European Wine Tourism

It seems wine has been our minds lately. First it was Jason telling us about wine tourism in Croatia. Then Karen reminded us of the release of Beaujolais Noveau 2008. Of course, then I went on the bandwagon about free wine tastings in Lisbon,  and now I can’t get enough of the red and white stuff.

Personally, I have not done much wine tourism myself in Europe – I have been to Napa Valley in California and Hunter Valley in Australia, but for some reason I’ve not done any Euro-vineyard wandering, apart from a particularly extensive wine binge while on holiday in Alsace for Easter a couple of years ago.

Andlau, Alsace
Alsace Wineyard by alh1

Anyway, to bring me to my point, I’ve been reading a wonderful book called Red, White and Drunk All Over, Natalie Maclean’s “wine soaked journey from grape to glass” and it has really given me another perspective on wine. Natalie gracefully enlightens the reader on technical information and interesting facts, and then uses those to explore the fascinating (and often hilarious) chronicles of wine. The best part, for me, though is the pragmatic approach to this travelogue. And I quote:

“I wouldn’t be writing about wine if it weren’t’ for the buzz…and yet when I read about wine, I often get the odd impression that it has no alcohol in it”.

Amen. Natalie tours a number of classic European wine destinations, including Champagne and Burgundy in France. After reading her tales, I’ll be adding these to the top of my ‘to do’ list.

If you enjoy the book, then you’ll love Natalie’s website, the best part is the food and wine matcher. Did you know that Valdepenas goes with garlic bread? Reisling with pineapple and ham pizza? Or Sancerre with popcorn? Indeed – try it – it really works!!

What’s your favourite food/wine pair? And have you toured any vineyards in Europe – if so, what would you recommend?