First off, congratulations to the Giants for sweeping the Tigers in the World Series. I will be the first to admit I didn’t see it coming especially after counting them out twice during the divisional and league championship series. Being a long-time suffering Giants fan, I have to tell you that it’s both bizarre and wonderful to see them win it all not once, but twice in the last three years. If you’re mystified at their strange and steep trajectory at the end of the season, so am I. But I’ll take it any time. 

Travel Glam

The last few weeks have been all airplanes with the big trip a 29 hour door-to-door jaunt to Bento Gonzales, in Brazilian wine country for the ASI Americas competition. Congrats to Veronique Rivest for winning the finals and kudos to Ian Cauble for taking third. As I write this post on yet another flight back home from the East Coast, I’m reminded of the necessities of flying. If I have everything below. I can entertain myself for an extended period of time.

·Aisle seats: a necessity—and an exit row aisle seat is the Holy Grail.

·Noise canceling headphones: a must-have not only for the quiet factor but also because when you put them on everyone leaves you alone. And that’s a good thing.

·Water: for much needed hydration. A half-liter for every two hours of plane time is about right.

·Cliff Bars: inexpensive good snack food because airline food will always suck and you almost always have to pay for the privilege.

·Chocolate: 3.5 oz. Valrhona 70% bars—the best $2.99 spent at Trader Joe’s.

·iPad: for movies, tunes and typing notes like this.

·Books and magazines: to keep the brain pan frying.

Champagne Reminder

Drink sparkling wine and Champagne more often and for no good reason. Last week I was reminded not once but twice about how amazing the Champagne experience can be.  Both bottles were Krug—a half bottle of Grand Cuvee as a belated birthday toast with Carla and then a simply heroic bottle of ’89 Krug Collection—one of the great Champagnes I’ve ever tasted (thanks Ian Cauble for sharing). I think it’s too easy to forget that many vintage and some prestige cuvée Champagnes are great wines that remain almost affordable when compared to the likes of classified growth Bordeaux and grand cru Burgundy. Treat yourself with a great bottle of bubbly at least once a year—for no good reason.

Vitamin “P”

The best meal of the Brazil trip? Roasted whole pig accompanied by sparkling wine and Caipirinhas. Is there anything better than vitamin “P”? I don’t think so. It’s intense immediate gratification in the same league as good chocolate. If there isn’t a national vitamin “P” day there should be. I’ve also dubbed Caipirinhas pirate drink as they can all too easily reduce one’s vocabulary to “arrrrrr.”