Some days all it seems to take is a glass of good wine in a comfortable chair to make everything better. It’s easy to be mesmerised by the way the liquid sparkles in your glass as you gently swirl it, by the sweet aroma of the tipple wafting over as you take a deep breath or by the way the accents of the wine coat your tongue and relax your tense muscles. Other days, the wine lover in you itches to explore and taste more of the delicious wines the world has to offer.
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On those other days, maybe you’re dreaming of visiting a vineyard in a beautiful region or maybe you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind experience that will take your love for wine to new heights. From an endlessly flowing wine fountain to a wine safari and more, these unique wine experiences around the world are sure to intoxicate you with delight.
Bathe in wine at an onsen, Japan
Japan’s natural hot springs, more commonly known as onsens, are already known for drawing visitors far and wide. In a welcome twist, an onsen in Hakone offers a wine themed bath, where one can literally soak themselves in wine. Identified by the large wine bottle hanging over a pool of purplish-red water, the onsen also includes a wine “show”, where a worker periodically appears to spray wine over happy bathers. It’s not just a gimmick; the wine reportedly leaves your skin smoother than before. If immersing yourself in beverages is your thing, don’t miss out on the coffee or Japanese green tea springs either!
Participate in a wine marathon, France
Dubbed the longest marathon in the world, the Le Marathon du Medoc in Bordeaux, France is a fascinating affair. Participants clad themselves in fancy dress depending on the year’s theme and make their way through the region’s vineyards, sampling a variety of red and white wines as they go. Runners are also kept well fed with food stops, where local delicacies such as oysters and foie gras are waiting to be devoured. Whilst it sounds like a purely indulgent affair, the annual 42-kilometre marathon is not for the faint-hearted — although you do have a whopping six and a half hours to complete the route. And if running while you’re all boozed up sounds like a recipe for disaster, rest assured that the marathon boasts the best medical support of any marathon in the world, meaning you’ll be well taken of.
Fill your glass from a wine fountain, Italy
Practically tailor-made for oenophiles who want nothing more than to sip on wine all day long, a fountain in Abruzzo, Italy, dispenses red wine twenty-four seven. Although the fountain’s primary purpose is to provide for those on the Cammino di San Tommaso pilgrimage, everyone is welcome to drink from it — for free! It sounds almost too good to be true but you’re unlikely to find a huge crowd gathered around to glug endlessly from the tap as rowdy people are unwelcome on the premises. Plus, it’s a goodwill gesture most are highly appreciative of, which means there’s less of a propensity for people to want to take the owners’ generousity for granted.
Watch wildlife while you wine on a safari, United States
Hop aboard an open-air vehicle to explore a ranch and vineyard in Malibu, USA. As you embark on your journey, feast your eyes on the beautiful views around you and relax with sips of local wines at periodic stops; you’ll get to try three different red and white wines in total. But what’s a safari without animals? Meet alpacas, camels, zebras and even giraffes as they graze on the lands during your cruise around the venue. If you wish to get closer to the animals, you can also feed them with their favourite snacks straight from the hand.
Dive down to an underwater wine cellar, Croatia
If you feel like you’ve already had your fill of the wines on land and are searching for a different flavour to excite your taste buds, look no further. Grab a bottle of wine aged underwater in Drače, Croatia. The tipple is first concocted above ground before it’s transferred to a cellar under the sea in a clay jar, a method that supposedly gives the wine a pinewood aroma. If you’re not content with merely drinking this one-of-a-kind beverage, go one step further by grabbing a diving suit and submerging yourself underwater for a visit to the world’s first underground cellar.
Enhance your drink with live music, United States
According to research conducted in recent years, listening to different sounds while you’re drinking has the ability to influence the taste of your wine. Test out this theory for yourself at a wine cave in California, USA, where live musicians will serenade you with a piano or violin during your tasting session. Each musical score is paired with a different wine so you can fully experience how the dulcet tones of Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven’s compositions evolve the flavour of your tipple!
Explore wine with a film tasting cruise, Mediterranean
Embark on a wine journey aboard a cruise ship. Specially created in collaboration with “The Wine Show”, a television series that has gained international popularity for its detailed coverage on some of the world’s most lauded wines, the special cruise plays footage of select leading wine producers so you can gain insight on your favourite drinks. Hosts from the show will also accompany guests on the limited-time voyage, enlightening you on the wines you sample during your tasting experience.