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15 Best Food & Wine Destinations

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Mature woman with a glass of red wine, on vacation beside the hilltop village of Certaldo in the Tuscany region of Italy.

Certaldo in the Tuscany region of Italy

Exploring new and familiar food and wine is one of travel’s greatest pleasures, and can give you lasting memories of trips focused on the world’s best food and wine destinations.

From the grandeur of an antique villa overlooking the rolling countryside to an award-winning winery in a surprising destination, the mouthwatering flavors of a traditional recipe to an exciting new way of preparing a customary dish, visiting a destination for its food and wine is explorative, revealing diverse connections to local culture.

From Italy to India, South Africa to Spain, Argentina to Morocco, find the known and unknown with our guide to the world’s 15 food and wine hotspots.

Overview
  1. 1. Italy
  2. 2. France
  3. 3. Spain
  4. 4. Portugal
  5. 5. Germany
  6. 6. Hungary
  7. 7. Australia
  8. 8. New Zealand
  9. 9. South Africa
  10. 10. Morocco
  11. 11. Egypt
  12. 12. Japan
  13. 13. India
  14. 14. Argentina
  15. 15. Chile
  16. Discover the Right Food and Wine Destination for You

1. Italy

Parmesan cheese in Parma, Italy

Parmigiano Reggiano in Parma, Italy

Italy is one of the world’s most famous wine and food destinations, with wine-making traditions and culinary history established millennia ago.

From the rustic cuisine of Tuscany to renowned cheeses, the mouthwatering ragu of Bologna to the wines of Piedmont, Italy’s culture is deeply intertwined with its wine and food.

The country’s stunning and diverse scenery has shaped culinary and oenological flavors that are steeped in the traditions of the cities and their surrounding regions. These are demonstrated in local stalls, home kitchens, and Michelin-starred restaurants.

Learn more:  Italy Wine ToursItaly Food & Wine Tours

2. France

Vineyards in Burgundy, France

Burgundy, France

With one of the most celebrated food and wine cultures in the world, France is renowned for practically inventing the modern concept of dining. With a strict tradition that has inspired chefs, home cooks, and vintners, the country has exported its ideals of flavor and production, while still maintaining timeless allure.

From revitalized ingredients to established gastronomic authority, medieval villages to sprawling vineyards, cafés to Michelin-starred restaurants, France has a wide range of vintages, cutting-edge haute cuisine, classic favorites, and remains the only place on Earth where you can sip real champagne where it is bottled.

Learn more: Food & Wine Tours in FranceFrance Travel Guide

3. Spain

Woman eating paella while sitting at the restaurant terrace in coastal Spain

Paella in Valencia, Spain

Spain is a kaleidoscope of food and wine, where color imparts as much importance as flavor. With captivating historic cities finding new ways to celebrate familiar flavors, the country outpaces even the most established culinary traditions to reveal an enticing slower pace that forces you to pay attention to layered tastes.

With Michelin-starred restaurants in San Sebastian, vineyards that sweep across regions like Rioja, and dishes like paella that take on a local flair, when you look beneath the classic surface of Spain, you can find an entirely new way to experience its food and wine.

Learn more: Spain Food & Wine ToursBest Places for Food and Wine in Spain

4. Portugal

Duoro Valley, Portugal

Duoro Valley, Portugal

Portugal is small but mighty, with much flavor bundled into the landscape and seaside. Beyond the gorgeous beaches, Portugal has an authentic culinary scene and established wine authority that is often overshadowed by more prominent regional neighbors.

With a tradition of seafood and spiced meats that bring together seafaring customs and a history of international imperial trade, the tiny country on the Iberian Peninsula embraces the sunshine, captures the soulful flavors of terraced hills, and brings to light new ways to enjoy centuries of tradition, whether with a glass of Port or a bowl of caldo verde.

Learn more: Portugal Wine ToursPortugal Travel Guide

5. Germany

Overhead view of group of people preparing to eat at Posthotel, a Michelin star restaurant in Germany

Posthotel, Chef Alexander Herrman in Wirsberg, Germany. Photo courtesy of DZT / Jens Wegener

Germany as a food and wine destination is not surprising for travelers with a keen understanding of famous wine regions and growing culinary trends.

Regional variations on classic dishes feed into a sense of national identity and local specificity that focus on available, seasonal ingredients, as well as renowned white wines and reds known for possessing a delightful spice.

With over 300 Michelin-starred restaurants, wine regions that embody history and evolution, and an understanding of how heritage informs contemporary trends, Germany is far less surprising as a wine and food destination than one may think.

Learn more: Germany Tours & VacationsGermany Travel Guide

6. Hungary

Vineyards at Lake Balaton in Hungary

Lake Balaton in Hungary

The influences of Hungarian cuisine come from far and wide, while the wine directly relates to ancient practices that pre-date the Roman arrival. Vineyards produce distinctive, full-bodied reds and sweet wines that bring an entirely new palette to life.

With generous spices, endless richness, and a touch of extravagant flavor, the cuisine of Hungary accentuates the wine and abundant heritage. Famous dishes rely on generous spices, especially paprika, while the easily paired wines represent an expression of national pride.

Domestic winemaking is steeped in rustic tradition and results in high-quality varietals that exude regional custom.

Learn more: Hungary Tours & Vacations

7. Australia

Montalto Winery and Olive Grove. Photo © Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism

Montalto Winery and Olive Grove. Photo © Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism

Australia has risen to international acclaim for its food and wine, with some of the world’s most celebrated wine-growing regions and destinations having created bold culinary visions.

The diverse landscape of the continent has chefs practicing ancient recipes and working with hyper-local ingredients, whether within the desert terrain of the Red Centre, the tropical climate of northern Queensland, or the pristine seaside of Sydney.

The cuisine and wine focus on the quality of ingredients, their production, and in which landscapes they grow to create a veritable ecosystem of meaningful and unforgettable flavors.

Learn more: Australian Wine ToursAustralia Travel Guide

8. New Zealand

Travelers enjoying multi-course luxury meal in Queenstown, New Zealand

Queensland, New Zealand. Photo courtesy Tourism New Zealand / Miles Holden

The wine and food of the small island nation of New Zealand have attracted the attention of enthusiasts from around the world. The winegrowing traditions remain markedly progressive and the culinary aesthetic has evolved to celebrate indigenous ingredients and incorporate the flavors of international influence.

Whether sipping a domestic wine while overlooking a fiord or sampling a multi-course menu whose flavors progress with each bite, New Zealand pushes forward, while celebrating Māori ingredients, seafood traditions, the customary comforts of lamb, and the effects of good wine.

Learn more: New Zealand Wine ToursNew Zealand Travel Guide

9. South Africa

Senior couple touring vineyards in South Africa

South African Winelands

The wonders of the food and wine in South Africa should come as no surprise, with the diversity of the landscape and culture intertwining with Mediterranean-style sunshine, cool evenings on the plains, ancient cultures, and centuries of colonial and international influences.

Chefs and home cooks have innovated cuisine to bring together local ingredients that celebrate a new approach to tradition. Rugged coastlines, jagged mountains, and open grasslands support world-class hospitality to create a collaborative old- and new-world wine destination that constantly replenishes the ideas of what food and wine collaboration can do.

Learn more: Wine Tours in South AfricaSouth Africa Travel Guide

10. Morocco

Vineyard and Olive Grove in Morocco

Vineyard and Olive Grove in Morocco

Morocco as a destination for food is no surprise, but the country’s wines have become entangled with its proximity to Spain and history of French colonial rule.

The table becomes the center of joy and community in Morocco, as dishes laden with flavors celebrate a heritage of spices, the richness of the natural landscape, and a mixture of cultures defined by the desert, sea, and mountains.

The wines, similarly, embrace the natural diversity, with vines cooled by the Atlantic breeze or the Atlas Mountains for a perfect balance while experimenting with food and wine pairings, and underscoring the essence of Moroccan tastes.

Learn more: Morocco Tours & VacationsMorocco Travel Guide

11. Egypt

Colorful spices in baskets at a  market in Egypt

Spice market in Egypt

Beyond pharaohs, pyramids, and bazaars, Egypt continues to contribute exotic flavors to international cuisine with ingredients steeped in ancient history and spices celebrated in the region. The Nile offers a depth of flavorful fruits, vegetables, and meats, as well as a unique connection to growing that dates back to an often untold part of ancient Egypt.

As an international exporter of spices, with control of the Red Sea and use of its Mediterranean counterpart, dishes use herbs and spices that turn eating into art. Whether you prefer red or white varietals, Egyptian wine has stepped back onto the international stage.

Learn more: Egypt Tours & VacationsEgypt Travel Guide 

12. Japan

Vineyards in the hills of Hokkaido

Hokkaido, Japan

Japan may be better known for rice wine and sushi, but the history of wine was introduced to the country by merchants of the Silk Road nearly 1,000 years ago. The ever-growing popularity of Japanese wine domestically and on the international stage compliments the strong tradition of the country’s cuisine.

The likes of delicate sushi and robust fish dishes pair perfectly with Japanese wines, while the custom of fattier meats and preparations offer great accompaniments to hardier varietals. As with the food, the wine acts as an expression of the climate, land, and culture to create something truly unique.

Learn more: Japan Tours & VacationsJapan Travel Guide

13. India

Vineyards in Nashik, India

Nashik, India

Incredibly varied, exceptionally colorful, and endlessly surprising, India embodies the spirit of its cuisine and wine across regions, with commonalities that connect an underlying heritage, as well as acting as the foundations for localized differences.

With influences from Europe to East Asia and the Middle East, as well as culture-shaping regional flavor profiles, the tradition of wine production dates back to the Bronze Age. Spiced meats, the layered tastes of vegetarian dishes, and timelessly inventive combinations pair perfectly with the variety of wines produced at high altitudes for distinctive palettes.

Learn more: India Tours & VacationsIndia Travel Guide

14. Argentina

Preparing asado in Tandil, near Buenos Aires, Argentina

Photo courtesy of Visit Argentina

Passion and indulgence define the pleasures of wine and food in Argentina. With modest winery beginnings in the early 16th century, wine production in the country has had five centuries to progress with the evolution of national culinary culture.

Whether finding the perfect red to pair with asado, a crisp sparkling wine to accompany dessert, or an enticing Moscato to enhance a flavorful pizza, Argentine food and wine is a celebration of everyday occasions that complement life’s simple pleasures across the edges of Patagonia, the terraced Andes, the Cuyo desert, the tropical northern territory, and the renowned pampas.

Learn more: Argentina Wine ToursArgentina Travel Guide

15. Chile

Seafood in Puerto Natales, Chile

Seafood in Puerto Natales, Chile

Chile has subtly established its wine and food as irresistible, with layered flavors that represent time-honored traditions, original ingredients, and contemporary trends. With a variety of seafood and an immense culinary landscape that features rustic fare and sophisticated culinary experiences, the food and wine culture of Chile can feel indescribable.

Driven by local identity, established in traditional indigenous ingredients, and fortified by salt flats, tropical edges, rich valleys, jagged glaciers, and deep forests, Chile is an approachable wine and food powerhouse.

Learn more: Chile Wine ToursChile Travel Guide

Discover the Right Food and Wine Destination for You

Vineyards surrounding Poltersdorf, Germany

Moselle Valley, Germany

The world is filled with exceptional flavors, from famous contemporary restaurants to rustic traditions, vineyards, and wineries in unique destinations. Whether interested in the cultures around wine or eager to explore the distinctive tastes that accentuate specific ingredients, the best food and wine trips blend your preferences with exciting new discoveries.

You can find far more excursions on which to embrace the pleasures of travel with our food and wine tours and vacations or food and wine travel guide.

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