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NATIONAL wine writer Tony Love describes it as the buffet to beat all buffets. But rather than all you can eat, it’s all the great Australian wine you can sample in one spot.

The National Wine Centre in Adelaide has turned the traditional cellar door tasting into a space age experience with a bank of 14 hi-tech Enomatic dispensing machines able to pour 120 wines at any time in varying volumes.

Among the offerings will be some of the South Australia’s iconic drops, like Penfolds Grange and Henschke Hill of Grace.

A bottle of Penfolds Grange might be out of reach for most wine lovers at $700 in most retail shops, but via the centre’s new machines you can taste a 25ml pour for $27.50, a half glass for $75 and a full 150ml glass that will set you back $150.

The three pour sizes apply across all 120 wines, from whites to big reds, sourced from every major Australian wine region.

The $350,000 investment, the largest wine dispensing bank in Australia and one of the biggest in the world, is the first stage in a major revamp of the National Wine Centre, says general manager Adrian Emeny.

To come is a complete rebuild of the centre’s exhibition space, to be phased during the next year, and includes extended tasting bar opening hours to 9pm every night from next month with share platters, as well as more food and wine events, cooking classes and regional showcases.

The centre has geared up to be a greater food and wine tourism experience than ever, Emeny said.

“From a tourism perspective, a lot of people don’t have the time to get out to the regions,” he added.

“We’re a first taste of the whole Australian wine offering.

“It’s all about going back to what the venue was originally designed to be – about education and the full experience associated with wine.”

The wines, ranging in price from $1.25 for an Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc tasting of 25ml to $27.50 for the same amount of Henschke Hill of Grace or Penfolds Grange, are preserved from oxidation by a small shot of argon gas pumped by the machine into the bottles, which are expected to last for a maximum of about three weeks.

Source: The Australian