The Top 5 Recommendations for Wine Touring & Tasting
Whether you are traveling to the wineries of British Columbia or the vineyards in the south of France for wine tasting, there are a few key recommendations that will guarantee a brilliant time.
The top five tips for Wine Touring & Tasting are:
1. Pick a great hotel - you will want to have comfort, service and a view.
2. Align with your tastes in wine - what color? style?
3. Call Ahead - now that the pandemic is in it's second year this is the only way to roll
4. Make a budget - know what you can afford unapologetically.
5. Designated Driver - or hire a driver, a captain or a pilot.
While this list could be debated, the item not on the list is SPIT. If have a full tasting day ahead and you don't spit, chances are you won't have good tasting notes and little recollection of the wines you tasted especially at the end of your day. Not only that you might have made some purchases you later regret. If you are going to drink, please don't drive. That's my PSA for today.
Pick a Great Hotel
It can't be overstated that staying at a resort or hotel that offers great service, awesome accommodation and perfect location to get around with free parking and WIFI is just a winning formula. In the case of the Okanagan, if Kelowna is your destination, make a reservation at the Hotel Eldorado on the Lake and be wowed. You'll be close to the Mission where you'll find Tantalus, Cedar Creek, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Spearhead, Sperling and more.
Align with Your Wine Preferences
If you are interested in Riesling, you might not find a visit to Painted Rock satisfying. Conversely, if you like big reds, Painted Rock is perfect and tasting Pinot Noir might disappoint. Time and energy of everyone involved means be smart, be wise and be efficient. If you don't know your preferences or if you have many preferences then you have your work cut out for you. Today most wineries have websites which you can use to research your preferences. Additionally call a friend who loves wine. If you don't have one - reach out. I'll be happy to help.
It used to be only wine nerds or large parties would call ahead to a wine tasting. The pandemic has changed this. Bookings are now required. You can do this by calling or going online. This has created the effect of reducing the opportunities but increasing the intimacy of the experiences which can inspire more love and purchases.
Know Thy Budget
Budget is not a dirty word and it does not imply cheapness. Rather, it speaks to goals and how to achieve them. Tasting wine can inspire us to make purchases that sometimes don't make sense when we get home. Knowing how much wine you want to purchase as well as how much you want to spend can work in tandem with the wineries you want to vitis. It's solid to have a plan regarding wine purchases - from everyday wine to special occasion bottles.
This may go without saying. When visiting three wineries a day, and maybe not spitting at every stop, it's a great idea to plan the best way to get around wine country. You can hire a driver, join a tour or even hire boat or helicopter. Whatever you decide keep in mind that designated drivers are looked after at wineries usually with refreshment and maybe even snacks. Safety is the key to seeing your tour to the end.
Thanks for reading my top five recommendations for you that can go a long way to creating the an awesome vineyard and winery tour and tasting experience in wine country. If you would like to read about my three recommended adventures to the Okanagan Valley of BC, please visit my travel page. On this page, you will find three trips - Penticton, Kelowna and the Similkameen Valley. Any questions or feedback, I welcome your comments below. Until we can travel - stay safe!