“Red, red wine
Stay close to me
Don’t let me be alone
It’s tearing apart
My blue, blue heart”
-Ub40, Red Wine
Ahh, Aruba! My home away from home! Aruba is my getaway for beautiful beaches, incredible weather, delightful people, delicious food, and surprisingly incredible wine. That’s right. Aruba’s wine culture is rich and currently thriving. In this piece you’re going to find out why as a wine connoisseur/enthusiast, for a non-winegrowing region, Aruba should be considered in your wine travels.
Aruba is located in the Carribean right below the hurricane belt. Their original settlers were a part of the Arawak tribe that migrated from South America. Arawaks were considered to be a very friendly, cheerful tribe, which speaks to the personality of Arubans today. The land was later claimed and settled by the Spanish along with their African slaves. After a war between Spain and the Netherlands, it was the Dutch that then placed claim of the desert island. Now, I say all that to point out the cultural diversity that exists within the soil and blood of this beautiful land and how it reflects its wine culture.
Normally when you think of wine travel, you think France, Italy, California, Spain, and so on. All of which sound incredible and I look forward to experiencing all they have to offer one day. Just know, if you go to California, you’re only drinking California wine. Same goes for Italy with Italian wine, France with French wine. I think you get where I’m going with this. Since Aruba is so diverse culturally, it reflects in their wine. There’s no loyalty to any particular wine region or country. Nor do they pass judgement or uphold the stereotypes wine people have been stigmatized with. For example, as I get off the plane, I make my first stop, as I always do to the duty free liquor store. I grabbed two bottles of rum, a Californian red wine, a New Zealand white wine, and a Spanish blue wine. You heard what I said, a Spanish blue wine. This wine was called Gik Live, made up of 99% wine, 1% Curacao and other additives. I never encountered blue wine before, and the traditional, pretentious wine connoisseur in me wondered. Who would dare even consider such a thought? The content creator in me however, saw great potential and was immediately intrigued. And for the record, I was thrilled that I bought it. The blue coloring gave it some blueberry notes, and with some orange juice, I made green mimosas for breakfast. I even made a “Gas Station” Sangria with the rum and juices I had. Needless to say they were all a big hit!
Listen, I get it. No one wants to sip on warm red wine or dry white wine while sitting poolside or laying on the beach. The same goes for me. Give me a piña colada or Aruba’s signature cocktail, “Aruba Aribas” wherever there’s a body of water nearby and the sun is shining. However, there’s so much opportunity to enjoy a delicious glass of wine when that’s not the case. I didn’t notice any of the mass produced wines that get shoved in our faces whenever we normally go into a store. Instead, you get more exotic options like Romanian and Chilean wines. There is also a large German influence and therefore, many German options as well as Austrian wines. Spanish wines seem to hold the most inventory on the island, however South American wines and Western European wines are also prevalent.
To touch back on Aruba’s diversity. Their restaurant options are no different. Name a cuisine and more than likely you can find it in Aruba. So whether you are enjoying pasta being tossed in a Parmesan wheel at Gianni’s. Or enjoying the ambiance and Euro décor of Madame Jeanette’s and their delicious French food options. You can guarantee great wine is always sure to be within reach. If you are having dinner on the beach at Atardi or watching the sun set at Faro Blanco, no beverage will capture those memories that will last forever like a glass of Vino. And all of the restaurants mentioned here have phenomenal wine lists, getting my personal cosign. .
Even as I was sadly leaving Aruba, there was an awesome wine bar in the airport called “Wine Port”. They offer a top shelf wine selection and happen to be very offering with their “tastings”. I tasted four different red wines before I settled on one. If you stop in, ask for Jordy. Not only was he super friendly and patient, I must say the guy truly knows his grapes.
So the next time you’re deciding where to go on vacation, and you want to enjoy some exotic, diverse, and alluring wines. I suggest you slide Aruba into the conversation. Whether you’re toting the kids along with you, or grandma wants to highjack your holiday. Aruba offers fun, safety, and options galore for all ages. And if you do decide to make it a move, be sure to pick up some blue wine at the airport. You’ll be happy you did!