I have to laugh at that, Frank. Our friends from Perth, Australia, are all about Aussie wines. At one point a few years back he responded to a wine list in Europe which featured a couple of California wines by noting that the Aussies were so good they were being consulted by the French. I deadpanned back "that's because we bested them in 1976 and they're too embarrassed to ask us", drawing a completely blank stare from my friend. He'd never heard of the 1976 Judgment. I told him he needed to be educated.
I was kidding, but he flat out said he didn't think we were very advanced and seriously doubted the "beating the French" thing. So a gauntlet was tossed. (To be fair, you need to understand that California produces huge amounts of wine that largely remain on US tables - supply and demand being what they are. Australia produces a lot of wine, but it must be exported because of the much smaller domestic market -- they also have little need to import. So it's understandable that other than France and Italy, they're not really schooled in the other wine regions.)
But a gauntlet was thrown as I said, and this last year they came to California. We treated them to Stag's Leap, Grgich Hills and several other premium growers. They rather deservedly left with their Aussie tails lowered. Oz produces some truly outstanding wines, but California wine sits in nobody's back seat either.
Next year we're returning the favor by visiting the Hunter River and Margaret Valley regions in Australia.
So it's not just you, Franky. Not just you.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.