Saturday, December 02, 2006

30th November - WineO's

We haven't had a truly amazing day for a while now, understandably our standards on such days have risen since the start of our trip, but some days are just better than others, fact, true story, believe.

The day was set up to be good from the moment we booked the tour really, a Supreme Wine tour to the Barossa Valley, South Australia. No less than 5 wineries to visit in one day. When we got on the bus we were a touch under the average age and the last on as well, but on we got. A mixture of 4 Tasmanian ladies and the rest all English and going to the cricket. The tour guide was Kevin who had a slow but increasingly steady charisma about him plus a mixture of Gregg Chappel and Richie Benaud over the microphone.

The first place we visited was the best known by far, Wolf Blass. We had a good steady start to the day and picked up a bottle of their 12 year old tawny port as it was pretty special, especially at that price too. In England it wouldn't get close to that figure.
We also visited Maggie Beers winery, famous for her cooking more than her wine, but we got some more tasting in. The wines were disappointing but the food bits she offered were spectacular. We picked up some duck and sherry pate after disecting quite a few of them.

Then was the Barossa valley estate winery, a mixture of many different smaller growers in the valley coming together to sell under one name. We had a fantastic lunch with some smoked meats, nice cheeses (a rarity in Oz), olives and salads, pretty fancy indeed. The wine was pretty good too, though I put my foot in it a bit when one of the other tasters who turned out to annoy the rest of the bus commandeered the girl behind the desk pouring the wines for 15 out of our 25 minutes tasting, when he asked if he could go see the barrels of wine, she said no, and I asked if she was 'bloody sure he couldn't go', as I was getting pretty thirsty at that stage. A few laughs went around.

There was quite a few blokes come over from the UK to see the Ashes and we got talking with some with a rival blog, the Careful Demolition squad or krew as they like to call themselves, all ex boyband members now retiring from their pop/rap careers - here is their site - . A good bunch of lads who liked their wine, I hope the tour goes well for them!

Then we went to an old winery where the vines were 160 years old, Langmeil winery. Again a lot of nice reds and we picked one up for Sunday lunch coming up.

The last place was Chateau Tanunda, a super fancy place with a shed load of Rolls Royces out the front and helicopters coming and going. The reason being was that they had an old Australian V an old England team out the back on their own cricket pitch. Names like Gatting, Smith R, Smith C, Small G, DeFreitas and Randall for England and Border, Healey, Alderman and others for Australia.

We have also learned that having a decanter for your wine makes a huge difference in the taste of red wines, so we've put one on our christmas list. We didn't taste much of the wine here unfortunately, more drunk it and kept asking for more and more, luckily they obliged us. And with slurred words all went home happy and warm.

The best part of the day however, as we got talking to two English guys from Staines back home, apparently they had two spare tickets to the first day of the Ashes, and not wanting to be rude or for that matter blatantly stupid, we bought them off of them.

We went to sleep a little drunk and totally excited, tomorrow could be a great day.



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