The Rhône passes into Switzerland and, just as there is French Rhône wine, there is also wine from the Swiss part of this river. Zurich lies on the Rhine and the wine areas of Alsace and Baden could be described as extending into Switzerland. Within Switzerland domestic wines are relatively easily available but, since they have been made by expensive Swiss labour on expensive Swiss land in areas many of which are marginal for vine growth, they are seldom value for money. Even thin, ordinary wines are a lot more expensive than in most other countries, and anything any good will rival a decent Burgundy or Bordeaux in price, but not in quality. However, imported wine is very expensive too so you might as well try the local production while you are there.
Production is roughly 50:50 white to red. If you have the funds to want to seek better quality wines then look for:
Riesling or Sylvaner white grapes
Pinot Noir or Merlot black grapes
the Vaud (which is along our route) and Valais regions
Here is the official Swiss wine website.
It is fair to say that beer experts do not travel across the continent to drink Swiss beer. Having said that, the Swiss do carry out some interesting small scale beer brewing along with several high quality volume producers. Look out for beers from these artisanal producers:
- Biere Buse, Croix-du-Péage 1, 1029 Villars-Sainte-Croix,+41 21 634 90 80
- Paul, Idastrasse 28, 8003 Zürich, 044 462 54 53
- Degen, Industriestrasse 11, 4632 Trimbach, 062 293 43 62
This Microbrewery website reveals all the interesting little breweries in the country.
Feldschloesschen is the biggest brewery in the country. It is part of Carlsburg and it offers a wide range of brands.
You can easily get
Coffee, tea and chocolate
"Rivella" - a lactose (milk sugar) based drink
Apple juice - still or flat and alcoholic or not
The usual international drinks and brands