Wine has many enticements, but perhaps one of the most alluring elements of wine is the sense of place it evokes. This extends not only to flavor profile of the wine and how that reflects the unique terroir of the region, but to spirit of the destination itself: The plucky Rioja calls to mind the fierce Spanish sun; the saltwater-kissed Assyrtiko the vibrant Aegean; and the refined Pinot Noir the quaint but stately villages of Burgundy.
I’ve had the opportunity and immense pleasure to travel the world in my lifelong pursuit of wine, and experiencing wine regions in person has changed my understanding of those wines immeasurably. Seeing the terrain, walking the vineyards, meeting the winemakers in their own environment…all give priceless insight to any wine lover.
In this issue, our annual Top 10 Wine Travel Destinations list illuminates both iconic and emerging regions our expert editors urge you to visit right now. From Texas Hill Country to Mendoza to the Languedoc and beyond, we give you insider insight on the wine, food and cultural highlights of these exciting regions, all with a sense of adventure and discovery in mind.
Discovery defines Coombsville, Napa Valley’s newest AVA and a hotbed of critical acclaim. As California Editor Steve Heimoff reports, this once-sleepy region with its distinctive microclimate is producing refined Cabernet with superb structure, attracting serious collectors from all over the globe.
France’s Jura, long a sommelier secret, is the subject of European Editor Roger Voss’s piece. Distinctive, oxidative whites, fruity Chardonnays and light and lively reds are the showpieces of this remote, mountainous region that produces conversation-piece pours ideal for experimental wine drinkers.
Cold weather inevitably brings thoughts of tropical climes, and Contributing Food Editor Alexis Korman heats things up with an exploration of modern Caribbean cuisine and wine pairings. spicy stone crabs with Sauvignon Blanc, passion fruit salad with rosé…these dishes from upscale island kitchens are a way to bring this vibrant, innovative cuisine to your own table.