Enjoy A Classic European Wine Tasting Lesson While Cruising

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Learning About Wine On Sea Days

On our cruise to the Southern Caribbean, we had three days at sea. On the first two days out of Miami, we took it easy. We enjoyed the luxury resort amenities aboard Oceania Cruises Insignia. Later in the cruise we had one more sea day as we cruised from Bonaire to Grenada. We were ready for something interesting to do on our sea day. We really enjoyed spending a few hours on an Italian Wine Tasting session when we took our trans-Atlantic cruise from Miami to Lisbon. When we saw that there was a classic European wine tasting available on this trip, we signed up for more wine education.

The classic European wine tasting session was led by the head sommelier Milan. We started the session with a white Spanish sparkling cava. But the rest of the wines we tried were all red. David found one red wine he liked when we did the Italian wine tasting. He hoped he might find yet one more.

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Table Setup - Classic European Wine Tasting.jpg

Wines We Tried - Classic European Wine Tasting.jpg

Wines We Tried - Classic European Wine Tasting.jpg

The Wine Tasting Process

Each table was set up with 5 wine glasses, each with a different wine from the classic European wine tasting menu. We moved from wine to wine with an introduction on the wine from Milan.

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Wines We Tried - Classic European Wine Tasting.jpg

There was a large selection of small food nibbles for each person. When we did the Italian wine tasting, each wine had a specific food paired to it. Some slides presented for the wines did note what a good food pairing might be. For this classic European wine tasting, we were not specifically directed to a food pairing. We could experiment at will to see what we liked with each wine.

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When we did wine tasting before, it was always fascinating to see how dramatically wine changed with specific food pairings. We did not do as good just sampling food on our own.

We Learned Something About Wine As We Tasted

As we moved through the session, Milan, using his slides, taught us a little bit about the classic European wine regions. We started with a history of wine in this area. He talked about production volumes and a little about consumption habits around the world. We learned about the governing bodies for wine.

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Wine Education - Laws - Classic European Wine Tasting.jpg

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We like wine but are not real wine connoisseurs. So we are always interested to learn more. We certainly picked up a bit of information as we did our classic European wine tasting session. And unlike when we went wine tasting in Napa, we did not drink so much that we forgot it all before we were finished.

Enjoy A Classic European Wine Tasting While Cruising

There are so many things to do on sea days when you are cruising. We have enjoyed cooking classes that offered education and entertainment. On our trip through the Middle East, we took the lessons on piracy very seriously. David has sharpened his skills in photography and enjoyed learning magic tricks.

But we have also enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about wines. And to stretch our tastes to wines we might not normally try. The Brunello wine we found when we did an Italian wine tasting at sea remains one of our favourite wines today. Our classic European wine tasting session introduced us to another variety of wines.

I liked the Bodegas Lauren 2009, Monsant DO from Spain the best. David didn’t like any of this batch. He really wished they had included at least one wine wine – the sweeter the better for him. I guess we need to keep trying to find him other red wines he likes.

If you are cruising and a wine tasting session is offered, consider taking advantage of the opportunity. If you find a wine you like, the ship will have it on board and you can enjoy it again. It will be fun and educational.

Have you enjoyed a classic European wine tasting? Did you find a new favourite wine?

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About TravelAtWill 739 Articles
Travel blogger and photographer! Scuba diving, luxury cruising, chocoholic, sea and sunshine addicts, camera attached and just generally curious! Join us on our adventures!


    • Carly, This is the second time recently that I have heard about wines being aged in clay pots. How interesting. Guess that would get rid of the oak taste that I so dislike in so many wines. Linda

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