wine tasting

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Wine Tasting Guide for Beginners

Contrary to belief you don’t need to be part of any elite group to enjoy a sip or two of some of Europe’s finest wines. Wine tasting has never been more accessible with so many delicious grape varieties to choose. However, there are some tips from the wine experts that will help you to develop your wine palette and understand the different flavours that the top wines product.

If you are not a professional Sommelier or wine expert then you may find it difficult when choosing the right variety of wine to pair with your food for your next dinner party. Remember that people have different tastes so you might not please everyone but you can give it a good try.

Before you decide on your wines decide what you would like to showcase the most. If you are trying to highlight your best dish, showing off all of the ingredients then you won’t want to pick a wine that over powers the meal. Where as if you selecting a wine as a pairing for a cheese board you may want to get a more full bodied wine that compliments the cheese.

TIPS FOR PAIRING WINE AND FOOD CORRECTLY
Store wine in a cool, dark place.
If you are trying a dish originating from a region see if there is a local wine to pair with it. As the saying goes, what grows together, stays together!
For wines high in acidity, avoid bitter ingrediants and focus on foods high in fat.
In general the wine should be sweeter than the food.
Pinot grigio for light fish dishes and Chardonnay for rich fish dishes with sauce.

DO PAIR
Chianti and Pasta dishes
Zinfandel or Malbec and BBQ
Sauvignon Blanc and Goats Cheese
Pinot Noir and Roast chicken dishes

DON’T PAIR
Pinot Noir and red sauced pasta dishes (bolognese, lasagne)
Spicy food with strong wines
Champagne and cake (sweet plus bubbles is generally a no no)


Ideal Serving Temperature for Wine

The best temperature for red wine is 62-68 degrees.
The best temperature for white wine is 49-55 degrees.

HOW TO TASTE WINE IN 7 EASY STEPS

  • Look – It should be clear. For reds, the darker the better.
    A visual inspection of the wine under neutral lighting
  • Swirl – Release the aroma, the bouquet
  • Sniff – Give your nose a boost of flavour
  • Sip – Let the wine sit in your mouth. Don’t swallow.
  • Breathe – Take a deep breath and give the wine aromas a chance to fill your senses.
  • Swig – Now it’s time to take a bigger gulp and enjoy a full taste of the wine.
  • Savour – Develop a complete profile of a wine that can be stored in your long term memory.

TOP 3 WINE FLAVORS TO ENJOY

Fruit flavors (e.g. peach, blackberry, plum, current)
Herbal flavors (e.g. bell pepper, mint, oregano)
Flower flavors (e.g. roses, lavender, iris)

TOP EUROPEAN WINE TASTING EXPERIENCES

For more information on any of the above wine filled adventures please get in touch with one of our travel team.

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4 UNIQUE EUROPEAN TOURS FOR WINE LOVERS

You have seen the decorative labels in your local wine store, you have tasted the goodness of wines straight from the shelves but would you like to know more about where these delicious grapes come from? Our tasting tours are designed for wine lovers who love to get to know the grapes and meet the famous wine producers of Europe. Here are a selection of our top picks for wine enthusiasts:

Douro Valley Adventure

The grapes of Northern Portugal avail of a special climate where the valleys of the Douro bask in the sunlight and the winds from the Atlantic ocean sweep through the vineyards. The soil is rich in nutrients providing flavoursome wines for you to try out year round. From the sweetest ports to dry whites that pair well with the fresh fish from the nearby coast, this is an epic wine tasting experience for all to enjoy.

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Burgundy Food and Wine Experience

A world class wine destination Burgundy wines can be found in most reputatable wine stores throughout the world. However, visiting the region is an extra educational journey through the heart of France.

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Alba Wine and Truffle Tour

Luxurious, sensual and memorable are three words to describe a tour through this stunning region of Italy. Our wine and truffle experience in Alba is simply unforgettable. Along the way you will have the chance to meet the wine producers, taste the land and sip of bold vintage wines.  

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Travel through the Vineyards of Tuscany on Two Wheels

Cycling through the Italian countryside is an unforgettable experience. Join the locals to learn about the best wine on offer in the region of Tuscany. On this wine filled adventure you will discover the beautiful landscapes of Italy, taste famous Italian produce and sip the most delicious Italian wines.

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For more information about any of these handpicked tours for wine lovers please contact one of our travel specialists.

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