term “estate bottled” means the grapes are grown and bottled by the same vineyard. This ensures quality.
  • Reserve (or reserva) means the producers kept it back a year or so to age before distributing it. Drink them right away; there’s no need for extra aging.
  • Gewurztraminer is the current trendy choice in white wine. It’s hearty and aromatic, and is one of the rare few that goes well with Asian cuisines (BYOB, anyone?).

 

Sparkling and dessert wines at Wine Appreciation, by Karina for TKGO

 

United States: West Coast
Chardonnay is the most popular grape in America. Pinot noir originated in Burgundy, France, but also grows well in Santa Barbara.
  • Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc 2008
  • Bonterra Mendocino County 2008
  • Turn Four Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2007
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Washington
France
You won’t be able to discern the varietal (or type of grape) from the label, which is a departure from wine labeling in the rest of the world. What’s important in France is where the grapes grew and the wine was bottled. French people themselves tend to drink wines from the Loire Valley.
  • Muscadet Henri Poiron 2008, Loire Valley
  • Cotes du Rhone Jean-Luc Colombo 2007
South America
Chilean and Argentine wines are famously delicious and easy on the pocketbook. Malbec is a varietal used in blends all over the world, but Argentina is the only producer to bottle it alone.
  • Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Reserve, Maipo Valley, Chile
  • Terrazas Malbec, 2008 Argentina
Australia and New Zealand
Chiraz is the national grape of Australia. Though rieslings are often German, New Zealand makes some rieslings to reckon with.
  • Yard Dog White Blend 2008 Australia
Sparkling/Dessert Wines:
Champagne is sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France. Anything fizzy made elsewhere is just called sparkling wine. In order from dry to sweetest, the classifications are brut nature, brut, extra dry, sec/dry, demi-sec and doux. Brut is most common, and it’s typically 60 percent pinot noir and 40 percent chardonnay.
  • Method Champenoise Gruet Blanc de Noirs
  • Heidsieck & Co. Monopole Blue Top Champagne Brut

Grab some bottles and start tasting. Cheers!

Tara and Karina for TKGO

Re: Your Naked Coffee Table

When the trip calls but the bank account prohibits, it’s time to decorate your coffee table. We found four photo-heavy volumes to last through your travel dry spell. If your bank account is really tight, you can always leaf through three (almost) entire books online. Click the link at the bottom of the description. Have a safe flight!

Los Angeles, Portrait of a City by David L. Ulin, Kevin Starr and Jim Heimann

 

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

 

Los Angeles is a misunderstood city — we’ll admit we’re still figuring it out — but that’s probably because most of us have a superficial understanding of what’s projected as a superficial city. The 572 pages of this weighty book work to get you deeper into the City of Angels; its nostalgic and often charming (see: cover) photographs guide you through its history, icons, culture and development in a calm, absorbing manner. It’s an ode, a tribute, but also an invitation to understand iconic L.A., all through images. Leaf through the book here.

Mario de Janeiro Testino by Mario Testino

 

The cover comes in three colors, courtesy of TASCHEN.com

 

Famous fashion photographer Mario Testino’s coffee table book is no high-fashion joke. Originally from Peru, Testino now frequently does work for high fashion ad campaigns and Condé Nast publications like Vogue and Vanity Fair, but before his fashion fame, he spent many summers of his early teen years in Rio de Janeiro, gawking at the “tiny bathing suits” and the “carefree and wild” young people of the Brazilian city. After so many years, he finally returned with a camera and a risque, semi-nude itinerary. The book is hefty and the photos are trendy, but the faces and unique poses of the Brazilians in these mixed black and white and color photos will leave you curious about the Portuguese-speaking population of South America (not to mention have you thinking about sand, surf and tropical drinks even in the dead of winter). Plus, you’ll find text from famous Brazilians like supermodel Gisele Bundchen to add additional points of view. This is a book for the ages — the kind your grandkids would buy in a vintage shop decades from now. Leaf through 166 of the 200 pages here.

D&AD 2009, The Best Advertising and Design in the World from TASCHEN

 

An inside page, courtesy of TASCHEN.com

 

Advertising can tell you a lot about a city, like the typical sense of humor, popular foods and how people get around. And why not narrow it down to the best advertisements in the world? In this beautifully designed hardcover, find everything from screenshots of Visa Europe’s TV commercials to images from the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation’s Asia Pacific campaign, all with a description on why the campaigns were successful and other interesting details. Leaf through the entire 576-pager on TASCHEN’s site.

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips from National Geographic

 

Courtesy of Amazon.com

 

This list would be incomplete without a tome from National Geographic, the touchstone for international, cultural and travel-related photography. The shots are consistently awe-inspiring and informative, and this book especially — a compilation of National Geographic writers’ most treasured trips — sparks some serious wanderlust. Aside from the stunning photography, what appeals to us most about this particular National Geographic book is its unconventional organization. The categories destinations are grouped under are not countries or even continents, rather subjects such as modes of transportation (“By road,” “By rail,” “On foot”) or motivation (“In gourmet heaven,” “Into the action”).  As for the bits of travel advice included, we encourage you to do outside research to round the recommendations. Grab a pen and paper when you sit down with the book, because you’ll be doubling (at least!) your life trip list after flipping through.

Tara and Karina for TKGO