Popular Wines and Spirits of Sailing Destinations Around the World

By Kanika from SamBoat - May 25, 2023

Many sailors will agree that a glass of wine by the sea can make a charter that much better. In honour of National Wine Day, we have put together a list of the most well-known wines and spirits for some of SamBoat’s most popular sailing destinations.

French Riviera – Kir

Source: @zestfulkitchen

The French Riviera is one of the most popular sailing destinations, and a great wine cocktail to try while sailing around the French Riviera is the Kir. Usually served as an aperitif or as the first drink at dinner, the Kir is a staple beverage in France and has been since it was created in the popular wine region of Burgundy in the mid-1800s. An easy cocktail to make, just mix champagne, crème de cassis, (an alcoholic liqueur made of fruit brandy and the buds of cassis fruit) and some berries.

Italy – Aperol Spritz

One of the most famous spritzes’, an Aperol Spritz is a popular drink all over the world, however, the aperitif was originally created in Italy. The drink was invented to help combat the humidity and heat of the Italian summer, but since its creation in the 1800s, it is now served at any time of year in many different countries. The traditional ingredients in an Aperol Spritz include Aperol, ice, sparkling water, orange slices, and the famous Italian sparkling wine that is Prosecco, all of which will taste great while sailing around the coast of Italy.

Croatia – Ilok Traminac (White Wine)

Source: @vinarijatrs

In Croatia, the most famous wine region is Ilok, which grows many different types of grapes including the Traminac. The Ilok Traminac is one of the most well-known wines in the world, due in large part to its popularity at the English royal court, even being served at the coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II. This white wine is clearly the most famous of the Croatian wines, winning the most amount of medals a Croatian wine has ever won at international wine ratings.

Cyclades – Tsikoudia

Source: @daynightcrete

Tsikoudia (sometimes known as raki) is a traditional Cretan spirit, which can only be created through the winemaking process. Making the most of what is left at the end of the process, the pomace brandy is created by using the leftover grape (the pomace) and ends up creating a clear spirit which is both an aperitif and a digestif. It is often offered as a welcoming drink and is often served in a shot glass known as a Rakopotira, and is a great way to kick off your day sailing around the stunning island of Crete!

Malta – Delicata Wine

If you are looking for good wine in Malta, the best winery to visit is Delicata, the most awarded Maltese winery with about 150 international awards. From red to white, rose and sparkling, Delicata has a range of wines for all types of wine drinkers. Of all the lines of wine, the Gran Cavalier is by far the most well-known. This winery is so famous both nationally and internationally that Delicata’s wine festival is Malta’s biggest annual wine fest, held in Valletta. Enjoy a glass the best way to have it; on board a boat as you cruise around the island of Malta with our dayboat route.

Corsica – Cap Corse Mattei

Source: @distillerie_ln_mattei

The traditional Corsican drink is the aperitif Cap Corse Mattei, a delicate wine. It is made up of Corsican mistelle, orange, aromatic plants, and cinchona. Created in 1872, it has become a staple in Corsican culture, served chilled with a slice of lemon or orange. It is also sometimes used to create cocktails, with the aperitif having two variations, the Cap Course Mattei red and the Cap Course white. Drinking a Cap Corse Mattei while you sail around Corsica is one of the best ways to spend your days!

Costa Brava – DO Emporda

Source: @costabravahotspots

Costa Brava is home to one of the biggest, as well as the oldest, wine regions in Spain, the Emporda region. Steeped in history, the region is home to over 400 wine growers, and most are making it their mission to educate visitors on the history of the region. ‘DO’ is a certification from the European Union which means the winery has received an Appellation of Origin certification, with there being many DO wine regions in Spain. The DO Emporda is some of the most popular wines in Spain, taking on many characteristics of the Costa Brava; the mountains, the sea and the winds.

Istria – Biska

Source: @destilerijaaura

Like the Cretan Tsikoudia, Biska is a traditional Istrian brandy, made from grape pomace, the remains of the grape from the wine production process. The grape pomace is combined with dry mistletoe leaves, sometimes with sugar and honey added. The drink can vary in colour, from yellow to green depending on the mistletoe, and is served chilled as an aperitif or a digestif. Created in the city of Hum, the mistletoe brandy is particularly popular during the annual Rakija festival at the end of October, with the aim of the festival being to popularise local brandies and preserve traditional production.

Sicily – Nero d’Avola (Red Wine)

If you are visiting Sicily, you have to try the red wine. Being home to the Nero d’Avola red grape, a red wine made from the grape has become a staple in a proper Sicilian meal. The grape grows indigenously in the area as it was brought over by the Greeks when they inhabited the island. and also introduced the ‘low-lying’ training, which is used to produce the grape. This grape helps produce a full-bodied wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon and is known for its bold fruity taste.

Whether a wine lover or a sea lover, combining the two creates an unforgettable experience, full of magnificent views and scenery and incredible tastes and flavours.

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