Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour

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Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia 16th August
The Hunter Valley Village was where I had my first ever wine tasting. The last time I was in the Hunter was when I was about 10 years old so was a bit young to participate. After tasting a few wines I bought a few bottles. I had been looking for a sweet red and a sweet white, as well as a nice Rum Port. I was able to find all these at the Hunter Cellars in the Hunter Valley Village.

 I had a great burger there at the restaurant as well as bought some chocolate at the Hunter Valley Chocolate Shop. A bit pricey but I was able to get some unique types of chocolate - chilli chocolate and chocolate spiral noodles!

There wasn't much time to look at the other shops and so we headed to our first official wine tasting at McLeish estate. We filed in and sat around a long table. Plates of crackers, wine glasses, bottles of water and severl empty carafes for pouring wine into covered the table.

The lady introduced each bottle before giving us a small amount to taste. We got the history of the wine, how it was made, what type of grapes went into making it and what we eat with it.

Not having done any wine tasting before, I found it to be an interesting experience. Here's a quick guide to what I learnt:

Firstly, hold the glass and swirl around the wine. This releases the bouquet so that you can judge the notes.

Taste it, swirl it around your mouth and swallow. (Experts spit it out but people who wish to just have a great tipsy day out, don't!) Then taste it again. You won't really know the wine until the second taste. 

If you don't like it after the second taste you tip the remaining drops into the carafes.

If you do like it, finish it, then rinse your glass with a drop of water, ready for the next one!

After that it was on to two other wine tasting places. The second one we went to gave us a taste of a nice red drop that is ideal with chocolate cake. And, to make sure we knew that this was the case, we got chocolate cake with it!

I bought a great little pourer for red wines that makes it unlikely for the wine to drop down the side of the bottle. Unfortunately it doesn't look very cool on the table so, only for parties.

After the wine tasting we got a tour of the winery including how they process the wine. Fascinating.

The final stop was a winery that also sold its own spirits. Dragon's Breathe was the feature of this place and I quickly bought this spirit with chilli. Definitely worthwhile.

Afterwards the bus took us back to the city and the time seemed to blur by, or was that the alcohol.

Definitely worth it.

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