Wednesday, 17 November 2010


“Bacchus has drowned more men than Neptune.” - Giuseppe Garibaldi

Last night we had a work function and dinner at the National Wine Centre in Adelaide. The National Wine Centre is adjacent to the Botanic Gardens and is a collaborative initiative of the Government of South Australia and the University of Adelaide. It is housed in a remarkable complex of buildings that have been constructed so as to make the most of the views of the Botanic Gardens. The architects have drawn inspiration from a wine barrel (an exploded one!), but I always feel the interior is more impressive than the exterior… The building is designed and uses building materials to reflect items used in making wine – wood, especially features prominently. Planted outside the building are rows of grapevines, showing seven different varieties of grapes to visitors who are unfamiliar with vineyards and grapevines.

The Centre consists of a cluster of exhibition halls, function rooms, displays, tasting rooms, bars, cafés, restaurants and allows visitors to enjoy wine and winemaking from the ground up. It has an excellent interactive Wine Discovery Journey and Exhibition, which showcases the complete wine making and drinking experience. Other facilities of the National Wine Centre of Australia include on-site educational services, wine tourism information and the wine retail store.

After having finely tuned their senses in the Wine Discovery Journey, visitors are ready to taste the extensive selection of wines available from the Australian wine regions in the Centre's Concourse Cafe, which is open daily for wine tastings and great food. The wine is complemented by a selection of Australian cheeses or if something more substantial is desired, the visitor can select from the seasonal lunch menu. Australian wines are showcased and available for tasting, being changed regularly to allow the exploration of different wine making regions and grape/wine varieties.

When the Centre was developed by the Olsen Liberal State Government, the project was shrouded in controversy and it was labelled as a white elephant by the Labour Opposition. It eventually opened on 7th October 2001 after enabling legislation created the concept in the National Wine Centre Act (1997). After a number of problems with funding, management and profitability, the Wine Centre operation was taken over by the University of Adelaide on 1st July 2003. It now offers some of the university’s oenology courses, as well as the public face of the wine industry in Australia.

Wine is an alcoholic beverage, typically made from grape juice that has been allowed to ferment. The composition of grapes is such that they can ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes or other nutrients. Various types of yeast that are added to the crushed grapes, cause them to ferment. Yeast consumes the sugars found in the grapes and converts them into alcohol. Different varieties of grapes and strains of yeasts are used depending on the type of wine being produced. Different production methods will give rise to red or white wines, still or sparkling. Although other fruits such as apples and various berries can also be fermented, the resultant wines are normally named after the fruit from which they are produced, for example, elderberry wine. These are beverages that and are generically known as fruit wine.

wine |wīn| noun
An alcoholic drink made from fermented grape juice.
• [with adj. ] An alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of specified other fruits or plants: A glass of dandelion wine.
• Short for wine-red .
verb [ trans. ] (wine and dine someone)
Entertain someone by offering them drinks or a meal: Members of Congress have been lavishly wined and dined by lobbyists for years.
• [ intrans. ] (of a person) Take part in such entertainment: We wined and dined with Eddie’s friends.
“Good wine needs no bush” proverb: There’s no need to advertise or boast about something of good quality as people will always discover its merits. [ORIGIN: a bush was an innkeeper’s sign, originally depicting a bunch of ivy used (in place of grape leaves) to show that the establishment sold wine.]
Winey (also winy) adjective
ORIGIN Old English wīn, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wijn, German Wein, based on Latin vinum, from Greek (w)oínos.


  1. This looks more like a ship being built than a barrel to me.......

  2. What an interesting building! I can see the barrel resemblance, perhaps only because I have seen a barrel being made.
    Australian wine is very popular here and with good reason!