Last week on BootsnAll, we traveled around the world through beer and wine, sampling the local libations in Portugal, checking out great wine and beer festivals around the world, discovering the cheapest destinations for wine tasting (including Portugal), and looking back at how beer can give us a sense of place and bring back travel memories.
For many travelers, beer and wine plays prominently in their travel plans. From those of us who like a casual drink now and then to travelers who tailor their trips around beer and wine tasting, some tourists make it a priority to experience a place through the local drink. If that’s you, check out these ideas for wine tasting trips around the world.
- Italy and France are two of the most popular destinations for wine tasting in Western Europe. Italian vineyards continue to produce some of the top wines in the world and many of them are just a short drive from Florence and accessible on a day trip (though who can resist a weekend in Tuscany?). There are several major wine regions of France, including the most famous of all, the Champagne region, the only place where you can sample the drink at its source.
- Following closely on the heels of France and Italy, Spain is a strong contender for most prolific wine-making country in Western Europe. Head to the Rioja region for wine-tasting in the labyrinthine cellars of Laguardia, or check out the Basque country near San Sebastian to visit a cider house.
- The wine regions of Greece shouldn’t be overlooked. Greece has been producing wine for over 6000 years and there are over 300 grape varietals cultivated here, on both the mainland and on islands like Santorini and Crete, making it easy to sample some of the local wine no matter where you go. Of course, don’t forget to try some Greek beer too.
- Elsewhere on the continent, check out some lesser known spots for wine tasting in Europe, including, Albania, Croatia and Hungary, each of which offers a lower-cost, less-crowded way to go on a wine-tasting vacation.
- On the flipside of the Northern Hemisphere, Australia shines as a wine producer, creating some of the best Shiraz in the world. Most of the major wine regions in Australia are located in the southeast, close to Sydney.
- For another affordable option, try wine tasting in South America. Argentina and Chile are the powerhouses there, with award-winning wineries set against the stunning backdrop of the Andes mountains. But they aren’t the only South American option. There are wineries in Brazil, Peru, and even Colombia.
- Wine tasting in South Africa is one more option that may surprise you. Between swimming with Great White sharks and visiting the tip of Africa at the Cape of Good Hope, you can sip and swirl some of the region’s signature wine, the pinotage, at a very reasonable price.
- America’s neighbor to the north, Canada, is also home to some great wine regions, including the Okanagan in British Columbia and the Annapolis Valley, the center for wine tasting in Nova Scotia. As in the US, beer in Canada is not to be forgotten, with dozens of quality breweries in Vancouver and breweries in Halifax.
- You don’t have to stray very far from home to build a trip around wine our beer though. There are plentiful wine trails in the USA – in fact, there is at least one winery in every single state! Lest you think Napa is the only option, you should know there are some great North American wine regions not in Northern California (though if you have your heart set on Napa, there are ways to visit Napa valley on a budget) like the Oregon wineries producing award-winning Pinot Noir, or the smaller mom-and-pop wineries scattered around Michigan, Illinois, and even Iowa.
Where are your favorite spots for to taste beer and wine on your travels?
Photo by robtrent