My tête-à-tête with wines go back a long way.
I was introduced to the best of wines during my flying days and have spent many a days wine tasting all over the world.
It does get a bit confusing when we travel and want that perfect glass but dont really know where to start.
But who doesn’t love a good glass of wine after a long day? Better yet, who wouldn’t want to plan an entire holiday tasting and sipping on the world’s best wines? We know we would!
From Australia to South America, we’ve made a list of the world’s best wine-producing regions that are worth planning your next holiday to. And while you’re sampling these fine wines, we’ve got you covered with a little cheat sheet on what foods to pair with which one.
Have a look!
The country grows two-third’s of the world’s Chenin Blanc which just goes to say, they’re the best at it. Chenins are naturally high in acidity and have great aging potential. The grape is really versatile and can be used to make varied wines ranging from dry to sweet and can be paired with almost any food or meal which makes it immensely popular in the hospitality industry.
Pronounced: shen in blahnk
2.La Rioja, Spain
Rioja is a small town in northern Spain famous for its still red wines from indigenous Tempranillo grapes. Much like Champagne, France, it has one of the world’s most modern and strict quality controls as only the wines grown and produced within Rioja can be labelled as such. With it’s shimmering olive trees and winding cobbled-stone streets, Rioja is often termed as the Tuscany of Spain and is said to be at it’s peak during the Autumn. Maybe it’s time for a wine-soaked siesta?
Pronounced: ree OH hah
3. Napa Valley, Northern California
France’s Burgundy region is known for its rich reds like the Pinot Noir. But for a more fruit-forward Pinot, we need to move further west to California. Ranging from ripe red berries to rich black cherries, the Pinot is a very rich wine with strong tannins. One needs to be picky with Pinots because it’s either highly loved or horribly detested. When it’s good, it’s aromatic and juicy but when not, it can be acidic and bland.
Pronounced: pee noh nwahr
4. Tuscany, Italy
There can be no talk of wine without mentioning Italy and Tuscany, among many things, is a wine-lover’s paradise. The Chianti region in Tuscany is divided into 7 sub-zones that each have their special namesake label. The most appreciated and regarded label is the Chianti Classico. What makes it special is the fact that this wine doesn’t just need to be grown and produced in the region but needs to follow a special blend of 80% Sangiovese Grapes and 20% of other variety. It is a dry wine with a ruby red colour and floral notes and if you were looking for a reason to visit Tuscany, this is it!
Pronounced: key AHN tee
5. Maipo, Chile
Chile’s highest planted grape today is the Cabarnet Sauvignon and the country pride’s itself on producing Bordeaux-style blends. With it’s Mediterranean climate, the area of Alto Maipo produces full-bodied red blends with notes of black cherries, black currant and fig paste.
Pronounced: cab er nay
6. Champagne, France
Come what may, France has always stayed ahead of the wine game. Champagne is a sparkling wine but not all sparkling wines are champagne. You can get a glass of white sparkling wine anywhere in the world but it won’t be Champagne because it’s not made form the grapes growing in the region. Champagne’s namesake bubbly is a classic and timeless. Made with a unique blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, Champagne is here to stay as long as we shall live and celebrate.
Pronounced: sham PAYN
7. Sicily, Italy
From the coasts of southern Italy, Marsala is one of the greatest fortified wines. Due to it’s sugary richness, it’s more common in cooking than drinking. It can be used from appetisers to desserts. If you ask us, it’s a true shame that this delicious wine is being reduced to a sauce. This rich, nutty wine is deliberately made in contact with the air in an oxidative-style which will make it last a long time. The best way to drink a Marsala is in a tulip glass with a long stem much like a Madeira or a Sherry.
Pronounced: maa SAA luh
8. McLaren Vale, Australia
Shiraz is the most planted variety of grape in Australia and the country is home to one of the world’s oldest continuously productive Shiraz vineyards. One of them being in McLaren Vale, Australia. Nestled between mountains on one side and sandy beaches on the other, this region profiles flavours ranging from deeper, jammier richness to bright berry juiciness. If you love your reds dense, this is a must visit.
9. Okanagan Valley, Canada
If you like your white wines with citrus notes, the Okangan Valley makes the Chardonnay you will smell, slurp, sip and keep sipping. Located in British Columbia, the Okangan Valley is probably the only place in Canada with a warm climate and lakes you can paddleboat in. If you want the best of sparkly and scenery, we’ve found you your next spot!
Pronounced: shar doh nay
10. Duoro Valley, Portugal
Port wine is essentially a dessert wine with flavours of raspberry, blackberry, cinnamon, caramel and chocolate sauce. They range from whites, rosé, tawny and ruby and are aged from 2 years to 40 years based on the nuttiness of the wine. It’s a rich and sweet wine and is often used as an ingredient in cakes and steaks. It’s exclusive to Portugal and if there’s anything they like more than football, its wine!
So there you have it! Tell us in the comments below what your favourite wine is and what wine region is next on your vacation list!