Written by Alicia from Merlotgenoten
On a wine journey! Are you coming with us? Well, we’re not really going on a wine trip through Europe, we’ll have to wait for that for a while. Good alternative: I’m taking the taste buds with me on a trip. Through the Mediterranean, along the coast, through narrow alleys and cozy villages, under the burning sun. In my head I have already crossed the entire continent three times. Okay, why don’t you make yourself at home? Then I’ll arrange the refreshments. Let’s go vino!
6x European trips in and around the house
Wine trip: Assyrtiko on Santorini
Shop Suggestion: Oenopolis
We begin our journey in Greece. The land of ouzo, of the Acropolis and countless islands with white houses. Here we go in search of the Assyrtiko grape. Crisp, bright and herbal. A party in the glass, the Greek sun is breaking through! Set the table full of olives, tzatziki, feta and fresh sardines. This will make you spontaneously dance the sirtaki, agree? The island life begins on your balcony whether you live in Almere, Brunssum or Tiggelen. Read more about Santorini and Assyrtiko here.
Wine tasting with the best view ever on Santorini
Portuguese Vinho Verde and Port in Porto
As soon as the skies open again, I am on my way to Portugal. A true wine paradise. Red, white, sparkling, fortified… For now we celebrate this Portuguese wine feast in the backyard. Fancy a refreshing glass of white? Then go for the special Vinho Verde from the north of the country, made from indigenous white grapes. A young, ‘green’ wine, with the pleasant acidity of a juicy Granny Smith apple and a light fizz. Canned fish is always a good accompaniment, it is a Portuguese specialty or go for a fish cookie made of bacalao (salted cod). To finish, pour yourself a Tawny Port, break off a piece of dark chocolate and let it melt in your mouth. Obrigada! Read more about Vinho verde here.
View over Porto and Villa Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Spanish Malvasia on Lanzarote
Shop Suggestion: Drinksco
Olé! We are leaving for the Canary Islands. What do we need for the typical Spanish vacation feeling at home? Gamba’s al Ajillo, the famous shrimps in spicy oil, with garlic. Dip a nice crusty piece of bread in there. Furthermore, the spicy patatas bravas are always tasty and how about a nice piece of sheep cheese? The volcanic soil of the islands produces a lot of good wine, but for that delicious summer and culinary living room experience, I recommend the malvasia of Lanzarote! Herbaceous, tropical, with a bite. Oak makes this wine even more beautiful; creamy, fatty and super juicy. All you need now is a handsome Spanish guy next to you on the couch.
Old workshop of a vineyard in Lanzarote
Italian Nero d’Avola on Sicily
Shop Suggestion: Fattoria.nl
It belongs to Italy, but the Sicilians don’t think so. The island is warm, welcoming and gastronomic. The local produce is delicious! Will you bring that piece of tiny Italy into your home? We go for a sultry and spicy red wine, because on this island you’ll find vineyards full of the Nero d’Avolo grape. Often a bit lighter in body, but bombastic in character. What do we combine to this? Italian olive oil is of course an essential ingredient, add a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of pepper, and dip a fresh white baguette into it. And then: arancini, this Sicilian delicacy will make you lick your fingers. They are breaded risotto balls with a spicy filling. A glass of Nero d’Avola alongside and your Sicilian wine journey at home is complete! Do you really want to go on a wine trip to Sicily? Read all about wine paradise Gulfi here.
Arancini on a terrace in Siracusa, Sicily
Croatian Zinfandel in Split
Shop Suggestion: Taste of Croatia
Did you know that the Zinfandel grape, known from California and famous as the Italian Primitivo, originally comes from Croatia? Many grapes are grown in this beautiful, green country full of history. But here in the Netherlands we find few Croatian wines, how is that possible? It seems that the Croats themselves are very fond of their wines, so not much is exported. If you get your hands on a Croatian Zinfandel, enjoy it, because this dark, sultry, fruity and expressive wine is a gem! Serve with some Dalmatian smoked ham or ‘Kulen’: salami with peppers. Oh and ajvar, a red spicy sauce of peppers and eggplant is eaten everywhere in Split. On a terrace I enjoyed ajvar with toast, but it is used in many dishes. Anyway, throw your feet up, grab a book and imagine yourself in Split with wine and snacks. The breathtaking waterfalls, beautiful medieval buildings and narrow alleyways can be added through imagination. Read more about Croatian wines here.
View over Split, from Dioclatian’s palace
Shop Suggestion: Wijnweekendjeweg
We end our wine journey in our own beautiful country. Because here, too, you can indulge your wine heart! Throughout the country you will find vineyards, which also deliver good quality wine. Bubbles, white, rosé and even red. Roadtrip! Take the car and go on a Dutch wine tour! A great tip to take along in your glove compartment is the book ’12x Wijn Weekendjes Weg’. From De Kleine Schorre in Zeeland, to De Apostelhoeve in Zuid-Limburg, to the Betuws Wijndomein in Gelderland. You really don’t have to go far for a culinary and cultural wine trip. The Auxerrois, Johaniter, Pinots and Rieslings all grow on Dutch soils. Staying the night? Great! Have a nice vacation! Want to know more about Dutch wine? Read more here.
Wine tasting at the Kleine Schorre
PS: Before these strange times arrived, I went on a real wine trips, all photos are from my private collection. This way you get a little more in the mood, right?