Planning your honeymoon is a special newlywed experience that should reflect true love – and not just for each other — but for wine as well! Many wine regions in the world are tranquil and romantic, with sprawling vineyards and charming tasting rooms perfect for an idyllic experience for two. Here are some tips that will help you have a memorable wine country honeymoon vacation from start to finish.
Narrow it down
With so many wine regions in the world, where do you even begin? Think about what else you enjoy apart from wine and go from there. If you love the beach, consider a South African wine getaway so you can also take advantage of the hidden beaches along the country’s west coast. If it’s history and architecture you’re after, Spain’s wine regions can be combined with a trip to Barcelona or Madrid. If you’re passionate about shopping for authentic leather goods and indulging in steak during a wine trip, head to Argentina.
With many a wine tasting on the agenda, it’s essential to pack properly. First of all, dark colors should be the go-to look – after all, dribbling Chianti on your crisp white linen pants would be a tragedy. Consider packing layers, because often wine cellars and caves can be chilly, despite the current weather conditions outside. Be sure to research what weather and temperatures seasons bring as these can vary by wine region.
Don’t forget to pack white wipes, which you can use to wipe your teeth after tasting so they won’t get wine stains. Adding in a pack of Ibuprofen in case your wine indulgence goes slightly overboard could be a lifesaver.
Think outside the box
Just as your wedding can be traditional, your honeymoon can be too – or not. Wine trips don’t have to be all subdued tastings and vineyard tours. You can always try something a bit different such as a wine spa in Spain, segway or biking wine tours in Italy or even an underwater winery accessible only by diving in Croatia.
Plan a few wine-free experiences
Even wine-lovers should remember that it’s a good idea to plan other activities too. All wine and no play makes Jack a dull boy! If you happen to be in Portugal sampling port wines, you can wander the cobblestone hills of the old city and a cruise up the Douro River via boat too. Napa Valley wine tastings can be combined with bike rides, spa rejuvenation or a few days in San Francisco. A little variety during your trip will make you appreciate the wine you’ll be sampling even more.
Consider off-the-beaten-path wine country regions
While you can always head to Bordeaux, the world is full of unique and interesting destinations that many people don’t realize are actually known for wine, among other things. Did you know that Bulgaria was actually the world’s second-largest wine producer in the 1980s? The country currently has five different tasting regions, each with its own micro-climate.
Greece is home to some of the oldest wine-making methods known to date. You can even visit wineries in Lanzarote, one of the seven Canary Islands situated off the northwestern coast of Africa.
Learn the key words
Of course you know the words in English often associated with wine tasting: things like tannins, barrels, vintage, aged, fruity, reserve, bottle or sweet. But picking up a few key words in the official language of your wine country honeymoon destination is a good plan. Even if you’ll be touring in English, being able to understand some vocabulary on the bottle labels or ask a question in another language can really enhance your wine experience and earn you some respect from the locals.
Bring home some honeymoon memories
Before embarking on your wine country escapade, make sure to look into options for shipping wine home from your honeymoon destination. After all, this is going to be a trip you’ll remember forever – so celebrating your 10, 20 or even 30-year anniversary with a vintage reserve purchased during your honeymoon from an exotic wine destination will make those married years to come even more special. And don’t forget about special suitcases designed specifically for transporting wine back home — this is something you can add to your wedding registry.