Wine consumption has held historical significance in Europe, and it is an integral part of the European culture. Wine is also an often-used ingredient in the cuisines of Europe, be it Greek cuisine, Mediterranean cuisine, Spanish cuisine, French cuisine, Italian cuisine, or other cuisines.
The wine’s come in various varieties namely Red Wine, White Wine, Rose Wine, Sparkling Wine, etc. The sweetness of the wine, its alcohol content, and other aspects of its taste are decided by the winemaker. A glass of wine can tell you a story of the different wine regions and wineries in Europe when made with minimal use of oak.
So, in every country, in every region, you stand a chance of tasting a wine that has a unique flavor. Given how common it is to find quality wines in Europe it is also common among travelers to either make wine sampling a part of their trip to Europe or they come to Europe specifically to go on the wine trail.
The best way to experience European wine is to go on a wine-tasting vacation. From rooftop cocktails to river cruises here are the unmissable experiences in one of the best wine destinations in the world and my four favorite countries to visit, if you love sampling the local wines:
The consumption of wine is popular in French Culture. The French love to match wine with their food. It is commonplace for travelers to go on Wine Tours across the countryside of France. Those who do not have that much time on the itinerary go on Day tours for a wine tasting which is organized from cities like Paris. The regions of Burgundy, Chardonnay, Bordeaux, Rhone Valley, etc. are world-famous for their wines.
Italy is one of the largest producers of wine in the world. Just like the French, their wine is also world-famous. Wines from regions like Prosecco are valued the world over. They have been producing wine since the pre-Roman period. Other famous wine-producing regions in Italy include the Tuscan region, the Piedmont region, and the Lombardy region. In Italy, the concept of agritourism is very popular. In this concept travelers often rent out farmhouses or rooms in farmhouses so that they are closer to nature and also, they can taste the local cuisine and the local wine. Wine tours are also common here.
Spain is one of the top three wine-producing countries in the world. While many parts of Spain produce wine, but it is only the world-renowned regions where wine tasting tours happen. Regions like La Rioja Alavesa, Ribera del Duero, Marco de Jerez, Priorat, Navarre, etc. are some of the major regions where wine tasting tours happen. As the Spaniards prefer to combine their food with wine it is common for quite a few places to serve Spanish fare along with wines during such tours.
Portugal is ranked 6th in Europe in wine production and is on the list of the world’s great wine producers. If you’re determined to “up” your wine repertoire, Portugal is a wodnerful place to start. Widely recognized for its wines with distinctive personality and unique characteristics and also famous for showcasing a fascinating array of indigenous grapes, all of which open up a new world of flavors and tastes. Portugal actually has two wine-producing regions protected by UNESCO as World Heritage. Most know of Port from Porto in the Douro Valley Wine Region (Douro Vinhateiro) but the other is the Pico Island Wine Region (Ilha do Pico Vinhateira) in the Azores archipelago.
So, when traveling in Europe it will be a very common feature for a traveler to find a locally produced wine accompanying their food. Even a small island like Santorini in Greece serves its own style of wine along with its local cuisine. This is why traveling on a wine-tasting journey to Europe can be like traveling through a wonderland with so many varieties of wine on offer. So, the best thing for you to do is to consult a travel expert so that they can curate the ‘best’ wine experiences for you so that you can have the trip of your lifetime!
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CREDITS: Portions of this blog post were created by the Travel Agent Society and sold to SelfishMe Travel in 2021.