When it comes to choosing wine, one stroll down a wine aisle can confuse the average shopper. There are so many choices, and it is hard to explain the differences between each wine. Michael Asimos decided he wanted to understand the intricacies of wine and all it has to offer.
This passion led Asimos to travel more than he ever imagined. The reason there are so many wines is because there are many types of grapes (somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000). It gets even more complicated because each grape can differ due to the region, soil, temperature, altitude, and the way it is processed.
Mike had to go to the source to understand the true differences, and he is not close to being done. He seems to like wine produced in Portland, Oregon. He has also traveled to the alps in different parts of the world to taste wine that was made from grapes grown in a cooler climate.
Mike Asimos was more than delighted to taste a light-bodied, less-grippy, and overall elegant wine from these regions. Asimos discovered that this happens because grapes in this region develop thin skin to absorb as much sunlight as possible since it is very cloudy.
Every region that Michael Asimos travels to offers a different kind of wine and experience. Traveling and sampling the creative way mother nature produces each wine variation has enlightened Michael in ways he never thought possible.
His fascination with wine was, at first, merely about taste, but it has become an electrifying experience that continues to enrich his appreciation for the subtleties of life.
What is your favorite thing about traveling?
Besides all the amazing wines I have had the pleasure of tasting, I am not sure. The truth is that this is a big question because there are many positive things to say about traveling. For one, I enjoy meeting the different people I meet on my travels. I have become a pretty well-rounded chap.
I have also learned to appreciate things, like those subtle changes in the weather or enriching soil practices. I did not care about how growers treated our earth before I took an active interest in wine, but now I know that all this matters.
Every region I have visited has offered me something special. For example, Portland is an exciting place to visit. It is perhaps the fourth largest wine producer in the United States, and there are so many fun wine-centered festivals. You gotta’ believe me, their Pinot noir could take your breath away.
Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?
I know that most believe that wine was the reason I began traveling, but this is only partly true. I was interested in traveling for a long time, but I just could never find the time.
I was already visiting places in my mind long before I stepped onto a plane. I did not think I would have the opportunity to take my passion for exploration and make it a lifestyle rather than a hobby.
This lifestyle really took off because I have a passion for wine, and I made some good financial decisions that I attribute to a little luck.
What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?
I am not sure that I can answer that question. I see beauty everywhere. I do not equate those moments directly to the places I have visited. I have just been lucky enough to experience beautiful moments.
I remember waking up one morning before the alarm turned on. I was groggy and determined to go back to sleep. I caught a glimpse of a reddish ray of light from my window. I got up and opened the curtains and saw a fiery sky full of reds, yellows, and oranges. I think I was in Greece at the time. In all honesty, I felt like a thousand flowers bloomed inside of me. I saw this sunrise that nature had prepared just for me.
I wouldn’t say that Greece was the source of beauty, though, but rather life is, and it happens everywhere.
Are you planning to go on any exciting trips in the near future?
I do plan a few things before I take off, but the final location is chosen at random. I have a glass jar on my desk that is filled with sheets of paper. On each sheet of paper, I have written down a different country with good wine, of course. I just stick my hand in and go wherever the paper leads. Choosing in this manner is much more exciting to me.
What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?
Oh, I am not the person to give out practical advice. I am good at reviewing wines and telling people what is special about a particular wine, but traveling advice is beyond me.
Well, I guess I could say a few things. I want to say that you should always check the weather before heading off to a new place. I like hitting a new region, no matter the temperature, but it is good to know what to bring, you know? I need to know if I should bring an umbrella and rain-resistant shoes. I need to know if I will need extra sunblock.
Where would you like to go?
Visit regions I have not had the pleasure of visiting, which includes the Middle East and some regions in Asia. I have heard some good things, but I have not pick them out of my bowl yet. Still, these places are definitely on my radar. I hope to randomly choose one of these regions soon.
Where would you like to revisit?
Oh, there are so many places I would love to revisit. Italy is up there due to there robust red wines. The grapes there grow thick skins, which makes a full-bodied wine that I simply cannot resist.
I would also love to revisit Portland. The culture there is simply amazing, and I just cannot get enough. You will find out what I mean if you go visit.
Do you travel alone? Why?
Yes, I have not found a victim to bring along with me. I say victim because this person will be subjected to my horrible jokes and all the stories that I cannot stop retelling.
In all honesty, I find traveling alone to be liberating because it forces you to get out of your comfort zone and interact with people. Still, I will not lie to you and say that I do not want a little company, but I just haven’t found a person who would want to tag along.
Can you share 3 places that you think every person should visit?
Portland, Italy, and Greece. The reason is because all of these locations give you totally different wine experiences. Greece is cool and has high altitude vineyards, while Italy is warmer and low altitudes. Portland’s ecosystem is pristine and different from other regions, producing exquisite wines.
Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?
I travel a lot. I used to pack the whole house, but I cut down on that simply because it is hard to travel with a lot of luggage. So I guess you could say I pack light due to laziness, but is there a better reason?
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