Discover new frontiers in food and wine around the globe.
Bored with Bordeaux? Thoughts of Napa bring on a nap? Don’t care two whits about Tuscany? Perhaps the time has come to explore that trove of untrammeled, lesser-known, worldwide wine lands, places you’d never expect could grow a vine or 10. Microclimates around the globe ensure grapes thrive in the most unexpected places, and winemakers, dating back centuries, know just what to do with all that juicy fruit. From vintages made from grapes you never knew existed to old favorites crafted to make a drink that embraces regional gravitas, the offerings in these under-the-radar wine areas will add to your oenophile savvy. Since limited production can mean some wines don’t get exported to your favorite store, the best option is to travel for your tastings. The world, in fact, is your wine glass. Consider that every wine region relies on stellar food as its complement, and you won’t want to miss a meal.
Traveling to Switzerland, you may be thinking cheese or chocolate — even watches — but what goes better with these indulgent regional tasty treats than the fruit of the vine? A nation fringed by mountains, home to fictional heroine Heidi, swanky Switzerland keeps its wine exclusive. In fact, 98 percent of it never leaves the country. Try Switzerland’s best wines, including its signature, indigenous Chasselas vintages (perhaps best in the canton of Vaud), on site at what most people feel are Europe’s most easily visited vineyards. For red lovers, explore Bündner Herrschaft, just an hour from Zürich, comprising four villages in the canton of Graubünden. Known for a rich, herbaceous Pinot Noir, this wine area offers stellar walking trails, some of which take you right by the wineries. What to eat while you imbibe? The region specializes in hearty fare: soups, air-dried meats and potato-based dishes. In nearby St.-Moritz, truffle pizza tempts. Where to base? Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, a historic hotel known for its healing mineral water pools, anchors the little village of Bad Ragaz.
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