Culinary & Wine Tasting - Best Tours & Trips 2019
Culinary tours -- learning about the foods of other cultures and the fun of shopping for, cooking, and tasting them, too -- are bringing foodies to gastronomic destinations around the globe. Wine tasting tours are especially popular in much of Europe, the U.S., Chile, and South Africa.
Classic Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Guided Experiences Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ocean Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Tour Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Independent Package A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ocean Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
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Top Culinary & Wine Tasting Experiences
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!).
Culinary & Wine Tasting Trip Reviews
922 Culinary & Wine Tasting Tour Reviews - Summary 99% Recommend
Culinary & Wine Tasting Tours and Travel Guide
Culinary & Wine Tasting Attractions & Landmarks Guide
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 Europe, Chile, 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.
All Culinary & Wine Tasting tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.6 for all Culinary & Wine Tasting trips.