We have always been advocates for eating local foods when traveling, but we equally believe in trying the local wines and beers. Wine tastings are a great way to try a variety of wines and get a true sense of what the region has to offer. Likewise, many cities have their own beer varieties which are specific to that location or are brewed just for the season. Some places are obvious locations to try certain things, like beer in Germany or wine in France, but you can find local varieties in places that might surprise you, such as Iceland or Egypt.
It isn’t just about trying different varieties of beer and wine, it is also about going to the places where locals like to gather with friends and family to relax and have a drink or two. There is something special about the atmosphere of a historic pub that is just warm and welcoming. Going to places like the Brazen Head in Dublin, Ireland’s oldest pub, can be as interesting of an experience as visiting the famous sights in a city. If you take the time to chat with the owners, you just might find yourself having a drink with them while learning more about the city and the best of the local wine and beer to try.
We don’t believe that there are set rules about what pairs well with certain types of food as we think that it all depends upon your taste. As long as you choose something that you enjoy, it will likely taste good with your meal. There isn’t anything wrong with having a red wine or beer with fish or white wine with something with a robust flavor such as duck. The one exception might be for desserts where a sweeter wine certainly makes some sense, but on the rare occasions that we eat dessert, we usually just have a normal glass of wine.
If you add in the different festivals that happen throughout the year, but especially around the holidays, there are even more opportunities to taste local favorites. You don’t have to be in Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest and you can probably find someplace close to you to enjoy this annual celebration. Wherever you travel, you should take advantage of the local libations, including specialty drinks in addition to the local beers and wines. We enjoyed so many different drinks during our travels, but Apfelwein in Frankfurt might be close to the top of our list. Do you have a favorite beer, wine, or drink experience?