My specialty in food and wine has always been in the European gastronomy. That is why when I travel to Europe, I make sure to get a taste of every regional cuisine and specialty. I have been passionate about the regional dishes of France and Italy in particular, and that is one of the reasons I studied at the Cordon Bleu culinary school in Paris.
As a food and wine consultant and working with tour companies I have come to a conclusion that a tour to Europe that is organized around food and wine is much more valuable. Many authentic regional dishes, especially from France and Italy represent the local cuisine and are part of the culture.
Visiting Europe on a tour, to get the maximum benefit, in many ways, your best choice would be a food and wine tour or tours that emphasize on regional gastronomy.
This way, you not only get to visit your favorite regions in Europe, but you will get to learn and taste the fabulous regional and authentic foods, and wines to match them. Often times these wines are readily available in your local markets at home, but because you are not familiar with them, you never get to taste them and really miss out on some of the best tasting international wines!
On the other hand, if you have been to the countries that the wines come from, you have already been exposed to them. Because you just don’t go on any tour when you travel, you go on food and wine tours!
You see, that can be more beneficial to you, you not only become familiar with the countries you visit, but you absorb their cultures which consist of the customs, beliefs, foods and wines! You can now pass for a savvy cultural traveler who knows his food and wine!