In Gallivanting the Globe

A WINE LOVER’S GUIDE TO CRYSTAL: PART I

Wine Lovers

Searching for Cruises for Wine Lovers? Look no Further.

Crystal Cruises Napa
A selection of wines at Palmaz Vineyards in Napa, waiting to be sampled by Crystal experts.

Here’s to exploring the world through your taste buds, experiencing new places through their distinctive flavors, and toasting to each new adventure with new and old friends alike. For many travelers, what you toast with is as important as what you’re toasting to, and to these oenophiles, we offer a travel to-do list based on the world’s eminent wine regions. Beyond experiences that take you to the heart of the vine-covered hillsides and exploring the ways winemaking enhances the very culture of a town or region, there are endless opportunities to savor varietals that have brought distinctive fame to their respective winelands – like Napa Valley’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Spain’s Tempranillo – as well as lesser known treasures found only in the regions where they’re produced.

No matter your preference or palate, the menu of opportunities to visit the preeminent wine regions of the world is expansive and luxurious aboard Crystal voyages. And every sailing offers a beautiful pairing with world-class cuisine on board and ashore, with a side of incomparable service.

Island Wines in New Zealand

The land of the Kiwis is equally synonymous with great wines. Bright, crisp Sauvignon Blancs from the southern regions offer a more acidic flavor with hints of tropical fruit thanks to a longer, cooler growing season, while North Island whites present bigger, more intense character. In Hawke’s Bay, the oldest New Zealand winegrowing region, look for signature Merlot blends with complexity and fruit-driven Pinot Noir from cooler southern regions like Wairarapa and Central Otago.

Voyages to explore: There’s still time to set sail on Crystal Symphony’s February 17, 2018 voyage from Sydney to Auckland, or plan for 2019, on Crystal Symphony’s March 23 itinerary

Perfect Paella Pairings in Spain

Prepare to indulge when sampling Spanish wines, as the vintages found here are bold, full-bodied and made to pair with the rich cuisine for which Spain is famous. Rioja from the Basque region complements the earthy spice of curry and chili recipes, while Tempranillo is ideal for carb loading treats like pastas, burritos and flatbreads.

Voyages to explore: All roads lead to Spain, or at least many voyages do. Select from several itineraries in 2018 and 2019. *Bonus tasting note: Nearby Portugal is offered on select itineraries along with Spanish calls, allowing you to compare Rioja and Tempranillo to classic Portuguese ports.

Crystal Cruises Napa Valley
Napa Valley Grapevine

California Dreamin’ in Napa and Sonoma

There’s a deliciously friendly rivalry that exists between the world-famous Napa Valley and its sister wine region in Sonoma. Here’s the secret: wine lovers are the winners of this battle, in spades. California’s dry, sunny climate creates a winegrower’s heaven, with the dry heat of Napa producing some of the world’s best Cabernet Sauvignon, and the cooler, evening fog-shrouded Sonoma and Russian River Valley being ideal for the best Pinot Noir outside of Burgundy. The fact that the two regions are a mere 20 minutes’ drive from each other, and just an hour from San Francisco makes this competition even more attractive.

Voyages to explore: Sail the Pacific Northwest aboard Crystal Symphony’s July 8, 2018 voyage, arriving in San Francisco for an overnight stay, and venture north to the wine country of California.

Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony Wine List

Bring on the Bordeaux

There are many reasons that the entire winegrowing region of Bordeaux is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. Among those reasons: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and so on. Bordeaux is the ultimate wine region, the largest in France, boasting diverse terrain and terroir that culminate in some of the world’s most distinguished vintages. Pomerol, Chateau St-Emilion, Sauternes and Margaux famously produce wines that can be cellared for decades, are arguably to origin of the adage of “getting better with age.”

Voyages to explore: Double overnight stays on Crystal Serenity’s July 29, 2018 and July 29, 2019 afford the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in the major wine meccas of Bordeaux, along with the countless smaller gems in the surrounding areas.

Crystal’s certified sommeliers are always on hand to offer insights into the regions and their wines, while the wine lists are filled with a global tour of the finest vintages. Savor new wines on board, then venture ashore to discover their homelands on these cruises for wine lovers.

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