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Dr. Nadeen White’s enthusiasm for enjoying life is infectious…and that’s a very good thing! The Atlanta-based pediatrician and creator of The Sophisticated Life blog is using her boundless energy to give her social media followers the opportunity to experience curated culinary tours she describes as affordable luxury.
“For me, the luxury comes from the experiences. I want people to come away having experienced things that are unique, things that you won’t find on other trips,” she shares about Culinary Travels by The Sophisticated Life group trips she created for food and wine enthusiasts.
From truffle hunting conducted with multi-generational tartufai (truffle hunters) to wine-tastings hosted by the founder of a Black female-owned winery, White’s excursions are meant to unfold new scenery as well as open up a world of culinary delights.
Travel is in Her Blood
“I want [the trips] to feel like you’re having experiences with people you’ll be developing friendships with that will last a lifetime,” says the NYC-born creative who deems building community through shared travel and food and the memories that go along with it, as a personal goal.
It’s a passion that’s in her blood. “My mother was a traveler,” describes White about her Jamaican mother who worked for the Brooklyn-based travel agency owned by her great aunt and uncle. “She helped them with the company. This was back when travel was really sophisticated and everybody went to a travel agent. My mom was going to Budapest and the sites of the Olympics and she’d come back with these dolls for me. She’d come back with Gucci bags from Italy,” recalls White, who spent the first ten years of her life living with her grandparents in Kingston, Jamaica.
“We’d be watching Jeopardy! [on television], and she would answer all the questions. And I asked, ‘How do you know that?’ And she said, ‘Because I’ve been there.’ She really inspired my desire to travel.”
The Sophisticated Life is Born
“My mom actually passed away from cancer in 2011. I was living near her in Florida and looking for something to occupy myself because I had gone through a breakup,” shares White. And so I started documenting my travels and posting them online. I didn’t even know I was blogging. I just wanted my family to know where I was going and what I was also doing on my solo travels.”
White’s digital travel journals gave birth to The Sophisticated Life, her award-winning travel blog, which recently earned the physician/blogger the “Innovator Who’s Got Next” award bestowed by The Hue Society, an organization whose mission is the inclusion and education of all things related to Black, Brown and Indigenous wine culture.
The focus on wines within The Sophisticated Life blog began informally. White learned about wines during her travels, visiting wineries and wine regions whenever possible and taking special interest in Black winemakers.
“I really enjoyed seeing the wine making process with my own eyes and the winemakers—that was really a turning point,” recalls White about a trip to Bordeaux she took during the grape harvest season. Eventually, she obtained a wine certification—WSET Level 2 with distinction and plans to continue broadening her wine knowledge by obtaining Level 3 certification.
Culinary Adventures in Morocco
Merging the love of travel and the fascination with wine was a natural progression for this practicing physician who still manages to put in a 6 pm to 6 am shift at an Atlanta Children’s Hospital. “People have been asking me—my subscribers, my social media followers—about traveling with me. They have seen how I travel and they were interested in the things that I do,” says White, whose first destination with Culinary Travels by The Sophisticated Life was Morocco.
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“On my trips, we’ll do all the local culture and historic things, but there will definitely be a focus on food and wine. In Morocco, we did a cooking class. We toured a winery where we spent half of the day doing food and wine tasting,” describes White about the trip completed this past June.
“The winery at Volubilia-Domaine de la Zouina was amazing. Until I started doing the research, I had no idea that Morocco even made wine,” she shares about a memorable stop during her Moroccan trip covered in detail within the “Planning A Trip To Morocco: First Timer’s Travel Guide” found on her blog, The Sophisticated Life.
Culinary Travels by The Sophisticated Life tour groups will vary in numbers, and the price will also vary depending on the location, length and luxury of the trip. “The luxury is about the experiences. It’s about walking away and doing things that you’ve never done and building memories and community.”
On the Calendar
As for her next adventures, this successful blogger has plenty in store for those looking to travel with her. The Food + Wine Tour of Northern Italy, scheduled for October 3-13, will take travelers on a culinary tour of Milan, Bologna, Verona and Venice and will include pasta making, wine tasting (of course!) and that truffle hunt experience mentioned earlier. At this time of this article, this trip is still accepting bookings.
After Italy, the next tour White is embarking on this year is the Burgundy & Provence River Cruise hosted by Theodora Lee, owner of Theopolis Vineyards. The trip is set to take place November 9-16.
“I’m really excited about this one because Theodora Lee is the first Black woman that AmaWaterways Wine Cruise is having as a wine host for one of these cruises,” shares the globetrotter. “I’ve never done a river cruise and I’ve heard great things about it. And if I’m going to do a river cruise, why not do it with a Black woman winemaker!”
Sublime Sips to Try
So in that spirit, White offers three of her favorite wine sips to try from Theopolis Vineyards, the Northern California-Mendocino County winery owned and operated by Lee.
2019 Theopolis Vineyards Estate Grown Petite Sirah —Theopolis Vineyards is known for their award-winning petit sirah notes White. “This one is 100% PS and it is the best one I have ever had,” she affirms. “The flavor literally explodes in your mouth: aromas of dried rose petals, black fruit and black pepper. It is a full-bodied wine with high acidity that envelopes your mouth with flavors of black cherry, clove and hints of vanilla, along with rich tannins with a long finish. Pair this wine with BBQ and grilled steak, braised short ribs and also try it with dark chocolate.”
2022 Theopolis Vineyards Estate Grown Rosé of Petit Sirah —“This is the perfect rosé for the summer! Just like the wine it comes from, this rosé is not subtle. It is made from 100% petit sirah,” describes White. “It is a dry rosé with aromas of rose petals and Granny Smith apples. It is refreshing on the palate with flavors of grapefruit and pie spices. Try pairing it with seafood, gourmet cheeses and summer salads.”
2021 Theo-patra’s Cuvée Blanc —“This is 100% Mendocino County chardonnay,” observes White. “Although it was aged in 20% new French oak for 11 months, it does not have the taste of a heavily oaked California chardonnay. I found it to be very smooth and fruity with tropical flavors of pineapples and lemon with high acidity. Pair it with creamy dishes, roasted meats and vegetables.”
Exciting travel destinations, great wine, amazing company, and building community sums up The Sophisticated Life of practicing physician and glamorous travel blogger Nadeen White. For those lucky enough to join her in her culinary adventures, it’s a good bet the senses and the palate will truly be inspired.