Wine is one of Australia’s largest growing industries, and it’s a drink every Aussie proudly knows a little bit about. With so many varietals and different ways of drinking wine, there’s truly something for everyone which is what makes it such a popular drink. The National Wine Centre‘s Wined bar is Australia’s biggest tasting room, and the fourth biggest in the world, containing 120 Australian wines available to try in tastes, half glasses and full glasses at the touch of a button.
Opened in 2001, wine-barrel shaped building has become a destination for tourists and locals alike, with complimentary tours at 11:30 every day and $10 hosted group tours drawing in people to come taste the best of what Australia has to offer.
Though we sampled a number of wines (it’s hard to stop at one when they pour out of fancy dispensers reminiscent of a Hungry Jack’s soda station) we narrowed down our favourites to these three. Chaffy Bros ‘Not Your Grandma’s Riesling’ was the perfect drop to start with as it was light and floral with hints of citrus and easy to throw back. On to Rosé, Charles Melton‘s ‘Rose of Virginia’ was another refreshing starter, extremely fragrant and reminding us of turkish delight. As for reds, The Other Wine Co.‘s Grenache was juicy and fruity, not too heavy for a red and paired perfectly with the lamb shanks we were nibbling on.
Speaking of lamb shanks, it’s time to discuss the delicious food situation at Wined. Everything we sampled is available on their menu as full sized meals at Wined. There are two foods in particular we need to talk about; the suppli alla romana (mozzarella aranchini) and the Atlantic salmon. Dear god, the mozzarella aranchini were so crispy on the outside and so ooey-gooey cheesy on the inside, we think we ate most of the tray (apologies to everyone else there). The Atlantic salmon was another standout, perfectly cooked herbs and juices and served with smoked potato and beetroot. Some of the other delicious dishes we sampled included a magenta-coloured Polish beetroot soup, roast pumpkin and house-made ricotta tarts, Spencer gulf prawns, Thornby lamb shank with quinoa salad and mushroom with proscuitto-wrapped quail egg. Every dish continued to surprise us, as it strayed far away from the traditional cheese and antipasto platters often paired with wine and instead presented us with unique and flavoursome dishes that still suited the wines we were tasting.
For the collector, the National Wine Centre has the largest open cellar in the Southern Hemisphere, currently holding around 12,000 wines from all over Australia, from modern boutique wines to well-sought after vintages.
We’ll finish up with a fun fact we learnt; wine provided ancient civilisations with a sterile drink more nutritious and safer than many contaminated water supplies. So there you go, if you don’t have Puratap at home, you should probably be visiting the National Wine Centre and drinking some more wine because it’s probably better for you than the good ole’ South Australian water supply (and way more fun).