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Wine tasting in the Barossa Valley

As we love good food and fine wines, a visit to a winery had to be part of our world trip a few years ago… Also it's no surprise that one of the most impressive wine tastings we experienced was in the Barossa Valley, probably Australia´s best-known wine region. Let me take you back to that adventure...

As we liked the wines of Jacobs' Creek back at home, we had made visiting this particular winery one of our travel goals while we were in Australia. With our campervan ´Billy´ we spent a total of 50 days cruising this phenomenal part of the world, from Cairns to Brisbane on the east coast, across the New South Wales outback to Adelaide in the south (and later onwards via Melbourne up to Sydney to celebrate New Year's eve, but that's a different story).

With our campervan Billy we spent 50 days roaming Australia

After cruising the NSW outback with campervan Billy, we crossed the state border into South Australia near a small town called Olary. South Australia turns out to have a very strict policy to protect her horticulture and viticulture, as we discovered a few km´s further along the road when we were stopped at a quarantine post…

Fruit & Veg quarantine

Not being aware of the strict rules about fruits and vegetables crossing state borders (especially into South Australia), we had done our grocery shopping for the day just before Olary... Next thing we knew we were handing over all our fruit and veg at this quarantine post. What?!

Quarantine post crossing the border into South Australia

It turned out to be forbidden to take any produce across the state border to prevent diseases and especially certain types of fruit flies to contaminate the crops… Good for the wineries, not so good for us...

Anyway. Onward without our greens, we spent a night at a nice little campsite with a spectacular view of yellow gold wheat fields. (This absolutely beautiful scenery is typical for South Australia by the way).

This absolutely beautiful scenery is typical for South Australia

The next few days we stayed in ´the Barossa´ and we ended up going to the Jacobs´ Creek winery even twice. ;-)

Butcher, Baker, Wine maker trail

To get to know the area, we decided to start with the ‘Butcher, Baker, Winemaker trail’. A great experience to get to know the area, as it means you buy a picnic basket (or cool bag really), including 2 wine glasses, a cutting board and a cheese knife, together with a set of vouchers. With these you go to several different places (a winery, a baker, a butcher etc), to collect a few bites and a bottle of wine for a nice afternoon picnic. One of the participating wineries was Jacobs´ Creek, hence our first stop there.

To decide which wine to pick, we got to taste 4 different ones: 2 rosés, a white and a red. We picked a rosé (Cool Harvest Shiraz 2017) for the picnic, which we enjoyed at the end of the day at our next campsite.

On a side note: I also absolutely loved the red; a Double barrel Shiraz. Fermented in French oak first and later again in American oak (old whiskey barrels), which gave it extra depth and spice. Lovely! Have you ever tried a double barrel-fermented wine?
Our Butcher Baker Winemaker collection 😉

Wine tasting Experience

The next day we went back to Jacobs´ Creek for a nice 2-course lunch and our ´wine tasting experience´. The lady who let us taste the 4 wines for the picnic also did this wine tasting with us. She had prepared a table for us with a plate of different flavoured pieces of food (like a lemon, a strawberry, a piece of chocolate, pepper and a green jelly) and 6 glasses for each of us; 2 containing white wine and 2 red, 1 black coloured wine glass and a normal glass with a dark brown liquid. Interesting.

Wine tasting @ Jacob’s Creek

We started with the first white wine: an Australian Riesling. She guided us through the wine tasting steps: step one; smell, step two, taste, step three; swirl the glass, step four; taste again. (The second time the citrus aroma´s were much more pronounced).

The next white was a nutty Chardonnay. We followed the same ritual: smell, taste, swirl, taste again. ``What do you see? What do you smell? Where is the flavour in your mouth? What happens?´´ She really made us taste very consciously with all our senses and also once without smell or sight (in the black glass). Fascinating!

Food & Wine pairing

Next came the flavour pairing. We first took a bit of lemon. Then sipped the Riesling again. What happens?

In this case, the lemon softened or equalized the taste of the Riesling. They balanced each other out. The effect of the Chardonnay was completely different! Off-putting really.

The red wines (the first was a blend of shiraz, Mataro and a 3rd grape I forgot, the second the Double barrel Shiraz again) got paired with a strawberry, milk chocolate and pepper. The strawberry and milk chocolate made both wines taste weird. so not a good mix.

The effect of the pepper on the Double barrel Shiraz was really special, though. The pepper in itself wasn't extremely spicy, but after combining it with de Shiraz the taste of the pepper really fired in the back of our throats. Whoa!

This experience really made us more aware of the effects of food on wine and vice versa. So a good pairing is essential for a nice dinner experience and the other way around. The type of food or spices used can make your (favourite) wine taste completely off….

Have you ever tried something similar? It's really interesting!

That's why we have created our `Tasting La Experiencia´. Not exactly the same as the tasting we have done in the Barossa, but it is based on our experience there.

In our version, you can taste 5 completely different Spanish wines, paired with a bite of fruit, chocolate, pepper or another spice (depending on the wines we serve, this may vary from time to time). And experience what happens…

Tasting La Experiencia

See you soon!

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