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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wine Tasting Adventure at the Hunter Valley

Last Saturday (27/11/08), we saw endless hectares of vineyards!!!! It was so beautiful and mesmerizing.

Hunter Valley is the most well-known wine regions in Australia, about two hours drive from Sydney. Other than being abundant in vineyards and wines, their produce also includes cheese, olives and olive oil.

Other than enjoy the beautiful sceneries that Hunter Valley can offer, people often come here for Wine and Cheese Tastings, have long lunches in one of the many restaurants, explore the Hunter Valley Gardens, enjoy Horse Drawn Carriage Tours, ride on Hot Air Balloons, and visit Historic Villages and Museums to name a few.

On our first visit to Hunter Valley, we went there solely for three wine tastings (not one, not two, but three!).

Our first stop was at the McGuigan Winery. Twas our first experience at wine tasting and the best of all the three wine tastings we attended last Saturday. Here's why:

When we arrived there, we were ushered in to a private area and all of us were sitted as if we were in a bar. On the table, we were welcomed with a small wine glass each, a piece of paper that has a list of the wines they offer, a pencil so you can take down notes, biscuits and a bottle of water. Very organized, aye?

All we had to do is just sit, listen to the winery host, drink the wines they pour on our glasses, jot down what wines we like and just enjoy! And did I mention that this wine tasting was free??? So yay!

After I taste each wine, I jot down how my tastebuds reacted to the wine. In McGuigan's, we tasted about 3 whites, 3 reds, 2 dessert wines and the last one was their Tawny Port (that according to Chris tasted like Kiamoy hehehe).

After our wine tasting, we bought about 7 bottles of wine. They gave 10% discount for every bottle and for those who bought 12 bottles, they got another bottle for free. Very very nice. Session was free but you still get a 10% discount.

Our next wine tasting session was at the Tyrrell's Winery. Now, this was where we got really tipsy.

The session started with a short history of Tyrrell's Wines and we were shown where the wine was created and stored.

They had these big barrels worth AUD$15,000 each (barrel palang yun, wala pang laman) where they store their red wines.

After that we were ushered in to their bar, standing room only this time. No chairs, no pencils, no paper. We just stood near the bar and waited for the wines to be poured into our glasses.

Now what made us really really tipsy was that they poured the wines too quick. The wines kept coming one after another. Good thing they served cheese and biscuits.

Before I knew it, I was becoming "happier", laughing like crazy with Faith (family friend)--in short, makulit na kami bigla. May tama na kami! :) And you know, the thing with me when I get tipsy, I never turn red...I turn the opposite--I become pale. So this is me, tipsy and happy...

We never bought anything at Tyrrell's. For one, we cannot remember the wine we liked and two, we paid $5.00 for the wine tasting and we weren't even given a chair to sit. Although they do have wines that was good, I just jotted down the name on my notebook (yes, I brought one) and will just buy it in the liquor stores.

So what did we do to get rid of our "amats" (tipsiness)? We explored Tyrrell's vineyard and took photos under the shining sun.

After session number two, we had lunch outside the Hunter Valley Gardens. That gave us a chance to sober up. At 2:00pm, we went back to McGuigan's for Cheese Tasting. Wasn't really interested so we just hang outside and waited for our group to finish.

Last stop was at Rosemount Winery. Paid $4.00 for this session but they had chairs to sit and we were given a wine list so we can at least take note of the wine the host was introducing.

The photo above seemed like I was a drunkard with a wine glass in each hand but no, I'm also holding husband's glass while he takes photographs. And I really avoided getting tipsy this time by passing off on some of the wines offered to us.

We bought two bottles of "O" at Rosemount. One of the best wines I've tasted so far.

We loved the vineyards at Rosemount, they're taller compared to others. Before we left, we had one last photograph near their vineyard.

It was such a beautiful day to be at the Hunter Valley...and to get drunk hehe. Husband and I really enjoyed it a lot. We hope to visit again next year.