Have you ever dreamed of becoming a winemaker? Lucky for you, you can cross winemaking off your bucket list aboard the MSC Divina. Through Blend Craft Wines’ “Winery at Sea” program, cruisers can immerse themselves in a full winemaking experience, using authentic vintner equipment — like beakers, tasting tubes, and droppers — to create a personalized red wine. By the end of the class you will have created, bottled, and named your own custom bottle of red wine.
The wine-blending experience is held at the ship’s wine bar, La Cantina di Bacco. The class is led by a professional winemaker who educates you on various types of wines and suggested formulas as you go along. Throughout the class the vintner moves from table to table, encouraging you to play, experiment, and have fun with your wines, while also answering any questions you might have.
At the start of the class, the vintner gives you four base red wines to taste and work with: Cabernet, Shiraz, Zinfandel, and Malbec. You then have four opportunities to create your preferred blend. To help you develop the perfect wine there is a small conversion chart on the tasting sheet where you record your blend percentages and tasting notes. Once you are finished blending the four wine varieties, the vintner asks you to select your favorite blend and give it a name. From there, your formula is used by the vintner to create your wine.
When ordering your wine, you can decide if you’d like your bottle(s) immediately or at departure. If you order your bottle immediately, it will be delivered to your stateroom within one or two days so you have time to enjoy it onboard. If you choose to have your bottle delivered at departure, it will arrive in your stateroom on the last day of your trip. The class fee of $45 includes one bottle of wine; additional bottles of your blend (or your friends’ blends) are available for purchase at an added cost. Your personalized wine can even be ordered by the case. Each bottle ordered comes corked and beautifully labeled with your wine’s name, your name, and a picture of the Divina.
The wine-blending class can be characterized as a fun, adult chemistry lesson. You will learn a lot about yourself and your tastes, as well as the likes and dislikes of those around you. The class also provides a playful setting to interact with other guests on the ship, creating a sense of bonding with your tablemates as you all blindly attempt to craft a masterful blend.
Don’t worry if you are not a wine connoisseur, this is the type of entertainment even a wine novice will appreciate. The Blend Craft Wines’ “Winery at Sea” program can help you expand your palate and your wine knowledge — all while having a fantastic time. It should be noted that the wine-blending experience is only offered on “at sea” days, so make sure to plan ahead, as this interactive experience is a MSC Divina must.
Linda Arceo is the voice behind the popular food and drink blog, Giggles, Gobbles and Gulps, where she enjoys sharing easy, relatable food and cocktail recipes, as well as travel and events-related features. Linda is also a contributor to several food, drink and travel sites where she dishes on everything you need to know when it comes to food and traveling.