Monthly Archives: June 2015

Queens Birthday Long Weekend – Rutherglen Winery Walkabout – Part 1

Wineries, winter sun, bonfires, dancing, eating, dress-up costumes, friends, and lots and lots of wine all on a long weekend!
Say hello to the Rutherglen Winery Walkabout. An annual event held over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. The event attracts over 20,000 people to the Victorian wine region, and is one of the most exciting times of the year. I was thrilled to pop my Walkabout cherry this year, and take part in this event, alongside with some of my best friends.
rutherglen tip the bottle
Held over the entire long weekend, Sunday is considered the ‘Big Day’ of this event, with many embarking on the region in fancy dress costume to celebrate all the goodness of what this region has to offer. Oh, and to celebrate the Queen’s birthday of course – Happy 89th Birthday Queenie!
Located close to the New South Wales border, the three hour drive to Rutherglen with two other girlfriends passed by quickly, thanks to some beat-rocking-beats, and plenty of road-tripping snacks.
road trip tip the bottle

Can you guess our roadtrip soundtrack?!

Once we had arrived at our destination, we stopped off at Valhalla winery for tastings and lunch. Housed in their straw bale constructed winery, their range featured Three Little Birds (a blend of Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne), Viognier, Marsanne, Moscato, GSM (a blend of Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre), The Goat (Shiraz), 2012 Shiraz, The Ranga (a blend of Durif and Shiraz), and a 2012 Durif. valhalla tip the bottle
The stand out for me was ‘The Goat’ – an easy drinking, smooth style Shiraz with berry notes. We purchased a bottle to team up with our gourmet lamb sausages, topped with homemade relish, straight from the BBQ. Delish!
The Goat

The Goat

As the sun went down, we headed across the border to where we were staying in Corowa, with 40 other friends. Along the way, we stopped off at the bottle shop and picked up a local ‘All Saints Shiraz’ for night-time drinking.
With a bonfire in the backyard a-blazing, the excitement was definitely building amongst us all, particularly for the host, who immediately got in to character of Ron Burgundy; which was his costume for the Sunday. In true host style, Ron ensured that our glasses were full by sharing a vintage cleanskin red that was found in a mate’s garage when they had moved house. This was then followed by a fortified containing a blend of three different ports all mixed by Ron, the man himself.
Filled with good wine, and marshmallows, it made for a good nights’ sleep before the big day.
Marshmallowy goodness!

Marshmallowy goodness!

Waking on the Sunday morning it almost felt like Christmas.
Everyone bounced out of bed, pulled on their costumes, and boarded the bus. Our groups’ costume theme for the day was ‘Around the World’.
Stay tuned for my next post, as I take you on what was certainly a trip around the world…or Rutherglen at least!
Until next time wino’,
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Olivier Magny – My Jamie Oliver equivalent to wine

For anyone who knows me, knows I’m a Jamie Oliver fan. A big one too. When it comes to the world of wine I think I’ve found my Jamie Oliver equivalent.

Meet Olivier Magny – a French Sommelier/Entrepreneur/Author


The man himself. Olivier Magny

I came across Olivier through his SBS show ‘The Grape Escape’.
In the series you travel along with him throughout the French wine regions, visiting many wineries, and learning about the wine making process along the way.
His excitable nature and approach to wine is infectious. His mantra is all about removing the intimidation people may have with wine, with a purpose of making it fun and factual, which I love.

In his series, one of the key highlights for me was when he visited the champagne region – it was so interesting to learn the process of making champagne from picking, to fermentation, through to storing. This all finished with learning how you should open a champagne bottle – my life changed forever when I saw this. simples tip the bottleThe trick is, rather than twisting the cork, you should twist the bottle instead. Simples!


Another region visited was the Bordeaux region. This took me back to my holiday in 2013 where I visited Bordeaux. He even ran in the Marathon du Medoc! What a champion.

Along with this great series, he’s also written a book ‘Into Wine’ (which I’m currently reading), and even founded Ô Chateau, Frances’ number one wine school located in Paris. It’s even home to a wine bar with 40 glasses on the menu to choose from. 40! With so many glasses on tap, I hope one day to visit his wine bar, as I’m sure his collection would be ‘superbe’.

Me in Paris! Oh how I want to go back!

Me in Paris! Oh how I want to go back!

Until next time wino’s,


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