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  • The best wine festivals in the world

    Benjamin Franklin once said that the discovery of wine is more important because the discovery of a new constellation, because there are enough starts in the sky already. This goes to show how highly we think of wine in our day to day lives, and how much we can appreciate a nice glass of it next to a plate of good food.

    And when we humans really love something, we write about it, sing about it, paint about it and last bu not least, we organize festivals. Wine festivals are meant not only to celebrate our love for this beverage, but they are also a great opportunity to taste some unique or rare sorts, and mingle with other fellow enthusiasts. For all the wine lovers among you, here’s a list of the best wine festivals in the world.

    Wurstmarkt, Bad Dürkheim, Germany

    Wurstmarkt literally means sausage market, but don’t be mislead by this folk festival’s name. Despite the fact that Germany is mainly known for its beer, the largest wine festival in the world takes place every September in the little town of Bad Dürkheim in Rhineland Palatinate. You can taste over 150 types of local wines at this event, but the wine tastings are usually accompanied by delicious local dishes, live music and general merriness. The symbol of the festival is the largest wine barrel in the world (capable of holding 44 millions gallons), which has been transformed into a huge wine store.

    The Boston Wine Expo, USA

    The Boston Wine Expo is one of the biggest (if not the biggest) wine event in the United States, taking place during the last weeks on January every year. The activities on offer are a sure magnet for any wine enthusiast: you will have the chance to taste more than 1800 wines from 450 wine makers over the world. If you want to learn more about wines (and to sound more professional when speaking about them), you can attend seminars for complete beginners or accomplished connoisseurs. The organizers usually bring a dozen of celebrity chefs to the event as well, so your taste-buds will receive a complete pampering session.

    Haro Wine Festival, Spain

    The inhabitants of the town of Haro in La Rioja region are a lucky bunch. They not only live in one of the best wine regions of Spain, but they also have a very special yearly wine festival. If you attend the festival, don’t expect orderly wine tastings with mellow music in the background, because Haro Festival is as wild as they get.

    The highlight of the festival is the battle of wine (Batalla de Vino), during which the participants shoot wine at each other with pistols. The festival has several drinking contests and tastings (so not all of the wine is wasted), a mock bull fight, and a general celebration of good wine and food.

    Madeira Wine Festival, Spain

    A delicious wine like Madeira deserves its own festival, and the inhabitants of Funchal, in Portugal, organize an event every September, during the grape harvest, in order to celebrate the traditions surrounding Madeira wine. The festival actually starts in the scenic village of Câmara de Lobos, where the grapes are picked and treaded, and then it moved to Funchal, where you can see various folk shows related to wine-making. All of this revelry is doused with generous quantities of Madeira wine, but the delicious local dishes are not missing either.

    Vendimia Harvest Festival, Argentina

    In South America, the start of harvesting in February is celebrated by many, and nowhere are people more happy about it than in Mendoza, Argentina’s wine capital. Vendimia, the harvest festival in Medoza, has been rather unjustly described as a combination between a song contest and beauty pageant, washed down with large quantities of wine, but while it’s true that there are other activities besides wine tasting, wine is definitely the main focus of the festival.

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