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By Alicia Norton

Living in Adelaide we’re lucky to be surrounded by some of the best wine regions in the world and boy — don’t we know it! You’d be hard pressed to find a South Aussie who hasn’t indulged in a local wine tour and I’m sure we’ve all got stories to tell. I was once part of a group that featured a girl dressed in a dinosaur onesie. Let me explain,  she’d been at a dress-up party the night before, had accidentally locked herself out of her flat and didn’t have a chance to get changed before the tour. Her hangover kicked in at about 2pm and it was game over.  While that was probably a unique occurrence, you’ll always find plenty of interesting characters on wine tours which is what makes them so much fun.. With that in mind, I present my top ten…

Alicia Norton; adelady; wine tours

1. The One who’s driving the bus – a.k.a your driver

Your driver can make or break your wine tour – so you better get a good one. When you do find a good one, you get their details and tattoo them to your skin so that you never EVER lose them.  They are crucial for a great day out. If you get a bad one, he (or she) will crush your fun and you’ll feel like you’re on your way to Yatala and not Yulumba.

2. The one with the itinerary

Alicia Norton; adelady; wine tours

Usually the organiser of the day, this person – and let’s face it, it’s probably a female, has scheduled the day to the last minute. You must leave when she says so – she’s checked online for any planned road works and has ensured that the driver takes the route that avoids these. Spend a moment too long sipping on some Pinot and you’ll be in her bad books for days. #bitchyrestingface. Here’s a  tip – get this person drunk, not tipsy (otherwise she’ll go ultra power-trip on you). She’ll need to get Geordie Shore hammered and your day will be way more fun!

3. The one who knows what they’re talking about

If your friendship group is anything like mine then they’ve probably only just progressed from drinking wine from a bag attached to a hills hoist. But there’s always one exotic friend who grew up on a winery or works at a cellar door in the Barossa and knows the correct pronunciation for everything. For example, they are the only one who can pronounce Tempranillo (Pro tip: it’s Spanish so the double L has an eee sound – like tortilla). They aren’t arrogant about it, just quietly confident.  The arrogance comes with number 4.

Alicia Norton; adelady; wine tours

4. The one who thinks they know what they’re talking about

This guy (and yeah, it’s usually a guy, in my experience) is arrogance personified. He knows everything that there is to know about anything – just ask him! You’ll soon realise that actually, he’s pretty clueless. He’ll tell you all about this great GSM that he had recently and how the merlot component of the wine really allowed the Grenache to shine. He’ll also hear nothing of it when you try to correct him – the M probably stands for Mourvedre. His loss, I guess, roll your eyes, walk on and take him off your ‘potential future husband’ list (I’m sure I’m not the only one with a list like this?) Anyway, he’s the one you’ll want to kill by the end of the day.

5. The one who knows they know nothing

I think this is where I fall – we’re the kinda people who use words like ‘peppery’, ‘rich’, ‘smooth’ and ‘fruity’ because we’ve heard them thrown around by people whom we assume know wine.  We know that wine is delicious. We know that some wines are nicer than others and that some are more expensive. But our first taste of ‘wine’ was probably Passion Pop. We figure however, as long as it’s South Aussie and costs more than a tenner, we’re onto a winner. #Woody

6. The ‘Cultured’ one

They once holidayed in Bordeaux, “Did you know?” The answer is yes, because they told you a million times. Possibly more. They’ve tried a glass of wine from a bottle that cost more than your first car, “Did you know?” Yes, because they told you. “Did you know that France has better wine than the Barossa?” Nope, but if that’s the case, then maybe they should go back there? Nobody cares how well travelled you are and that your parents probably paid for your plane ticket so they don’t have to see you.  This person is only here because someone else pulled out at the last minute and they needed another bum on the bus (to reduce the overall cost per person.)

7. The one to keep by your side

Sometimes you just need to keep someone around who makes you look good. Be it that they’re that little bit more clueless than you or that little bit more drunk, just use it to your advantage – shine while they crumble.

8. The one who gets white-girl-wasted

She (or he) was drinking UDLs while you waited for the bus. They have a miniature bottle of vodka stashed in their handbag and they can actually be a great asset to your day – as long as they aren’t sick on the bus. They can be your entertainment – they’re the one singing Bohemian Rhapsody as you pull up to the second winery and attempting to pole dance on the bus as you pull up to the third. But it’s okay, they’ll be asleep on the way home.

Alicia Norton; adelady; wine tours

9. The one who won’t be invited back

Though they get hammered like our friend in number nine, this character is never an asset. They helped themselves to someone else’s bottle of port on the way back to the city and their actions lead you to question why you ever became friends with them in the first place. They get angry drunk and yell expletives at other tour buses as they pass them on the open road. You know that they’re a lovely person (when sober) but not next wine tour material – next year you’ll conveniently book a smaller bus and accidentally forget to let them know about the trip!

10. The one who is there for the beer

I’m not sure I trust people who don’t like wine. I guess I just don’t understand them. As a South Aussie girl, borN and raised in the Adelaide Hills, wine drinking has been a part of my life since before I can remember. Growing up playing in vineyards didn’t do me any harm – unless you count consuming wine from a young age, harmful? So when someone agrees to come on a wine tour – just to enjoy the day and NOT drink wine (pregnant women are exempt from this), then I’m always baffled! Sure, whoever planned the day probably slotted in a visit to a microbrewery to satisfy this attendee and there’s no harm in that – yay beer! But seriously…you don’t drink wine? Are you even a person?

Alicia Norton; adelady; wine tours

Take note; a man whom does not drink wine will NOT make my ‘potential future husband list’.

Have we missed anyone – let us know!

Alicia xx

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