Do you ever get the question “what would you do if you won the lottery?” Since I’m not much of a gambler, I know this is only a day dream, but if I had to find some way to use my pretend lottery bounty, I’d use it to travel – visiting locales near and far on my bucket list: relaxing in a hut perched above the ocean in Bora Bora, camping in a thin linen tent in the desserts of Marrakech, hunting for Maine lobster aboard a vintage lobster boat, watching ships cruise through the locks in the Panama Canal, just to name a few.
One of my favorite parts of travel is experiencing the local food and wine. I’ve been fortunate to have traveled to many states, cities and countries, discovering incredible dishes and wines. It is when I travel and dine that I take home even more passion for food and bolster my love for wine. As I write this post I’m on a plane bound for LA, where I plan to eat a ton of tacos and stock up on California Zinfandels that don’t make it out to the right coast.
What I find particularly fascinating is the innate synergy of cultural foods and their local wine – this dish and this wine are made to go together, because this is where this food and this wine originated! For example, visiting Southern Italy? You’ll find bold red sauces and hearty roasted meats – and what pairs best with these big dishes? Think Barolo, Chianti, Montepulciano. Vacationing in the South of France? They’re known for their minerally rosés and abundant seafood. Enjoying tapas in Spain? Try a slightly aged Rioja – red or white, or an Albariño. It really takes the pressure of a forlorn tourist and you’re bound to find an incredible match.
I want to hear from you – what’s been your favorite local fare and wine pairing experienced during your travels? Share your comments and photos with me on Facebook.