Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ten Weird & Wild Places to Sip Wine

Let’s say you’re bored with your wine tasting adventures. You’ve been to wineries and tasting rooms, sipping a new vintage while the winemaker tells you about the grapes, the history, the terroir - whatever it is that makes the wine so spectacular.

You’ve stood in line at the wine shop/liquor store/grocery mart to try the featured wines of the weekend in little paper cups with a smooth (or at times, not so smooth) sales patter trying to entice you to buy.

You’ve even gone to the wine festivals, private tastings and special charity events, but nothing seems to quench that desire for something new – a nouveau wine experience.

Well, get ready: here are 10 wine sipping destinations that will make your knees week, your heart race, and your vino friends envious …

1) High in the Sky
Lounge in the Sky
Imagine sitting at a table for four, sipping a glass of Chardonnay while you and your friends watch the sun set over the city; all while you are suspended a quarter of a mile up in the air!

Dining Out
Lounge in the Sky, a part of Dinner in the Sky offers just such an experience and this adventure is available in 14 countries, including the U.S, Italy, UK, France, Ireland, and Spain.

2) Underwater
SubSix Bar
Ever feel like you’re in too deep? Then you’ll feel right at home at SubSix, the world’s first underwater nightclub located almost 20 feet below the surface of the Indian Ocean.

Underwater Dinner and Drinks
Relax in club chairs while you peruse the 300+ bottle wine list, or select a glass of wine from over a dozen available on the beverage menu. Then sit back, unwind and watch marine life glide past the floor-to-ceiling windows of this classy, submerged bar in the Maldives.

3) On Ice
Wine on Ice
Almost 125 miles above the Arctic Circle, the Snow Village takes shape each November. Crafted from over 1,000 truckloads of snow, the Village opens each December and remains open until the first weekend of April, complete with a hotel, two restaurants, and the Ice Bar

Inside the Ice Bar
The bar, and everything in it, is made from ice and snow including the tables, chairs, and drinking glasses. This is the perfect spot for an unforgettable glass of icy Champagne. But bundle up - temperatures inside hover around 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 Celsius.)

4) Under Ground
Entrance to Jarvis Wines
Originally built to store wine, today's wine caves do so much more. Not only is this underground chamber the perfect temperature in which to age wine, it’s also one of the coolest places to hold a wine tasting.

The Wine Cave
But no one has surpassed Jarvis Estate in Napa, California, for excellent utilization of a wine cave. The entire winery, complete with winemaking facility, is built underground in a 45,000 square foot cave tunneled into the Vaca Mountains. After touring the winery, guests enjoy six samples of wine in a Tasting Chamber that is sure to impress.

 5) Spirits Move Me
Belvoir Winery is located in what used to be the I.O.O.F – Independent Order of Odd Fellows home complex constructed in the 1880s in Liberty, Missouri. The I.O.O.F. was one of the largest fraternal  and benevolent organizations in the U.S. during the 20th century.  

I.O.O.F. Home
Today, the winery is located in the old administration building, one of only three original buildings that remain on the grounds, and the oldest structure on the property.  It is here that employees report footsteps, screams, unidentified laugher and shadow people; the perfect place to sample their six locally produced wines and get into the spirit of things ...

6) In the Dark
Too much information in your life? Then dinner and a drink at Opaque might be just what you need. This restaurant takes “dining in the dark” to a new level: a real sensory experience. Without your sight to rely on, forget checking the clarity of that wine.

Dining at Opaque
This is where your other senses kick in and that glass of vino takes on a totally different dimension; an true experience of taste. But relax, black tie is not required ... Opaque restaurants are located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York and Dallas.

7) In the Belly of the Beast
If you’re an aviation buff, don’t miss the chance to dine in the belly of a 1953 Boeing KC-97 tanker, better known as the Stratotanker. Although it was named Solo’s Restaurant, it has become known as the Airplane Restaurant, seating up to 42 people for lunch and dinner.

Dining on Board
Featuring booths, burgers and a full bar, this is one trip you’ll rather have friends on board with, rather than going solo. Located at the Colorado Springs Airport in Colorado.

8) Up, Up and Away
Balloons Above Napa
Ah, to slip the surly bonds of earth, wine glass in hand and vineyards unrolling beneath you. If this is your idea of heaven, then get ready for liftoff in a hot air balloon. Wine Country Balloons is one of the oldest in California, offering early morning flights over the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma.

Flying Over Vineyards
When your flight is over, enjoy a made-to-order champagne brunch with your pilot and fellow ballooning buddies as you enjoy a post-flight celebration.

9) Visiting the Ladies
May Baily's Place
What was once one of the premier bordellos in the red-light district of New Orleans (known as Storyville), is now a pretty hip place to grab a glass of vino (over 15 on the menu), or something stronger. May Baily’s Place served clientele in the French Quarter during the 19th century.
Just One of the Girls

Today, portraits of the madams’ hang on the bar walls among the Victoria décor. The comfort and ambience of May’s continues to attract customers ordering spirits, and spirits of the “ladies of the evening” who still linger at the bar, waiting for “last call.”  In homage to its history, a red light continues to burn in the courtyard …

10) In the Jail House
The Clink
Let’s give this one an A for attitude and adaptability! The Liberty Hotel in Boston has taken a former jail where the city locked up notorious prisoners like Malcolm X and the Boston Strangler, and transformed it into a cool hotel, complete with a bar called the Clink.

Dining in the Cell Block
Dine and drink while looking through the original cell door bars. The menu changes daily and the wine list is extensive – but pace yourself; you don’t want to end up in the drunk tank.

Now, find something fun to do this weekend, and if it tops this list – Let Me Know!

~ Joy