Courtesy of NCL
The best tastings are educational opportunities to uncover exclusive releases and hidden treasures, but they’re also humbling, because no matter how much we think we know about wine, there is always much to learn. That’s why hearing wine insights from the winemakers themselves is always such a revelation.
From my experience, two particularly memorable wine tastings stand out vividly. Most recently, it was a tasting at The Cellars, Michael Mondavi Wine Bar aboard the Norwegian Bliss while the stunning view of the Inside Passage hovered. The ship’s Cellar Master, Suprakash Nashipuri, passionately guided us through an inspiring tasting selection of unexpected treasures and did so without hesitation. It was both eye-opening and fun and turned out to be my favorite activity on the yacht. The perfect way to lead into dinner after a fun day at sea.
Vicki Arkoff’s photo
My other most memorable tasting experience was led by Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy during the 2015 Lexus Food Festival at the stunning Cavallo Point Motel near San Francisco. What makes it so unforgettable is Charles Krug’s stunning series of images spanning six decades, beginning with a stunning 1966 scene. McCoy not only managed to have the winery open its own reserve for tastings, he also attracted winemaker Peter Mondavi Jr. to discuss each bottle along with his family’s history as guardians of the original Napa Valley Winery.
Courtesy of Michael Mondavi
History has a way of repeating itself. Michael Mondavi is the third generation of Napa wine royalty, and he recently hit the road as one of the superstar winemakers to feature in Norwegian Cruise Line’s sixth annual Meet The Winemaker Cruise Line . The special ocean cruise of 2022 features a Who’s Who program by renowned winemakers, each hosting a tasting session on board for passengers to share their knowledge and pour their favorite wines. their combination with small pieces of cake.
Mondavi and NCL wine pairings have been a blessing since 2014 when Michael Mondavi Family Estate redesigned the cruise line’s wine selection and opened The Cellars pubs on his ships as a venue. especially for light parties and special alcohol events. Michael Mondavi directed the project with the help of his son, Rob Jr. and his daughter, Dina. The trio hand-picked a variety of wines to curate the extensive Norwegian on-board wine menu and cellar dishes.
Courtesy of NCL
Through an extensive range of workshops and activities on board – including open forum discussions, meet and greets, intimate wine tastings and wine pairings dinners, interactive cooking demonstrations and other activities. educational Q&A sessions – Meet The Winemaker guests enjoy exclusive opportunities to learn from (and interact with) top winemakers and other industry experts. Each Meet The Winemaker 2022 Ultimate Experience ranges from $22-$100 per person and can be reserved on board.
Vicki Arkoff’s photo
OCTOBER 12: NORWEGIAN ESCAPE, GREEK ISLES & ITALY CRUISE – SANDRO BOTTEGA SpA Guest SPECIAL
In the four decades since taking over Bottega SpA from his father, Sandro Bottega has built a company that is marketed in over 150 countries. Under his careful guidance, Bottega SpA has diversified to produce grappa, Prosecco, a range of sparkling wines, wonderful reds of Valpolicella and Tuscany, as well as Limoncino and sweet creamy liqueurs. And in 2018, Sandro received the prestigious Riedel Wine Maker of the Year award in Toronto.
OCTOBER 22: JOY, BERMUDA CRUISE – SPECIAL GUEST: GÉRARD BERTRAND, GREEN CHARACTERS OF THE YEAR
Gérard’s father, Georges, began training him in the family business starting in 1975. Striving to produce the finest wines, Gérard purchased Domaine de Villemajou in 1987 and founded the Gérard company. Bertrand Wines in 1992. Purchase of Château l’Hospitalet in 2002 enabled him to move his corporate headquarters to this wonderful estate overlooking the sea. Owning 11 properties including Languedoc’s finest terrorists, his company strives to be the leader in the region’s finest premium wines.
DECEMBER 11: NORWEGIAN ENCORE, CARIBBEAN CRUISE – SPECIAL GUEST: RANDY ULLOM
A legend in Sonoma County winemaking, Randy Ullom is known as a pioneer of the California Chardonnay movement. For the past three decades, he has worked to perfect the style of Kendall-Jackson’s flagship wine, Vintner Reserve Chardonnay, America’s #1 selling Chardonnay for nearly 30 years. He is responsible for creating some of the leading innovations in the wine industry today, such as the virtually drop-by-drop barrel fermentation of Chardonnay, an unprecedented commitment to artisanal winemaking techniques for a single winery. winery of considerable size.
Courtesy of NCL
Whether it’s in the cellars of a Bordeaux winery, a hilltop vineyard in Tuscany, a VIP tasting event in Napa, or a master wine tasting on a Norwegian Cruise cruise Line, the world’s finest wine tastings all have something in common beyond the chance to sample fine wines. Our appreciation of wine is enhanced by the quality of the places and the people with whom we share a glass while capturing sea memories while sailing to the wonderful harbors. Now that’s something worth toasting.