Blog 79: Guest blog from Jason at Rich & Lingering Bespoke Food & Wine Tours

Being a wine guide in McLaren Vale is tough!

You would think having a job where you spend your day travelling around the gorgeous McLaren Vale, dining at some of the states best restaurants, enjoying some of the sensational wines of the region would be tough.  Well you are right!  It’s incredibly tough.  Tough I tell you! (Well that’s what I keep telling myself).  Do you know how much research goes into finding great food and wine for our guests?

So what exactly do we do?  Rich & Lingering provide private food and wine tours around South Australia.   Each of our tours are tailored to our guests’ interests and preferences.  Over the years I’ve been involved with premium boutique producers, doing my first vintage in 2002 in the Adelaide Hills.  I also work as a wine assessor/judge for some of the industry research bodies.  On some days I consult for clients and help them to develop their cellars and wine lists, and a bit of food and wine matching.  Again this is all very tough.  This means I spend most of my time working closely with premium producers around South Australia. 

While our private tours do cover the key regions of South Australia, one of my favourite regions would have to be McLaren Vale.  It’s a compact region, but with a diversity of producers making great wines from a varied range of soils and climates.  The area embraces innovation in its winemaking and the varieties grown.  My guests are always amazed at this diversity and innovation.  I love how the food and the wine producers have really come together, in a gorgeous district close to the sea, to provide a total foodie experience for both visitors and locals alike.  

Oliver’s Taranga is one of our special producers that always receive exceptional feedback from our guests.  They love the gorgeous views across the vineyards and the valley as well.  The range of pioneering varieties (like Fiano, Tempanillo, Sagrantino) in addition to the regions hero’s; like Shiraz and Grenache.  One of my personal favourites is Olivers’ Fiano; interesting and textural wine which matches a range of food. 

From time to time we have had a number of very special guests looking for exceptional food and wine experiences.  One of our high profile guests who adored Olivers Taranga, was the US Ambassador to Australia.  It was a great pleasure to show The Ambassador and his wife around the Vale, but the security logistics were fun. 

I wasn’t concerned when they required details about where we were going and who we were seeing.  Even Nicky passed the security test!  The armed Federal Police in front of us and behind us didn’t disturb us.  I wasn’t concerned about being searched, and the vehicle scanned for bombs.  I did, however, get a little concerned when they asked me to start the car, to see if there were explosives connected.  Surely there must be a better way than “just start it up and see if you explode!”

See, I told you it was a tough job. 

Jason Miller

Bon Viveur

Rich & Lingering (

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