Saturday, January 29, 2011
Around the World in 80 Drinks
I drink for many reasons. To have a conversation with friends. To wash down a meal. To celebrate. To kill time waiting for for a flight. To quench a thirst. To research a story. But mostly, I drink to go places.
For me, beer, wine and spirits are more about the culture, the people, the environment and the attitude of a place than they are about alcohol content. Travel is all about new experiences and getting a taste of what the locals enjoy. You can do that through food, music, art, architecture, sports, fashion, literature and history. But to me, drink is an essential part of that experience. It can help you connect with the people, with the land and the place in ways that nothing else can really accomplish. It is a link to the past. It is a source of pride. And it opens doors that welcome a traveler.
During the last few years, Lyke2Drink has provided an outlet to share some of my experiences. There have been vineyard tastings, beer festivals and distillery tours. In each case, being there has helped me communicate about the beverage. My travels for both pleasure and business have been enriched by finding the local drink. Drinks tourism is something that can take you to a new place and let you bring the experience back home.
Don't get me wrong. Cologne is still a great city without Kolsch, just not quite as lively. A drive through the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York is still beautiful without Riesling, just not quite as romantic. A trip to Kentucky is still fun without Bourbon, just not as spirited. Cities like Prague, Florence, Dublin, Edinburgh and Munich would still be tourist meccas without drink, but I submit they are much better with drink. And how many of us would have really heard of places like Islay, Reims, Bardstown, Bamberg and Napa if it were not for the local contribution to the world of drink?
Around the World in 80 Drinks is a new direction for Lyke2Drink that is directly connected back to the roots of this blog. It will provide a focus that I hope you will enjoy. The blog will offer tips on drinks travel destinations and chronicle some of my experiences. In some cases, it will be armchair travel. Hopefully, many of the adventures will be from the road as we discover the world's great drinks. Eighty drinks that define who we are and the places we come from in a way that nothing else really can. I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it.
Pack your bag. We are on our way.