The most recent livestream—from last week and available by clicking here—covered four wines from the Douro region of Portugal. The white, two reds and port are produced by Quinta de Ventozelo. This tasting was a joint effort with Loes de Vreugd, a Dutch woman learning about wine in Bordeaux (and representing small, organic wineries) who writes her own travel blog called Iconic Life.

Tasting Douro wines

This Thursday, Thanksgiving Day (November 26th), we’ll do another Instagram Livestream about THREE Italian sparkling wines from different regions and different producers. These are all excellent wines. They include a Prosecco, a Franciacorta and a traditional method sparkling wine from Piemonte. The livestream will last from 15 to 30 minutes, and we’ll sample bubbles and talk about these wines and wine regions before we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner.

Time: 4:00 pm [France], 3:00 pm [UK] and 10:00 am [EST] and 7:00 am [PST].

Instagram – tjlmullen, and/or iconiclife_travel

Join us! Or, check out the IGTV video anytime afterwards on either of our Instagram site channels.

Italian sparkling wines to taste and talk about on a Thanksgiving Day livestream


This lockdown cooking is based on a Tuscan cookbook I purchased online specifically for this confinement. The wine is one of several Italian wines from the same Chianti producer (I’ll write about the other wines later).

1. CHEF.

C’est moi. That’s me.


Three dishes from the Tuscan cookbook.

Appetizer: Bruschetta with Roasted Tomatoes and Mozzarella (Bruschetta con pomodori arrostiti e mozzarella)

(The tomatoes cooked for 2 hours in the oven, and the bread was a sliced baguette coated in olive oil.)


Main Course: Veal with Lemon Sauce (Scaloppine di vitella al limone)

Pound the veal steaks, season with salt, pepper (I also added thyme), coat in flour and fry in olive oil for two minutes a side. After all are cooked, return them to the dish—but this time have a mixture of white wine and lemon juice added, and cook for another minute.


Dessert: Italian Carrot Cake (Torta di carote)

This is slightly sturdier than an American carrot cake and not as sweet, but tastes amazing and goes well with coffee. The frosting is just cream cheese and powdered sugar blended together.

Carrot cake


With this food, although perhaps a tad heavy for veal, it was time for a Chianti Classico.

From Castello di Meleto comes the Chianti Classico Riserva 2017 shown below. It’s a powerful wine with juicy aromas of plums and dark fruit. Firm and tannic in the mouth, with a hint of a raspberry taste. This wine will age well for more than a decade.

Chianti Classico


If you need to convert from American measurement units (cups, teaspoons, ounces) to European [SI] units (milligrams, liters), or vice versa, it’s usually easy to type the conversion query into Google. Do this BEFORE you start cooking, and write down the different measurements and units.

European units have advantages. Every try to measure out a half cup of stiff butter? It’s easier to put a lump on a scale to weigh. American units also have advantages. It’s easier to scoop out an 1/8th teaspoon of, say, cinnamon, than to try to weigh that small amount of powder.

Working with both units is not a problem, so don’t fear conversions! I have found that Canadian and Australian recipes sometimes mix both types of measurements, while recipes from some other countries (Turkey, for example) sometimes include both types of measurements.

Enjoy your confinement cooking. Thanks for tuning in!

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