I've just joined up, posted a few lines of non-sense here and there and figured I had better introduce myself before I get too carried away. This seemed like a reasonable thread to do it in.
I grew up in Arizona, but have been in Australia for about 25 years now. My wife has been dragging me kicking and screaming
to wineries around Oz ever since. We got the winery visit bug when we were still in the USA and visited Sonoma with some friends and to this day we buy most of our wines at the cellar door. It is not cheaper to buy at the cellar door, but we find it is much more rewarding.
My wine collection currently holds roughly 1000 bottles, not including 'this years drinking'. I am in no way an expert pallate. I have an lousy nose that prevents me from picking up on some of the subtler nuances. My wife can detect a corked Sauternes from across a crowded restaurant (it caused quite a stir at the time too - and she was right), but I have to depend almost completely on mouth feel, thus I am a fan of big full-bodied reds. Fortunately there are quite a few Australian wines that fit the bill. I can appreciate the subtler wines, but big reds are the go.
Because we live in Melbourne and buy almost all of our wine at the cellar door most of out wine is Victorian, and most of that is from Rutherglen. We have a group of friends that make a trip every year for the entire 25 years I have been here. Rutherglen is famous for its fortifieds, but they make some outstanding table wines as well. Especially if you like big full-bodied reds like I do.
We have visited all the major wine regions in Australia, Hunter River, Griffith, and Riverina in New South Wales, Coonawara, Barossa, Mclaren Vale, and Clare Valley in South Australia, Margaret River and Albany in Western Australia, Tamar Valley in Tasmania. We have visited most of the wineries with a cellar door in Victoria in regions like Rutherglen, Geelong, Heathcote, King Valley, Yarra Valley, Mornington Penninsula, Gippsland, Great Western, the Pyrenees and others.
I have a home-grown database program. Yes the biggest problem is data entry, but I have it down as easy as I can. I have drop down lists for everything practical, wineries, labels/brands, grape varieties, regions, even box/storage bin numbers and bottle size. This means that when I come across something new I need to add it before I can record the bottle. But most times I can just copy an existing record and change just the data that is different, like the vintage, drinking year, and price. I can locate a bottle anywhere. I can produce listings by region, maker, grape variety, specified drinking year, vintage, etc. I can export it to HTML and publish it to the web if I want. There are far too many bugs in it to make it public, but one day I will, I promise.