This weekend was all about wine, two full days of wine tasting, eating delicious food and fantastic company. My partner and I have found a kindred couple, not only happy to taste wine (and drink lots of it) with us but also to appreciate it.
I have decided to spilt this weekend into the categories of – Don’t waste your time, worth giving a try and Must visits:
Don’t waste your time :
Alpha Box and Dice
Wine tasting can be full of both good and bad wineries and you just have to go and try them out to know for sure. Some times the reviews don’t quite lead you in the right direction. An example of this is Alpha box and Dice, a winery in Mclaren vale that for some reason gets quite good reviews but i would presume the people giving the reviews didn’t actually taste the wine, most wineries I go to will have at least one bottle open that I would consider buying but Alpha Box and Dice had nothing, I believe this winery survives on intrigue alone. The cellar door is quite funky with plenty of dated furniture, the wines themselves are confusing with often too much going into the bottle, I understand trying new things but Alpha Box and Dice goes to far and misses the mark on all of their wines.
Lets take a step away from wine to dinner, and the takeaway we got from Pizzateca. this was quite a disappointment as the reviews are often quite good, I think the main problem was that either the Pizzas were to small or the takeaway boxes too big – it would have been easy to fit two pizzas in each box which meant opening up the box for a nice hot large pizza was very dispiriting.
Worth giving a Try :
This cellar door is lovely to drive up to, lined on either side by tall trees, the large stair case (with a black sheep standing proud in the center) leading to a large circular tasting room perfectly positioned to give near 360 views of the vineyard and was a good place to start the weekend. This winery is a perfect balance of worth my time but still leave ample space for the wine tasting to improve over the day.
Piramimma is the winery that you go to when you want to taste forty different wines, get very drunk and leave with a case of wine for under $80. Their wines are spot on that price point – quite cheap tasting wines but hey you get to try a lot of them. There are a few nicer wines in the tasting just be prepared to try quite many to find a single decent wine.
This winery does have some interesting wines and are very proud of their listing in “top 20 wines” in a write up that most people haven’t heard of. Mollydooker has quite a selection reasonably priced but quite good tasting wine, and these wines are available in many places so if you do find one you like it should be relatively easy to find again. The tasting style was not quite to my taste, it was a massive table with the bottles of wine on it, it looked like you are meant to help yourself. It was a good thing someone who worked there walked in before we started pouring for ourselves.
These were wineries I have been to before but am more than happy to try out again and to take friends to as I know they will enjoy it. For a smaller but great wine selection, a free tasting, and a cellar door to wow anybody, K 1 is unbeatable. K1 is an old dairy in which they have extended the lake and built the cellar door on top. While one of my all time favorite wine, Arneise, is no longer avaliable their current selection is still worth the long and unsealed road to get there.
McLaren Vale Foodland
Ok! I know this isn’t a winery, but hear me out as the cheese selection is unmatched.
The Foodland in Mclaren Vale is a testament to how well cheese and wine pair, the largest cheese selection I have seen in any food store with a cooled cheese room within the larger store. All this cheese alongside gourmet Barossa meats and fresh fruit are the basis for and good cheese board.
Wine Tasting Tip : take advantage of cheese or charcuterie boards as they will help you continue your tasting through lining the stomach, plus they taste amazing