Fintan K. is a wine expert and writer based in Barcelona, Spain, where he specializes in the wines of Spain, France, Italy and Germany. He holds the WSET Diploma and when he’s not exploring the wine regions of Europe with AmaWaterways, you’ll find him writing for international wine publications and judging at wine competitions. He believes that everything in life is better with a glass of wine, and he can’t wait to share the amazing wines of Europe with you.
Whether you’re preparing to host a special holiday meal or simply indulging in the season’s abundant chocolates, our beloved Cruise Manager and wine expert Fintan shares his picks for the bottles you may want to have on hand and two Wine Cruises to look forward to this year.
A full-bodied wine with some sweetness will be ideal here.
Pair With: A powerful Zinfandel from Paso Robles or Lodi
The creaminess of the chocolate will help bring out some of the fresher flavors in sweet, white wines.
Pair With: Kabinett-style Riesling from the Moselle in Germany or Moscato d´Asti from northern Italy
The sweetness of milk chocolate calls for a wine that has enough fruit to stand up to the sugar.
Pair With: A Vintage Port from the Douro Valley in Portugal
Featured Celebration of Wine Cruises
Wine Cruises are a wonderful way to celebrate love with the person you love. With their enhanced epicurean delights and knowledgeable Wine Hosts leading in-depth tastings on board, and diverse array of excursions to wine cellars and tastings throughout your river journey, you will enjoy the romantic atmosphere that these special river cruises provide. Here are two Celebration of Wine sailings to look forward to.
Essence of Burgundy & Provence
November 9-16, 2023 from Arles to Lyon
Wine Host: Theodora Lee, Owner of Theopolis Vineyards in Yorkville, CA
Ms. Theodora Lee’s first harvest received 94-96 points from wine critic Robert Parker. She then decided to bottle her own wines in 2014. In addition to bottling Petite Sirah, Theopolis Vineyards strikes a lighter note by bottling a Symphony, a white wine grape, which is a crossing of Muscat and Grenache Gris. Ms. Lee also bottles the unique Rosé of Petite Sirah, a Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir, a Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, a Cuvee Blanc and a Cuvee Cerise, some of which you will get to taste during this special river cruise departure. The 2018 Estate Grown Theopolis Vineyards Petite Sirah has received 96 Points from Wine Enthusiast and Cellar Selection, which ranked it No. 16 in the Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2021.
You will have the opportunity to compare some of Theodora’s wines with those of Burgundy and Provence while uncovering the Roman history of Chalon-sur Saône, delighting in charming Tournus with its towering Romanesque abbey and historic apothecary shop, tasting your way through the French culinary capital of Lyon and so much more.
Taste of Bordeaux – European Wine Immersion
November 9-16, 2023 roundtrip from Bordeaux
Wine Host: Mark Newman, CEO of Accolade Brands Inc & SteakHouse Vineyards
Mark Newman has produced wine both in California and in the Loire Valley in France. In his over 40 years in the wine industry, he has owned the largest wine and spirits retail chain in Arizona and held key California winery positions as well as senior level executive positions in the wine distributing business. Mark was inducted into the prestigious Commanderie de Bontemps du Medoc et Graves, recognizing his years of dedication to the Bordeaux wine industry, and is Maitre-Conseil of Gastronomy, an honor bestowed by the French Minister of Agriculture, a member of the Society of Wine Educators.
Mark has judged the Los Angeles International Wine Competition for 26 consecutive years, as well as several competitions throughout California, and recently judged with Gambero Rosso for the prestigious Tre Bicchieri awards in Rome, Italy. His expertise and palate will come in handy as you focus solely on tasting Bordeaux’s renowned Right and Left Bank wines, including Grand Cru Classé wines from Saint-Émilion, Sauternes from Cadillac and more. Plus, attend an exclusive wine festival in Bourg, explore the famous Cite du Vin wine museum and enjoy an evening illuminations cruise around Bordeaux.
Contact your preferred travel advisor to reserve your stateroom on one of these incredible Wine Cruises today!