Vacations generally fall into two categories: active and relaxing. Some people like to explore exotic locales or scamper to the top of large and dangerous things, while others prefer to beach themselves in the sun for a week. It also depends on what vacation you're in the mood for. It's more complicated for wine lovers, however. Should you take a wine vacation or a vacation from wine?
Before I started writing about wine for a living, I explored all the wine regions of California. I must have visited a thousand tasting rooms. Later, I ventured to Bordeaux and Champagne, the Rhône and Provence. Once you get the fever, planning treks through Tuscany or Willamette Valley or venturing south to Argentina can be an addicting way to spend your time off.
Of course you don't need to be near vineyards to have a wine-oriented holiday. I have friends who like nothing better than spending a week in New York or San Francisco (and why not Paris?) eating at restaurants with great wine lists. And what wine buff hasn't raided the cellar before heading out to Tahoe or Maine or some shore somewhere and planned a week of dinners and barbecues around special bottles?
And yet vacations from wine can be good, too. When your life revolves around wine—I live in Sonoma County and work in Napa Valley—it becomes a necessity, especially if you've been in the business for a while.
On my first trip to Hawaii 20 years ago, I schlepped along a case to get us through the week, but on our last visit I barely drank a glass or two. The last thing I wanted to think about was choosing the best wine for dinner. Or, even more demanding, creating a dinner around a bottle I was anxious to open. I just needed to shut down my wine-and-food pairing brain and sip something like a mai tai or a mojito.
That's the sort of vacation I'm looking forward to this year. What about you? Will you have a wine getaway or a getaway from wine? And I'm thinking something relaxing instead of active, as well. None of this running about.
My mind already wanders there, to a warm breeze and a pool. "Oh Miss, take this wine list away and bring me something with a paper umbrella in it. Make it a double!"
John Shuey — Dallas. TX — July 11, 2012 11:53am ET
Daniel Sherer — Healdsburg, CA, USA — July 11, 2012 12:24pm ET
Mark Lyon — Sonoma, CA; USA — July 11, 2012 1:16pm ET
Tim Fish — Santa Rosa, CA — July 11, 2012 3:18pm ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — July 11, 2012 3:31pm ET
Denny Kleber — Charlotte NC — July 12, 2012 9:22am ET
Whit Thompson — Rochester, NY — July 12, 2012 10:10am ET
David Rossi — Napa, CA, USA — July 12, 2012 12:48pm ET
Stephen Martin — Paso Robles CA — July 12, 2012 4:41pm ET
Michael Green — San Diego, CA — July 12, 2012 9:20pm ET
William Cox — Hamilton, Bermuda — July 13, 2012 11:11am ET
Steve Trachsel — Poway, Ca. — July 13, 2012 4:56pm ET
Stephanie Miskew — Delray Beach, FL USA — July 14, 2012 10:08am ET
Patrick N Niro — rumson & little silver, NJ, USA — July 14, 2012 3:14pm ET
Whit Thompson — Rochester, NY — July 16, 2012 9:33am ET
Keir Mccartney — League City,TX — July 16, 2012 3:48pm ET
Julie Mckain — Rockport, TX — July 27, 2012 11:34am ET
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