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.
It can’t have escaped anyone’s attention at the minute that Australia is in the grip of some of the worst wild fires for many years. As a wine community of course we look to the vineyards to see the damage caused there, but rightly it’s the immediate impact on the communities that current fundraising efforts are focused around.
With Wine Australia’s Annual Trade Tasting hitting London (Tuesday 21st January) and Edinburgh (Monday 27thJanuary), it’s a good time to remind everyone how they can show their support to the relief efforts.
A couple of weeks back I had the amazing luck to be invited to the launch of Sir Ian “Beefy” Botham’s new range of wines. Made in conjunction with Paul Schaafsma and his team at Benchmark Drinks, Sir Ian is in this gig for the long haul. Known as a cricketing hero and all round charity fundraising juggernaut, wine’s been a passion of his for decades, and that smile on his face just tells you what it means to him.
In a few days time it’s Australia Day. Well in exactly three weeks actually, and Aussies across the world will be celebrating the arrival of those first few convict ships over to Sydney in 1788. It’s going to be standing room only at the Walkabout on Embankment I can tell you. It’s also a great excuse for the lovely boys and girls at Wine Australia to do a tasting show for us all. You little ripper!!
Last week I headed down to the Wine Australia tasting in Victoria. Sometimes I find it hard to work out what I’m meant to be doing at these tastings. With my second year of the WSET Diploma coming up then maybe I should use it as tasting practice, but the wine-o in me is much more interested in what the theme of the day is about. What’s new about what these guys are trying to tell us about Aussie Wine?
My life has just taken a major turn for the better. After two weeks of solidly being glued to my chair in the office and getting all my accounts from the last 18 months up to date I’ve finally caught up with myself! Of course I celebrated by cracking open a bottle of wine and sitting through a really boring 0-0 draw between my team Liverpool and West Ham. Well, at least I had the wine!
I think turkey gets a bad reputation, mostly cos it’s a big bird and it’s hard to cook properly. Ever since someone bought my mum “Nigella at Christmas” then we’ve been having a great time of it. It’s also an incredibly good meat for promoting the production of serotonin (the happy hormone), so one to look out for all year round if you can!
Right so all the social media guff is out of the way for the week, we can get back onto the main business of talking about wine, and in this post food! Last weekend I met up with a mate of mine from my uni days up in Edinburgh. It was one of those that through one reason or another we’d not seen each other for ages, during which time we’d both got married, moved houses, and all that, so the catch up was long overdue!
Last week was my second go at the Wine Australia blind tasting competition. The first one had gone pretty well. I’d guessed scored ok, and like with anything you’re trying to get better with so much of it is about confidence. You get a couple of things right you think the world is that little bit rosier. Unfortunately with tasting session two I managed to meff that right up!
It’s funny to talk about last week without mentioning what happened in Paris. But I feel I have to. Until a few days have passed, I’m not sure I could write anything about it without saying something that I might want to retract at some point. So for now, I’ll just say that I hope you all can spare thoughts over the next few days for the victims, their families, and the French nation. In the mean time, we’ve got to get on with our lives, and in my case that’s talking about wine, however insignificant that might sound.