12 Wines to Help Pretend You Are Someplace Else

It’s summer. We would like to be sailing. We aren’t quite there yet. Here are 12 ways (and wines) to close your eyes and imagine your port (or shipboard) experience while sipping wines associated with specific destinations.

  1. Albarino. It’s a classic Spanish summertime wine that’s widely available. What are you eating? That’s easy. If you were in Barcelona, you would be enjoying either paella or tapas. Both can be ordered as takeout from your local Spanish restaurant.
  2. Champagne. Now you are imagining yourself on the ship during the sail away. Maybe it’s the first black tie dinner onboard. At home, you might buy some ready made canapés at the gourmet store or simply make some popcorn in the microwave. Its better than you might imagine.
  3. Rose wine. The ship has deposited you in Monte Carlo or Nice. Salade Nicoise is a good match, but roast chicken with herbs is pretty Provenscal too and can be bought already cooked at the local supermarket. You want a Rose wine from Cotes du Provence. They should be priced under $20.00.
  4. Riesling. You are remembering that Rhine River cruise. Germany does a great job with these wines. They are quite reasonable because they haven’t caught on as well as they should. Sausages of all kinds are a German staple, but they really go better with beer. You might drink your Riesling on its own.
  5. Chablis. You are in Paris. Not sure how you got there. Possibly a river cruise. You were walking along Rue de la Pais checking our Cartier and other stores that sell necessities. You feel hungry. The small café you choose offers raw oysters and Chablis. At home, you decide not to eat them standing up.
  6. Sauvignon Blanc. The world cruise has brought you to New Zealand. They do a great job with Sauvignon Blanc. It tastes different from the cool climate versions you get in France. You bring a bottle home along with some fresh soft cheese and interesting looking crackers.
  7. Malbec. That South American cruise brought you to Buenos Aires. It’s the land of beef, Malbec and tango. On a cooler summer evening, you pit steaks on the grill and open a bottle of Malbec. It’s difficult to get a bad bottle.
  8. Chianti. You first discovered it in Florence on that port call during your cruise in the Med. It was so good with steak! Now you’ve learned Chianti is the perfect wine to match with cheeseburgers. Tonight, you are going to give it a try.
  9. Shiraz. You remember when Australia wasn’t under lockdown. They had so many good wines there, but Shiraz is the signature one you remember best. You remember it went well with grilled meat. You fire up the BBQ and start telling your friends stories.
  10. Prosecco. You’ve been using it as a champagne substitute for years. You’ve heard it’s the official sparkling wine of Venice. You don’t remember much about the food in Venice, other than it was either touristy or expensive. In your fantasy, you’ve brought it back to your cabin aboard thee ship and are enjoying it on your balcony.
  11. Bandol Rose. This was a pretty good memory of yours. Your ship docked in Marseilles. It’s the town famous for bouillabaisse. That’s what you had. You realize they have their own version of rose, only it’s made from different grapes than nearby Provence. This one was difficult. You ask your spouse id they want to try making up that famous fish stew. Maybe you get it as takeout. The wine runs you somewhere between $20-60 a bottle.
  12. Sancerre. You remember that river cruise through the Loire Valley. Someone suggested you try a glass of Sancerre, once considered the official white wine of Paris. Wow, that was good. So different from New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. You buy some Chavignol cheese, the official cheese from around the town of Sancerre.

You haven’t been at sea, but you and your spouse have relived some great memories. You’ve told your friends about it too. You have been inspired to pull out the latest brochures and start planning your next voyage.

Cover photo: Wines from a variety of regions, credit Jackie Sheckler Finch


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