The Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations for Wine Lovers

From the gorgeous scenery of South Africa’s Cape Winelands to France’s abundance of historic vineyards, the following prominent wine regions are among our favorite travel destinations for an unforgettable honeymoon getaway.

Cape Winelands, South Africa

Whether as a leisurely day trip from Cape Town, or a few days of solid R&R, the Cape Winelands are not to be missed. The Stellenbosch region was the first to create a formal route to access its now 200+ wine producers, and is dotted with boutique hotels, spa-like sanctuaries, fine-dining restaurants, and even informative museums which offer insight into the region’s deep history.

Nearby Franschhoek boasts beautiful landscapes, enriched with French Huguenot heritage, which is immediately evident in the region’s famed “Cap Classique” – the Cape’s take on Champagne. Its boho chic village is lined with bars and bistros, and a hop-on, hop-off wine tram makes traveling between estates a total joy.

Bordeaux, France

This world-renowned winemaking region is home to some of the most valuable and historic châteaux and vineyards (Château Latour, Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rotschild).

With the Atlantic coast to the west, Medoc to the north, and Saint-Émilion to the east, Bordeaux is a perfect place from which to day-trip your way around France. It’s also the perfect gateway to Dordogne, the modern-day home of the ancient country of Perigord — filled with honey-colored medieval villages like Sarlat, more than 1,500 ancient castles, and even truffle markets (check out the stalls in Périgueux).

Image courtesy of The Vines of Mendoza

Uno Valley, Argentina

Argentina’s Uco Valley is one of those rare places that is able to produce quality wines at high altitudes, making it a world-famous region for Malbecs and other red wines. It’s also totally remote and relaxing.

To taste the terroir, post up at The Vines of Mendoza, a 22-villa resort in the foothills of the Andes. It’s set on a 1,500 acre working vineyard, with spa-style bathrooms, en-suite fire pits, and an on-site restaurant imagined by Francis Mallmann. The Argentine super-chef applies his open-flame cooking techniques to regional dishes that showcase Argentina’s famous beef, like four-hours roasted lamb with Anna potatoes and watercress salad.

Napa Valley, California

Northern California’s grape-growing region is widely recognized as one of the premier places in the world for wine production. All the while, it has steadily become one of America’s top honeymoon destinations thanks to its beautiful landscape, diversity of activities offered, charming small towns, phenomenal dining choices, high-class wine making facilities, and elite resorts and inns.

For an incredible day, start with a tour of wine country from above via Napa Valley Balloons. Next, head to Schramsberg Winery outside of Calistoga, famous for its sparking wines, caves and majestic views.

In the afternoon, visit beautiful Hall Vineyards high atop the hills in Rutherford for a private tour before dinner at The Rutherford Grill.

Santorini, Greece

The island of Santorini is known for its Assyrtiko grapes, which produces some very distinct but excellent dry white wines. After checking in to your hotel at the elegant Perivolas Santorini, make your way to Santo Wines, an exceptional winery situated high atop the caldera cliffs just south of Fira.

Stop in for a wine and food tasting right before soaking in a brilliant Santorini sunset. The property also features a deli shop where couples can purchase an assortment of wines plus traditional food products like capers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fava beans.

 

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Image courtesy of Kym Ellis

Our Pick for Most Romantic Restaurant on Maui: Lahaina Grill

There are no oceanfront views or mountain settings here, but the overall excellence of Lahaina Grill will leave you with memories for years to come.

So what can you expect? Look forward to delicious seafood, American-inspired cuisine, and top-notch service in an elegant setting.

The Maui Onion and Sesame Seed Crusted Ahi Tuna entree is exceptional and just one of many featured items likely to leave you thoroughly satisfied.

The restaurant has also been named one of top places to eat in the United States by TripAdvisor, Yelp, Open Table and Honolulu Magazine.

www.lahainagrill.com

Lahaina, Maui

Photo: Courtesy of Lahaina Grill

Our Favorite Restaurants for a Honeymoon: Selene (Santorini, Greece)

Ranked as one of the best restaurants in Europe, Selene recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. A must-visit spot for newlyweds exploring Santorini in Greece, the acclaimed restaurant focuses on local ingredients and creative dishes such as poached Aegean codfish and grilled octopus.

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Meanwhile, the views can’t be beat, either. The restaurant is situated on one of the highest points of Santorini in the historic village of Pyrgos.

The experience doesn’t end with dinner. Couples can also sign up for cooking classes, wine tastings, demonstrations, and a visit to the local folklore museum.

Heading to Greece for your honeymoon? Be sure to add this once-in-a-lifetime dining experience to your registry list.

www.selene.gr

 

Image courtesy of Selene

Our Favorite Honeymoon Experiences: Sunset Cocktails in Hawaii

mai_tai-house-without-a-key-1Looking to add a unique dining experience to your honeymoon registry? Consider sunset cocktails at Halekulani’s House Without a Key, located in the heart of Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu.

Snag a table under the giant Kiawe tree, order a pair of signature Mai Tais, and enjoy traditional Hawaiian music and dancing just as the sun dips below the horizon.

Meanwhile, you’ll have a front row vantage point of Honolulu’s famous Waikiki Beach.

It’s incredibly romantic and overall one of Hawaii’s can’t-miss honeymoon experiences.

 

In case you missed it:

Welcome to the NEW Wanderable

Image courtesy of Take Me Away!

The Best Baked Sweet Potato Fries for 4th of July

These easy sweet potato fries, spiced with ginger and sea salt, will be a hit at your 4th of July barbecue.

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Instead of bringing the usual macaroni salad or chips to this weekend’s 4th of July celebrations, follow this easy recipe for a no-fuss dish that will be an amazing hit. Trust us – when we tested this recipe at a recent dinner party, it was completely devoured right away (even the cheese plate of Mount Tam was ignored!). After all, what is more American, irresistible, and beloved than a plate of homemade, spicy, sweet, and decadent fries?! Literally, these are the best baked sweet potato fries for 4th of July!

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Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Yield: Large plate of fries, enough to feed 4

Potatoes:
2-3 medium to large sweet potatoes

To Glaze Potatoes:
2 tablespoons oil (we used olive, but toasted sesame would also be fantastic)
1 gallon plastic bag

Spice Coating:
2 teaspoon light sugar, preferably brown
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

To Cut Potatoes:
Trusted chef’s knife
Cutting board

To Bake Potatoes:
1 large baking sheet
Parchment baking paper
Spatula

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Prep your oven: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line the large baking sheet with parchment baking paper and set aside.

Mix the Spice Coating: In a small bowl, mix the sugar, ginger, kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.

Cut the potatoes: Wash the sweet potatoes under hot, running water. Set upon a clean surface. Using your cutting board and chef’s knife, cut a potato in half, left to right. Then, cut each piece again in half, top to bottom. You should now have four pieces upon your cutting board. Take a quarter piece and cut it in half again, top to bottom. Continue cutting long strips, top to bottom, until the entire quarter piece has been cut into long strips. You can continue cutting into the potato as you wish, to make the pieces even thinner or smaller. Do this for each potato.

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Glaze the potato pieces: Throw all your potato pieces into the large, gallon plastic bag. Throw in the 2 tablespoons of oil. Hold the bag opening tightly with one hand and toss the bag around with the other. You want to evenly coat all the pieces with the oil for optimal glazing.

Coat the potato pieces: Dump all the oily potato pieces onto the lined baking sheet. Try to arrange a single layer of potato pieces. Then, using a small spoon or your hand, sprinkle the Spice Coating as evenly as possible over all the potato pieces.

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Bake the potato pieces: Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Then, use the spatula to flip all the pieces over and bake for another 15 minutes or until just slightly browned and crisped around the edges.

Enjoy!: We recommend pairing with a cold, frothy glass of beer and a big, juicy burger. 🙂

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HAPPY 4th OF JULY!  😎

#WanderOn

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