As things return to normal, many of us are beginning to get the “travel bug.” Understandably, it feels as though we missed out on experiences in 2020 - making this year a summer of splurging. There are many ways to get out of the home and do regional, national, or international travel. While there are many different themes you can come up with to get out of the home, one theme may revolve around food and beverage.
Locally, perhaps you get out and see new restaurants or coffee shops in your hometown. As I sit here in Nashville, we are blessed (?) with exciting new things happening all of the time, including the new Assembly Food Hall, The Goat is SoBro, North Italia in Franklin, Pegasus Pizza near Brentwood, or the new Central BBQ in Midtown. There are many new (and existing) culinary experiences to explore. (Is Memphis barbecue really better than Nashville? We will find out.) This approach of getting out won’t break the budget, yet may perhaps give you that sense of adventure that you are looking for.
For our clients in Atlanta, Huntsville, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Indianapolis, what new restaurants or themed tours can you explore?
Moving out regionally from Nashville, there are obviously the ever-popular bourbon trail and whiskey trail sites. The Bourbon Trail consists of 38 distilleries in Kentucky (mainly Central and Eastern Kentucky). Not to be outdone, The Tennessee Whiskey Trail offers over 30 distilleries and adventure from the East to the West. While I am not a bourbon and whiskey fan myself, I would enjoy going on these tours if I brought my golf sticks along and played the regions top golf courses as I traveled with friends. Combine that with digesting good barbecue along the way, seeing fabulous countryside (both states are great areas to just roam), visiting quaint bluegrass, country, or blues joints, and enjoying some fellowship and you have a good trip – all still quite economical (if I don’t lose too many golf balls).
If you take the beverage theme trip further and if you are more of an oenophile, taking a wine trip(s) may be more to your liking. This will obviously be a bit more costly, but if it fits into your budget, then this could fulfill a life-long bucket list that could be well worth checking off. If this sounds like something that you would enjoy, here are six luxury food and wine locations to help you get out and explore after the tough COVID season we went through.
Location #1: Bordeaux, France
Bordeaux, France is actually considered the wine capital of the world. And after spending some time here, you'll understand why. It's the largest wine-producing region in France, with over 6,000 wineries and almost 300,000 acres under vine. And in 2019, 7.7 million people visited the area to sample wine and enjoy the scenic view.1
You’ll find both group and private tours available in Bordeaux, depending on the type of experience you’re looking for. Many of the wineries are known as “châteaux,” which means they are private family homes. You'll likely need to make a reservation before you arrive.
When visiting the region, you’ll come across private accommodations and private dining experiences, which can range from a decadent luncheon in a historic château to something more casual, such as lunch outside in the wineries.
Location #2: Tuscany, Italy
When discussing delicious food and wine, Tuscany is a location that often comes up in conversation. Tuscany is home to some unique cooking classes, where you can learn the art of making your own pasta while enjoying delicious wines.
Tuscany has some of the most famous wineries in Italy including:
- Val d’Orcia DOC
- Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
- Brunello di Montalcino
- Chianti Classico
The people of Tuscany love the land and are extremely proud of their region, and they enjoy sharing it with others. Renting a car and booking reservations in advance is the recommended way to enjoy the area and make sure to enjoy a winery meal with your tastings.
Location #3: Mendoza, Argentina
Mendoza, Argentina has some incredible wines, but the culinary scene is notable as well. If you are a wine connoisseur who loves delicious food and adventure, then Mendoza is the place for you.
Many of the best wineries in the region serve multi-course wine lunches at their restaurants. While enjoying the wineries, you can get a beautiful view of the Andes mountains.
Location #4: Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley is home to over 400 wineries. It accounts for four percent of the wines produced in California and .04 percent of the world’s wines, meaning it has a limited production.2 Though the region is small, it’s known worldwide for its award-winning wine.
While Napa Valley is associated with good wine, the food scene is worth checking out as well. There are several Michelin star restaurants in the area with locally sourced ingredients giving a true farm-to-table experience that should pair well with your wine tasting journey.
Location #5: Stellenbosch, South Africa
About an hour outside of Capetown, visitors can find an incredibly relaxed wine tasting experience in the Stellenbosch wine region. Take a guided tour with a group or plan your own individual experience with a driver. Whichever winery you choose, you can relax at a table or a comfortable couch while wine samples are brought to you. The area includes scenic rolling hills and a climate ideal for growing grapes. There are many micro-climates, so a variety of grapes can thrive. This makes for a diverse wine experience.3
In addition to the delicious wine, the restaurant experience cannot be forgotten. The chefs in the area know how to pair food that complements the wine. Located nearby, Franschhoek is known for delicious food and wine as well.
Location #6: Paris, France
Of course, we can’t talk about food and wine without mentioning Paris. Whether you’re into art and sightseeing or food and wine (or a combination of both!) Paris has something for everyone. The food in Paris is known around the world, and you’re sure to find a mouthwatering meal whether you’re dining at a Michelin star restaurant or picking up something at a small patisserie.
If you have the time, consider traveling outside of the city to nearby wineries as well. The vineyards in the Champagne region are the closest to Paris, and the scenery is beautiful with forests and rocky ridges surrounding the rolling hills of the vineyards.
If you love good food and wine and you are looking to make up for lost travel plans in 2020, then the above destinations are great places to visit. From regions that are rich in culture to delicious food and wine, these spots are sure to deliver something delicious.
Regardless of what route you want to go to explore – ranging from locally to internationally – your adventure begins with intentionally planning a life that is fulfilling to you. Adventure and leisure is are certainly one area (but not the only area) we all need a little in our life. Understanding your budget – not from a limitation standpoint but from a freedom standpoint – can often help prod us to seek such adventure. At Oasis Wealth, we raise our glasses to you for adventure around the corner.