Join us on a luxury vodka tasting holiday and be captivated by the premium vodka brands found in surprising and unexpected places. Excite your palate with the world’s most loved distilled spirit, and train your senses to become a true vodkaphile.
At Wine Paths, we design tailor-made tasting holidays that surprise and delight our clients with every sip. By combining culture and history with refined gastronomy and expert tastings, we turn novices into aficionados and make spirits accessible to those who are passionate about learning more.
We take our clients beyond the famous “vodka belt” and delve into the world of distilleries in some of Europe’s most revered wine regions. While Eastern Europe is the original home of vodka, the spirit is widely produced across the whole of Europe. Our tours will take you to the famous wine country and help you unearth the superior vodka labels being enjoyed today.
A spirit commonly distilled from grains and potatoes, vodka is beautifully clear and can be enjoyed in a number of ways. Our experts will help you use your sight, smell and taste to distinguish between varieties and discover your favorite.
Vodka was first distilled in Russia back in the Middle Ages and was used for medicinal purposes. Many experts also believe that it was commonly used because it was an effective remedy against cold weather. People were unable to produce wine like other parts of the world due to it being so cold, so they began making vodka instead. The word “vodka” comes from the Russian word “voda” meaning water.
In the 18th Century, farmers began to drink it and this caused its popularity to rise as a beverage. But it wasn’t until 1917, during the Russian Revolution, that the drink began to really take off. Distilling then became prominent in other countries, particularly in Poland, but also in Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, the Ukraine, Lithuania and some Scandinavian countries. These are the countries that now form the well-known Vodka Belt.
Today, vodka is remains a big part of the local culture in these nations. But despite having roots in Russia and Poland, vodka is produced and loved across Europe and even across the world, with many premium labels arising in the most unexpected of places, including the French wine country.
Lithuania is said to be the first country to produce grain vodka, rather than potatoes. And you can now find vodka commonly being produced from various grains, grapes and fermented ingredients across the continents.
The great thing about vodka is that it is produced in so many parts of Europe and beyond, and the quality you find is excellent in many countries and regions. It’s not just Russian vodka that stands out for its quality, but vodka producers in the USA, France and Netherlands are all well-regarded in the industry too.
But one of the best places we recommend going to taste vodka is France. French vodka has become popular in bars and nightclubs around the globe. Derived from wheat grain and grapes, and always packaged in beautiful bottles, they evoke the same feeling as enjoying a fine wine.
French vodkas are also elegant and subtle to taste, and once you try them, they leave a lasting impression. The mainstay of French vodka is made in Cognac, a region that is home to premium labels like Grey Goose and Ciroc.
At Wine Paths, we create luxury tasting holidays that delight the palate, taking our clients to the most cultured destinations with a great mix of gastronomy, history and distillery tours. Many of our clients already have a great nose for wine and enjoy our enotourism trips around the world. Now you can join us as we unearth the mysteries of the vodka craft, gaining expert insight from the Master Blenders that we meet along the way, and unlocking the secret to tasting your vodka in the right way.
Our vodka tour experts will teach you to use the three core senses required for effective tasting. By sight, smell and taste, you will get to experience some of the most elegant vodka varieties in Europe. French vodka is unlike any other vodka in the world. Often described as gentle, elegant and subtle, it’s truly one of life’s luxuries to be enjoyed neat.
On our vodka tours, you will journey to the most sophisticated French regions, sample authentic French cuisine, and experience the country’s high culture.
Vodka in France is made from wheat grain or grapes, many of which grow in the Cognac brandy making region. To ensure the purest and finest quality vodkas, the French use only spring water. Today, some of the Cognac-based vodkas are a bigger export than Cognac brandy.
But it’s not just the lush vineyard regions that make vodka either. The capital, Paris, is home to one distillery. Located in the 10th district, Distillerie de Paris is known for its flavored vodkas, bringing an element of novelty to the cocktail and mixology universe.
What are the flavor distinctions between French and Russian vodka?
French vodka is often said to be a lot more subtle than other vodka varieties, but there are so many different styles to try on one of our vodka tasting holidays.
Isn’t vodka tasteless?
There are some people who may describe vodka as tasteless. However, others may consider vodka to be malty, grain-like, briny or even citrusy. As well as taste distinctions, our tasting tours will help you get to know the different “mouth-feel” and varying textures.
What are the best ways to taste vodka?
Vodka can be enjoyed neat, with a mixer or in a cocktail. When it comes to mixology, vodka is extremely versatile. When it comes to tasting, enjoying it neat is the way. Ongoing debates have ensued between vodka enthusiasts regarding the use of ice, with some believing that the spirit should be frozen before serving rather than using ice cubes. However, Grey Goose and other premium brands do not recommend freezing as this can numb the flavors. Many French vodka experts suggest adding a couple of ice cubes to your drink to chill.
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