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Posted: Tuesday, September 29 2009. 12:00

Wine & Fun Philosophy Aussie Style

According to Margaret Rand, author, writer and former editor of Wine & Spirit and Wine magazines, being a wine lover isn't about vintages, prices and rarity, it should be more fun than that. Dan Traucki offers a modified Australian version

"It's to be measured in bad bottles as well as good ones; in dropped glasses, in grape skins under the fingernails, in journeys and memories," she says.

Here is what I would like to add and give you my Aussie version of her list:

1. Learn to Decant

This couldn't be easier- just point the bottle at the decanter neck and pour. Keep a steady hand and pour slowly; creating turbulence in the bottle will defeat the object. You do not only have to decant for practical reasons: White wine and rosé look amazingly pretty in decanters.

2. Drink wine from your birth year

It helps to be born in a great vintage. Anybody over 40 should consider old Aussie reds, Bordeaux, Port or Sauternes. If you are under 40, go for Penfolds Grange.

3. Drink premium wine in a plastic cup

Try a Grange or a French first growth from a plastic cup with a takeaway
or at a sausage sizzle. Drinking wine out of a plastic cup was immortalised in the 2004 hit movie Sideways, when the protagonist Miles cracked open his cherished 1961 Cheval Blanc in a fast-food joint

4. Start a wine club

Very useful if you want to improve your tasting skills. Everyone brings a bottle; you take turns deciding the theme and price range.

5. Treading grapes at harvest

Try traditional vinification in parts of Portugal, It's a lot of fun:; and  not only for wine enthusiasts.

6. Take a wine course:

Great edutainment – It’s fun and educational at the same time.

7. Try Ice Wine Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese have more complexity than ice wine (Eiswein), but ice wine wins on improbability. A number of Canadian ice wines are available locally (Australia)

8. Plan a dinner party around wines: They'd better be good - the
guests, that is. No point in opening your finest bottles if they are not going to be appreciated. Keep the food simple and don't let anyone get too snobby; wine is meant to be fun. But you must serve only wine.

9. Organise a magnum dinner

Each couple/pair should be asked to bring a good magnum (1.5 liters) of wine to match the pre-advised cuisine.

10. Drink your best bottles

Drink a wine when it's over the hill and you’d say, 'If only I'd opened it five years ago'. Open it a fraction too early and you will have the pleasure of watching it open and blossom in the glass. A wine that's still too young will be full of delight; one that's too old is a waste.

Cheers! Now go forth and make sure you try at least one of the things every wine lover should do.

Dan Traucki

       

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