Dear Travel Agents,
I usually encourage travel agents to specialize in groups or different segments of travel, and to become experts. With my personal travel and love of good wine, I am slowly becoming more interested in winery travel. Even though I still get tipsy, I am excited to learn about different parts of the world and their wines.
We have lived in Los Angeles for over 30 years and I remember many years ago, coming to northern California and tasting wine (that was not so popular or tasty) for free. This year we have decided to spend New Year’s in Napa Valley, and what a difference a number of years can make. What a fun destination! There are over 500 wineries of all sizes, and all kinds of wines. Prices vary from $20 a bottle to much over $200 a bottle.
We have been going to Europe for over 20 years and drinking wine from France, Spain and Italy, where everyone assumes all wines are from. Port wine (not my favorite) is from Portugal and we have been there as well.
In 2014, we went to South Africa and I was surprised to learn that they have good wines: Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, from Stellenbosch and Paarl. We started to buy wine from South Africa when entertaining friends. It has been a very pleasant experience.
This year we went to Australia and New Zealand and learned about their Syrah and late harvest. They offer many other delicious wines that now we look forward to drinking.
My husband is from Argentina, so we are very familiar with Malbec and the wineries from Mendoza (Argentina) and Maipo Valley in Chile, with Cabernet Sauvignon in a style like Bordeaux and Cabernet Franc.
Honestly, I love learning and I don’t feel that I need to become an expert in wines, nor in all the countries that produce good wines. I love the experience of learning about wines, and tasting them in their own countries instead of a cellar that sells international wines. I enjoy talking to people about these experiences, and am far from being a wine snob. I love sweet wines and get tipsy after my first glass (but let’s keep that a secret, since I can hold the same glass for hours! LOL!)