I should preface this post by saying that I know basically nothing about wine. I main things I know about it are:
- It is red or white (but some are pink/"rosee" too?)
- There is a lot more to it than that
- Usually I don't like it very much
So as you can tell, one of my main goals in life is to become a wine snob. And in pursuit of that goal, I spent Saturday in the Hunter Valley, one of Australia's wine regions. It was the first time I had really left Sydney since I arrived, and it was great to get out into the countryside. The drive was beautiful, and the actual Hunter Valley was beautiful as well. I have never been to the Napa Valley in California, but this was pretty much how I imagine it to look. Lots of rolling hills and grape vines and things. Supposedly there are often kangaroos hopping around, but we didn't get to see any.
We visited five different wineries throughout the day. Or maybe it was six. Not being a wine snob (yet), I did not spit out the wine after each tasting, so it's possible that I do not remember everything with 100% accuracy. I feel like I actually learned a lot about the different kinds of wine we tasted. By the end I felt like I wasn't completely faking it when I swirled my glass around, and sniffed the wine. It's not as hard as I thought it would be to sound like I knew what I was talking about, and I got to throw around a lot of words like "oaky" and "bouquet." I can't say that I'll be able to engage in any kind of meaningful conversation with a sommelier, but I did find out a little bit more about which wines taste good to me (verdelho) and which I still dislike (shiraz).
Of course, the real highlights of the day were the stops at the cheese and chocolate shops. As much as I like wine (okay, still not really that much), I think I'd have to go for fresh brie or chocolate covered espresso beans.
And with that, I bid a fond farewell to Sydney. John arrived on Sunday from Japan for a short vacation, and after a few days of seeing the Sydney sights, we are headed out to the Blue Mountains tomorrow. Then we will head down the New South Wales coast to Melbourne before returning to Sydney so John can catch his flight back. Then I'll probably head up the coast to Queensland. It's all very exciting. As much as I have enjoyed living and working in Sydney, it's time to see what the rest of Australia has to offer.
Pictures coming soon.