Adelaide Taste Test

Thursday, January 4, 2018
Anthony and I did not plan to spend very long in the Adelaide, but rather sampled bits of this region in South Australia. Throughout the Fleurieu Peninsula, less than an hour and a half south of Adelaide, wineries dot the area and sapphire waters roll in at Victor Harbor. We enjoyed a leisurely morning at The Bluff in Encounter Bay with views overlooking the town and the ocean crashing against rugged black rocks.

IMG_6096 - Wira Wira
Wira Wira Vineyards

Of the famous wine valleys in South Australia, McLaren Vale was my first hands on taste of some world class warm climate shiraz. Wira Wira Vineyards offered a vast variety of wines and a beautiful spot for lunch. Our knowledgeable bartender even let me compare a current red wine with the same one that had been cellared for 10 years. This was a very unique experience for me as I had never tried aged wine before. You could visibly see the contrast in colors with the cellared wine expressing a much deeper crimson hue. The sediment also settled quite noticeably with the matured sample. When I return to the area, I look forward to exploring the town of Willanga and tasting everything on the shiraz trail.

Pink Moon Saloon

Friday, January 5, 2018
Our first full day in Adelaide was so incredibly hot that I felt as if I was going to melt into the sidewalk and become one with the asphalt. As cities do not excite me very much, Adelaide was not a place that particularly interested me. It does not have the size or character of Melbourne, so aimlessly wandering around the city on a scorcher of a day wasn’t the highlight of my trip until we stumbled upon a small bar with a big personality. The Pink Moon Saloon mimics a French après ski hut with tall vaulted ceilings constructed from timber. After indulging in a few drinks and nibbles, we asked the bartender for a recommendation on another funky find. He pointed us across the way through a faux English subway looking tunnel to a hidden bar called Maybe Mae where a few cucumber beers helped cool us down. After chatting with the locals and finding out where to go on a Friday evening, Anthony and I felt a little more at home. Other favorites of ours included Red October, a Russian inspired bar and Hains & Co., a boisterous corner bar decked in a nautical theme.

Saturday, January 6, 2018
Anthony’s best mate toured us through the Barossa Valley. Despite the 38C (100F) temperatures, I felt determined to savor a voluptuous glass of shiraz. Fortunately, the heat deterred the weekend crowds and we exclusively owned Hewitson winery for the afternoon. I brought home a bottle of the 2015 Miss Harry red wine blend. If you’re looking for a delicious lunch spot, we highly recommend Artisans of Barossa. We licked up their contemporary take on share plates. “One of everything, please!” The well known St. Hallett winery welcomed us in their air conditioned tasting room. We benefited again from the lack of crowds here as we could monopolize the expertise of our bartender. Maybe next time we’ll be able to relish with a bottle in the well manicured gardens.

IMG_6121 - St. Hallett Winery
St. Hallett winery

While the area around Adelaide intrigues me more than the city itself, Anthony and I were keen to visit with his best mate and spend a few relaxed days away from home. For the fifth largest city by population in Australia, the city center feels small and quiet. But the wine regions in South Australia cannot be rivaled as they consistently produce some of the finest shiraz in the world.

Next up: A Weekend in the Mornington Peninsula

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