Some businessmen go prowling for ladies to keep them entertained while on a business trip. I like to go prowling for wine. I still have a good time and my wife doesn’t mind if I bring something home with me.
Traveling by yourself doesn't mean you have to drink alone. Here are three ways to enjoy a little wine and some good company while you are flying solo on a business trip:
Visit a Winery
Stopping by a winery or two is always fun if your travels take you near a wine region. Winery tasting rooms are very social places, so you'll find it easy to strike up a conversation with winery employees and fellow visitors. You may need a flexible schedule since most tasting rooms are only open during the day, but this could be the extra incentive you need to wrap up your meeting a few hours early. (Check out our wine tasting tips and you'll taste like a pro without drinking too much.)
I recently traveled to Santa Rosa, California, which is in the heart of the Sonoma County wine region. I had to fly in the day before my meeting so I used this as an excuse to do some tasting. I started my adventure with a delicious lunch at the Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg and then visited Alexander Valley Vineyards and Foppiano Vineyards. It was a great time and I was happy and rested when I met with my client the next day.
Discover a Wine Bar
Wine bars are a great place to enjoy a glass of wine after work. You can usually sit at the bar and make some new friends if your co-workers or clients don’t want to join you. It's generally easy to find a few good wine bars in almost any city these days.
A recent business trip to Portland, Oregon gave me an opportunity to visit Oregon Wines on Broadway. They have a huge selection of Oregon wines by the glass and their knowledgeable employees are always willing to suggest a wine that suits your palate. It's a locals' hangout, but they don't mind you joining in on the wine talk. This was a fun way to spend an evening on the road.
Haunt the Hotel Bar
The hotel bar is often a refuge for business people traveling alone. You can socialize with fellow travelers while enjoying a drink or even a meal. Many hotel bartenders are wonderful hosts who can help you pick out a perfect glass of wine to enjoy after work.
While on my trip to Portland, I visited the Daily Grill which was attached to my hotel. They offer great food and their attentive staff make you feel right at home when you are dining by yourself. Don't look for anything exotic on their wine list, but you can expect to see a lot of solid, well-priced wines that will suit nearly any mood.
Road trips can be tough, but they don't have to be wine free!