Last week I wrote a post about some cities to try a foodie and alcohol tasting vacation and said I would follow it up with some tips. Here’s a rundown of some of my ideas for these types of trips.
Tips for food
I wrote a post Eat like a foodie when you travel with tips to eat well anywhere you go so I will just do a quick overview.
Find the best restaurants at different prices: Check sites like Tripadvisor, OpenTable, Zomato and Yelp (there are lots, these are just a few examples) for the best restaurants in the areas you’re visiting. Groupon will have some deals too.
Check what’s happening in the city you’re visiting: Look online for local food, farmer’s or artisan markets, farms, and any food festivals or tours that are happening at that time.
Take a cooking class: One amazing way to experience local cuisine is to take a cooking class. You can find cooking classes in many major cities. Check Groupon for deals.
Tips for alcohol tasting
I have liked all of the tasting trips I’ve been on so far. Not all are created equal, but they are all experiences. At a minimum, I find out which ones I like and dislike, and what wine or beer pairs well with different food.
Depending on the type of trip you do and where you go, you may want to stay on the property if possible or within walking distance. It helps avoid the cost of transit to get home after indulging in drinks.
Check Groupon for deals for any of these options.
Check what’s happening in the city you’re visiting: Look online for any wine, scotch or beer tasting events or tours that are happening at that time.
Guided tours: Give you the option of getting the history of the vineyard, distillery or brewery, and the different types of wine, scotch or beer made. You also have transportation that will pick you up and drop you off so you can enjoy yourself without worry. These are a great option if you’re newer to wine, scotch or beer, want to learn about the drinks made at a particular vineyard, distillery or brewery, or if you like to be in a group setting. On the downside, you won’t be able to do things at your own pace, and may not get to sample some of your top choices.
On your own: You can go at your own pace, learn about the types of drinks made at the vineyards, distilleries and breweries you visit, and stop in where you want to go. Personally, I prefer this kind of trip. You get to experiment as slow or fast as you want, and you can meet people as you go. On the downside, you have to do your research beforehand and when you get there to find the best places and make sure there is space for you. You will also have to find your own transportation.
Tasting classes: These can be a lot of fun, and you learn as you go. You can probably find tasting classes where you live too, so you don’t necessarily have to leave home to do it. Research ahead to make sure you pick the right class. Some are geared towards people that will be getting into the business like a sommelier for wine, and they are very technical. Ideally, you want one that gives you tips and plenty of tasting too.
Make your own wine or beer: It won’t taste as good as what you try at vineyards or breweries, but it is fun to do, and you learn about the process of making it. Once the wine or beer is ready (the length of time varies and it could be up to six weeks), you are brought back to taste and take home the product you made. The downside is that you have to do this closer to home (so more of a staycation), unless you are able to travel more frequently to go back for your second tasting and pick up your product. You want to check for additional bottling fees and if you’re making wine, also corkage fees.
These are my tips. Do you have any others?