Take a trip around the world with some amazing wine and food pairings. Jennifer Weatherhead Harrington, travel expert highlights wines from around the world that are perfect for fall options and tips on the destination it hails from, so you can start planning your next wine-themed vacation, while enjoying it at home for now.
California wines are a perfect option for doing a wine tasting or celebrating… and when we do get to go back to travelling, it’s not too far away, so it can make for an easy long weekend filled with wine, amazing weather and some gorgeous views.
I picked this from California’s prominent wine region – Napa Valley – it’s a premium pick Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon which means it’ll be more full-bodied than a Pinot Noir and so it opens with flavours of intense dark berries, cocoa, and espresso aromas layered by spice and herb complexity. It’s on the higher end, so it deserves to be paired with something extra special.
To pretend you’re in Napa Valley, elevate your wine tasting by adding in some strawberries. I took it up a notch and made these balsamic parmesan strawberry bites, you can get the recipe on californiastrawberries.com. California strawberries are hitting their peak season right now, so it’s a great way to extend summer for us, and it’s a great way to really feel like you’re doing a real wine tasting.
NZ is known for having some of the most incredible wines and having some of the most breathtaking vineyards in the world. For being a small island it has stunning views.
Right from Marlborough in beautiful New Zealand comes this Kim Crawford Pinot Noir.
Kim Crawford is well-known for their #1 selling Sauvignon Blanc, which is incredible and such an easy drinking wine, but I also wanted to show you this Pinot Noir. It’s a cool-climate Pinot Noir which means it offers classic flavours of black cherry and raspberry with some earth notes.
This is one that would go great with a roasted lamb or meat dish, a hearty risotto, really anything that is earthy and rustic lends to that NZ feeling.
I know a lot of us are dreaming of that European vacation and maybe a little time in the south of France, known for their incredible red wine production. This wine I picked comes from France’s Languedoc region which sees more sunny days than most of the country, making it ideal for growing ripe, rich versions of cabernet sauvignon grapes.
Felix & Lucie’s Cabernet Sauvignon delivers earthy flavours and aromas of cocoa, black fruit and rosemary so serve it with beef brisket or robust stews. Try pairing this with dark chocolate or a full French meal to feel like you’re actually in France.
My ideal wine trip would be to Italy… I was there not long before the pandemic and I have to say, I have never met a Chianti I didn’t like! There’s an ease about doing wine tours in Italy… things move slower and you can really take your time to enjoy.
Italian red wines are always so delicious and this one is no exception – this is one from Tuscany and it’s one of the most recognized Tuscan wines in the world. Ruffino’s Chianti is one of the top selling Chiantis in North America and boasts flavours of red berries, cherries with spicy notes and even a touch of pepper.
And make it a full-on Italian experience with some Parmigiano-Reggiano, olives, marinated artichokes and more.
Portugal may not always be on the top of wine destinations, but I’m here to change your mind! Porto’s Douro Valley is where the world famous sweet Port wine is created. And also where some other great wines are mastered too. If you get a chance to visit Porto, do at least a day trip on the Douro river with stops at the vineyards and wineries.
I selected two uniquely Portugese wines to try. First, Port… and I say go for a white Port like this by Fonseca if you’re not a fan of fortified wines. It’s not as sweet and intense and works perfectly for a Port & Tonic (a spin on a classic Gin & Tonic) with orange slices and rosemary. It has oaky flavours and a bit of fruitiness. You can also try out a Verde wine, or a “green wine”… it’s not really “green” in colour, it just means it’s a very young and not aged long, and is a classic Portuguese take on a white wine.
For more from Weatherhead Harringon, visit her Instagram.