If you haven’t yet been on a winery tasting because you feel like it will fly right over your head, let me just say that you’re missing out big time – you don’t have to be a grape juice aficionado to appreciate a decent winery.
There’s no winery quite like those found in Adelaide, either. Take a gander:
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Yes, that is a bus converted into a winery tasting joint at Down The Rabbit Hole in McLaren Vale’s Fleurieu Peninsula, thanks for asking.
So, if the only thing that’s holding you back is your lack of wine knowledge, I’m here to act as your guide to bluffing your way through the day. It’s surprisingly simple to appear more knowledgeable than you actually are.
Important note: For those concerned about the state of the borders, South Australia has committed to The Adelaide Guarantee – if things go pearshaped, you’re promised a moneyback guarantee.
1. Learn a few keywords
There’s really only a couple of buzzwords you need to know to pull off the ultimate winery tour bluff.
Honestly, even I don’t know if the last one means anything but it sounds right, no? And if you forget any of them, simply eavesdrop on that group of 40-year-olds who undoubtedly know more.
2. Distract everyone with non-wine related comments
If you head to a winery such as Sidewood Estate in the Adelaide Hills, you’ll find there’s so much around you that you can comment on when you get stuck remembering your keywords.
Book a little day bed like the one below and you can spend a solid hour lying about the type of wood used to craft the beds.
“Oh, wow, is that oak? My Dad would get a kick out of this, chat amongst yourselves, I’m just gonna go call him and tell him about it.”
Then you go and hide behind a tree until you know they’ve stopped talking about wine.
3. Make sure someone finishes their glass first
The biggest telltale sign of a rookie wine connoisseur is that they’re more inclined to neck their wine, rather than sip it slowly and appreciate it.
So, as much as you’d probably want to scull your wine to get nice and buzzed, just make sure you’re one step behind someone else in your group.
It’s like that old saying about outrunning your friend if a bear’s chasing you but, instead of a bear it’s wine and instead of chasing it’s…wait, I’ve lost track of where I was going with that analogy.
4. Become overly passionate about your wine to throw people off
When in doubt, dig your heels in.
And what better place to become overly confident in a subject you know nothing about than Lot 100 in Hay Valley – it’s positively picturesque. So, when the conversation starts to take a wine-heavy turn, pick one aspect of it, (“Red wine is miles ahead of white wine what are you talking about!?), and everyone will back off assuming you know your vino.
It’s the perfect crime.Image: Sideways