Written By: Brenda Pomponio
The chance to sneak away for a lunch and a wine experience was providential. You see, it was my birthday so it seemed like the perfect way to spend a glorious sunny winters Friday. The kids would be at school and Mr OFT and I could spend a few hours together enjoying a local experience.
The High Country is renowned as a region for wine and we are spoilt with so many choices in the King Valley. One in particular is Brown Brothers located in Milawa.
We were picked up by Chris of King Valley Winery Tours arriving at Brown Brothers to a glass of Prosecco awaiting – it was set to be a lovely afternoon.
Patricia’s Table Restaurant offer a stunning menu. We chose the three course meal with matching wines. I often find selecting the matching wines risky but oh so worth it. You see, if I choose a wine myself, it is not generally in keeping with what will match the food. I mean I’m clever enough to pair a nice crisp white wine with fish or poultry and a deep red wine with steak, however the art of each flavour in the wine enhancing the flavour in the food requires special skill. You see, I never would have picked a sweet chenin blanc wine to go with my soufflé entree, but it was a beautiful match. As was the deep full bodied Malbec I enjoyed with the goat main.
After an indulgent three course meal, we headed over to the Cellar Door and were shown into an intimate room with a central table lined with empty wine glasses, bottles and what looked like chemical apparatus were laid out in front of us.
I was excited about this wine blending experience. I love drinking wine, but to understand how to alter the characteristics with the various blends…well that is just like playing wine maker.
We were supplied with lab coats and after an introduction by Stacey, our knowledgable host, we were encouraging to take a sip of the Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon separately and learn about each flavours.
Learning that each wine had different levels of tannins really allowed me to work out what type of blend I wanted to create. We had three attempts to make our perfect blend with a measuring test tube and funnel coming into play as we splashed wine about to make varying combinations. The new creations were swirled about and I did take a bit of artistic license pretending to be a wine aficionado. Well, in truth I was – just testing my own wine and not others!
The bottling process happened behind the scenes giving us access to the engine room of the Brown Brothers factory to really see where the science happens. We were able to watch as our bottle was filled with nitrogen and sealed. A label was the last part of make it all official. Not surprisingly I named my wine the Birthday Blend, which perhaps I’ll cellar for twelve months.
Getting hands-on with the wine, seeing what happens mixing various percentages was a real eye-opener. I certainly do take my hat off to professional wine makers!
Wine Blending Experience:
Brown Brothers Winery – Milawa
Held Daily at the Cellar Door
Duration – 1 hour
Perfect for: Enjoying with friends & family or purchase this as a gift for a wine connoisseur who thinks they know everything about wine.
Good to know: A sweet wine blending option is also available.
Book: Wines of the King Valley
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