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Top Trip Memories
  • Attending a private wine tasting in Marlborough, New Zealand and getting a sense of how the unique terroir lends to their crisp and delicious Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Chocolate tasting in France
  • Touring a biodynamic farm and winery in Dry Creek, California
  • Being introduced to a multitude of new spices in Morocco
  • Making pasta and pizza in Italy from scratch with the help of Italian cooks!
  • A dairy farm tour which culminated in a delicious cheese tasting in Marin County, California.
  • Sampling the tasty dishes of Bangkok and learning how to make them at a Thai cooking class.
  • Touring the vineyards and bodegas of Mendoza, Argentina, on a bike (rather shakily!).
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Tour Tips
  • Due to the structured nature of tastings, private or public, it’s important to be on time. Some tours will pack a lot of scheduled stops into one day.
  • One of the best parts about guided food, wine, and brewery tours is you don’t have to worry about driving! However be aware that many wineries and breweries WILL NOT let you taste if you’re too inebriated and you may end up ruining the fun for everyone. So pace yourself!
  • Be open to trying different types of foods. That’s part of why you’re here! Encourage others on your tour to try new things and be open to discovering new tastes yourself.
  • Wineries are usually fairly chilly in temperature, so dress accordingly. Also, if you have a tour and tasting planned, you will most likely be walking on multiple surfaces including dirt and hard concrete. Ladies, might be a good idea to leave the stilettos at home!
  • Check with the tour operator if you have dietary restrictions. While most will try to accomodate, it's important to give them enought time to arrange alternate meals.
  • Cooking classes are a wonderful way to learn about local cuisine, as well as how to recreate your favorite dishes at home. Don't worry if you're not much of a chef, as many offer step-by-step guidance and help.
  • Even if you can't tell your Malbec from your Merlot, wine tastings can be a really fun group experience.
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Culinary & Wine Tasting Travel Reviews & Ratings
4.6 out of 5

99%

recommend

621 Reviews

Excellent 161 Great 53 Average 6 Disappointing 1 Terrible 3

Rating Details

Value
4.6 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.6 Transportation
4.6 Meals
4.6
Tour Reviews

A Great Walking Tour

Portugal: Walking & Wine

5.0 August 2017 Exodus Travels Recommend: Yes A wonderful week of walking with great guides, interesting co-hikers, very
nice accommodation in a very lovely setting.
There were two things that inspired me; first the beautiful panoramic views
of terraced vineyards in the Douro Valley and second; learning a great deal
more about the history and culture of this area and Portugal overall.


Nuno was a wonderful guide and was capably assisted by Ricardo. He was very
knowledgeable about the area and was incredibly helpful in choosing meals and
wines. He kept us interested and informed and his knowledge of each of our
locations meant no disappointments at all. Both Nuno and Ricardo were
personable and very helpful. Great guys!


Do it! It's fun, it's educational and you'll probably meet interesting
people on the trip.


This is listed as a Level 1 "leisurely" trip. I think it is closer to a
Level 2+ in that there are some significant elevation changes, as well as
some paths that are a bit more challenging than "a walk in the park".


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The hills are alive

Cycling in La Rioja

5.0 July 2017 Exodus Travels Recommend: Yes Loved this trip. It's classified as 'leisurely/moderate' but for me and my
fitness level i would say it's more moderate and actually challenging because
only the tables are flat in Spain! So expect plenty of undulation, some
steep hill climbs with plenty of down hill too. If you do accomplish the
hills you feel great. Food and hotels were good, all with wi-fi so i can
upload my photos etc. Stunning scenery from riding in the forest, lakes and
around the vineyards. The rides were not too long 9.30am -4/5pm.
Having the lung capacity to complete the hill climbs! The scenery is just
spectacular.


Alfonso is a very good experienced leader. Sometimes he lead from the start,
other times he stayed back with the slower riders (me) and showed us the way
back to hotel. Always smiley and encouraging us to do more. Dare I say I
might start to like hills, and plan to attempt a few climbs in Aylesbury that
i haven't dared to do before. Danny the driver/bike fixer also gave us much
needed biking tips!


Train before you come on the trips. I only did an or or so on the weekends
and it wasn't enough. Also I have never cycled up that many hills in my
entire life. I had hayfever and forgot to take anti-histamine pills, but went
to a pharmacy when we got to a town centre. Beautiful flowers everywhere.
Bring snacks with you.


Enjoy the rides, and be willing to push yourself.


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Self Guided Gastronomic Dordogne Cycling trip

Dordogne Gastronomic Self-Guided Cycling

5.0 July 2017 Exodus Travels Recommend: Yes A thoroughly enjoyable cycling trip with some superb food and especially at
Les Glycines's restaurant where the service and accommodation were
impeccable.
Making it it the top of the hill in the mid afternoon heat after climbing up
from Sarlat by grinding out the miles! The cave paintings at Lascaux 2 were
stunning as the originals are over 17000 years old and cycling through the
virtually traffics free country roads with the dappled sunlight over the
chateaux.


Being self guided meant that he didn't have a leader which meant we had
planets of time to confer while interpreting the route plan from Headwater.

Both Claire & Keith ( the local reps) were both friendly and helpful.


We went in August when it was hot so do take plenty of water with you and
stay hydrated as this is an undulating route with plenty of short sharp hills
and the occasional long one! Do also remember that shops are often closed
during the afternoon until about 16.00 so buy your provisions in plenty of
time


The fitter you are before the trip the more you'll enjoy it. This region
attracts a lot of tourists and town centres


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More hills than we expected

Dordogne Gastronomic Self-Guided Cycling

5.0 July 2017 Exodus Travels Recommend: Yes Our week was particularly hot, as temperatures in the high 30's swept over
France. This probably made the hills a bit more of a challenge, but they are
achievable since the bikes are very good and have plenty of gears.
We would recommend this holiday, the cycling distances are all less than 50k,
taking us through stunning scenery and pretty villages.
We were well briefed by the Headwater / Exodus staff and when we had a
problem with the bike that needed assistance, they came to us within 10
minutes.
The first hotel is without doubt disappointing, cramped and poor facilities.
However the restaurant next door at La Veille Auberge is excellent.
Les Glycines and Le Moulin de Mitou were fantastic with great pools, nice
rooms and outstanding food.
On our free day at Eyzies de Tayac we hired a canoe from just outside the
hotel and paddled for 18k although other longer and shorter distances can be
arranged.
Le Moulin de Mitou has a wonderful atmosphere. The owners are charming and
speak very little English. We cycled both days and spent the afternoon by the
lovely pool.


Clare and Keith were great. The briefing was spot on.


Expect the hills. On one day you start with 3k of gradual uphill. Cycle early
if it is hot.


As previously said the first hotel disappoints, but not enough to take the
shine of a great holiday. There is no air conditioning and I was able to use
the one fan available at the hotel.


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Gastronomic Cycling Loire valley

Loire Gastronomic Self-Guided Cycling - Premium

5.0 July 2017 Exodus Travels Recommend: Yes On the whole the trip was good but there were some disappointments. The
final night"s dinner after fabulous meals the whole trip was very poor.
there were also some issues with the route map that we were given and in one
place in particular the rout took us under a railway and we wee stopped by
two local who said that this route was too dangerous and showed us a better
route.
The cycles were good and generally the route was fine.
Cycling along the cycling paths on the banks of the Loire.


Not applicable self guided.


Get a good route map to check directions.


It was such a shame that our lat dinner was so poor, it rather ended the
holiday on a sour note.


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See all reviews for Culinary & Wine Tasting Top Operators & Trips
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Culinary & Wine Tasting Trips & Tour Advice

Culinary tours -- learning about the foods of other cultures and the fun of shopping for, cooking, and tasting them, too -- are bringing foodies and people who just like to eat to gastronomic destinations around the globe. Wine tasting tours are especially popular in much of EuropeChile, and South Africa.

Exploring New Tastes

A culinary tour is a fabulous way to discover a country. Food is such an integral part of culture, from all sorts of fascinating aspects including economics, politics, trade, and family dynamics just to name a few. A culinary tour will introduce you to many different flavors, spices, flavor combinations, and cooking styles. It’s important to be open to all tastes, and even if you don’t think you’ll enjoy a particular dish, try it anyway!

Finding the Right Culinary Tour

Consider where you want to go and what sort of culinary experience you are looking for. Regional cuisine? Local restaurants? Do you have dietary restrictions? Italy might not be the best choice for the gluten-free, but consider Argentina, Morocco, or Thailand instead. Vegetarians might try a garden focused tour. From organic to biodynamic, the world of farm to table is a vegetarians dream.

Thailand in particular is well known as a foodie destination, with some of the best street food in the entire world. If street food makes you wary, Thailand is a place to give it a shot. While western standards of food safety are less prevelant, there's less chance you'll get sick if you take a tour. The best Thailand tours will spend a good amount of time exploring the cuisine of the country.

Europe has grown by leaps and bounds in culinary tourism, with up and coming destinations beginning to shine next to their more famous counterparts in Italy, Spain, and Greece just to name a few.

Consider Switzerland - land of chocolate and cheese! Switzerland trips almsot always include a food component. Somehow the pristine Alpine beauty becomes that much more beautiful when paired with delicious treats.  

Eastern Europe certainly didn't used to be known for it's incredible cuisine - the region had somewhat more serious things going on during the time when Western Europe experienced the first major travel boom of recent years. But today, this region is thriving and the cuisine has elevated from the common peasant dishes feature meat and potatoes (though those are still good too!) 

Consider the Czech Republic for some truly tasty treats and of course the beer! 

Proper Wine Tasting Etiquette

The world of wine tasting has become much more popular among a wider demographic over the past several years. Unfortunately this also means there are some who still treat the activity as a bar experience rather than what it actually is. Exercising proper wine tasting etiquette is important for not only enhancing your experience, but the experience of those around you.

First, it is not taboo to not finish a taste if you don’t want to. There should always be spit buckets provided for this purpose, and it is not offensive to use them. Pour out what you don’t want to finish and have your glass ready for the next pour.

Second, the tasting bar is NOT a bar in the traditional sense. It is an opportunity to taste wines, discuss wines, discover new varietals, and enjoy your group’s company. Will you get slightly buzzed? Most likely, and that’s ok. But it is not an environment in which this is the goal. And plus, you can visit more wineries and experience more if you pace yourself!

Your tasting room attendant is a wealth of information! They love answering questions and talking about wine, but also are the perfect people to ask for recommendations on restaurants or other activities nearby.

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