Adelaide food and wine
When people talk about South Australia's food and wine, they go a bit gooey and dreamy as memories of extraordinary aromas, flavours and textures bubble to the surface. South Australia regularly punches above its weight in the restaurant stakes and accompanying the food scene is a legendary wine culture. Adelaide recently joined a very select group - Great Wine Capitals of the World. If you love to indulge on holiday, South Australia will light up your life.
The Epicurean Way
If you really want to take South Australia's food and wine scene by storm, follow the Epicurean Way - a road trip that links McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Barossa and Clare Valley. It's a four-day (or more) experience that brings together brilliant wineries, gorgeous food and divine scenery - an irresistible combo of travel goals. Most people approach this journey in a south-to-north fashion, beginning in McLaren Vale.
Your trip along the Epicurean Way will get off to a sensational start with the d'Arenberg Cube, a five-storey wine centre that resembles an askew Rubik's cube. Inside the cube is a wine-lover's dream come true - tasting rooms, bars and a restaurant, all with fabulous views of the surrounding wine country. Another great way to explore this region is on a bike. There are smooth, off-road cycle trails linking many of the area’s best wineries and bikes can be hired in McLaren Vale township.
Next stop on the Epicurean Way is Adelaide Hills, where the beautiful topography has created a range of microclimates. This amounts to massive diversity - 30+ grape varieties and more than 10 wine styles. Exploring the Adelaide Hills region is pure joy because tasting rooms and wineries are interspersed with orchards, forests and mountain tops. If you'd like to consume without concerns about driving, local wine tour operators can whisk you from winery to winery. These people really know their wines, so you'll learn a lot along the way. While you're in this area, visit the historic German town of Hahndorf for beer and wurst. Oom pah pah music and lederhosen are part of the fun.
It's often the first word that comes to mind when you're thinking about Aussie wines. Barossa - the big B. Drenched in history and entwined with Australian wine culture like a grape vine around trellis, this region is home to more than 550 grape-growing families. Some of them have been working the same vineyards for six generations. Clearly, you won't have time to visit them all, so a sensible approach is to choose where you want to eat lunch and dinner, and then sprinkle in a few non-restaurant wineries for tastings. Most of the Barossa's eating places focus on seasonal menus with wine matches for everything. If indulgence is top of mind, book a chef's table experience or degustation.
It's serendipity that the Clare Valley is the last region you'll visit on the Epicurean Way because it's here that you'll find the stickily-wonderful dessert wines. A glass of botrytis affected riesling goes down a treat with a fruity or caramel sweet dish. The Clare is also applauded for aromatic whites that pair brilliantly with Asian food. Some dry rieslings have a lime twist that makes them perfect with a Thai curry. Like McLaren Vale, Clare Valley is set up for cycling. The 35-kilometre Riesling Trail leads you from one cellar door to another with lashings of gorgeous wine-country scenery along the way. There are artisan food producers to discover as well. No lycra required for this type of biking - it's strictly leisurely.