There is a fairly obvious difference between “a wine-tasting holiday” and a holiday which just happens to be in a famous wine country - be it Beaujolais or Jerez - where wine excursions are inevitably a constant strong option.

However the distinction can be important on several fronts, and ultimately it’s up to the wine-loving holidaymaker exactly which kind of experience offers - from their point of view - the best value.

Visit Chianti and most reasonable people will immediately be enchanted and captivated by landscapes straight out of Renaissance friezes, and vineyards which positively beg to be explored in detail - and of course the same allure of grape when combined with home terrain can be applied to very many other regions in their own special ways, from New Zealand to Luxembourg.

But while it may be fascinating and memorable to holiday in one famous region, perhaps booking what appears a good all-round tour package, a little fine tuning can generally produce better results.

Some reviewers consider the “best” trips are those where visitors are gently introduced to famous local wines and the wine-making process, while having the chance to enjoy the local home kitchen food and absorb something of the landscape and its traditions.

This can be a difficult ideal to pin down, because for some of the biggest brand labels (and this also applies to spirits, including whisky) the whole “journey” can resemble a good-nature proselytising public relations job.

One thing to look out for is the name or names of sommeliers carrying out tutored tastings or giving guided tours, because while they will obviously exude quiet pride about their particular company and brand they can also be hugely entertaining and enlightening.

Anyone who has experienced the hospitality of an old Anglo-Portuguese Port house - as English and pukka as the Household Cavalry but steeped in centuries of Portuguese tradition and custom - will know there’s a world of difference between the brash guided “tourist” visit and a properly-conducted tour.

Depending on the location, it can be an option to cherry pick specific events to suit what may be a leisurely holiday in a delightful country, perhaps homing in on some specific and purely local wine festival as a treat to be enjoyed - at a comfortable pace - all day.

Meanwhile if you do have a serious interest in wine it can be an irresistible temptation to seek wine deals on your favourite wines - just for the extra pleasure of telling friends you bought them direct from source.

Much as with whisky distilleries, wineries invariably have “specials” which can be a highly attractive option to somebody who already loves the wine style and is looking for something particularly interesting to take home.

Most of us will probably be content with classic destinations including France, Italy, Spain and Germany, but it perhaps goes without saying that “intelligent” wine-tasting breaks and day visits are honed to something like a fine art in the Antipodes, or in the sun-kissed vineyards of California’s luxuriant Napa Valley.

Trips out with Europe need careful reconnaissance, because most people will want to avoid the overtly commercial approach practised by some larger operators, but they can deliver that elusive supreme satisfaction if all of the elements ultimately add up.

The best outline advice is surely to get online and read what other people have been saying about particular locations and the wine trips or visit opportunities that they offer - and also to flick through a half-decent travel guide focusing specifically on wine.

You can also spend time during normal weekly life whetting your interest - and adding a little to your knowledge - by joining good wine forums and discussion groups.

This careful approach may seem a lot of fuss for something which could be booked off the peg from a High Street travel firm, but will definitely pay dividends in the long run - and, with luck, maybe even the sort of “wine journey” that dreams are made of.