An Endless Journey

Traveling broadens both your mind and your palate.

For me, being on the move is a way of life.

Travel-obsessed from an early age (my teenage wall décor was equal parts National Geographic Traveler and The Cure), I’ve always sought the dynamic nature of globetrotting.

From Gandalf-level walkabouts in the forest near my house as a child, to more far-flung, adult journeys like kayaking the jungle inlets of Costa Rica, travel has been essential in evolving my knowledge of the world and in knowing myself. It’s the ultimate ongoing education.

My love of wine and food naturally developed as my world widened. Travel logs and photos became increasingly food and drink heavy.

I remember what I ate on a terrace overlooking the old town of Fes (mint-tomato salad), and what I drank on the back of a safari jeep in the African bush (Chenin Blanc). The fabric of my journeys is interwoven with regional dishes, shared bottles and enough characters of kitchen and cellar to fill a Dickens novel.

Traveling has also given me insight on the way in which wine figures in other cultures. Why should we be so precious about wine, when in Paris, I saw babies tasting Champagne off of their mothers’ fingers like it was milk?

I drank one of the world’s best Greek whites out of a tumbler with my feet covered in Santorini sand, and I swear it was better than any Michelin-starred moment I have ever had.

How can you learn more about wine on your travels? Follow the locals. Observe. Ask them what they’re drinking and try it.

Be adventurous and curious. You’ll discover new pours and you’ll make new friends along the way. It’s amazing to see what bottles appear and what dishes are shared once you’ve offered a smile and asked a few questions, no matter how rudimentary they might be.

In Travels with Charley, Steinbeck wrote, “People don’t take trips; trips take people.”

Go raise a glass in a place unknown, and you’ll not only broaden your palate, but you just might find the best parts of yourself.

Top Trips and Sips

Here’s my list of recent memorable combos. Which places and wines are on your list? Tweet me @suskostrzewa/#WEtravel

FRANCE 2014
Reims Cathedral at sunset: CHAMPAGNE
Street sipping in the Marais: NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES
Home-cooked Bastille market sole: SANCERRE

SPAIN 2013
Happy hour on Calle de Cava Baja: CAVA
Almond soup lunch at the Alhambra: FINO SHERRY
Paella beach party in Nerja: NAVARRA ROSADO

CALIFORNIA 2012
Post-slope fireside in Tahoe: SIERRA FOOTHILLS SYRAH
$2 carne asada tacos in Sonoma: SONOMA ZINFANDEL
Alfresco Napa lunch: NAPA RIBOLLA

Published on January 7, 2015
Topics: Global Guides, Wine Travel, Wine Trends
About the Author
Susan Kostrzewa
Executive Editor

Reviews wines from Greece and Cyprus.

Executive Editor Susan Kostrzewa joined Wine Enthusiast in 2006, when she moved from Sonoma, California, to Manhattan. Kostrzewa has written and edited wine, food and travel stories for the past 14 years, and oversees all editorial direction of Wine Enthusiast Magazine and WineMag.com, in addition to the tasting programs. Kostrzewa co-edited the Wine Enthusiast Wine & Food Pairings book and has co-authored numerous books on wine and travel in her career. Email: skostrze@wineenthusiast.net




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