America, Countries, Food & Wine

California Drying

The perception of the image -conscious Golden State is that if you take two glasses of wine you’re an alcoholic which is why we’re focusing today on California Drying.

And, yes it is me speaking here, extolling the virtues of non-alcoholic wine.

And all for Dry January California.

Lorra LA bottle

All routes lead to LA: Venice Beach

Or Less Angeles if you will with several non-alcoholic bottle shops opening recently.

With a selection of non-alcoholic spirits, aperitifs, mixers and more.

Soft Spirits opened in Silver Lake in October 2021 and Venice’s The New Bar opened in July.

San Fransisc-low

Jump on board: San Fran

And yes, you lose none of the fun from not imbibing.

With non-alcoholic craft mocktails and booze-free craft beer all flowing at the Ocean Beach Cafe in Outer Richmond.

We have Joshua James to thank for building a San Fran community art cafe to house the largest non-alcoholic beverage selection in the country.

And to conduct regular beach clean-ups.

And just because it’s boozeless doesn’t mean you can’t have a speakeasy.

The Temperance Bar, which is open by reservation can be found by visiting Ocean Beach Cafe.

Faux show

Jimmy’s California: An odyssey

And it’s not just us saying it…

When the Faux Real Bottle Shop opened in Los Gatos The City of Los Gatos in Santa Clara County Faux Real Bottle Shop in February 2022…

They reminded customers that “zero-proof doesn’t mean zero fun.”

The bottle shop carries dozens of zero-proof spirits like gin, tequila and rum, non-alcoholic wine and beer, aperitifs and more.

Faux Real hosts a “sober hour” from 1 to 3 p.m. every Saturday to encourage sober socialising.

Sacre blowout

Feast of colours: The Teetotalist

Now this may very well be your cup of teetotal…

Sacramento is expected to welcome a zero-proof bar concept called The Teetotalist in 2023, where people can gather, socialise and enjoy a night out.

In a setting that feels like a bar, but with an alternate beverage menu.

And who knows after California Drying you may decide like Joshua to give it a year and see how it goes.

Me, I did two days after a 24-hour bug from a fellow passenger.

Before entering the good fight in LA…

And I more than made up for it then.


America, Countries, Food, Food & Wine

Winging it to Buffalo

Our thoughts obviously go out to our friends in the hardest-hit city in the Big Freeze of 2022 and vow to help them out by winging it to Buffalo.

Buffalonians, or Bills if you’re a fan of their American Football team, are a hardy bunch who live life to the full.

Full of cheer, beer and the culinary delight that they are best known for and shared with the world, Buffalo Wings.

All of which our group of Travel professionals were treated to first-hand in Dublin a couple of years ago.

And which, of course, we had to be spoonfed on how best to eat the chicken chunks.

And given the backstory to our favourite wings.

But no, they have nothing to do with buffaloes or Buffalo Bill.

Although it’s fun to imagine the Great Cowboy munching on chicken as he lassoed a buffalo out on the plains.

Buffalo wings on the bill

Downtown: Buffalo outside of the winter

No, Buffalo in upstate New York.

Close to the border with Canada, is far removed from the Wild West.

Although food is food everywhere and its origins often similar, hungry, or thirsty, folk, late at night.

And the need to rustle up something to fill the belly.

Which is where they were at just down the road in Connecticut.

With their Neapolitan apizza and their hamburgers from Hamburg.

As usual though we digress when where we want to be in the Anchor Bar in 1964.

Where Teresa Bellissimo welcomed her son Dominic back from college with open arms.

But with bambino and his amici needing fed.

Hot, hot, hot

Home of the wings? We were here first

Teresa needed a fast and easy snack and fell upon the idea of deep frying chicken wings (normally thrown away or reserved for stock).

And tossing them in cayenne hot sauce.

Where this gets even more interesting and is particularly culinary is that a battle then broke out.

When local bar Duff’s began selling its Buffalo wings.

We’ll let them fight it between themselves.

And content ourselves with the fact that there’s all the more to go around.

Who and why they came to be served with blue cheese and celery takes some more digging.

Wagon ale

Out on a wing: Duff’s

Maybe with a Circle the Wagons local IPA and Pilsner or any of the range of excellent upstate New York ales.

Just a couple of reasons then for winging it to Buffalo when it all thaws out.

So good luck Buffalo and we can’t wait to get around the table with you again and fly out with British Airways.


Food, Food & Wine

Eat like royals this Christmas

It’s the one day we all get together with our families and bitch about everybody who isn’t there… and you too can eat like royals this Christmas?

Forget what you’ve seen on telly about their hilarious tradition of giving each other cheap presents because that’s just mean and condescending.

Do the Cath: Cath Kidston

No, we want to know about their gamey pleasures, or maybe now that Chuck is in charge of the firm at Sandringham in Norfolk, it’ll be all nut roasts and organic veg.

And thanks to our old friends at interior and culinary specialists Cath Kidston we can give you an insight into royal favourites.

Royals get stuffed

Elfy meal! Get stuffed up

Of course anybody who has slaved at the stove for Christmas dinner (er, that’ll not be me) will tell you that the secret of any festive meal is the stuffing.

And Cath tells us people are already starting to plan their menus, as searches for “stuffing recipe” have
increased by 238% within the last three months, reaching a 9,900 average.

From a classic turkey stuffing to a mushroom one, there are numerous recipes that will
satisfy the Christmas appetite.

Markle Christmas: Harry and Meghan

But for the royals it’s a blend of sage and onion flavours, according to former royal chef Darren McGrady.

This recipe by Good Housekeeping combines all the traditional ingredients but with a little twist to
give the stuffing a moreish texture – crumbled and chunky sourdough bread.

Meat-free and perfect for vegetarians, this stuffing recipe is a go-to for any Christmas-loving family!

No prizes for who the Windsors want to get stuffed this Christmas, of course.

Royal puddings

Hot stuff: The Christmas pud

Talking of big puddin’-faces…

The Royals favourite dessert recipe has been revealed by chefs in the Royal Kitchens on the Royal
Family Instagram account.

The recipe features 40ml of brandy to add extra spice to the heart-warming dessert (or maybe cherry brandy as Chas is in charge).

But you can substitute it with orange juice or cold tea if you don’t want to use alcohol.

In the Royal Kitchens, the Christmas pudding mixture is stirred up on the Sunday before the Advent
season, hence it’s called stir-up Sunday.

The Sussexes aren’t coming: Charles and Camilla

The search for “Christmas pudding recipe” increased by 1,038% within the last three months.

Of course the pudding one ginger-headed aristo and his pushy Z-lister wife will be sitting down will be laced with venom.

Whoever’s side you fall on, and you can just sit on the fence.

Literally, as it’ll be warmer than the house you can’t heat.

I’m sure you’ll take comfort that they are can all eat like royals this Christmas.



Countries, Europe, Food, Food & Wine

Christmas cracker in Croatia

And the warmth of your festive welcome in the Balkans cannot be cooled by anything as small as a World Cup semi-final… it’s a Christmas cracker in Croatia.

Our old Croatian friends tell us that the World Cup is different this year even though they’ve been pulling up trees again.

It’s just that this time because the football extravaganza is being held in December it’s Christmas trees.

And that they are having to wrap up warm when they take to the streets to celebrate another victory like the one they savoured against Brazil in the quarter-finals.

Today, of course, it’s another South American behemoth.

But this remarkable country of only four and a half million proud souls is used to fighting above their weight.

And they may also have a secret ingredient which can explain the question that is often asked… how do thy do it?

Divine intervention

Dressed to kill: Medjugorje

And that is the Man upstairs, and a woman too, his mother.

At least that’s what I was told by the Franciscans preaching in the Marian hub of Medjugorge.

And OK it’s really Bosnia & Herzegovina but try telling that to the good folk of that town.

Where the only thing that vies for attention on the stalls and the shops are Croatian flags, chequered football tops and pictures of the sainted Luka Modric.

And where the bartender at the Irish Centre in the town gets his music deck out.

And plays Dynamo Zagreb songs and their games on the big screen.

Z is tops

Zagreb is, of course, the country’s capital and by dint where the biggest markets are with a bunch of awards behind it.

Its Christmas market opened on 26 November and will run until 7 January 2023.

Look out for the  creative shop-window displays, shimmering lights and decorations adorning the cobbled streets of the upper town.

Sample the roast chestnuts, sarma (sour cabbage rolls filled with minced meat), paprenjaci (peppery gingerbread cookies) and vanilla half-moons.

And watch out for the paper that they shoot from the Gric Cannon every day at noon.

Beautiful advent

Tree-mendous: Opatija

Venture to the coast between now and January 8 and you’ll find Opatija which has been hailed as ‘the most beautiful advent by the sea’.

And which has the added attraction of an ice rink by the sea.

Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion is its centrepiece, with kiosks offering festive specialities, divine desserts and mulled wine.

While we’re advised that the charming fishing village of Volosko has the catch of the day.

Pearl of the Adriatic

Pearl: Dubrovnik

For many, Dubrovnik is ‘the pearl of the Adriatic’ and it certainly was for James Joyce.

Way before Game of Thrones brought a new audience.

Its own winter festival until January 6 covers an array of locations including the iconic Stardun in the old town with festive concerts.

The festivities of the old town are set against a backdrop of thousands of glittering lights.

For even more sparkle and merriment…

Head to the colourful Winter in Lapad Bay, which comes complete with ice-rink.

Get connected

Luka here: Croatia’s finest

While Šibenik will get you connected with the New Year with the Stereo MCs on the main New Year’s stage in the square in front of the Cathedral of St. Jakov.

Where you can also enjoy Ireland’s finest, music icon Róisín Murphy.

The celebration starts at noon in the legendary park with the performance of the Šibenik Bagatin band.

And in the evening a program on two stages awaits visitors.

It’s all a Christmas cracker in Croatia..

And thanks to our friends from Croatia for the Sretan Božić.




Food & Wine

Play with your food

And because dining at its best should always be an occasion then we’d always encourage you to play with your food.

Even better a play with your food such as that offered by TUI and the creative Canarians.

Who have flagged up their singing waiters at the 1920s-style theatre in Garbo’s in Bahia Feliz.

As one of the many draws for their packages to the dramatic island in the Canaries.

A Gran deal

And so they give us these options for a week’s winter getaway.

For 19 December, TUI Blue Playa Feliz, 4*, SC, from €749pps, €1,719 (2+1), €2,039 (2+2)

Or TUI Blue Orquídea, 4*, AI, from €1,069pps, €2,789 (2+1), €3,729 (2+2) for the same dates.

All of which is a lead-in to today’s topic.

As we look at how we play with the food around the world.

When in Rome

Cencio la Parolaccia, Rome: And the clue is in the title which you’ll know if you’ve been paying attention at your Italian class.

Which I was, and which is why I dragged la famiglia there to the institution in Trastevere.

To be cursed at by the waiters in this comedy dining show… though there’s nought funny about the costs.

A hooley show

Johnny Fox’s, Glencullen, Co. Dublin: And for the best hooley in Dublin head for the hills.

Where you’ll get the best fish, Guinness and Riverdancers.

And immerse yourself in an olde Ireland setting and learn folk and ditty songs to impress your friends with at home.

Oh, what a circus

Circus, London: Roll up, roll up for a spring roll and a show at this pan-Asian favourite in popular Covent Garden.

Sit yourself at the Stage Table for an ever-changing troupe.

Of fire-breathers, contortionists, hula-hoopers and gravity-defying aerialists.

Nowhere to Hyde

Jekyll and Hyde Club, New York: And it’s always helpful to have a little local knowledge.

And being part of the Scottish/Irish/American wave I’m fortunate to have cousins on the inside in the Big Apple.

Which is how we found ourselves in the Jekyll & Hyde Club with scary mounted talking heads.

And giggly big kids… and that was just us.

So, yes, the message is to play with your food and make a play out of your food.

Of course, you don’t always have to have singing and swearing waiters and waitresses.

As I found out when they made an animated farm to fork experience out of our food on Celebrity Edge.

Just go out there and be creative.

And sing for your supper.





Countries, Europe, Food & Wine

Let us eat cake chez Antoinette

She’d make Liz Truss look like Robin Hood, so here’s a thing… let us eat cake chez Antoinette.

Marie Antoinette is remembered, of course, as one of the most unfiltered leaders anywhere across history.

For pronouncing that the poor should forget about bread queues and instead feast on macarons like the French court.

Only that she almost certainly didn’t say anything of the kind and was the victim of wicked propaganda on account of being German.

All of which you can find out for yourself by immersing yourself in all things Antoinette at Versailles.

And all courtesy of Airelles Château de Versailles Le Grand Hotel which has six brand-new guest experiences.

Slice of Marie Antoinette

Eat me: ‘Marie Antoinette’

We’ll of course let their concierges do the heavy work and take you through them all.

But we will give you just a slice with their Marie Antoinette Day.

Your day at her beloved Château de Versailles outside Paris will start when your butler prepares a shower or bath.

Before waking guests up gently with citrus milk, the Queen’s favourite drink, as part of a “Queen’s Wake Up” ritual.

You dormez vous, the bed is scented with Airelles’ signature perfume.

Breakfast overlooking The Orangerie, guests will head to the Domaine de Trianon where they can enjoy MA’s beloved English Gardens.

Ease your muscles with some deep relaxation at the Valmont Spa at La Grand Controlle.

Merci Macaron

A French macaron: And another one after that

Before enjoying a macaron-filled Marie Antoinette Afternoon Tea with MA’s favourite drink – hot chocolate with orange blossom.

Before or after afternoon tea, guests can enjoy the highlight of the day with a dress-up experience.

Channel your inner MA trying on period costumes with a hair and make-up artist.

It’s all an experience that definitely passes the sniff teat.

And that’s exactly what the Marie Antoinette-inspired fragrance workshop does.

The sniff test

Bow for a belle: Dress up like Marie Antoinette

Make perfume infused with roses from the Versailles gardens.

During this memorable session, uncover the secrets of Marie-Antoinette’s favourite perfume and recreate some of the unique creams and lotions used at Court.

So there we are… let’s forget the cost-of-living cake and let us eat cake Chez Antoinette. Price from €2,000.

America, Canada, Countries, Europe, Food & Wine, South America, UK

Drink up Oktoberfest is over

Drink up Oktoberfest is over… and only three days into the 10th month of the year.

So you’re thinking it should be Septemberfest.

Well, nein… the first Oktoberfest was held to celebrate the wedding of Kronprinz Ludwig Ludwig to Princess Therese on October 10, 1810.

It’s just that it’s been slowly been moved back to accommodate the lighter nights.

And the 16/18 day festival now runs from mid or late September to the first Sunday in October.

Or all year round if you’re two Aussies on the run.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

Toast of Munich; The Top Deck crew

It’s a well-told story but my Top Deck double deck bus 10-day trip to the Munich Beer Festival and Austria stretched a little longer.

One year longer to be precise as Brownie and Smutley dropped in on me, if a casual visit describes a 543 mile trip north.

From London to Aberdeen.

Being Aussies, of course, they asked to stay for a weekend and left a year later.

But only after returning to the scenes of my crimes at the Lowenbrau and Hofbrau huises and Kirchberg in Austria.

The original, and still best Oktoberfest may have poured its last stein for 12 months.

But the party still goes on around the world.

Oktoberfest around the world

Embrafest: Oktoberfest in Princes Street

In Edinburgh this October 6, 7, 8 and 9, here where I initiated the neighbour in all things Helga and Hofbrau last year.

And in the greater German diaspora with Kitchener (formerly Berlin) in Ontario, Canada where 700,000 clink steins annually.

The Americans, naturally, would never want their neighbour to outdo them and Cincinatti and Denver run them close.

You might be surprised to know though that Blumenau in Brazil is only surpassed by Munich and Kitchener for visitors.

Lager Down Under

Kick up your heels: Oktoberfest in Munich

Of course Brownie and Smutley could have stayed where they were and enjoyed Oktoberfests in Perth in the Supreme Court Gardens.

Or any of the great Aussie cities.

Mind you as anyone who has been to Munich for Oktoberfest will tell you for those two weeks it is a little corner of Oz.

So the Munich celebrations have wound up when the last lederhosen-dressed Bavarian has called ‘Drink up Oktoberfest is over.‘

But that just means finding your next Oktoberfest bash wherever it is in the world.



America, Asia, Countries, Food & Wine

A cup of cha for the Queen

The Queen Mum liked her gin, Princess Margaret her Champagne, Prince Charles his Cherry Brandy but we suspect it was a cup of cha for the Queen.

The QM’s drinking holes counted racecourses up and down the country, Mags the Caribbean and especially Nylon Beach in Tobago and Chuck the Isle of Lewis.

For the Queen though it was her many palaces around Britain.

And especially those where she spent most time relaxing… Windsor, Balmoral and Sandringham.

So if you want to toast her memory this weekend raise a cup with that most British tipple, tea.

And add to the 100 million drunk by Britons every day, almost as many as are queueing to see the Queen’s coffin.

The Royal cuppa

Take a seat: The Willow Tearooms

Britain’s love affair with East Indian tea began in royal circles with a hangry 7th Duchess of Bedford.

Anna’s answer was to take tea served with light snacks which became the phenomenon of afternoon tea.

The fashion took hold throughout the land and onto our doorstep in Glasgow, the Second City of the Empire.

Queen tea: And is that a tea cosy?

With the Mackintosh Tea Rooms which celebrate the high-chaired furniture and interior decorations of the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

And that’s just the cup of tea for more modern home furnishing British institution Cath Kidston.

With Cath kindly giving us a tea-potted history of cha around the world.

Crowning glory: Cath Kidston in Southampton

Of course all the tea in China isn’t all the tea in the world but it was where we first got the taste.

When Emperor Shen Nung went for a seat under a Camellia sinensis tree in 2737 BC.

The story goes that a few leaves fell into his boiling drinking water to try the accidental infusion and tea was born.

There’s more to this tea

Tea in bed: OLCOTE in Sri Lanka

His tea rituals he mapped out in Ch’a Ching (Tea Classic), the first book about tea written during the 8th century.

Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian in its philosophy, Chinese tea ceremonies are centred around peace, mindfulness, and appreciation.

And as many as the tea leaves in a cup, their most famous ceremony is the kung fu tea ceremony, sometimes known as gong fu.

Of course the tea we all know and love in the UK is from the Jewel in the Crown.

No, not the curry house.

But where Our Little Corner of The Earth, or OLCOTE, the hotel retreat of my old Sri Lankan-Irish force of nature Tess De Kretser will pour.

Take the floor: Bewley’s in Dublin

But from Assam in India, and Ceylon, which we all know as Sri Lanka.

If the British love their tea then the Irish love their tay double.

Ya Corker: Lafayette’s in Cork

Only be sure to know which brand to order where…

So that’s Lyons in Dublin where it must be Bewley’s Oriental Cafe on Grafton Street and Barry’s in Lafayette’s in Cork.

Rockies tea

The benchmark: Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse

Just like cats and dogs we’re told that you’re one or the other, tea or coffee.

Only we’re both, and even in the cwaffee-loving Oo Es of Eh, or especially, tea can be a delicacy.

As we found when we rocked up in the Rockies and discovered the links between Boulder, Colorado and Dushanbe, Tajikistan .

Another cuppa: Dushanbe

It’s 35 years since the Mid-West of America and the Mid-East of Asia hooked up.

And they built strong foundations from the off with architect Lado Shanidze leading more than 40 artisans in several cities of Tajikistan.

To create the decor for the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse.

Tea for me: In Boulder

Including its hand-carved and hand-painted ceiling, tables, stools, columns, and exterior ceramic panels.

Like the best artists our Tajik pals have carved their names into the teahouse’s history.

With Manon Khaidarov and Mirpulat Mirakhmatov, who helped reassemble the tea house, in signing their names in the ceiling.

A message carved in the ceiling reads “artisans of ancient Khojand whose works are magical”.

All of which you can dwell on when you’re sipping your Chai.

Colourful ceramic

Colour me good: Engraving

Eight colorful ceramic panels, created by Victor Zabolotnikov, grace the building’s exterior and display patterns of a “Tree of Life”.

And that’s enclosed by a mihrab motif (a niche in a mosque indicating the direction of Mecca.

Did we mention the Seven Beauties? Och, you’ll just have to get out there to find out for yourself.

We have to get back in the queue… we left it to get a cup of cha for the Queen.


Caribbean, Food, Food & Wine

Kabawe Libre in St Lucia

The beauty of the Caribbean is that they all have their own take on island life and we can put our own mark on each which is why we give you Kabawe Libre in St Lucia.

And if that sounds like Cuba Libre then that’s deliberate.

And because the St Lucians hosted me so well on their trade show in Dublin you can have that pitch for free.

Apt really because that’s what Libre is and because the rum flows liberally throughout the West Indies.

When in rum

All shapes and colours: Rum in the Caribbean

Kabawe is the Creole word for Rum Shop.

And the St Lucians value theirs just as much as the birthplace of rum just down the water in Barbados.

Which is why the exotically-named St Lucia Tourism Authority CEO Lorine Charles St Jules is promoting the Kabawe Krawl experience.

Best explained by the woman herself:

“The aim of the Kabawé Krawl is that visitors to our shores experience the unique Bar, Rum, and Culinary adventures in Saint Lucia.

“This will allow for the tourism dollar to be spread through our smaller communities and local hot spots nationally.”

She explained that there was a process.

And that all interested bars will undergo an onboarding process.

Domino dancing

Happy chappies: Dominoes in Barbados

And they will be trained in customer service and safety management.

Of course the first starting point for me would be a bunch of oul’ fellas in the back room.

Slamming down dominoes and stamping down on a floor with sand on it.

And not the type we get in my own homeland of Scotland to mop up the slops.

But authentic grains from the beach outside.

Irie Barbados: With Jevan and Donna

We know what a rum shop should look like from limin’ with the locals in Barbados earlier this year and on previous trips.

And we’re keen to explore our old pal Marc’s new Island Time Rum Tour.

While we’ve been down this trail too with Antigua and Barbuda.

They clued us in on their Beach Bar Trail at that Dubin roadshow.

Best bar none

The best greeting: The Irie Bar

We imagine then that the Kabawe Krawl will follow a similar route which checking out a map of the isle might mean:

Starting in the north at the Irie Bar it has all the features we love…

A bamboo structure with plants, flags, local crafts and fishing elements and reggae.

In the pink: The Pink Papaya

The Pink Papaya at Point Seraphine is another which sells itself on its name…

And its jerk chicken and cocktails on the patio.

A rum, a therapy: The Rum Therapy Bar and Treatment Centre

The Rum Therapy Bar and Treatment Centre echoes Soca star King Bubba’s mantra on life… rum is mi only medicine.

And we’re told that owner Nicole will encourage you to do a little number at the karaoke.

All after you’ve lubricated your throat with her spiced rums.

Now whenever I’m out in the Caribbean I’m briefed by The Scary One to pick sea shells at the seashore.

She sells Seashell: At the Seashell Beach Bar

And The Seashell Beach Bar, the still resort, has the taste of the sea about it.

Jump in (literally) but maybe before your fruits of the sea and rum cocktails.

Drink it in: St Lucia

Finish off at The Hustler’s Beach Bar, a watering hole that looks named for me.

And it has been named in places as the best hideaway ever.

Situated in a very recognisable name place too, Londonderry… and I’m sure the locals will give you its history over a cold one.


Countries, Food & Wine

Red red wine and Georgia

You make me feel so fine which is why I’ll be celebrating the day that’s in it with red red wine and Georgia. And the rest of the world.

Now we’ve been getting high on the black grape for 6,000 years since the ancient Georgians thought to bury grape juice underground in the winter.

All of which makes you wonder how it took until 2014 and Jace Shoemaker-Galway to establish Red Red Wine Day.

Like all the best ideas you kick yourself that you didn’t come up with it first.

Own it, Eoghan

Gang of four: With Eoghan, Teresa and Sharon

Or that someone you know didn’t, such as the Doyen of Irish Travel and Irish aficionados, Eoghan Corrie.

Who on every trip would regale us with his global tales of derring-do when he had a glass of red in his hand which is always.

And, of course, who knows more about wine than I’ll ever know.

Which is that after the Georgians first bottled the grape the Egyptians got in on the act in 3100BC.

You (and me) are probably more familiar with a Bordeaux red.

And that has been around since 71AD.

Georgia on my mind

By George: With the Georgia ambassador

Of course, Ambassador George didn’t want to talk to me about French red or Egyptian vintage when he invited me around to the Egyptian Embassy in Dublin.

And regaled me about the world’s first winds from his country.

And sent me home with a bottle, although not 5,000 years old although I wouldn’t have complained.

Whatever your red, and we have a standing joke in the family based around Effin’ Merlot, channeling the film Sideways.

And give a thought to our fave drink. Red red wine and Georgia, the birthplace of a favourite tipple.