As we welcomed 2018 and we welcome any wine experience, we decided to put together an article with some of our amazing wine experiences from 18 different countries. Remembering all those magical stuff was a delightful task…
Searching for the right photo footage now so easy and delightful. The thing is, when you have amazing wine experiences, photos and video tend to be not cool at all or even missing. Being a blogger and a sommelier at the same time could be a challenging lifestyle.
As we want to be ambassadors of wine with all the culture, community and experiences around it, we have to show you different ways you can taste and enjoy wine. The setting, the situation, the price, etc. are just factors in the equation.
Wine means knowledge and power, wine means good people, wine means memorable experiences around the world. Let’s find out! 🍷🍷🍷
Wine chill at Lake Como
There’s no better way to enjoy “Dolce Vita” than to sit on a street table of a small restaurant and ask what’s the best wine they have today.
Italy has its fair share of world wine producing. It offers way too many ways to taste its wines. But sitting outside, chatting with friends, eating pizza and sipping Sangiovese – who wouldn’t love that?
The bonus: You can, of course, sit on the cobblestone stairs and pretend you don’t look like someone who tasted way too many wines. Lake Como has seen any types of low behaviors.
Warm up for Slovenian spring
We were headed to Lake Bled in springtime. But it was too cold for us so we had to find a way to warm up. The views towards the lake, the castle, the mountains were thrilling, but we were losing our temperature…
We stumble a local restaurant and just ordered some of the homemade wine. That turned out to be the best decision ever. Slovenia has a really strong taste for making good wines.
The bonus: After the lovely just in time introduction to Slovenian wines, we were ready to take the green Alpine slopes. In quite an unusual, and frankly speaking unsafe way. Nace wanted to go down using the lines of a missing toboggan. Don’t ask me how he stopped at the end of the hill.
Clean your mind in Mavrovo
A very meaningful stop on our Balkan road trip was Mavrovo in Macedonia. While the fall was trying to prevail the landscape, the harvest had already started.
We stayed at Bistra hotel, in Bistra mountain, with Bistra (me). We had to celebrate that coincidence with a bottle of “T’ga za Jug”. Just the name of this wine translated to “sadness, or melancholy, for the south”, predicted it was going to be something special. The name comes from a very popular song.
The bonus: Before you dedicate yourself to melancholy or other wines, take a bike and explore the missing lake, the underwater village, the picturesque scenery.
Getting lost in Santiago de Chile while looking for the winery
Eventually, the bus driver helped us and we were on time to start a tour around the vines, the mansion and the cellars. As soon as we went underground and smelled the aroma of the divine drink coming, we felt home.
The bonus: If you don’t mind the big tour group and wait until the reserves wines, you’ll have a good time. The story of how they used to punish those trying to steal wine is very… moral.
Sweet, sweet Málaga
A walk through the gardens, the fortress and the living area of the city wouldn’t be complete without sitting down at a local vino y tapas. You should order the tapas of the day and a glass of the sweet elixir called Málaga.
The bonus: Don’t get another glass of Málaga unless you want to ditch the cruise ship and stay in this port of call for a while and explore more wine regions of Spain.
Being a wine-hobbit in Waiheke Island, New Zealand
We chose to visit Waiheke Island, just off Auckland, to absorb amazing views and do a little wine tasting walking tour. It was our first encounter with New World wine on site.
The New World awaited us with lush green fields, dreamy views, and charming little wineries to get lost around. The vineyards were welcoming any hobbit who might want to do some yoga or dance, and every green field was the perfect wine picnic spot.
The bonus: We had a chat with a small cellar owner and were really shocked to learn that the majority of wines are not vegan. Hopefully, the majority of countries will follow the regulations in New Zealand (and Australia, for that matter) and clearly state on the bottle if the wine is vegan or not.
Malbec, rancho, gaucho
You can taste as many wines as you want in Argentina. But if you really want the real deal, you should follow the locals and let them take you to a rancho. A rancho with real gauchos, traditional dance, and party.
Wine will be a natural finish to all the above. You can bet it’s house-produced and reveals all the wisdom gathered for years in the prairies of Argentina. With every sip, you and your friends become wiser and wiser.
The bonus: As you’re the only foreigner that comes from that far, they will open the in-house museum just for you. And you will enjoy exhibits with special stories, along with the hospitality of El Rodeo‘s staff.
DIY wine tasting – under the skies of Paris
We couldn’t get along with the price tags in Paris, especially on our first visit. But we observed what locals did. Many of them were eating their lunch out, on the stairs of the Magdalena for example.
We decided we could do that too. So we entered a supermarket, grabbed some French wine and cheese, and chose a bench to sit down. It was a bit chilly November evening, but we had wine and coats to keep us warm.
The bonus: The experience of wine tasting under the skies of Paris was something that unleashed our love to this city. We knew we’ll be back to continue our romance…
Follow the Mosel river
It was probably the best day trip along the valley of Mosel river in Germany. The spring was just painting the scenery with the most vibrant colors, and the terraced fields above the river were blooming with green vines.
And there you go – just pull over to any house on the road. They mostly sure produce some wine. And they will open a bottle for you to try. The Riesling is waiting for its admirers to taste it.
The bonus: Well, you’ll need someone to drive the car. Or you can stop by at any little town and taste as much as you can handle. The walks and views won’t disappoint.
The wine bath, Japan
The Japanese know all about entertainment. That’s why we knew that Hakone spa will be an experience. We didn’t expect that we’ll swim in a pool full of wine though! Junessun wine, to be precise.
We can’t argue about the effects of wine when you consume it orally of course. After the wine bath, we completely agree that wine makes your skin shine! And totally puts a smile on your face!
The bonus: There are other theme pools in the open-air area of the spa. Our personal favorites were the green tea and sake pools. Inhale, exhale! Inhale, inhale, cheers!
Relax after flight over Nazca
It was a dream for us to see the Nazca lines. Mystical drawings, carved into Earth, with bizarre shapes and orientations. Some say it’s a job of the Incas, some say it’s the aliens…
We had to see for ourselves. The best way to do that is if you fly over. So we hopped on a small airplane to explore all the Nazca lines from above. The captain did his best for us not to feel noxious or seasick.
The bonus: It was the captain-in-training who had to practice and his moves were not that gentle. When we got off the plane, we didn’t feel like eating or drinking anything until the end of the day. Then we discovered a bottle of Pinot blanc and used it to calm our senses.
Budapest wine tales
It’s no secret that Hungarian wines have their fair share of the European wine heritage. We’ve only managed to taste plentiful wines and wine restaurants in the bustling capital Budapest so far.
Hungary has many different regions producing a variety of wines. If you’re unable to travel to all of them and experience their delights, we suggest you do that in the capital.
The bonus: The remains of caves just underneath the Hilton hotel nearby Fisherman’s Bastion in Budapest hide one of the most exciting wine tasting sessions one might have…True story!
Wait for the rain with wine refresh in Tbilisi
There is nothing like a glass of white Georgian wine to help you fight the summer heat in Tbilisi. When air conditioning doesn’t work, when the humidity is rising, all you can do is indulge in a huge glass of wine at the plaza.
Wines of Georgia deserve a whole article of their own, but we’ll get to that later. It’s the ambiance that we really enjoyed. Wine is a drink to hold history and it’s nice when you have it in a place with such a diverse history as well.
The bonus: Home-made wines in Georgia are worth the try, be ready to expect the unexpected in them!
Go classy in Dubrovnik
Thankfully, we had a night in Dubrovnik during our road trip through 8 countries to Skoda factory. We are so grateful we could all try the wine without having to worry who’s going to drive later.
Dubrovnik is an expensive place to live in, stay in, dine in. We wanted to combine a dinner in the old town with a glass of Croatian wine (or two), without going bankrupt. That was a hard job.
The bonus: We did have probably the most expensive glass of wine ever. But the smiles of all the locals at the Easter celebrations the other day, they were all free and worth the whole stay!
Indulge in affordable wine through Malta
One of the things we loved most about our 3-day visit to Malta was the abundance of wines to drink and the affordability to do that while eating out. Seriously, the island should be marketed as “the most wine-drinking-out-friendly place”.
The geographical location and climate of the country suggest that grape varieties will be interesting for amateur and professional sommeliers. Because dry climate should have at least one positive side in winemaking.
The bonus: You can meet the Maltese Knight – both figuratively (the wine with that brand) or literally, when you have too many glasses of Maltese wine and imagine knights on horses crossing the main square.
Wine caving in Porto
The Port wine is a world-famous fortified wine. Historically, they had to preserve wines for longer periods (a ship sailed for weeks with them). So Port wine was (and still is) fortified with mostly Portuguese aguardiente.
The burning water makes the wine strong and sweet so don’t experiment with too much of it. First, you’ll have a lot of fun, but later you’ll have a lot of hangovers. And you need to be in top shape to explore Porto.
The bonus: You might taste the sweet drink in one of the wine caves in Porto. We went to visit Calem wine cellars and the highlight was drinking Port while enjoying a Fado musical performance.
Drinking from the wine fountain
One of the reasons we love Camino de Santiago so much is that it’s a pilgrim’s thing to finish (and start) every day with a glass of wine. You know, if everybody does it, you do it too!
When we heard of the wine fountain near Estella, on the way to Los Arcos, we thought it might be just another tourist trap. Except that it wasn’t. Yes, there is a fountain of running wine instead of water.
The bonus: You can fill in your mug (or bottle!) with wine to go. We don’t suggest that as you’ll have a lot of kilometers to walk. Or maybe, unlike us, you can go and taste in the afternoon. Tasting in the morning was a blast though.
Rewarding for a decent hike in Troodos mountains
Sometimes we go on unplanned hikes here and there. It’s not something to brag about, as unplanned hikes can go really bad. In Troodos mountains in Cyprus, however, the hike went perfect, even with the unexpected fog.
After absorbing tons of views and speeding up to return to our base, we had to relax. So at least we had an excuse to order a whole bottle of rosé for dinner. For the other bottles of wine on the island, we didn’t really have an excuse…
The bonus: Cypriot wines can be absolutely fascinating because of the unusual terroirs of the island. We highly recommend trying different varieties of different regions. Cheers!
A wine spa day in Bulgaria
As we agreed, earlier in this article, about the benefits of wine, we can now talk about the grape seeds. They have excellent qualities – e.g. to exfoliate your skin.
The best part is that while you get exfoliated, you can also have some wonderful reds and then take a dip in the wine tube. A wine spa day is a great gift for every wine enthusiast.
The bonus: It was really hard to pick just one experience of the many wine experiences we’ve had in Bulgaria. Indulgence in all kinds of wine treats is a lovely phenomenon we’ve been observing for quite some time.
Bottling your own sparkling wine in Mendoza
You know you’ve taken it to another level when you mix wine and creativity. When you go on a wine tour around Mendoza, but end up bottling your own bottle of sparkling rosé.
This is what happened in Cruzat winery. We were guided by professionals and carefully bottled, sealed and labeled our bottle of sparkling. Nobody was harmed in the process.
The bonus: It was too risky to carry the bottle in our backpacks around South America. So we did treat ourselves and had it all with a tasty homemade dinner. Sparkling!
We don’t know about you, but even putting this post together got us a little drunk! Wine memories and experiences are something we value so much! In vino veritas, dear friends!
What is your favorite wine experience? Where in the world did you taste your favorite wine? Let us know in the comments!