Posts Tagged ‘wine’

Making the Most of your Winery Tour

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Sebastiani Winery

Who doesn’t love a good wine tour? Hop on a bus, jump in a jeep, slide in an SUV, or lounge in limo, and take off for a day of tasting, sampling, swishing and spitting – all the while, not having to worry about who’s driving home! A wine tour is both a relaxing and cultural experience, because every region has their own wine sipping traditions. We offer a wide variety of winery tour options from some of the best vineyards on the planet. Whether you’re visiting Napa, California, Frascati, Italy, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, or anywhere in between, there’s a probably a nearby tour you can join. So eat a hearty breakfast, throw on some comfortable shoes, and take part in the fun. We’ve got a few tips to help you make the most of it.

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Madonna Winery – Napa Valley

Listen to your Sommelier(s) 

Every winery you visit will have a knowledgeable steward, sharing information about their establishment and/or the wines you’ll be tasting. This might seem obvious, but you should actually listen to him or her. You’re guaranteed to learn something new, and it’ll make the experience even more memorable. Sure, you might already know everything when it comes to balance, body and brix, but there’s a reason they do this for a living. Since you’ll be tasting their wines, you might as well hear what fun things they have to say about it. Each sip is sweeter once you’ve been educated about it.

Sip, Sip, Sip, Spit

Sutter Home Winery Sample

Rule of thumb: the first sip cleans the palate, and the second sip is when you savor the flavor. Whether you like it or not, try giving it a third sip. Every bottle has a different character, so let your taste buds warm up to each variety. If you really don’t like it, you can always (gracefully) spit it back into your glass and drop the rest in the spit bucket.

Pace Yourself

A quality wine tour visits at least three to four vineyards or wineries. Even though you’re only downing a few samples here and there, they add up – especially if you’re a lightweight! Take full advantage of the spit bucket, and even if you hold your water like a camel, you’ll arguably get the most enjoyment out of the tour by taking it easy. After all, it’s not a pub crawl. Savor each sip, and let them take you on a serene ride through all the grape-y goodness.

Happy Christmas from Australia!

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


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G’day Mates, and Happy Holidays from Reserve123 and Australia Tours! With Christmas and the Holidays right around the corner, we think there’s no better way to spend it than Down Under enjoying the warm summer sunshine with Kangaroos and Penguins! Give yourself the gift of awesome Ausie-style fun in the sun and some of the world’s most incredible sightseeing tours and activities.

Christmas Koala

Christmas Koala

Christmas in Australia is celebrated a little differently – instead of being snowed-in in a crowded house or cabin trapped with relatives you don’t even really like that much, imagine the warm summer weather, exotic sightseeing activities, and fantastic beach excursions! And yes, Australia does also celebrate with Christmas Trees, Father Christmas, Christmas Carols, and gifts shared with loved ones. But Christmas Dinner might be a lovely picnic on the beach, or a delicious barbecue in the backyard, or out on the town with family & friends. Champagne is the traditional beverage instead of eggnog. That sounds like a Very Merry Christmas to me!! :)

Carols by Candlelight

Carols By Candlelight is one of the biggest events of the season. This began in Melbourne in 1937 and are outside concerts in the evenings. Most towns have a concert and two major ones are televised across Australia from Sydney and Melbourne. Adding to the magic of the evening is the spectacular sight of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl transformed into a visual masterpiece, as thousands of candles light up the night sky. An array of top entertainers performing a mix of the season’s favourite contemporary and traditional carols is sure to delight the whole family!

Visit Hunter Valley Gardens

Hunter Valley Gardens

Some of our tours I would recommend are our Hunter Valley Wineries & Gardens Lunch Tour from Sydney Australia. World acclaimed Australian wines from the vineyards of the rolling hills and valleys of the Hunter region, delight both the palate and the eye in this green and fertile land dotted with villages and over fifty wineries. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon at the awe inspiring Hunter Valley Gardens and wander throughout 12 spectacular themed gardens spanning over 25 hectares. Experience a stimulating journey through the magnificent displays, colours and delicate scents.

Healesville Sanctuary

Healesville Sanctuary Wildlife Park

You might also enjoy visiting the Healesville Sanctuary Wildlife Park near Melbourne. Healesville Sanctuary, Australia’s premier wildlife park is nestled in the foothills of the Yarra Valley, just one hour from Melbourne. Showcasing over 200 species of Australian wildlife, the lovely park is renowned as the best place to view Australian wildlife in their natural habitat. The Sanctuary features large walk-through habitat exhibits, flight aviaries and nocturnal exhibits that are well displayed to show the wonderful natural behaviour of Australian wildlife. You can also see the Australian Wildlife Health Centre, a working veterinary hospital offering uninhibited views into the journey of animal rescue, rehabilitation and release.

Happy Christmas from Australia Tours & Reserve123!

Happy Holidays from Australia Tours & Reserve123!

Hop on over to Tours in Australia for the best tours and hotels Down Under! Reserve online or call us toll free for assistance at 800-610-1096 and one of our friendly agents would be happy to help you. Don’t have Hotel reservations yet? No worries, Mate – our Hotel Directory features a fantastic selection of hotels, exceptionally low rates, and the convenience of being able to book your hotels and tours in one place. Happy Holidays from Reserve123 and Australia Tours!

Entertainment & Sightseeing in Washington DC

Friday, August 5th, 2011

When’s the last time you explored beyond the National Mall in DC? Experience the most sophisticated entertainment and sightseeing excursions in the Capital Region of the United States – all for less than you’d imagine. Whether you’re cruising the Potomac River or headed toward the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains for a wine tasting tour, there’s no better way to discover the finest treasures off the beaten path of The Capital of the World than with DC Tours to introduce you.

Elegance at its best. Creative plated cuisine. Live entertainment. Dancing and impeccable service. All aboard a sleek and sophisticated all-glass vessel, designed to travel under the low bridges of DC. An impressive backdrop for life’s most memorable moments. Our Elegant Potomac River Dinner Cruise is the perfect way to experience the nation’s capital from a unique vantage point. Escape to the signature elegance and total entertainment experience only a true luxury cruising vessel can provide. Arrive at the Marina dressed to impress for an enchanting evening with spectacular views of DC’s famous monuments illuminated. Click here to see even more of the cruises we offer.

While you’re dressed to the 9′s, exercise the art of espionage planning your incognito route to the International Spy Museum! Your top secret mission will require more cleverness and suave than 007 himself. Adopt a cover, break codes, identify disguised spies, and become the subject of covert surveillance throughout your visit. This incredible interactive museum examines actual events, reveals true stories, and presents hundreds of authentic tools of the spy trade. Destroy this message after you’ve read it.

I would also highly recommend savoring the fine wine varieties of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains area on our Northern Virginia Wine Tasting Minibus Tour. Enjoy hours of relaxed touring to local vineyards in a luxury minibus. Your tour includes a visit to three unique vineyards, a light snack, an in-depth tour of the wineries, and access to the Tasting Rooms. Treat yourself to of the best of the Nation’s Capital and discover the true beauty and history of Washington DC!

Valentine’s Day Cruises & Tours in San Francisco

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

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Aphrodite's Valentines Dinner Dance Cruise


Still don’t know what to do for your special someone for Valentine’s Day? Shame on you. Well, you are in luck. Whether you’re visiting the Golden City or a San Francisco local, there are plenty of fun new things to do for two! Personally, I would recommend taking your sweetheart on Aphrodite’s Valentines Dinner Dance Cruise in San Francisco. Enjoy sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge in your sweetheart’s arms. This cruise is a perfect romantic event for your Valentine celebration. This special cruise includes a delicious dinner and music to dance the night away. First, guests are served a 4-course gourmet dinner. After dining is complete, there is music for dancing, hosted premium bar, and wonderful views of San Francisco from the ocean. You and your Valentine are bound to have a wonderful time!

Valentines Dinner Train from Oakdale

Valentines Dinner Train from Oakdale

You might also enjoy the Valentines Dinner Train from Oakdale. The Sierra Railroad is commonly known as The Movie Railroad. With its superb scenery, this railroad is singled out by movie producers from around the world as a preferred location for filming. The Sierra Railroad has been featured in over 300 motion pictures, television programs and commercials. The train is comprised of elegantly refurbished dining cars with five different in-laid woods in art deco patterns adorned with delicate sconces and a lounge car that includes a full-bar with dance floor. The historic Sierra #42, a 50-year old Baldwin Diesel engine, pulls the dinner train. Relax as you roll through the countryside and enjoy soft lights and candles while you are served a delicious dinner, complimentary glass of champagne and roses for the ladies. Afterwards, retire to the lounge car for your favorite cocktail and music on the Sierra Railroad.

Romance Food Tour

Romance Food Tour

Want to savor more of the sweet things in life? Take your Valentine on our Romance Food Tour in San Francisco! During the morning and afternoon tours, you’ll start in the most obvious part of San Francisco for romance, North Beach. For every part of your experience, you’ll not only try the food, but will frequently get to see how it’s made. From enjoying great coffee to truffles, bread and pastries to special deli treats and olive oil, you’ll have all of the knowledge to create special moments for your Valentine long after Valentine’s day is over. During the evening tour, you’ll get in the right mood by starting off with a wine tasting at a local winery. San Francisco is home to multiple cultures steeped in romance. Stroll through the back streets of Chinatown and North Beach by twilight, including tasting dim sum from one of the oldest bakeries in Chinatown. Delve into Chinese mysticism and culture, as you explore local sculpture and architecture. Uncover hidden secrets known only by intrepid locals. You’ll be astonished by the new finds in secret alcoves.

Vampire Valentines Tour

Vampire Valentines Tour

If you’d like a tour with more of a bite to it, sink your fangs into our Vampire Valentines Tour in San Francisco. For over 100 years, the upper class Nob Hill area has been home to San Francisco’s rich and famous citizens. Mighty railroad barons built their mansions atop the hills. Some of the cities finest hotels and restaurants are there today. But beneath all this wealth and opulence lies a secret: vampires live in tunnels below here. Learn the darker side of San Francisco’s Nob Hill. Spend Valentines Evening discovering the mysteries from an exotic 127-year old Vampire who tells tales of Grace Cathedral. Join us on this exciting tour on February 14 for an experience you will never forget! You might call it, “True Love and History with a Twist.” This tour has been featured on HBO, Showtime, The Travel Channel, The History Channel, The Learning Channel (“A Dating Story”), Evening Magazine, Mornings on 2, KRON 4 Weekend News, and Bay Area People.

Treat yourself and your sweetheart to an unforgettable Valentine’s Day with San Francisco Tours. You can also visit for tons of other Valentine’s Day tours in hundreds of cities all over the world. Online reservations are available as well as our toll free customer service assistance. Don’t wait until it’s too late – book your Valentine’s Day tours today!

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Halloween Haunts for Hire!

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

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Trick or treat?! We usher in the Fall season with massive planning efforts for Halloween over the coming weeks.  For those who don’t plan on staying home to hand out candy this year, here are a few of the places you can go to get spooked:

Plymouth, Massachusetts: Ghosts, orbs, and grave sites, oh my! On the Fright Night Halloween Ghost Tour in Plymouth, you can get an education on the different types of ghosts that stalk the area around Burial Hill.  Mystery and macabre come together on this lantern-lit walk where you can photograph the area and, later, watch for orbs of light in the developed pictures.

Washington, DC: On another walk, the Georgetown Ghost Walk, you will learn about the ghosts and spirits still haunting our US capital.  A trip through DC’s finest Victorian style neighborhood reveals much about the interesting lives of its now-dead inhabitants as they sometimes reveal themselves in spirit form.

Dallas: Whether you choose a Halloween-themed show like Keith & Margo’s Halloween Mystery Dinner Adventure or to put a different spin on things with the Haunting & Healing Paranormal Event in Dallas, you’re in for a good time for sure.  The dinner show includes an hors d’oeuvres reception, full 3-course sit-down dinner and dessert, and live entertainment in the form of an interactive live action murder mystery where you get to solve the crime and figure out whodunit.  The Haunting & Healing event gives you face time with four paranormal experts, which has been enjoyed by the likes of the queen of England and Dr. Seuss.  The experts channel their unique energy into a powerful grid of light and healing for all to witness.  It is truly a sight to behold.

London: If you happen to be overseas this Halloween, check out the Medieval Halloween Banquet in London.  The Brits do it up right with a celebration of the 500th anniversary of King Henry VIII taking possession of the throne.  Live entertainment, a night of disco, and a four-course banquet menu, along with unlimited beer and wine during the meal, make this a festive event to be enjoyed by all.  Not to mention the cast of characters in full dress, which adds to the delightfully scary atmosphere of it all.

No matter where you go or what you do, be sure to make it a scary day for the record books.  If you would like more information on any of these tours, visit and tour type search for “Halloween.”

Trips Around Sonoma Wine Country By Van

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Wine Tasting Program

To get a taste for some of the boutique wineries in California Wine Country, take a private 6-hour Winery Tour of Sonoma County by Van.  This tour takes you inside 6 local wineries and allows you to sample fine wines and enjoy the views of the Russian River and the Dry Creek Appellations.  The wineries that are typically visited are: Kendall-Jackson, Armida, Trentadue, Hop Kiln, Roshambo, and Korbel.  Each has its own unique ambiance and Korbel and Kendall-Jackson also have an extensive collection of wine-related gifts and gorgeous, award-winning gardens.

Tours depart daily at 11:00 am and run for about 6 hours.  This is a great way to relax and see the sights without worrying about coordinating your own transportation, which allows you to maximize your time and see a lot more in the time allotted.  Also, tours are flexible and can be adapted to meet your needs if you wish to alter the time and selection of wineries. The guides are friendly and knowledgeable and the wine and picnic lunch are delicious. 

To book this tour, make sure to plan early as you do not want to miss out on this opportunity because it is sold out.  Reserve your space online at for a $5 discount per adult ticket and convenient e-ticketing. 

All Aboard the MS Dixie II

Monday, May 18th, 2009

For a day of fun in the sun, travel on the MS Dixie II, the newest and largest paddlewheeler in Tahoe that replaced the original MS Dixie in 1993.This boat carries up to 570 passengers and tours are available with or without dinner around Emerald and Glenwood Bays.

Don’t forget to bring your camera along on your trip, as there will be a wealth of opportunity to take gorgeous pictures of the area as the sun sets.No matter which cruise you take, you are in for a fantastic time!

Check out for more information.

Check out the Nightlife in Budapest

Monday, March 9th, 2009

When you make a visit to Hungary, you may be anxious to check out the nightlife in Budapest. If you are not sure of the best places to go, take the Pub Crawl Walking Tour. This will give you the insight you need and will give you an idea of places to explore further when you are out on your own.

During the night, you get to go to at least three pubs where the locals hang out, and the tour begins with a shot of palinka with the rest of the tour group. Then you do what is known as a ‘power hour’ where you have a choice of unlimited wine or beer. That will really get you psyched up for the rest of the tour. Next, you will visit the pubs and sample two local beers and some other shots. This is an excellent option for young people who want to see how Hungary parties (only if you are of age, of course).

Your experience with this tour will be absolutely wonderful. It is a great time to meet interesting people, both on the tour itself as well as those patronizing the pubs you will visit. The tour guides are knowledgeable and entertaining and really know how to hold your attention. This tour, which is really more of an event, is a must for anyone who is ready to let loose and have a good time.

The website is a great resource for tours and activities around Budapest. They book fast so plan ahead and book early. Visit the site for more information and to book tickets online for added convenience.

Napa Wine Tours

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

There are a number of ways to tour beautiful Napa and its famous wineries that make up California Wine Country.  Tours are offered by bus, train, carriage, or hot air balloon, but the very best way to tour the wineries is in the comfort of a private, chauffeured limo.  This way you can tour Napa and Sonoma Valley while someone else takes care of the driving.  Tours range from 5 to 8 hours and include a wide range of wines to taste along the way.

For those in the mood for a little romance, you can fly over the picturesque Sonoma Valley in a hot air balloon as you meander between mountains and above the grapevines and beautiful bodies of water below.  These tours last about an hour and, depending on the wind currents, can cover about 3 to 10 miles of ground. 

Yet another option to consider on your travels is the Napa Wine Train or, for a creative twist, the Wine Train with Gourmet Dinner and Murder Mystery.  Choose this option on one of your visits to California and you will not be disappointed.  The trip begins with an informal wine tasting where you sample two different types of wine.  The dinner theatre portion of the ride consists of a four act interactive drama and four course gourmet meal.  The cast is fully costumed and takes time to mingle with the crowd, dropping hints that might help solve the mystery.  This is a great way to spend an evening while experimenting with different wines and enjoying great company and delicious food.

For more details on tours and activities like those mentioned here, visit

Biking Tours in Sonoma

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Sonoma‘s wine country is a can’t miss for both serious wine connoisseurs and the everyday sightseer because of the gorgeous scenery and sprawling winegrowing estates. For avid bicyclists and enthusiasts, travel along some of Sonoma County’s most beautiful roads.You will spend the day in Dry Creek Valley, riding through the area known for its spicy reds and great white wines.You will visit some of the best wineries in the area and sample some of the wines that are created locally from some of the vines you will have cycled past.

The trip covers about 18 miles and the roads are pretty flat.It is suitable for all experience levels so you do not need to be a pro bike rider to enjoy the trip.The area is rural and quiet, in stark contrast to the noise and congestion of a city.You will have a gourmet picnic lunch during one of the winery stops and will have time to take a quick nap or play some bocce ball before hitting the road to continue on with the ride.This is a fantastic way to sightsee while staying active and seeing some scenery that is off the beaten path.

Tour groups for the Sonoma Valley Winery Bike Tour will meet at Healdsburg at 9:30 am and you will be fitted to a Specialized Hybrid bike before heading off on the road at about 10.In about 6 hours the trip will be completed and you will have time to recharge before going to dinner or proceeding to whatever you have planned for the evening!

Take a look at and discover all the possibilities as you plan your fantastic Sonoma getaway. Book online for an incredible savings of $5 per adult ticket!

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