Wine tasting experience as you cruise through Europe
If tasting fabulous wines, listening to knowledgeable wine experts, touring world-famous wineries and vineyards as you relax and cruise along the calm Rhine and Mosel Rivers in Europe sounds like the perfect vacation for you, I recommend you experience the same wine-tasting cruise from which I just returned. Boarding the luxurious yet wonderfully comfortable MS AmaLegro in Amsterdam in the cool dusk of a late fall afternoon, I immediately felt at home in the beautifully furnished river cruise ship which can hold up to 150 passengers but never felt crowded with its spacious lounge and large staterooms. Cruising up the Rhine River through Germany, we marveled at the virtually vertical vineyards which line the river banks and the ruined castles which loom over the meticulously groomed vineyards. A variety of delicious wines was presented with dinner and also with many of the lunches. At lunch one day, we had a very special meal, presided over by a local vintner, Mr. Loewenstein, who gave a commentary about the paired wines we had with our meal. It was fascinating to hear the history of each of the wines and to have explained what we should be tasting and experiencing.
Each of the wines we tasted in the evenings was described on the beautifully detailed menus with which we were presented at each meal. One white wine was a Vinum Confluentes and was described as “very fruity with a perfect round and complex body, a specialty from Koblenz”. The other choice, a red, was a Kremser-Zweigelt and was described as “Special Austrian grape, usually very heavy bodied wine, color is from deep red down to deep violet, comes quite spicy at the end, comparable to a Merlot”. At cocktail hour, before the Captains Gala Dinner one evening, we had a lovely drink called a “Mosel Royal” which was a combination of white wine with some peach liqueur and a fresh lime slice and was fresh-tasting and delicious!
In Rudesheim, Germany we were treated to a wonderful meal and wine tasting by local vintner Georg Breuer, which included information about local wines and vineyards. Each of our meals and wine-tastings were more wonderful than the last and the variety of wines complemented the variety of the towns we toured. Each town with its lovely arched bridges, cobblestone streets, beautiful shops and houses and the requisite castles was more intriguing than the last. Then, after our tours, we could easily walk right back onboard the MS AmaLegro and ready ourselves for our next course of wine-tasting!
AmaWaterways is also offering some wine-tasting cruises in 2011 and, if you like wine and you enjoy cruising, I recommend this as the perfect way to combine both!
Jan Ross is Editor of The Travel Authority Blog.