- January 11th, 2011
You are in the doghouse. You need a way to dig yourself out, but no amount of jewelry, flowers or chocolates seems to be working this time. Here’s your solution- trust me, your lover will eternally remember this Valentine’s Day gift as the best s/he’s ever gotten:
Picture yourself in a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies. Now imagine that boat is a large-scale sailing vessel and that river is actually a meandering sea, swollen with the heat of the equatorial sun. It’s nearly February. You’ve been shivering in your rubber boots and smelly wool jacket for months. Nothing on earth sounds better than to loll in the sun like a gecko whilst sailing the high seas. But wait, there’s more! When I think of what’s missing every time I venture to a tropical paradise, my mind inevitably winds toward wine.
If, like me, you wither at the thought of someone prying away your bottle of Bordeaux *even* when sunshine and high temps are at stake, THIS IS THE ADVENTURE FOR YOU. You see, Delille Cellars and Chappellet Wineries have paired with Fine Food and Wine Cruises to package the exclusive vacation of your dreams from February 6-13th in the Caribbean.
In addition to roving the beaches of Barbados and tanning top-deck while cruising through the Iles des Saints, celebrity chef Jason Wilson of Crush in Seattle will expertly pair his award-winning cuisine with the fine wines of Delille and Chappellet.
Chef Jason Wilson remains true to his ideals: preparing the finest local, organic ingredients in a manner befitting the title Modern Northwest Cuisine. A graduate of the esteemed California Culinary Academy, Chef Jason Wilson assisted in kitchens as far afield as France, California and Singapore. Chef Jason received a James Beard Award in 2010 as Best Chef in the Northwest.
Delille has been at the top of my Washington wine list since my first sip of D2; I am extremely fond of winemaker Chris Upchurch’s “red-thumb” when it comes to creating the finest Bordeaux-style blends this side of the Seine. While Napa’s Chappellet is new to me, I am looking forward to the discovery as their wine is wine-lovers wine; they are most famous for their big, meaty Cabernets. Both wineries boast a decades-long list of reserve-level accolades and the rare opportunity to taste so much fine wine under one “roof” rarely presents itself.
It’s a genius concept if you think about it- how many times do you oscillate between choosing a food vacation or a tropical one? More often than not the fierce tug of wine and food (and shopping!) in Italy wins, and I realize in the last few years I haven’t seen nearly enough sun. This handy dandy sailing adventure nips that little problem right in the dewy bud, now doesn’t it? We will be visiting St. Barts, St. Martins, St. Kitts and Mayreau in addition to the previously-mentioned locations, all the while with wine in hand and warmth in heart.
Think of the ship itself like a large yacht- it’s not like a traditional cruise as the vessel is much smaller, more intimate, and designed with every luxury in mind. I can think of no better way to spend the early, dreary days of February, and I’d love it if you would consider hopping on board with me. What a party we’ll have! If you simply cannot get away in early February yet you want to see how it goes in anticipation of embarking on the next voyage, bookmark this space, as I’ll be blogging about the adventure. For Bookings, click HERE.
*full disclosure- Jonathan and Lori Baltuch, the lovely owners of Fine Food and Wine Cruises, are providing me with this experience in exchange for enthusiastically sharing it with the world. If you’ve visited Salty Seattle before, you know I’m nothing if not blunt, so you’ll be getting the real deal and not a bunch of blah blah blah yes-manning. That being said, is there any possibility this could not be the height of rapturous delight? Yeah, I didn’t think so, so come on board, baby!