Thursday, November 04, 2004

I'd Rather be in Kalangadoo!!!

I must say that I am truly disheartened and disillusioned with America. I've been disappointed by a God-fearing, tractor-pulling public. So much for separation of church and state. Should I play to people's fears to get ahead in life? John Kerry conceded yesterday. I'm very upset by this. I stayed up until about 3:30 AM before I gave up and went to bed. I was hoping that I'd have something to smile about in the morning (and the following 4 years). Well, at least Kerry won Michigan. I must say that I'm surprised by the city of Dearborn. Kerry won with a decent margin. Way to go Dearborn! I'm especially disappointed with the win of Proposal 2 in Michigan. This country has a long way to go.
This is my first attempt at a blog or anything like this. Don't expect fancy links or pretty pictures because I'm essentially technologically inept. I also have dial-up.
I had the most wonderful opportunity to visit Australia in the Fall of 2003 (Spring in Oz). I won a trip sponsored by the Australian Wine Bureau (I took a series of quizzes, wrote essays, and analyzed a bottle of wine). I've fantasized about going to Australia ever since I wrote a report on it in elementary school. I was lucky enough to join 7 other young wine professionals and two young and very talented wine writers for a jam-packed tour of Australian wine country. IT WAS THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME!!! I cannot thank the AWB enough for the opportunity. I tear up every time I think of it. I met the most amazing people, saw the most beautiful sunsets, had the world's best food, and of course lots and lots of WONDERFUL Australian wine and beer. I've made friends for a lifetime. I'm so thankful. I had the amazing opportunity to stay for two days at Kalangadoo House in Kalangadoo, South Australia, near Penola and Coonawarra in the Limestone Coast region. Kalangadoo House is an 1870 homestead (converted to a B&B) with 50 acres surrounded by nothing but gum trees, cattle, and sheep. Coonawarra is a famous wine region that is fairly big in size, but accomodations are scarce. We had to split into three groups and stay in three separate accomodations. We flew into Mt. Gambier airport from Adelaide and were driven to our accomodations (thanks Karen!). We had a little time to settle in and then get ready to be driven to dinner at the Menzies Room for dinner in Coonawarra. It was at this moment when I believe I was truly at peace with myself. Every part of the trip was amazing, but I was happiest at this moment in my life. We (Philippa, Sara, Tim, Shayn, and myself) sat in the grass drinking sparkling wine and listened to everything that nature had to offer. The choir of cattle, sheep, and Australian magpies (they produce the most beautiful song on earth) against the backdrop of gum trees before sunset was life-changing. I then had a little time to myself on the upstairs porch listening to the deafeningly beautiful songs of the magpies and gallahs. I was at peace. I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that place again. I love the United States, but my heart and my spirit are in Australia. I've become more disheartened with this country as time goes on. The recent election has essentially sealed the deal. I want to be in Australia. I want to see Sydney, Adelaide, and Melbourne again. I want to go to Broken Hill again. I'll write more about Australia in more detail in future blogs. Australia is AMAZING! But here I am in Michigan. I'D RATHER BE IN KALANGADOO!!!
Today's recommended wine is: 2003 Piping Shrike Barossa Valley Shiraz ($13.99)
This is some damn fine stuff if I may say so myself. It's big and full-bodied with expressive berry fruit, subtle Christmas spice, and vanilla dominating on the nose. Gobs of blackberry and raspberry fruit are further accented with notes of melted licorice, pepper, and sweet vanillin. The finish lingers for about a half-minute. This shiraz on steroids is a monster at 15% alcohol, especially at its fantastic price. Don't pass it up. IT'S A STEAL!!!



Blogger JulieU. said...

Good first entry Jason.
I look forward to reading your future blog entries.

3:00 PM  

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