Thursday, November 29, 2007

Australian Wine Tour

The Australian Wine Industry is the fourth largest exporter of wine in the world. They also consume as much as they export – 400,000,000 liters per year. They must of heard that red wine is full of anti-oxidants and being the health conscious bunch they are, what other reason would an Aussie need?

If you find yourself on a walkabout in the beautiful country, your palate will be delighted with wine made from grapes grown in all seven regions: Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory – who could get bored? See the Hunter Country Valley website for some interesting artistic visuals.

As an oenophiliac (guru of wine) you can taste your way across the continent with escorted tours (so you don’t have to drive) or with a sober friend willing to go through the adventure wineless…and behind the wheel on the right side of the car, driving on the left side of the road with the determination not to get stuck going around in circles in the Australian round-about…entertaining at least. I say sign up for an escorted tour.

Want to take a wine tasting class? I happened to meet an Australian mate in Port Macquarie who was taking a college course in just that…wine tasting. The class went through all components of the ritual: the swirling, the smelling, the swishing and the spitting! I’m sure one could find a day course along the journey to shed some light on the whole process. I found it enlightening and educational - I wasn't so aware of how the tongue is divided into "flavor zones" before the class. Plus, I feel more comfortable ordering a simple bottle of wine at a restaurant when they show up at the table, pour a bit of wine in your glass and stare at you as you wiggle in your seat wondering what the heck you’re supposed to do. You’ll know your way around the swirling, smelling, and swishing (but hopefully not spitting at the table) ritual without embarrassment.

One of the better sites out there to help you with your Australian Wine Adventure is Wine Region Tours. It offers up a lot of useful information including wine tour guides specific to each region in PDF form to get your mouth watering and your trip planning phase in gear.

If you have traveled through Australia visiting Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, etc. already, why not pop over for a relaxing tour of the wine country taking you out of the city and into the hills. As I heard from an ATT Australian/New Zealand Tour Guide, “Life’s too short to make bad wine.”

What are you waiting for? It’s well worth the journey for an experience never to be repeated. Check out our great Australia and New Zealand Wine Tour.