WINE DINE + TRAVEL MAGAZINE

Discovering Mendocino's Wild Coast

By Ron & Mary James

During our week-long visit, Mendocino surprised and delighted us with its rugged beauty as only few other destinations have.

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THE CACHOPO CHRONICLE

A few years ago, we unintentionally ended up in the Spanish coastal town of Santa Pola on a day trip from Alicante that had gone wrong. That’s when we stumbled on Restaurante Asturiano La Sidrería de Santa Pola and discovered Asturian...

STEKI: GREEK + MEXICAN EQUALS SPANISH FUSION MAGIC

Who would have imagined that a young Mexican chef and his Greek wife and maitre would serve some of the most creative, mouthwatering dishes in Spain? Fernando Gamez and Olivia Papachristou met while working together in hospitality in Spain....

SEMANA SANTA ALICANTE

Semana Santa (Holy Week) began in Alicante this morning with processions from churches around the city. We joined the throng at the city's oldest church, Basilica Santa Maria, to watch the processions dedicated to Palm Sunday. Large, hefty floats...

VILLENA WINE COUNTRY PART 3

The cab ride from Bodega Francisco Mendoza back to Villena was short and uneventful. We didn’t know what to expect at Casa de Felix as we opened the abbreviated wooden door into our apartment. We had left the mini-split's heat pump on since we left...

VILLENA WINE COUNTRY PART 2

So there we were, alone, shivering in the rain in the middle of a magnificent winery courtyard. What to do if no one shows up for the tour we booked? With no phone service, a taxi back to town wasn’t an option. Maybe break into the cellar for...

HISTORY & FINE DINING MEET IN MADRID

The highlight of our short visit to Madrid with our friends Gary and Debbie Wasserman was undoubtedly our memorable lunch feast at Botin, the world’s oldest continuously operating restaurant. We had dined here once before at the suggestion of our friend Mary Ann Eger....

WINE DINE & TRAVEL BLOGS

RON & MARY’S ADVENTURE IN SPAIN

THE CACHOPO CHRONICLE

A few years ago, we unintentionally ended up in the Spanish coastal town of Santa Pola on a day trip from Alicante that had gone wrong. That’s when we stumbled on Restaurante Asturiano La Sidrería de Santa Pola and discovered Asturian cuisine–comfort food on steroids....

STEKI: GREEK + MEXICAN EQUALS SPANISH FUSION MAGIC

Who would have imagined that a young Mexican chef and his Greek wife and maitre would serve some of the most creative, mouthwatering dishes in Spain? Fernando Gamez and Olivia Papachristou met while working together in hospitality in Spain. Together, they dreamed of...

SEMANA SANTA ALICANTE

Semana Santa (Holy Week) began in Alicante this morning with processions from churches around the city. We joined the throng at the city's oldest church, Basilica Santa Maria, to watch the processions dedicated to Palm Sunday. Large, hefty floats showcase venerable...

VILLENA WINE COUNTRY PART 3

The cab ride from Bodega Francisco Mendoza back to Villena was short and uneventful. We didn’t know what to expect at Casa de Felix as we opened the abbreviated wooden door into our apartment. We had left the mini-split's heat pump on since we left around lunchtime,...
A NEW WORLD OF FRIENDSHIPS
A NEW WORLD OF FRIENDSHIPS

Not that long ago that friends were folks who met in your neighborhood, church, clubs or work. Most were local; long-distance relationships were rarely forged, except for relatives scattered around the country. Today, social media, cheap flights and an explosive...

Rough Seas
Rough Seas

  By Ron & Mary James Mary and I have had many chats lately about our upcoming booked cruises. We wonder if they will be cancelled as the pandemic persists. We speculate about radical changes in the cruise experience as cruise lines focus on keeping...

CRAZY ABOUT CADIZ
CRAZY ABOUT CADIZ

You may have wondered why I haven’t posted much about our stay in Cadiz for the last eight days. Besides the fact we’ve been busy exploring the city, I wanted to confirm our first impressions of this place, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Europe....

THE TROUBLE WITH PORTUGUESE WINES
THE TROUBLE WITH PORTUGUESE WINES

It may come as a surprise, but Mary and I enjoy a glass of wine now and then. (Cue the laughing hysterically soundtrack). In our household, wine time has been an important ritual for more than 33 years. It always begins at 5 p.m. sharp, unless we're traveling, but I...

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MEET THE AWARD-WINNING WINE DINE & TRAVEL WRITERS

Mary james

Mary Hellman James is an award-winning San Diego journalist and editor. After a 29-year-career with The San Diego Union-Tribune, she has been a freelance garden writer and a columnist for San Diego Home-Garden/Lifestyles magazine and co-publisher and editor of Wine Dine & Travel Magazine.

Ron James

Ron James is the “wine, food and travel guy.” He is a national award-winning print and online journalist, graphic designer, television producer and radio personality. The native Californians nationally syndicated wine and food columns have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. Ron is founder, editor and publisher of Wine Dine & Travel Magazine.

Maribeth Mellin

Maribeth Mellin is an award-winning journalist whose travel articles have appeared in Endless Vacation Magazine, U-T San Diego and Dallas Morning News among others. She also travels and writes for several websites including CNN Travel, Concierge.com and Zagat, and has authored travel books on Peru, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Hawaii and California.

Alison Darosa

Alison DaRosa is a six-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for travel writing, the most prestigious prize in travel journalism. She served 15 years as Travel Editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune and was the award-winning editor of the San Diego News Network Travel Page. Alisonwrites a monthly Travel Deals column for the San Diego Union-Tribune and is a regular freelance contributor to the travel sections of the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and AOL Travel. Learn more about Alison on her website, www.AlisdaRosa.com.

John Muncie and jody Jaffe

Jody and John are award-winning journalists and novelists. John is a Lowell Thomas Award-Winner and was feature editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune, arts editor of The Baltimore Sun and writer-editor-columnist for the travel department of The Los Angeles Times. Jody was a journalist at the Charlotte Observer, where she was on a team that won the Pulitzer Prize. Her articles have been published in many publications including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. They live on a farm in Lexington, Virginia.

Sharon larsen

Sharon Whitley Larsen’s work has appeared in many major publications, including Reader’s Digest (and 19 international issues), Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and Los Angeles Times Magazine. She’s the author of British Travel Tidbits (2017) and Travel Tidbits (2018), published by Sanbun Publishers in New Delhi. Sharon also had a two-year travel column “Travel Tidbits” in the Union Jack newspaper. Her favorite topic is travel (favorite destination London)..

carl larsen

Carl H. Larsen is a veteran journalist based in San Diego. He now focuses on travel writing, and is summoned to pull out his notebook whenever there’s the plaintive cry of a steam locomotive nearby. In San Diego, he is a college-extension instructor who has led courses on the Titanic and the popular TV series “Downton Abbey.”

Brian Clark

Brian Clark is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer and photographer who likes to ski, kayak, scuba dive, bicycle and sail as often he can. A former staff writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, he now contributes to a number of publications.

Amy Laughinghouse

London-based writer and photographer Amy Laughinghouse has attempted to overcome her fears (and sometimes basic common sense) through her adventures in 30 countries around the world. She dishes on the perks and perils of globetrotting for publications like LonelyPlanet.com, AAA Journey Magazine, Virtuoso Life, and The Dallas Morning News. Her travel tales can also be found on her website, www.amylaughinghouse.com.

Kitty morse

Kitty Morse is a Casablanca-born food and travel writer, speaker, and author of 11 cookbooks, five of them on the cuisine of her native Morocco. Her memoir, Mint Tea and Minarets: a banquet of Moroccan memories, and its French translation, Le Riad au Bord de l’Oued, are both recipients of a Gourmand World Award. https://www.kittymorse.com.

Margie Goldsmith

Margie Goldsmith is a NYC-based author, writer and photographer who has explored 140 countries on seven continents. She has won 85 awards including the prestigious Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Gold Award. She has written over 1,000 articles for Robb Report, Travel + Leisure, Business Jet Traveler, American Way, Hemispheres, Wall Street Journal, Globe and Mail.

Priscilla Lister

Priscilla Lister is a longtime journalist in her native San Diego. She has covered many subjects over the years, but travel is her favorite. Her work, including photography, has appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Alaska Airlines’ magazine and numerous other publications throughout the U.S. and Canada. She is the author of “Take a Hike: San Diego County,” a comprehensive hiking guide to 260 trails in amazing San Diego County.

Diane Covington-Carter

Diane worked for the Ojai Valley news before becoming a free-lance journalist. Her work has appeared in many magazines including Hemispheres,  Reader’s Digest, The Sun, More Magazine, Sierra Alive. She has  been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Napa Valley Register, Sacramento Bee, the San Diego Union Tribune,  among other newspapers. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers.

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