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Extreme Wine Tasting, New Zealand Style

new zealand wine tasting

This is our on-the-ground introduction to the New Zealand wine scene, focused on the South Island regions of Marlborough, Central Otago, and Nelson. It includes recommended wineries, a wine cottage experience for the romance bucket list, and an insight into how wine tasting in New Zealand can be more frightening than jumping off a bridge.

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Wine Tasting in Mendoza, Argentina: Going Beyond Malbec and Loving It

Maybe you'd like to visit wine country in Argentina. You've heard about Mendoza, but you wonder: How to I go about wine tasting and touring wineries there? The options are many, but if you'd like to have a meaningful, enlightening wine tasting experience and an awesome time, here are a few tips on how to do so without blowing a ton of cash.

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Red Rocks and Wine Tasting: Cafayate, Argentina

Red rocks and desert. Doesn’t sound like the right conditions for a wine region, does it?

Wineries Near Cafayate, Argentina
Cafayate Wine Region

The name Cafayate, another of Argentina’s winemaking regions, doesn’t quite have the same ring as Mendoza. But there’s something about the sandy soil — good for irrigation control and filtering – that finds expression in the local grapes, including the local white wine varietal of choice, Torrontes.

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The Lesson of the Great Bavarian Wine Harvest

Has anyone ever told you how lucky you are regarding something for which you've worked so hard? Even when they're trying to pay you a compliment, it stings a bit, doesn’t it?

After a visit to a family winery in the Bavarian region of Lower Franconia this past October, I imagine that’s how winemakers sometimes feel.

During a weekend crush event at Bickel-Stumpf winery, we helped pick the season’s Cabernet Sauvignon. We enjoyed the blazing autumn sun, we ate heartily, and we tasted far too many wines. And like any roundly fulfilling experience, one of life’s lessons was reinforced along the way: the best in life is often less about glamour and more about hard work, mettle, and passion.

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Patagonia: Hitchhiking the Wild West of Argentine Wine

Patagonia: the home of otherworldly landscapes, uplifted granite, glaciers, unrelenting wind, and the toughened skin of a Pinot noir grape. At the region’s northern reaches, where fabled mountains yield to desert flatlands, there are wineries.

Vineyards in the San Patricio del Chañar Region
Vineyards in Patagonia, just near Neuquen.

We couchsurfed and hitchhiked our way to find them, and when we did, we were pleasantly surprised to find that we had them virtually all to ourselves.

Adventurers, read on. For those of you interested in the details of do-it-yourself wine touring in this area, read Patagonia Wine Tasting, a How To.

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The Wine Bends: A Detour in the Austrian Countryside

Ah, Austria. We could wax artistic about Vienna’s museums, poke fun at the people in period outfits selling classical music concert tickets, tell stories about Euro 2008, or tempt you with impressions of Viennese coffee houses and flaky apple strudel.

Austrian Ticket Vendor
Decked out in period costume in Vienna, Austria.

But what fun would that be? You can read about that in the New York Times Travel Section, Conde Naste Traveler or any other travel magazine.

Instead we’ll share how, with the help of an Austrian friend and an unplanned turn of events, we discovered the real Austria in the country's Weinviertel (Wine Quarter) about an hour outside of Vienna.

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Liv Tyler and Chinese Wine

Having just uncorked our first bottle of Chinese wine, we began to reminisce about the small, lovely and affordable French wine collection we'd built in Prague (then quickly quaffed), thanks to the Salon de Vignerons Independants (French Independent Vintners Festival) that we attended in February 2005 and February 2006 in Strasbourg, France.

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