Savouring shiraz in South Australia’s State Library

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During the Savour global wine forum in Adelaide last week I co-hosted a Landmark shiraz tasting – a fabulous lineup of great Aussie shirazes from a variety of regions – in the wonderful Mortlock Wing of the SA State Library.

This beautiful old building houses the memory of the Australian wine industry. Its focus is the culture and history of the state of South Australia, a part of which is a massive collection of wine labels and books, the largest collection of wine literature in the southern hemisphere and one of the largest in the world.

It proved the ideal place to show off 16 of the greatest Aussie shirazes, climaxing with 2004 Henschke Hill of Grace (tasting) and 1999 Penfolds Grange (tasting).

The oldest exhibit in the library is an 11th century manuscript which details the punishments for drunken monks in monastries. Drunkenness with vomiting was punished with a diet of nothing but bread and water. The worst offence – for which the monk received 40 days of bread and water – was to get drunk and vomit up the host!

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