After a few bottles of wine it’s hard to determine, which wine and region are the best. But we do our best in a sober moment to discern the best wine regions we have visited and where we are most looking forward to imbibing.
Why is the sun so bright today? Why does my head hurt so much? Why is my mouth so dry? Man, I need water… Groggily opening my eyes to the noonday sun must mean one thing: I’ve enjoyed a wine region a little too much. As the staunch environmentalist I am, I just can’t spit out the wine I taste, no, I, for the sake of not wasting, swallow every taste I have. It’s easy to judge wine regions by the experience, the sommeliers, or the views, but let’s look at it another way: where do you look back, head hurting, and say “I love this place!”
Mendoza, Argentina is hard to beat. It sits at the base of Aconcagua, the tallest mountain outside the Himalayas, and many of the towering Andean peaks. The wines are tasty and can be taken home for less than $10 a bottle. Those things may be nice, but what makes it great? All-you-can-eat steak. Sure, you could go visit wineries, but why not enjoy wine the way the Argentines do? Paired with meat, lots of meat. For less than $20 you can get all-you-can eat steak and all-you-can-drink wine.
Time for bed. A young me after enjoying a night of Mendoza.
This isn’t a Sizzler special, it’s Porterhouse and other quality cuts, delicious sausages, and just about every piece of meat you can imagine, barbecued up for your indulging. Yep, you’ll wake the next day wondering why you ate and drank so much, but then you’ll head out for more…
After a few wine tastings any wine region can become your favorite, however a few places stand out as areas I would love to return to. Wine is a beverage that breaks down language barriers, brings people together and has been a highlight of our travels from Australia to Japan and back to the U.S. While I have enjoyed wine from each of these places there are also a few wine regions that have reputations that precede themselves.
Did I say that wine breaks down barriers? It also helps to create new friendships, me, my Mom and Matt from Ekhidna winery in Adelaide, Australia.
The bold reds of Australia’s Coonawara wine region, the fruity wines of New Zealand, the rice wines of Japan and the spicy zinfandels of the Russian River Valley in the U.S. all stand out as excellent wine regions. But, if I had to pick just one wine region as a front runner it would be the Sonoma Valley in Northern California. The friendly tasting room staff, no tasting fees, bike-ability of the area and the wonderful restaurants and accommodation in nearby Healdsburg make this the region I would return to again and again.
While Sonoma has held the top spot on my list of favorite wine regions for quite awhile I am really looking forward to exploring the wines of South America. We fly to Buenos Aires at the end of December 2012 and Mendoza is a high priority. Not only am I looking forward to the array of reds in Argentina, but they should be the perfect pairing for the great steak. We’ll keep you updated as our favorites list grows with our travels.
Do you have a favorite wine region or a specific wine that you love? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.