Overseas travel has often been used for people to ‘find themselves’. Whether after University, as a gap year, or in one’s later years to prevent a mid-life crisis. But what happens when, say, a global pandemic hits and you are unable to travel?
Recently I have found myself scrolling through photos from previous overseas holidays. Is it possible to envy yourself? Natural tan, skinnier (a diet of complimentary hotel breakfasts and dancing until 4am) and an immunity to hangovers. Fast forward to today, as I write this my fake tan looks like tiger bread, my head is sore from the two glasses of pinot noir I had last night and I was in bed by 10pm playing Pictionary.
Whilst closer to my 30s than 20s, the voice of the 19 year old in those photos eggs me on for another bout of recklessness. Slight issue – border restrictions and a committed relationship.
It wasn’t until standing in the international aisle of my bottle shop that I had an idea. Is it possible to satisfy our wanderlust through wine?
Before Wine Australia or Dan Tehan reports this article let me explain. A patriotic wine consumer, I am loyal to an Australian drop. However, one would be lying if they said their eyes didn’t stray to the exotic foreigner. There is something alluring about their slender bodies, emerald green bottles and umlauts.
Call it a wine ‘hall-pass’. Or in theme, a boarding pass. For those at home, a hall-pass is an agreement between a couple allowing them to see others outside their relationship. Whilst I have not applied the concept to my own love life, I’m willing to test it on my relationship with wine.
As the boarding gate opens and I savour my final glass of Mornington Pinot Noir, there is reassurance that no Burgundian nor Californian can ever take its place.
The Spanish Affair
2019 Elefante Tempranillo Shiraz
Hola, this Spaniard makes the first move. Cherry cola, cured meat and cocoa. Possibly a little intense upon first impression, you soon realise this is exactly what it was intended to be. Fun and nothing too serious – a fleeting romance down La Rambla over 12am Tapas.
The Italian Affair
2018 Maretti Langhe Nebbiolo
Initially shy, there is something intriguing about this Italian. Fresh from the countryside, you can smell the worn leather and soil. A bottled episode of Farmer Wants a Wife – Piedmont edition. However what seems serious (intimidating tannin and acid) opens up in time, and when paired with food…love blossoms.
The French Affair
2019 La Noblesse Gamay
Going against the aristocratic expectations of relatives – Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and Burgundy (Pinot Noir) – Gamay is here to party. Made to be enjoyed immediately. No cellaring. No waiting. It is all about living in the moment with raspberry, redskin lollies (Allan’s newly titled Red Ripper) and glacé cherries. Don’t expect your soulmate, expect a good time…
The German Affair
2018 Schloss Vollrads Kabinett Riesling
Tall, slender and suited in emerald green. This is one mum and dad will approve. Sweet and charming yet an acid backbone to keep it entertaining! A refreshing change, and a reminder that you can have it all, in a combination of cloudy apple, lime sorbet and minerality, drizzled with honey.
Back on home soil, I realise the irony of travel. We use it to get away from that which we end up missing most – our bed, our bathroom, our Barossan Shiraz. In the words of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz “There’s no place like home”.