Cover pic. by Daniele Notaro, from the
Winter is not only a matter of Xmas, gifts and snow.
Personally I love all of the mentioned winter aspects but I’m so grateful (I really am) that winter is much more than this.
Winter is the period when the most tasty-no diet food is there ready and waiting for all of us gipsy and hungry travellers; winter is the reddish leaves under my booted feet and so it is, for sure, my new boots always made for walking.
And that is what I do.
Moreover, winter is the best period to taste the very best quality of red wines (well, not just red but it’s the one I like drinking in winter, and that’s it) and of many other variety of tasty, warm drinks all over the world.
And here we go with some destinations (European) suitable for winter, and for wine tasters and lovers.
1 – Sweden and glögg
When I went to Stockolm in the shortest days of the year (Dec. 12th – 13th), the only possibile way for a Mediterranean girl to face the winter cold and darkness was staring at the home windows enlightened with candels, walking and pit-stopping for a glass of glögg. This is a typical Xmas drink served hot and made of red wine, Rhum, sugar, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg and dried orange peel.
You can find it everywhere, even and mainly in the street, as a kind of street drink. The very best company to enjoy the Sweden winter magic!
2 – France and Vin Chaud
Glögg is just one of the several European variations of the very ancient Conditium Paradoxum, a wintery Roman drink made up of wine, honey, pepper, laurel and saffron. Its French nephew is the famous Vin Chaud (In Italy we call it Vin Brulé… using a French word that is not used by the French people. Funny, ha?).
One of the best Vin Chaud can be tasted at the Xmas Market of Bordeaux, in Parc des Allées de Tourny. If you go to Bordeaux and love wine, you definitely can’t miss le Musée du Vin et du Négoce. It’s in the Museum web site that I find this interesting list of wine benefits:
- It slows down the ageing process
- It helps with our oral hygiene
- It is good for our memory
- It helps to fight against Alzheimers
- It helps to prevent cancer
- It aids our vision
- It helps to burn fat
- It help fights hypertension
- The new fuel for our hearts?
- A new sunscreen?
3 – Hungary and Tokay
Hungary is famous for its wine and one of the best ways to discover its winemaking traditions is to make a trip to the wine regions, from Tokaj to Villány and many more. Several wineries in the main wine regions offer wine tastings and accommodation. Here is just one example of it.
4 – Irish Coffee
Well, nothing to do with wine, but I can’t omit Irish Coffee in such an article, if I talk about winter drinks. It’s quite strong and suitable for people used to very strong flavours and alcohol levels. Drink made of hot coffee, whiskey, sugar and cream, it’s quite difficult to find a good one, outside Ireland.
Neary’s, in 1 Chatham St, Dublin, is one of the best places to have an Irish Coffee. Out of Dub, try the Old Jameson Distillery in Bow St, Smithfield.
If we go back to wine, and if you bump into Dublin, you can find some very good (very very good) Italian wines and super good Italian food, at Pinocchio Restaurant. You’ll write me back and thank me for this advice.
5 – Italy and… red wine
For a biographic reason, I know Italy pretty well and I’ll suggest you 4 main regions where you’ll find very good wine suitable for your winter tour.
Coming from the north, Piemonte is the very first region that you have to visit if you’re a wine fan. One of the best wineries of the region is Da Bacco, in Tourin, Via Madama Cristina.
Maybe you all know already much about Tuscany wines, so I’ll go to say something about Abruzzo, Basilicata and Puglia.
In my personal home cellar I can’t do without Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (Abruzzo), Pisani (Basilicata) and Severino Garofano (Puglia). If you come to Italy and you love good local wine, you should really consider following this 3 regions path for your tour because these 3 areas are quite different in the climate, time of harvest and wine types.
You’ll have amazing surprises.
Finally, I want to invite you in Lecce, my birth town (if you come, write me and I’ll be glad to show you around) where very good wines are produced. One of them is the one of the visual campaign that you can see above, #gentesimpotica (Simpotica is the name of the wine).
I’ve also said something about their rosé, Girofle, in my second novel. There must be a reason, don’t you think so?
If you love cocktails, I suggest you to have a fast rest at Quanto Basta, in the heart of the oldest area of the city, where good local wine is one of the ingredients for very tasty and creative cocktails.
Still waiting? Prepare your luggage!