First Drop Wines - Home of the Brave Wine & Tapas Room

First Drop Wines, Home of the Brave Wine and Tapas Room - 30/38 Barossa Valley Way, Nuriootpa SA 5355


First Drop Wines

First Drop's cellar door was previously a Penfold's winery site and you can't miss the big sign outside their door. When you see 'First Drop Wines - Home of the Brave' you know you've arrived. Our day trip to the Barossa, including wine tastings and lunch were organised by the lovely people of First Drop Wines, and boy do they know how to put on a great wine event.

Wine Barrel Tasting
An hour trip from Adelaide, it is a picturesque drive to the Barossa that lets you see the wonders of the land. On arrival, we were greeted by the owner of the winery, John Retsas, and were promptly taken to the shed where the fine wines are made. We were each given a taste of freshly made red wine straight from the barrel!  First drop wines are made from some of the best fruit within the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale and we could taste wonderful fruity aromas of blueberry that had us wanting more. All good things take time and this brew would not be ready until another two years.

Wine Spitting Competition
To give us a proper welcoming to the winery, John challenged all of us to a wine spit-off. It is exactly as it sounds and requires some rather good spitting abilities. There were some great efforts made with some spitting their red as far as 3 or 4 metres, in the end, there could only be one winner who walked away with a brand new cricket bat. All this wine spitting got us famished and ready to taste some of the wines that First Drop touts as the best.

On entering the cellar door, we are greeted with a long bar with tables in front of it, already filled with people enjoying various wines and tapas. Our host takes us to another part of the building, into what appears to be a function room where a long table is already stunningly set up and waiting for us to begin the festivities.

Let the wine tasting begin!
Each sitting has a print out of six different wine placements, and we are treated to each one in succession. The first wine we are served is the 2014 Mere Et Fils - Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, and while I (Sofia) must confess I am not a big fan of Sparkling Chardonnay, both myself and Amanda, greatly enjoyed this fruity sparkling wine. It was light with a hint of sweetness, smooth and easy to drink, a must for any Chardonnay fan. Then a pour of the 2015 Endless Summer - Adelaide Hills Pinot Grigio followed suit and it was as delightful as the first pour. Crisp, light and easy to drink, we were ready to enjoy another glass!

Anchovies marinated in extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon and parsley
Trio of marinated olives 
Finely sliced cured meats
The first two wines were accompanied by a delicious selection of tapas created by John and his staff at First Drop. We had anchovies marinated in extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon and parsley, trio of marinated olives, finely sliced cured meats and fresh crusty bread. We thoroughly enjoyed mopping up the olive oil from the anchovies with the fresh bread, the aroma of fresh garlic, sea salt and tangy olive oil were a delicious flavour combination.

Then came the drop we were all waiting for, the much acclaimed 2014 Mother's Ruin - McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon which was a nice strong red with beautiful hints of spices. The bottle's design is quite clever and interesting to look at, and has a wonderful story, make sure to visit the cellar door and check out the bottle.

Haloumi
Following this, a pouring of the 2013 Nacional - McLaren Vale Touriga Nacional was a smooth and delicious pour and went excellently with the pan fried haloumi cheese, which was fresh with a bit of squeak (just how we like it).

West Coast cooked prawns
Calamari
Along with this we were treated to platters of West Coast cooked prawns and locally caught calamari dusted in flour and lightly fried - served with a fresh lemon and a side dipping plate of aioli mayonnaise. This by far was my favourite dish, the calamari was bursting with flavour, delicate and perfectly seasoned, it had a wonderful flavour and texture that just melted on the tongue. I could eat this all day.

2015 Mother's Milk Barossa Shiraz
Our next pour was John's and First Drop's pride and joy and one of their best sellers, the 2015 Mother's Milk - Barossa Shiraz, and we could see why; smooth and easy to drink this was a flavourful shiraz that we could enjoy with any meal. And for the pièce de résistance of serious wines came the 2013 Does your dog bite? Moculta - Eden Valley Syrah, a crisp, earthy flavour for the serious wine drinkers.

Caprese Salad
Patates bravas
Spring roasted lamb racks
Mushrooms
These two reds were accompanied by a fresh Caprese salad, spring roasted lamb racks, mushrooms and patates bravas. Being the potato lover that I am, the patates were absolutely delicious, perfectly cooked with a crunchy outer and soft inner. The lamb racks were juicy and easily came away from the bone. Each bite was as flavourful as the last.

Sicilian Cannoli & Dark Chocolate
We immensely enjoyed our feast, and all while the weather stormed and raged outside, we were happily sipping on some delectable wines and tucking into some of the freshest and mouthwatering foods we have been treated to in a while. To complete our feast, John had organised a plate of freshly piped Sicilian cannoli and squares of mixed, dark chocolates to round off our meal. The cannoli were superb, the shell was crunchy while the ricotta filling was fresh and smooth. The chocolate squares were a fine example of how dark chocolate should be, smooth with a bitter end. We could definitely eat this type of chocolate all day!

This amazing day of wine and food was the work of First Drop Wines and it's hands-on owner who loves good wine and great food. As the South Australian seasons move into Spring, we highly recommend you take a day trip to this fantastic winery and see for yourself the kind of wines and foods First Drop has to offer.

First Drop Wines' 'Home of the Brave' Wine & Tapas Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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