Last time I was in Sonoma, we stumbled (literally, we were quite drunk) onto Ledson Winery. It’s winery is a castle-like beauty in the rolling green hills. A few of us decided to join the wine club, mainly because it comped our tastings and we liked a lot of their shit. Ended up, a great decision. These guys gave a lot of value in their club, I always liked the wines they sent, and when I was moving, they let me get all my wine in advance, so I could take it abroad with me. Highly recommend.

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Beer For Blondes!!

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This Just Sounds Like Fun… and Since I was in Spain For the Tomatino Last Year, Ibiza this year, and Oktoberfest next year, I thought I had to Introduce You To The Thirsty Swagman…

What comes to mind when you think of Europe? If images of the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Colosseum flashed before your eyes – you wouldn’t be alone. Such colossal monuments can give us a glimpse into eras as far back as the Roman Empire and are world-renowned symbols of Europe. But what really characterizes Europe? It’s what the Ancient Roman’s bathed in, The Berserker Vikings drank before battle, and the Greeks and Spaniards offered their Gods during ritualised festivities – it is an exquisite drinking culture that is deeply woven into European society, and continues to be embraced and celebrated today by locals and travellers alike.

Travelling around Europe today, a strong drinking culture and appreciation for beer and wine can be seen everywhere. You can enjoy champagne at a bar at the peak of the Eiffel Tower, down an ice-cold lager at a pub in front of the Colosseum, or sip a glass of wine at one of the many Parisian style cafes and bars dotted around the Vatican City.

If you truly want to appreciate European culture – emerging yourself in their timeless drinking culture is a must. That’s why Thirsty Swagman, Australian-based Tour Operator, offers a unique perspective on tours through Europe, taking thirsty adventures on an epic journey to all the best nightlife destinations in Europe. You’ll experience each destination as the locals do, seeing Europe through the bottom of your glass, and all with a crew of 25 strangers who are sure to become your mates for life.

Thirsty Swagman’s tours take travellers to only the most mind-blowing and unique destinations in Europe. With one tour taking travellers to a tiny Gothic town in the heart of the Austrian Alps where you’ll stay in dreamy cabin lodges and spend a day at a privately owned chalet nested 4,000 feet up the mountainside, worth about $8 million. And the view – priceless. Here, the thirsty crew bonds over food, beer and breathtaking panoramic views of the entire town and its domineering surrounding Alps. And as nightfall hits – you’ll be in for a wild ride of Schnapps, AC/DC, and drink servings of Redbull Vodka’s by the metre (wooden racks of 10 drinks at a time).

Think that sounds incredible? You’ll also spend three wild nights at Germany’s famous Oktoberfest in Munich – each tent representing only traditional Munchen breweries. Step inside and you’ll be blown away by each tent’s different themes, giving you an unique and elaborate spread of colours and decorations to drink under. The view is a spectacle you’ll never forget, as 10,000 travellers and locals alike, rock out in traditional German attire and raise their steins in synchrony to a traditional German Brass band playing “Ein Prosit”, a simple melody that literally translates to “a toast”.

Done downing beer in Munich? Why not partake in the wildest food fight on Earth, at La Tomatina, Spain. This is one country that passionately embraces their drinking culture – with a hearty meal not considered complete without the right kind of beverage, and numerous festivals centred around a timeless appreciation for wine. In Spain, you’ll venture to a small (and virtually unheard of) village-town called Buñol, where you and 40,000 partygoers will step onto a narrow street and prepare to paint the walls red with truck-loads of tomatoes before you head to infamous party-island – Ibiza.

Thirsty Swagman is the world’s first tour operating company to offer international pub crawls that will have you toasting, guzzling and dancing as you experience Europe through the bottom of your glass. With tours now heading to 8 mind-boggling destinations across Europe, it’ll be an experience of a lifetime – even if you only remember half of it.

For more information, check out:


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5 Wines I Buy Regularly & Why

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I always end up buying the same wines over and over again.  Why?  Laziness?  Consistency? Lack of Imagination?  Maybe.

But really, I think its about not being disappointed.  Contrary to the habits I formed in my 20’s (I just turned 30), drinking a bottle every night is probably not the best idea.

That being said, it is important to know that when you do indulge, you are drinking what you like, and liking what you drink.  So here are just 5 of my go-to wines, and why I like them.

5)  Ledson “Mes Trois Amours” 2007.

Why Ledson?  Well, first, I’m in their wine club.  Its the only wine club I am in, if that says anything.  They basically don’t make a bad wine, but their Trios Amours is super yummy lush, deep, with supple dark fruit.  And, I really, really, liked visiting there.  They have an amazing castle-like estate in the heart of Sonoma.  Its beautiful.  So, wine not?!?

4)  Layer Cake’s Malbac 2009.

Layer Cake always ends up in my shopping cart.  It is just one of those consistant and satisfying wines, that you can pop open on a Tuesday night, and not worry about having spent a fortune on it.  Its about $15 a bottle.  Also, its a great wine to take to a party or a friends house, because, lets face it, most people at the party probably wouldn’t even understand the difference between this wine and more expensive competitors, so go with the quality-minded bet.  Plus, the label is cute, so girls like it.

3) Ridge Lytton Springs Zin 2007-2009.

Now, I need to be specific here:  I do not like all Ridge Wines.  Their super-high-end Monte Bello left a lot to be desired.  Their other zins can be flat and boring.  However, every single time I’ve bought the Lytton Springs Zin, I’ve basically stuck my tongue in the bottom of the bottle to lick out every drop.  This is the perfect wine for those nights you are having a Betty-Homemaker attack, and feel the need to cook your loved one dinner.  Its a “nice” wine, without costing over $30.  Also a really good wine for newer wine drinkers, because it has a little more sugar left on it.

2) Caymus (just about any year)

I don’t get to drink Caymus everyday…. yet.  But it is certainly on the “goals” list to someday make Caymus my “Tuesday Wine.”  There are two types of Caymus.  The regular, and the Special Select.  Don’t waste your $ on the special select, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.  Caymus is the wine you bring and share with your friends who know about wine and like to drink wine.  With every bottle of Caymus, I try and make sure it is decanted, poured, and consumed before everyone is too drunk to appreciate it.  It is pure silk in a bottle.  I also had the chance to meet the winemaker when I was at U.C. Davis.  Really cool guy.  I think we smoked cigars together, but I don’t remember much from the Davis Executive Program, other than it was fun.

1) Heitz Cellars Cab 2005.

As far as price-quality-value-fanciness goes, I love me some Heitz Cellars.  They are about 100% Cab.  Big.  Napa. Fruit.  The only reason Caymus is not in the #1 spot is because of its spendy price tag.  Heitz does the wow almost as well for half the price.  Heitz wine has been a friend of mine since I was 20.  Although I don’t really know anyone from the company, I still feel like we go way back.  It is a little bit of a homecoming when I buy and drink Heitz Cellars.  Reminds me of the first Napa Cabs I fell in love with.

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