It’s no surprise that Europe is one of the most popular destinations among travelers in the world. One of the alluring factors of Europe is the exquisite food and drinks that you’ll find in each country. As such, it is one of the best destinations for small-group tours. These include, but aren’t limited to, cooking classes, wine tasting tours, cheese tours, and food sampling tours. Today we highlight some of the European gourmet tours you’ll find in Italy and France.
Wine Tours. Wine tours are typically the group tour of choice in Europe. Wine tours take on different elements, from the actual tasting of wine, to touring vineyards, wine cellars, and estates. Since they are so popular in Europe, you’ll find wine tours in large and small towns alike, from the small villages of Provence, France, to larger European cities, such as Rome and Paris. While what you learn and experience will be different with each tour, what remains constant is that it’ll offer many opportunities for enjoying the best wines of Europe. The best time of year for doing a European wine tour, based on both harvesting and climate, is either during the fall, in September, or during the spring, in April or May.
Cheese Tours. Wine and cheese are synonymous with one another when it comes to cuisine in France and Italy. Cheese tours can consist of both factory tours, where you can see cheese being made right before you, and even cheese tasting tours, where you can travel to the best gourmet regions of Europe to sample fresh cheeses. Some tours offer a mix of exploring where cheeses are made and sampling Europe’s many cheeses. A lot of people are surprised to find out that some European countries, such as France, make as many as 450 different types of cheeses!
One of my favorite cheese tours is in Abruzzo, Italy, where I saw the traditional Italian process for making cheeses. One of the cheeses on this particular tour was actually left outside near an oak tree where it would absorb the flavors of the oak—it actually had oak leaves embedded into the rind! And, during this same tour, I had my first tasting of pecorino d’Abruzzo drizzled with honey—an absolutely delightful combination of sweet and salty.
Tasting Tours. European tasting tours are often a balance of both food and wine tours. Travelers can enjoy jaunting through the beautiful countryside of France and Italy while sampling the best food and wine that these countries have to offer. While taking just a cheese or wine tour will often feature one or the other, a tasting tour covers the full gamut of food and wine in France and Italy. These tours often take you to restaurants, farms, vineyards, and wineries to sample the best food and drink that Europe has to offer. And, you can learn about various food and wine pairings and the science behind these pairings.
What’s the best culinary tour you’ve been on?
This article was written by WDJ