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Susan Kime

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A wine-themed river cruise always sounds so right, so seductive, no matter what the season. There are many wine-themed cruises offered from numerous river cruise brands, but there is something unique abut Ama Waterway’s wine-themed cruise, probably because the DNA of AmaWaterways exudes a unique attention to culinary detail that goes beyond the tasting of wine and the creation of cuisine. This wine-themed cruise also becomes an adventure in culinary cruising, combining onboard international wine experts that often transform the guests into burgeoning oenophiles and sous-chefs. Our experience on an AmaWaterways wine-themed cruise, even though it was months ago, still resonates in both mind and taste, mainly because of how the wine education, and the destination experiences were distilled into the terroir of our souls, and never left. We traveled up the Rhine, from Basel to Amsterdam – basically, learning as we went, about the wine created in the regions…

We never thought we would do this, even though we have been traveling for more than two decades. But there we were, traveling on the Périgord, going to the small hamlet of Péchalifour, near Saint-Cyprien, where truffle farmer Edouard Aynaud, would take us on a truffle hunt with his two dogs, trained to sniff and point, but not eat, the black Périgord truffle. We had eaten black truffles before — and they tasted like the scent of old libraries: arcane yet grand, laden with the taste of history and mystery. And sometimes, with a hint of bitter chocolate. But going on an actual truffle hunt was a pilgrimage of sorts, both entertaining and philosophical, as we would actually search for these “diamonds of cuisine”, as the renowned 18th French gastronomic writer, Brillat Savarin, called them. Ancient Edible ‘Black Diamonds’ This “diamond” is actually an hypogeum fungus, which grows underground near…