Working in the travel industry, I have an opportunity and obligation to see the world. Though most of my travels last only a day or two at a time, I manage to swig an espresso (or three) and get on with the party. Follow me as I shamelessly devour the foods of the land, (over)indulge in the local beer and wine, and discover new cities with old friends.
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It wasn’t exactly the young-and-boozy crowd we had
hoped for but we got a bunch of women from Australia, New Zealand, and
Ireland. Some of them were on holiday, and some were celebrating a 50th
birthday. Oh, plus an awkward, snobby, self-proclaimed wine connoisseur
couple from Atlanta. For $150 each, we got to venture outside Sydney and explore the wine country! When our ride pulled up to our hotel around 8AM,
we quickly realized it was a full house. I sat shotgun with our friendly
driver Marc discussing everything from our travels, whether or not
Aussies eat kangaroo, and if Outback Steakhouse really is Australian. It
was a 3 hour drive, and topics ran dry. I did, however, discover that
kangaroo meat is gamey yet delicious and Outback Steakhouse surely
doesn’t exist in Australia.
Iron Gate Estate
first stop is the Iron Gate Estate winery. We had the owner come out at
speak to our group as we sampled a variety of 8 or 9 wines made on
premise. Interestingly enough, they do not sell their wine anywhere but
at that very location. Being that I’m poor, I bought one bottle of the
2004 Semillon that I loved. I would’ve loved a case but with the cost of
shipping it back to New York, $500 just wasn’t going to happen for me. I
never heard of the Semillon grape before, and usually I go for red
wine, so this was a special purchase that I already drank at home within
my first few days returning home.
A heavy pour awaits us
second stop was the Capercaillie Estate. The woman in charge of our
tasting announced she normally doesn’t work the tastings, so she had a
heavy pour and not a lot to talk about. Samples were pouring faster than
I could drink them, and I definitely worked up a heavy buzz by the time
we were back on the bus.
approaches and since we selected the “gourmet lunch” option for the
tour, we were dropped off at “The Cellar” restaurant. It was empty
inside, but we were greeted with wine and ready for a hot meal. We
welcomed the red snapper and cheese plate with open arms into our bellies, and we ate it
fast. We had plenty of time for some tipsy shopping at the gift shops
near the restaurant but it was mostly crap. Back to the bus!
last stop before heading back to Sydney was Ernest Hill. Now, I never
use the spit bucket/decanter/vase/garbage while tasting. It’s wasteful!
However, on this particular day I had more than my fair share of
samples, so I had to pass on a few of the dessert wines to avoid
heaving. I wound up leaving with a bottle of Merlot from Ernest Hill
that I look forward to opening soon. We got back on the bus and let our
buzz fade into the sunset.