Norwegian Cruises’ Meet the Winemakers Sequence Presents the Finest Wine Tastings at Sea

Courtesy of NCL

The very best wine tastings are indulgently instructional alternatives to find unique releases and hidden treasures, however they’re additionally humbling, as a result of regardless of how a lot we predict we learn about wine, there’s all the time extra to study. That’s why listening to insights about wine from the winemakers themselves is all the time such a revelation.

From my expertise, two notably memorable wine tastings vividly stand out. Most just lately, it was a wine tasting in The Cellars, the Michael Mondavi Wine Bar on board the Norwegian Bliss whereas the gorgeous surroundings of the Inside Passage floated by. The ship’s Cellar Grasp, Suprakash Nashipuri, passionately led us by an impressed tasting collection of surprising treasures and did so with out an oz of pretension. It was as eye-opening because it was enjoyable and turned out to be my favourite exercise aboard the cruise. The proper approach to lead into dinner after a joyful day at sea.

Photograph by Vicki Arkoff

My different most memorable tasting expertise was one led by Grasp Sommelier Carlton McCoy through the 2015 Lexus Culinary Traditional on the gorgeous Cavallo Level Lodge close to San Francisco. What made it so unforgettable was the gorgeous array of Charles Krug vintages spanning six a long time beginning with a 1966 stunner. Not solely did McCoy handle to get the vineyard to open its personal reserves for the tasting, he additionally lured vintner Peter Mondavi Jr. to debate every bottle alongside along with his household’s historical past as guardians of the unique Napa Valley vineyard.

Courtesy of Michael Mondavi

Historical past has a manner of repeating itself. Michael Mondavi is third-generation Napa wine royalty, and he just lately sailed as one of many famous person winemakers featured in Norwegian Cruise Line’s sixth annual Meet The Winemaker Cruise Sequence. The particular 2022 ocean sailings function a Who’s Who of notable winemakers, every of whom hosts an on-board tasting for passengers to share their information and pour their favourite vintages paired with small bites.

The pairing of Mondavi wines and NCL has been a blissful one since 2014 when the Michael Mondavi Household Property redesigned the cruise line’s wine choice and opened The Cellars wine bars on its ships as a specialty venue for informal sips and particular wine occasions. Michael Mondavi directed the mission with the assistance of his son, Rob Jr., and his daughter, Dina. The trio hand-selected a wide range of wines to curate Norwegian’s intensive onboard wine menu and cellar choices.

Courtesy of NCL

By a wide range of enriching seminars and actions on board — together with open-forum discussions, meet-and-greets, intimate wine tastings and wine-paired dinners, interactive cooking demonstrations and academic Q&A classes — Meet The Winemaker company get pleasure from unique alternatives to study from (and mingle with) prime winemakers and different {industry} consultants. Every of the ultimate 2022 Meet The Winemaker expertise ranges from $22-$100 per individual, and may be reserved on board the ship.

Photograph by Vicki Arkoff

OCTOBER 12:  NORWEGIAN ESCAPE, GREEK ISLES & ITALY CRUISE — SPECIAL GUEST SANDRO BOTTEGA S.p.A.

Within the 4 a long time since taking up Bottega S.p.A. from his father, Sandro Bottega has constructed an organization bought within the markets of over 150 international locations. Underneath his cautious steering, Bottega S.p.A. has diversified to provide grappa, Prosecco, a variety of glowing wines, the nice reds of Valpolicella and Tuscany, in addition to Limoncino and creamy-based candy liqueurs. And in 2018, Sandro obtained the distinguished Riedel Winemaker of the 12 months award in Toronto.

OCTOBER 22: NORWEGIAN JOY, BERMUDA CRUISE — SPECIAL GUEST: GÉRARD BERTRAND, GREEN PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

Gérard’s father, Georges, started coaching him within the household enterprise beginning in 1975. Striving to provide essentially the most premium wines, Gérard purchased Domaine de Villemajou in 1987 and created the Gérard Bertrand Wines firm in 1992. Buying Château l’Hospitalet in 2002 allowed his firm headquarters to relocate to this superb property overlooking the ocean. Proudly owning 11 estates encompassing essentially the most lovely terroirs of Languedoc, his firm strives to be the chief of the area’s most premium wines.

DECEMBER 11: NORWEGIAN ENCORE, CARIBBEAN CRUISE — SPECIAL GUEST: RANDY ULLOM

A legend in Sonoma County winemaking, Randy Ullom is named a pioneer within the California Chardonnay motion. Over the previous three a long time, he labored to good Kendall-Jackson’s flagship wine type, the Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, America’s #1-selling Chardonnay for nearly 30 years. He’s chargeable for creating a number of the most industry-leading initiatives within the wine area in the present day, reminiscent of barrel-fermenting virtually each drop of Chardonnay, an unprecedented dedication to artisanal winemaking strategies for a vineyard of appreciable measurement.

Courtesy of NCL

Whether or not it’s in a Bordeaux vineyard cellar, a Tuscany hilltop winery, a VIP sommelier occasion in Napa, or a grasp winemaker tasting on a Norwegian Cruise Line voyage, the world’s greatest wine tastings have one thing in widespread past the chance to pattern high quality vintages. Our appreciation of wine is enhanced by the standard of the locations and the individuals with whom we share a glass whereas making reminiscences at sea whereas crusing to superb ports. Now that is one thing value toasting. 

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