Few things in life are better than a good bottle of wine. Except perhaps another two or three – though to be honest they don’t have to be that good.
People are often surprised to learn I don’t especially like wine. The problem is wine likes me. It seeks me out at every opportunity. Consequently, nowadays I restrict myself to just the great wines of Europe, North and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean.
As a cruiser I take comfort from knowing that wherever I sail there’s almost certainly a local wine for me to try. That knowledge alone can add a certain something to any holiday.
Wine cruise magic
If, like me, you happen to be a lifelong student of wine, another way you can add magic to a holiday break is by choosing a cruise devoted to your specialist subject.
For that reason, immersive wine cruises such as this 12 night Europe package on Celebrity Constellation are well worth considering. Choose one of these and you’ll literally be immersed in the celebration of all things wine.
You’ll be among like-minded folk, able to compare notes and use terms like ‘cheeky’ and ‘woody’, not to mention ‘earthy’ and ‘fruity’, without a trace of self consciousness. How often do you get a chance to talk like that?
Great wine-making regions
You’ll also have no end of opportunity to debate some of the big issues of the day – issues your fellow drinkers, in their quest for the perfect wine, agonise over endlessly.
Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon? Merlot or Pinot Noir? Aldi or Lidl?
Even more important, you’ll be able to voyage to some of the great wine-making regions of the world and taste for yourself a variety of magnificent beverages made from the finest fermented grape juice.
Despite being something of a connoisseur, I must confess I often find myself at odds with other wine buffs.
For example, over the years I’ve heard many so-called experts suggest that for a great wine all you need is the right soil and the right grape.
Well I beg to differ. To my mind, all you need is a bottle and a corkscrew.
Which brings me to another issue.
In the interests of full disclosure I must admit to being at a disadvantage when it comes to assessing wine. Sadly, I possess neither a sensitive nose nor a sensitive palate.
That means smell and taste must always be secondary concerns.
Equally, I’m not really bothered if my wine is full-bodied, medium-bodied or disembodied. Nor am I fussed if its acidity is approaching car battery levels or it has a bouquet like a bitchslap.
Immersive wine cruisers
Indeed, whether I’m drinking red or white, sweet or dry, vintage or non-vintage, such matters are of little consequence.
You see, for me it’s only ever about one thing – that comforting, warming sensation you get as the liquid glugs out of the bottle and gushes into your throat. Closely followed by that reassuring feeling you experience as you hear it draining into your stomach.
To all those would-be immersive wine cruisers preparing to sail to the vineyards of France and beyond, I salute every one of you. Whether you quaff from a crystal goblet or a polystyrene tumbler, may the vessel you drink from be forever running over.
Bon voyage et à votre santé. I love you all.