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Wine on the Tuscany tour

We plan to take an RS tour, most likely somewhere in Italy, in spring 2024. We had originally booked the Southern Italy tour for 2020, but I’m having second thoughts because I’ve been reading how crazy crowded the Amalfi Coast seems to be all the time, plus the amount on bus time on that tour. The Tuscany tour sounds intriguing, because we haven’t ventured beyond the big cities of Italy yet, and both the itinerary and comparatively short amount of bus time are appealing. There’s a lot of wine mentioned in the tour description. Could someone who’s been on this tour or someone who’s very familiar with Tuscany tell me whether it’s exclusively/almost exclusively red wine? Sadly I am very allergic to red wine (two sips and I’m sneezing nonstop, then totally congested to the point I can’t taste anything). We had a winery stop on our RS Eastern Europe tour, but the host graciously substituted all white wines for me, even though I just requested to sit out the reds and try the whites. I am happy to go without wine at a dinner or two or to sit out one tasting experience, but if tasting and drinking red wine is a big part of what makes the Tuscany tour special, I might want to select a different tour, instead. Thanks!

Posted by
11355 posts

A friend who is allergic to red wines served in the US can drink the red wines when she is in Italy. There is something added to wines for export, don ‘t recall what it is.
I would think that you could get white wine on your tour, though. Did you call the Rick Steves office?

Posted by
4560 posts

I empathize, as I cannot drink red either--not allergic per se, it just makes me feel like utter death. I can only share that I have always been able to enjoy white wine in my travels throughout Italy, including Tuscany and other red-prominent areas. Hope you get specific info on the tour and any winery visits it includes!
Also, if you google "Tuscan white wine," you'll go prepared to ask for specific wines like Vermentino and Vernaccia. There are some well regarded whites produced in Tuscany.

Posted by
8536 posts

I think you have the wrong impression. Yes, there will be wine with meals, but usually a choice of wines. You can always decline. I’m a non drinker and have not been on any RS Tour was wine was a reason to go or no go. There isn’t as big of an emphasis as you might think.

Posted by
689 posts

Carol, I’m not at all concerned about wine with dinner— I’m a fairly light drinker and on my 2 previous RS tours sometimes drank wine with dinner and other times chose to drink water. But the Tuscany tour itinerary lists 3 different vineyard visits/wine tasting activities plus mentions wine tasting prior to one of the dinners. If all of these activities were centered around red wine, that would be a lot to sit out.

Posted by
689 posts

Valadelphia, thanks for the info— good to know! I wonder how much detail the tour office has about specific wine tasting activities? I might see if they can tell me more.

Posted by
4560 posts

Yes, I would absolutely inquire--they must have an idea of a selection of wineries they typically include if not specific ones already lined up. I'm a total geek about research so I would want to read about the wineries in advance regardless. If one is solely red, no biggie, but if all three are, that would be a bummer.