The start of our recent travels began and ended with the best… time with our daughter to celebrate the recent completion of her Master’s Degree studies. There was some good bubbly and food to aid in the celebration!
As you would know, travelling with others, even friends, requires some negotiation and adjustment upon deciding when, where and what to eat. This was further complicated by a couple of food intolerances and preferences we needed to work around. Shockingly, the problems were greatly diminished when it came to wine tasting!!
My very simple taste for wine goes to dry whites and reds, usually blended reds that have fewer tannins (I have recently learned). The so-called ‘big reds’ are way too much for me. My favourite reds were velvety smooth. Possibly my very favourite was from a winery called Henry’s Drive, in Padthaway. All the wines there were named for Henry’s original drive through the area to deliver the mail, before he began the winery. It is one of only two cellar doors currently open at Padthaway. The red that I liked is called Parson’s Flat, a blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
But… if you like a ‘sticky’ (sweet dessert wine), like I like a sticky then you would need to try the Jessie Botrytis Semillon 2006 from Patrick of Coonawarra. It is slightly apricot-y, but has a mellow, full flavour that non of the other dessert wines we tasted possessed. Botrytis, I have learned, is a fungus the grapes develop when left on the vine under certain conditions. It evaporates the water content and concentrates the sugars of the grapes.
The first shared meal of our trip was a very shaky start to the five days together. Our lunch stop turned out to be Naracoorte, South Australia. Not a ‘must see’ destination, but a convenient stop for us on this day. It was a rather late hour for lunch, about 2pm, and we agreed something quick that would not hinder us from our late afternoon arrival in Penola would be best. The corner fish and chip shop was selected. If I had dared photograph the lone woman working there, I’m very sure she would have grabbed the camera from my hand and stomped on it. Truly, you could have broken rocks, or at least cracked walnut shells, on her face. Seldom have we encountered a more dour personality in our travels… But that woman could cook chips… and roast chickens… and build burgers like nobody’s business! No doubt it was too many years of doing it that contributed to her disposition, but she was the queen of ‘chip shop’ food! Do you think she knew that and had no need for the niceties of life, like smiles? The shop was pretty tired and so was the poor woman, but her non-plussed… dare I say, death stare, was a bit of outback experience none of us will forget soon. It’s worth a stop in Naracoorte just to be brought down to earth!
But if you want to stay in the clouds a few more moments… scroll down the page…