I’m lucky enough to live within driving distance of some of Australia’s most picturesque wine regions. Over this long-weekend, McLaren Vale held the highly anticipated four day long Sea & Vines Festival, with Sunday as its biggest day. So that happened yesterday and boy, does my head know it.
Hundreds of South Australians flocked to McLaren Vale wearing far-from-fashionable blue lanyards. I was on one of five buses organised through a pub owned by good friends. The day started at 7am. Now, I don’t condone drinking wine before at least lunch time (or any other alcoholic beverage for that matter), but yesterday was a necessary exception. There’s no mix quite like porridge and champagne.
Our bus was a loud but fun bunch. We arrived at Middlebrook, our first winery, and shared two bottles of fruity white and rosé (between three) looking out over rolling hills of dewy green grass. From that one and only sophisticated point onwards, things got messy. The short-drive to Maxwell was a little shaky, but wobbliness was quickly settled with a glass or two (or three) of dry white. By 11am, we were dancing and mingling with happy strangers, united through love of a good drop. We strategically downed prawn pizzas for lunch, before moving on to the reds (my favourite).
Things got silly at the third stop where buses from all over the McLaren Vale region joined for one big party. There were numerous stalls selling wines from different local wineries, and I made sure to try at least one glass of each. We jumped back and forth between reds and whites which, I have discovered this morning, should be absolutely avoided at all costs. I made lots of best friends I will likely never see again, including a lovely girl at whom I accidentally threw a full glass of Shiraz while dancing to Robin Thicke.
By 6pm we were back at the pub where we cleverly prescribed ourselves Jägermeister and Red Bull to awaken from wine-induced comas. And tequila shots of course. A few friends dropped off along the way (two were not on our bus back into the city) but we have spoken since and they appear to be alive and well…ish.
I made it home by 3am and woke this morning with two club-stamps on my inner right arm, a miscellaneous bruise on my left shin, and a strapping young lad naked in my bed (unfortunately, just two of those occurrences are true). I have a headache which could kill a man and there may be a dead fury animal in my mouth by the feel of it.
All jokes aside, it was a wonderful day and I feel privileged to live in such close proximity to the beautiful region of McLaren Vale. I hope to recover by Sea & Vines 2015 – it is a weekend not to be missed!