I still think the best way to learn about wine and wine regions around the world is to save up your pennies and head on out there. If you spend a couple of weeks in the vines in amongst the winemakers and farmers, with the wine, the food, the scenery, the weather…well, it all kind of falls into place.
I still have gaaaaaaaaping gaps in my wine knowledge and nearly all of them can be traced back to the fact I’ve never been there before. If you look at large wine producers round the world, there is a couple I’m genuinely embarrassed about. Chile’s one, for example. I’ve never been, and still struggle to remember (because you trying to remember from looking at a map in a book) whether Bio Bio is north, south, east, or west. South Africa’s another one, although the more I spend with the wines and scope of KWV (albeit from my house in the UK’s East Midlands) that’s getting slowly better. But it’s still bloody slow.
Arguably the biggest embarrassment, however, is with Australia. Ma-hu-ssive blind spot for me. Perversely I had a chance to go last year but a couple of frustrating practical issues at my end scuppered my chances this time around and I felt like a prize numpty and a amazingly ungrateful git for having to turn it down at the time. But I still head down with gusto to the Wine Australia trade tastings and try to fill in the honeycomb one two-minute-chat-with-a-producer at a time.
We’ve got the 2020 tastings coming up in the middle of January and I’m heading north to Edinburgh to join my good bud Peter Ranscombe to the tasting up there. Peter headed over to Australia in 2019 himself and I’m going to be annoying the sweet bejeesus out of him for the day. Hopefully not as much as it could be, however, as I’ve been heading online to check out the jewel in Wine Australia’s marketing crown: their truly epic online trade tutorials.
Since I’ve started building websites (and apps from April!!) for people in the wine trade I’ve pikeyed Steve Job’s old mantra of making the most user friendly product you can. So many people try and throw in all these tricks and flicks and they end up making a beautiful project that no-one can bloody well use. Wine Australia’s “Australian Wine Discovered” online resource has nailed. Would you expect any less from the no-nonsense Aussies? The content’s great, of course, but the ease of browsing, the layout of said content into downloadable guides, editable presentations, and tools to run your own Aussie tasting bonanza is what makes this an absolute benchmark of online learning in the wine trade.
Go check it out for yourself HERE
I’m still hoping to get out there one day soon, but in the meantime, this has really helped me out over the past few months. That and Peter…although he doesn’t know that yet 🙂
For more information contact Wine Australia Education Development Manager EMEA, Emma Symington MW