Top 10 Food & Wine Museums
What’s better than a museum that includes food samplings and wine tastings? Not much. Here are 10 of the best food and wine museums around the world that are worth a taste or a sip.
Photo By: Francis Dzikowski
Photo By: Schokoladenmuseum Koeln
Photo By: La Cite du Vin
Photo By: Muzeum Piernika
Photo By: Erin Gifford
Photo By: Deutsches Currywurst Museum
Photo By: Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture
Photo By: National Mustard Museum
Photo By: Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum
Museum of Food & Drink
In Brooklyn, the Museum of Food & Drink enables visitors to explore all aspects of food and drink, including food production, distribution, history, even food challenges and solutions. Make “Flavor: Making It and Faking It” your first stop inside the museum for a sniff of all different flavors created by the flavor industry. The museum offers monthly events for a deeper look at segments of the food industry, like the history of ice cream. As a bonus, look for free tastings.
Cologne Chocolate Museum
Chocolate lovers, hop the next Germany-bound plane to spend the day at the Cologne Chocolate Museum (Schokoladenmuseum Koln). Several guided tours share the story of chocolate, ranging from a typical bean to bar tour, to guided tours that focus on chocolate advertising and fair trade programs. When you arrive, take a few moments to be awed by the nine-foot tall chocolate fountain filled with Lindt chocolates that are free to visitors. You can also make your own chocolate bar or learn how to pair beer and chocolate.
Cite du Vin
Cite du Vin is a brand new wine museum in Bordeaux, France that has everyone talking, but even better, the cultural facility serves up wine to visitors (even grape juices to the youngest guests). The museum is dedicated to the culture of wine, sharing an inside look at wines from across the world and the role they played throughout civilization. Sign up for “Upside Down,” a workshop that teaches visitors how to taste and experience wine with all their senses. The workshop concludes with tastings in the Belvedere space.
In Poland, the Gingerbread Museum (Muzeum Piernika) gives visitors a first-hand look at the rituals and traditions involved in the baking of gingerbread. More than walking around to look at exhibits, the museum is interactive and guests learn about gingerbread from a storyteller. Museum guests also make, bake and eat their own gingerbread. They can even ice their gingerbread creations or take part in a gingerbread decorating workshop. Delicious fresh-baked gingerbread is for sale in the gift shop.
Idaho Potato Museum
In Blackfoot, Idaho, you’ll want to pose for a selfie with what may be the largest baked potato in the world that sits just outside the Idaho Potato Museum. Inside, look for multiple displays on the history of the potato, a short video on how the potato industry developed and lots of potato-themed memorabilia. You’ll even see the largest potato chip made by the Pringle’s Company. At the end, every guest receives a free packet of Hungry Jack instant potatoes and an Idaho Potatoes lapel pin to mark their visit.
Currywurst may not be a dish known to many Americans, but this fried Bratwurst seasoned with curry ketchup is a top fast food pick by many Germans. So it comes as no surprise to see a Currywurst Museum in Berlin. Start your visit with a stop in the Spice Chamber, which has sniffing stations, a sausage-shaped couch and ketchup bottle audio stations with Currywurst songs. Each ticket includes a complimentary “Currywurst in the Cup.”
Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture
Known globally for its wines, Spain’s Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture seeks to explain it all from grape to glass at this winemaking museum, which spans across six exhibition halls. You’ll find a garden with more than 220 wine grape varieties, as well as short films that address the ins and outs of winemaking, the history of bottling, marketing and wine transportation. Learn how to open a bottle without a corkscrew before settling in for a couple of tastings or a two-hour class with a world-class sommelier.
National Mustard Museum
In Wisconsin, you’ll find an entire museum dedicated to one of the most popular condiments. At the National Mustard Museum, you can view more than 5,600 jars of mustard from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. You’ll also find vintage mustard ads, memorabilia and a Great Wall of Mustard. Visit the Tasting Bar to sample mustards of all kinds, from sweet to alarmingly hot, with the help of a Confidential Condiment Counselor who will help you find your most compatible mustard.
In Japan, you’ll want to reminisce the good old days at a museum with exhibits that are all about instant ramen, a staple among many a college student. At the Cupnoodles Museum just outside Tokyo, museum visitors can check out more than 3,000 different packages of ramen noodles before entering the Chicken Ramen Factory to make their own ramen noodles by hand to take home with them. Visitors will also learn all about Momofuku Ando, the founder of Nissin Food Products and the inventor of Chicken Ramen.
Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum
In Santorini, Greece, the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum is located underground, inside a natural cave. Life-size figures tell the story of winemaking in Santorini through the eyes of a winemaking family that spans four generations. Visitors learn about the history of wine through the ages before tasting four leading wines produced by the Koutsoyannopoulos Winery. Those who really want to get hands-on (maybe, feet-on) can sign up for the Grape Stomping Experience to crush grapes in an outdoor vat.