by JAMILA RIZVI
Last night I had a three-course dinner.
It had been a long day at work. So when I finally made it through my front door around 10pm, I was exhausted and extremely, extremely hungry.
I quickly identified the ingredients I would need for my feast and then settled down on the couch to enjoy it with a glass of fine wine (read: flat coke).
For entrée: Doritos. Of the Cheese Supreme variety.
For main: Doritos. Again. This time tantalisingly dipped in Greek yogurt. The good stuff. The fancy stuff. Probably imported. From Greece. Or Melbourne.
For dessert: Cadbury Marvellous Creations.
I will admit it wasn’t the most nutritious meal of my life. Nor was it the most delicious. But it was food.
There are times in your life when your soul needs food – actual, food that you eat. (Not music, or higher learning or spirituality or what not). The joy that comes from a truly wonderful meal, accompanied by grapes the way they’re supposed to be consumed, is incomparable.
The meals that you share with your family and friends – the one where you eat beautifully presented, lovingly prepared and skillfully cooked food, accompanied by wine created by those who know what they’re doing – those are the meals you never forget.
Personally, some of the best food (and wine) memories I’ve ever had were on holidays to South Australia’s beautiful Barossa and McLaren Vale wine regions.
There are more than 200 cellar doors that are an hour’s drive from Adelaide. 200 doors – all of which open to the magical goodness of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.
I’m not one of those wine drinkers who does the old swirl-and-sniff. Well, I do it for effect but I don’t gain any wine-wisdom from the practice. But I definitely know what I like and there is a reason South Australia is known all over the world for it’s fabulous wines – they’re exactly that, fabulous.
My personal favourite for tasting is the wonderful St Hallets cellar door in the Barossa region. It’s this beautiful old building, tucked away behind the bush and with a spectacular view of the vineyards.
You know the open fire, wood panelling and candlelight that you dream of when you’re stuck at the bus stop and it’s bloody freezing cold and starting to rain? THAT is what their cellar door is like. It’s the kind of space that makes your feel happy and warm and ah, a little bit tipsy, just by walking in the door.
And the food – oh the food. Last time I was in McLaren Vale for a day trip, it was to have lunch with some of my closest friends at the amazing d’Arry’s restaurant at D’Arenberg winery.
That lunch was the stuff that food fantasies are made of. I feel like my words simply cannot do justice to that phenomenal meal. For the record – I has blue swimmer crab ravioli, with broccolini, zucchini and goats cheese, with lobster medallions on top and a lobster bisque (that’s broth-y, sauce-y stuff for the less cultured amongst us).
Even beyond the deliciousness was the experience itself. The surroundings are beautiful, the vines have this haunting, enchanted kind of feel when they’re bare in winter and a bright, green happiness in the summer months. South Australia can get a bad rap but the wine regions are incomparable to anywhere else in the world.
Too often when we think about food or drink, we think about it in terms that have nothing to do with enjoyment and everything to do with function.
I grab a coffee on the way to work, to wake me up. I eat a salad at lunch because I haven’t eaten enough greens lately. I have a chocolate bar at 4pm for a much needed sugar hit. I order tequilas shot at the bar to forget about the man who broke my heart. I eat a kebab to aid my body’s recovery from all the tequila shots…
We eat every day. We drink every day.
But how often do we take the time to really enjoy what you consume? I know I don’t do it enough and despite the ‘creativity’ I brought to my dinner last night – I am determined to do better.
Discover why South Australia is worth SA-vouring this Spring!
Adam Liaw, host of Destination Flavour and winner of MasterChef 2010, has done the rounds and is convinced that SA is the ultimate destination for un-wine-ding. With a jam-packed itinerary you and three mates can follow in the footsteps of Adam and discover just how much SA has to SA-vour.
• 4x return economy flights to Adelaide
• 3x nights accommodation at Barossa Shiraz Estate
• ‘Make Your Own Blend’ tour at Penfolds Barossa
• Seppeltsfield Heritage Tour
• Dinner at 1918 Bistro & Grill
• 4 days car hire
All valued at more than $4,200!
If you don’t walk away with the major prize we’re still giving you the chance to un-wine-d this spring with six runner up wine packs, of 12 delicious SA wines courtesy of our mates at Dan Murphy’s.
For your chance to WIN, simply click here.
What is the best dining experience you’ve ever had? What’s your favourite Australian wine region and why?
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