The wine industry may very well be the most romantic industry of them all. It’s not a coincidence that countless great vineyards are located on majestic, rolling hills, or perhaps even on the side of a small mountain.
So, you’ve got well-known wine regions, with great views, good sun, and most likely, great food based on recipes that have been perfected over centuries of cooking. And, on a perfect honeymoon, it’s all there to be consumed alongside an intoxicant created by the wares of the local earth. That sounds romantic to me. That is why so many worldwide wine regions are great for honeymoon visits. But choosing the one for you depends on just what kind of couple you are.
For the art fans who love red wine: Tuscany.
Many a picturesque, winding road rests in this Italian region, north of Rome by a couple hours’ drive. The heart of the Chianti Classico area is between the cities of Florence and Siena. Florence is largely considered the home of the Renaissance, and it follows that you can set your eyes on a large amount of historically brilliant and important artwork. Sangiovese is the superstar grape here, doing most of the heavy lifting in the Chianti region, at least under that specific name.
The last 45 years have seen a dynamic explosion of super Tuscan wines throughout the region, mainly from cabernet sauvignon, merlot, sangiovese, and syrah.
Want to taste legends like Tenuta San Guido’s “Sassicaia” or Marchesi Antinori’s “Tignanello” while drooling over views of the Duomo? This is the place for you.
For the art fans who love bubbles: Paris and Champagne.
Forbes named Paris the third most visited city in the world, and it is the most densely populated European city with more than 2 million habitants. All of this adds up to smaller housing units, which means far fewer dinner parties and much more socializing in public.
Yes, see all the great tourist and museum stops. But get a start on enjoying those bubbles of the unmatched bistro culture of the Paris streets, or with a picnic basket on Canal Saint-Martin. Bonus: The sun doesn’t set until around 10 p.m. in Paris near the summer solstice.
Next, take the two-hour drive northeast to Champagne, and taste the beverage synonymous with celebration. The region surrounds the cities of Epernay and Reims. Many houses are in those two cities, but it’s much better to have a car, to widen your options. Take a tour at famous Champagne houses like Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Pommery, or Taittinger. But if you don’t mind spending a little more in the summertime, a visit at Ruinart is unquestionably worth it too.
For the quick excursion outside the Midwest: Portland, Oregon.
Portland’s exciting food and beer scene has been well documented, but the Beaver State’s largest city is a quick drive from Willamette Valley, home to excellent pinot noir (a grape that has racked up countless missives to its own, romantic tendencies).
For the lovers who like to party: Santorini, Greece.
Well-covered in the “Uncorked” column before, this island has views that match anywhere on earth. You can take breaks from being in awestruck by the natural beauty by visiting wineries located throughout the island.
For Euro-centric food lovers still wanting to be somewhat price-conscious: San Sebastian, Spain.
Don’t call it Spain when you go. Call it Basque Country. The old part of San Sebastian is peppered with perhaps a hundred pintxo bars. Walk from place to place, grab a pintxo and a sidra, txakoli, or red Rioja. Rinse and repeat. Airbnbs and hotels are very affordable here, and the Playa de la Concha is a 10-minute walk from the bulk of the pintxo bars. But no matter your honeymoon destination, what is most important, is who shares those beautiful views with you.