Where To Taste Wine
Right, mate, you’re not a teenager anymore and Jagerbombs and pints of Budweiser (or whatever other swill you like to pair with your steak like a damn heathen) just can’t cut it anymore. Instead, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the wonders of vino. It shows maturity and class but wine is more than just what you find at the supermarket, though, and wine lovers know the places to visit to find the best wine the world has to offer, and there are plenty, so here are the best places in the world to taste wine for you to treat yourself, or your grapeful wine-loving friend.
Napa Valley, USA
This famous region on the West Coast contains over 400 wineries for wine lovers to explore. The whole area stretches over 45,000 acres, with Cabernet Sauvignon being the most plentiful, at 18,200 acres dedicated to it.
The vineyards are easy to access, and despite attracting 3 million+ visitors every year, there’s still ample space for you to have a tipple of some of the most delicious wine you’ll find in North America, and arguably the entire world.
Niagara Falls, Canada
Yes, Niagara town has a kitschy, baby-Vegas feel to it, but the Niagara-on-the-Lake area boasts a variety of superb wine tours just a couple of hours outside of Toronto. While it’s not as plentiful as Napa Valley, there are still plenty of places to check out, and with the vineyards within driving distance to the town, you can easily make a weekend trip out of it, and relax afterward at the many casinos.
We’d recommend not driving yourself, though, as wine can go to your head quicker than you expect.
No list would be complete without including the finest European destinations for wine lovers and Bordeaux in France is one of the first places you should add to your itinerary.
It covers more than 120,000 hectares and boasts rich soil that makes growing grapes easier than you ever thought. It’s perfect for rouge lovers, with over 85% of wines in this region being red, and the annual Bordeaux Wine Festival is another juicy attraction for you to consider.
The Douro Valley, Portugal
With over 2000 years of wine-making history, the Douro Valley knows exactly what it’s doing when it comes to wine. It is along the Douro River and can combine the stunning vistas with the signature port wine that the area is most famous for.
Including wine tours, the surrounding area includes charming and painfully Mediterranean villages while the river is another way to spend the day as you experience the area from a different perspective.
The world famous Tuscany area is something that even people who don’t like wine should experience. For an all-round day out, the Chianti region is the place to go, but if you’re a connoisseur, there are plenty of smaller areas in Tuscany to check out.
You can also match your trip with visits to Medieval castles and learn which foods work best with which wines, so you can come back to your friends and scoff at their amateur pairing choices.
Cape Town, South Africa
For the best and oldest wineries in South Africa, you need to check out the backyard of the city that also includes superb landscapes and mouth-watering food to make it a great day out for wine lovers and those still on the fence.
You’ll find interesting wine routes through Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch, with the latter boasting nearly 150 farms. Unfortunately, Cape Town seems to be the only place with a large enough reputation to be considered the Best place for wine tasting in Africa. However, we’re sure it won’t be too long before attractive vineyards make a name for themselves all over the continent.
Marlborough, New Zealand
Found at the top of the south island, Marlborough is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, which made the rest of the world take note back in the 1980s. Since then, it has only built upon its reputation and you can explore it either on a proper tour or by bike.
With many vineyard restaurants to choose from which boast seafood as a particular speciality, you can enjoy a relaxing lunch looking over the bright, if a little dry, expanse before you.
Yarra Valley, Australia
Just an hour north of Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is popular among both locals and tourists and offers the chance to choose from over 80 wineries, or even check out as many as you can fit into one weekend. There, you can enjoy fresh food, spectacular scenery, and also indulge in spotting some of the local wildlife.
This is a fantastic place for Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay lovers with a winery dating back to 1838, while cider production is also a big thing here.
The Wine Capital of Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for 70% of all the wine in the country every year. This Andean region boasts a variety of micro-climates that helps produce a diverse and exciting range of different wines.
Wine aficionados will have heard of Malbec, but you’ll also find traditional foot-pressed wine, and the National Grape Harvest Festival happens every March. Argentina is far, but for anyone serious about trying the finest wines in the world, this shouldn’t get in the way.
Casablanca Valley, Chile
Despite only having under 40 years of wine-making history, the Casablanca Valley in Chile has plenty of boutique wineries and cellars that are far ahead of traditional methods to give you one of the most modern wine tasting experiences around.
You get views of both the Andes and the Pacific Ocean and is perfect for lovers of crisp whites, while there are also popular reds including Merlot and Syrah. It’s not massive, either, so you can enjoy most of what you need to see over just a day or two, but with no public transport, tours are recommended to get the full experience.
Sure, wine tours have a reputation of being more suitable for middle-aged to elderly rich people, and we understand why some of our younger readers may not be too keen on taking a wine tasting tour (because of a lack of appreciation but also because of the potential judgment from these older visitors). However, a day of wine tasting is a great experience no matter your age, and it could be the trigger that sparks a fascination you can’t get enough of.