Beer and Wine Around the World

We have always been advocates for eating local foods when traveling, but we equally believe in trying the local wines and beers. Wine tastings are a great way to try a variety of wines and get a true sense of what the region has to offer. Likewise, many cities have their own beer varieties which are specific to that location or are brewed just for the season. Some places are obvious locations to try certain things, like beer in Germany or wine in France, but you can find local varieties in places that might surprise you, such as Iceland or Egypt.

Local Beer in Egypt
Wine Tasting in Ronda, Spain
Wine Purchased from a Wine Tasting in Strasbourg, France

It isn’t just about trying different varieties of beer and wine, it is also about going to the places where locals like to gather with friends and family to relax and have a drink or two. There is something special about the atmosphere of a historic pub that is just warm and welcoming. Going to places like the Brazen Head in Dublin, Ireland’s oldest pub, can be as interesting of an experience as visiting the famous sights in a city. If you take the time to chat with the owners, you just might find yourself having a drink with them while learning more about the city and the best of the local wine and beer to try.

Brazen Head Pub in Dublin
Drinking Games in Reykjavik, Iceland
Wine and Food in Italy

We don’t believe that there are set rules about what pairs well with certain types of food as we think that it all depends upon your taste. As long as you choose something that you enjoy, it will likely taste good with your meal. There isn’t anything wrong with having a red wine or beer with fish or white wine with something with a robust flavor such as duck. The one exception might be for desserts where a sweeter wine certainly makes some sense, but on the rare occasions that we eat dessert, we usually just have a normal glass of wine.

Beer in Kilkenny, Ireland
Obvious Where We had This Beer
Dark Beer in Romania

If you add in the different festivals that happen throughout the year, but especially around the holidays, there are even more opportunities to taste local favorites. You don’t have to be in Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest and you can probably find someplace close to you to enjoy this annual celebration. Wherever you travel, you should take advantage of the local libations, including specialty drinks in addition to the local beers and wines. We enjoyed so many different drinks during our travels, but Apfelwein in Frankfurt might be close to the top of our list. Do you have a favorite beer, wine, or drink experience?

Apfelwein in Frankfurt
Beer in Iceland
Local Beer in Quito, Ecuador


Experimenting with Wine

We are certainly guilty of having a favorite wine that we purchase whether for home or at a restaurant, but trying new wines is the only way to discover wines that may become your new favorite. It isn’t just the brand of wine that you buy, but also the varieties of grapes that you choose. Sure, you may love chardonnay for your white or merlot for your red and that might be what you like the most, however, if you are willing to experiment, you might just find alternative choices.

Flavorful Merlot
Flavorful Merlot

Let us be clear, we are not wine experts and are definitely not wine snobs.  We like what we like and are willing to pair wines with food based on our tastes and mood, not some contrived rule about what you’re supposed to have with certain foods.  Red wine with fish, why not?  If it tastes good to you then you should feel free to drink what you like with whatever you want.  The same is true with trying different wines with different foods than you have in the past, you may never know what combination turns out to trip your flavor trigger.

White Bordeaux
White Bordeaux

One of the things that we did to try and help us grow our wine experience was to join a wine club.  Obviously there are several out there, but most of them have reasonable prices and you can usually choose to get all red, all white, or a mix.  We chose to get a mix of wines and the white wines will often contain a blush of some sort, which has changed our opinions on blush wines to some extent.  We used to think that they were all too fruity, but that hasn’t turned out to be the case, we have found some of them to be more robust in flavor.

A Previous Shipment
A Previous Shipment

Don’t worry, we won’t be trying to tell you what wine to buy or trying to come across like a sommelier.  Occasionally, we might let you know about a wine that we’ve found interesting, but mostly trying new wines is just something that we like to do for ourselves.  If you like wine, try experimenting with different grape varieties, different brands, different flavor profiles, etc.  Sometimes you’ll find some duds that you don’t like at all, but there will be other times where you’ll find that special wine that becomes your new favorite.

Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon