Thursday, January 28, 2010

Why Wine is Awesome Reason #10 - Travel

In the spirit of my Uses for Cheap Wine series that is evolving through this blog, I’ve decided I should start another series, because just as there are indeed many good uses for cheap wine, there are many reasons why wine is awesome.

As President of the NYC Chapter of Women for WineSense, it is a privilege and duty to make my annual pilgrimage west to Napa Valley, land of our founders. Each spring for the last 3 years, I have travelled to California to celebrate and collaborate with many lovely, successful and fabulous members and officers from Women for WineSense chapters nationwide. Two out of those three years were Grand Events, most spectacular occasions, the second of which I dutifully attended and thoroughly enjoyed even though I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter Ché Elizabeth. Last year, during the height of the economic revolution, although we decided not to have a Grand Event, there was still a congregation, a very important annual summit took place as usual. While many important and serious discussions ensued, wine was poured and vineyards were toured.

The truth is you can travel just by trying wines from different parts of the world. While wine’s character is largely determined by the grape varieties it is made of, there is an undeniable sense of place in almost every bottle - not just in the packaging but in the character of the wine itself. For example, you can take a mini tour of the world by trying a selection of Sauvignon Blancs from different places - visit Northern France, the South Island of New Zealand, South Africa and the North Fork of Long Island all in one week on your tour.

Nonetheless, there’s nothing like the being there in person. Voyaging to the places where wine is grown offers such a unique look at a place you often go to for other reasons, as perhaps in Spain, Chile or California or it can take you to places you wouldn’t otherwise go to at all, such as the Upper Loire Valley and the aforementioned North Fork of Long Island (a sleepy farm area that still pales in comparison to the Hamptons in summer appeal, but is now a fantastic destination for wine touring!). Add the experience of drinking the region’s wines and enjoying the foods that they do best - MAGIC!

Wine has given me both many reasons to travel and the opportunity to enhance my travel experiences by adding in winery and vineyard visits and tasting through otherwise unbeaten paths all over the world as well as very close to home. The great thing is that you can always recapture a little of that by enjoying those wines again later, and the pictures tend to be really awesome when you get back home.

Photos from Previous Women for WineSense Grand Events, Enjoy!

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