While you may think that wine tasting only happens in Napa Valley, the truth is that wineries are all over the world, waiting to be explored and enjoyed. If you’re thinking about going on your own wine-tasting adventure, these tips will help you plan your trip and enjoy yourself to the fullest. From learning how to find the best restaurants near wineries to how to choose wine pairings while traveling, these ten tips will make your wine tasting trip better than ever!
Choose Your Wine Tasting Trip Destination
It’s important to remember that there are some aspects of wine tasting that can vary from country to country. For example, Germany is a relatively new destination for wine tourism (especially compared with France or Italy), and many German producers don’t have as much experience with visitors.
Do Your Wine Tasting Trip Research
If you’re going abroad, you’ll need a passport. If you’re traveling by car, remember that some countries don’t drive on the right side of the road. Also note that different countries have different cell phone frequencies, so your phone won’t work in some places unless you get a new SIM card. Being aware of these details and doing your homework before you arrive will save you a lot of stress—and money!
Pack Smart for Your Wine Tasting Trip
It’s never fun lugging around a suitcase full of heavy bottles while you travel, but if you’re headed off on a wine tour, you don’t have much of a choice. The good news is there are plenty of ways to lighten your load. First and foremost, share wine with friends or acquaintances instead of bringing home new bottles each time. That can easily halve your baggage burden!
Go Easy on the Wine
Although wine tasting is fun and delicious, it’s important to keep your calories in check. To do so, drink no more than two glasses per day. Overdo it, and you could find yourself with a serious hangover…just kidding! On second thought, don’t overdo it. Excess alcohol consumption can lead to myriad issues, including obesity—especially when combined with other calorie-heavy indulgences like cheese or desserts.
Book in Advance for Your Wine Tasting Trip
There is no shortage of wine destinations out there, from Napa Valley to New Zealand. But if you want to score a tasting at one of those coveted wineries, be prepared: Many require appointments weeks or months in advance. (Call ahead and make sure!)
Embrace Your Inner Tourist
As a wine enthusiast, you’re always on vacation. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway with your significant other or looking for that perfect spot to share with friends, stop and appreciate where you are—the experiences are what matter most. Sure, having an encyclopedic knowledge of wineries may give you bragging rights back home, but don’t get too caught up in comparing regions or vintages.
Look Beyond the Wine…
Many people make the mistake of thinking wine tasting is all about which winery has what award-winning wine, or about trying their hand at wine connoisseurship. In reality, much of what’s important when you go wine tasting has nothing to do with wine: it has to do with food, architecture, geography, and local culture.
Don’t Skip Breakfast!
If you think skipping breakfast will help you shed pounds and get lean, think again. Studies show that starting your day with a healthy breakfast helps keep blood sugar stable, which prevents cravings for sugary or starchy foods later in the day. What’s more, regular breakfast eaters tend to consume fewer calories overall during their waking hours than people who skip morning meals. So don’t make a habit of skipping breakfast—it could be derailing your diet efforts!
Try Something New While on Your Wine Tasting Trip
Hit up a new type of restaurant, or attend a concert or play you’ve never been to before. Getting outside your comfort zone is a great way to try something new and learn more about what you like and don’t like, which in turn can open up all kinds of opportunities for future dates. If your date doesn’t want to come along with you on your next adventure, maybe it’s time for a new one!
Stay Overnight If You Can
There’s nothing worse than waking up bright and early in a strange town, then heading straight for wine tasting trip. If you can, plan your trip so that you have an overnight stay somewhere—even if it’s just an hour or two from your final destination. This will make everything much easier: not only will you be able to sleep in, but you’ll also be able to better plan out your itinerary for the day ahead.