Wino 101: Preservatives – allergies.

Hi everyone,

I’ve decided to continue on from yesterday’s post as it was a rather rushed little blog and wine allergies and preservatives is something that many people have spoken to me about from friends to customers at work. Wine allergies are not simple to pin point as there are many components in wine from which people can react to. Yesterday’s post was on sulphides, but there are all the refining products such as milk and eggs, along with yeast and the grapes themselves for people to have allergic reactions to.

Sulphides

As yesterday’s post explained sulphides are necessary for imported wines as well as Australian wines due to them being lower in acid than wine from cooler climates. And overall sulphides allow wine to not spoil as easily as it did in the past.

Sulphide reactions are often linked to asthma and this is the more serious concern as sulphides in wine can lead to reactions with histamine. Wines contain naturally occurring sulphides and therefore will always contain a small proportion of sulphides, what can be controlled is how much more sulphur is added to the wine during production and fermentation. Wine without added sulphides are hard to find in Australia when you’re looking in major wine retails shops, if you think this is a concern and would like to try low-sulphide or preservative-free wines then going to cellar door or building up a friendship with your local independent bottle shop is my best advice. However you will be restricted to quite a small section of the wine industry and market if you make this decision.

Another alternative is to add something to your wine which will cause a chemical reaction to occur forcing the sulphides to be released from the wine. I am not a fan of this method as the additive is bleach and if it is not fully consumed by the sulphides in the wine then it will remain in the wine and be consumed by yourself.

Personally my favourite method is to allow the wine the chance to breathe either in a decanter or in my glass and while this method perhaps does not remove all the sulphides it is the most natural method which allows me the ability to not be restricted in my wine drinking. Also drinking when eating allows the food to decreases the full effect of the wine on your stomach and insides in comparison to drinking on an empty stomach (something which I do not advocate either).

Phenols

Phenols in wine are naturally occurring chemical compounds which can be found generally in the wines skin. Therefore the percentage of phenols is higher in wines which have had increased contact with the skin, red wines and the more expensive generally the longer the time spent on skins. Phenols can also get into the wine through time spent in barrels and this again impacts upon only certain wines and more often red wine than white wines.

There is no products on the market for removing phenols like there is for wine. People who react to red wine have told me that drinking it over ice prevent it from occurring and I will have to ask my chemistry majoring friends about this as it is likely the lower temperature alters the ability for the reaction to proceed, but I will get back to you on that. The best advice if you fall in this category is to avoid oaked wine and wine which has spent a lot of time on skins.

Refining Products

Common refining products for wine are egg and milk. If you have an allergy to either of these products then the only solution is to avoid all wines with the product mentioned on the label. Due to allergic reaction is it a requirement for Australian wines to label if these products are used, so don’t be afraid to have a look at the back label.

Also if you are vegan than wines that uses refining products such as egg whites and milk are to be avoided. Yalumba Y Series is one range which I know is vegan friendly however there are many other on the market.

Yeast

Yeast allergies are noticeable when you feel fatigued after a glass of wine (or beer). Yeast allergies occur when the yeast is still alive in the wine and it is consumed by someone who is allergic to it. There is no solution to remove all traces of yeast from wine. Best solution is to avoid all drinks that use yeast in fermentation.

Until next time!

Wino 101: Wine Preservatives – Sulphides

Hey everyone,

Sorry for such a late and short post; I was without internet yesterday so it was hard to get the research done for this post. Just a quick intro into Sulphur Dioxide as a preservative and trying to demystify it. Preservatives are used to preserve the wines for transportation as well as shelf life, the preservatives do so by reducing spoilage of the wine through oxidisation and wild yeast continuing fermentation. The most commonly used additional preservative in Australian wine is Sulphur Dioxide/Preservative 220, however there is a few others which are also used less commonly.

Wine is alreay preserved by the acid, alcohol and tannins present in the wine. White wine lacks tannins and therefore looses out on it’s preserving features, the upside to this is that white wine often needs to be drunk in the short-term for the freshness of wine is a key part of a good white wine. While some white wines can be cellared for an extended period of time these wines are often higher in fruit flavour and often oaked. Preservation is also dependant upon many features of the wine from for example the grapes, alcohol, tannin and acid content, as well as the device in which wine is stored and it’s permeability.

Some people react badly to the sulphides or preservatives used in winemaking. There are products on the market which will release the sulphides from the wine such as SO2GO and pure wine, these are basically diluted hydrogen-peroxide aka bleach. I personally am not a fan of these additives as have studied chemistry in the past along with having bleached my hair the thought of adding hydrogen-peroxide even in a diluted form to my wine seems not only a sin but also not the smartest thing to do.

Sulphides however tend to me more present in white wine than red wine so when people say they are allergic to the sulphides in red wine they are more likely reacting to phenolics. I will put up a post in the future on phenolics as red wine allergies seem to be a common problem for many people I know and even I have from time to time felt a little rotten a while after a glass of red wine.

Until next time!

Halliday Day: Week 10 – Hay Shed Hill Wines

Hi everyone,

Hay Shed Hill Winery is located in Margaret River near the Chocolate Factory. Rated a solid 5 starts by James Halliday, and owned by wine maker Michael Kerrigan since 2006 (in a co-ownership with West Cape Howe Wines) who previously worked for Howard Park Winery.

Hay Shed Hill Winery has 3 different labels. Their basic range is called Pitchfork and their Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Merlot is available at Liquorland but the range also includes a Rose, Chardonnay, Late Harvest White, and Shiraz. Their Premium line consists of a ‘Block Series’ which consists of ‘Block 1’ Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Block 6’ Chardonnay, ‘Block 2’ Cabernet Sauvignon, ‘Block 8’ Cabernet Franc and ‘Block 10’ Petit Verdot. The last label is one which is a collaboration with West Cape Howe wine maker Gavin Berry which consists of a Great Southern Riesling and a Cabernet Sauvignon which is a combination of Margaret River and Great Southern grapes.

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I’ve had a meal at the onsite cafe at Hay Shed Hill Winery last summer and it made for such a relaxing afternoon! I ended up sharing their venison chorizo pizza, 4 cheeses pizza, beer batter chips, and a green salad with two others along with a bottle of Kerrigan and Berry’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was this meal which made me end up leaving Hay Shed Hill Wines with a box of wines including some of the 2008 Kerrigan and Berry Cabernet Sauvignon, which I have unfortunately already consumed.

I also had the chance while at the cafe to visit their cellar door and this winery was the first time I was exposed to some uncommon grape varietals. I sampled Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc for the first time. The staff who ran the cellar door at this time were inviting and friendly to talk to, it was a pleasure to have met them.

If you’re in the area I highly recommend this winery not only for their wines but also for their uncomplicated but delicious food!

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 4)

Hi everyone,

I spent a few hours last Sunday in the Swan Valley with the overseas family and tasted a few wines along the way. My review of what I sampled in the Swan Valley can be hound here. I did also bring a few wines home with me from the Swan Valley, one of which went straight into the fridge and was had with dinner on Sunday night. Dinner that night consisted of fresh bread along with cheeses and olives which we had picked up in the Swan Valley and a fresh salad. We paired the meal with Moondah Brook‘s Rose which had strawberries and cream on the nose and on the palate it was a light bodied wine which continued the strawberries and cream that I noted from the aroma. The wine began quite sweet at first but ended with a slightly crisp finish giving an overall medium-dry finish. This Rose was delicious and hopefully one I can find in bottle shops in Perth! Tasting notes for this wine cam be found here.

Rose.

Rose.

As we had overseas relatives in town we took them on a Captain Cook’s cruise of the Swan River, something I had never done before to show them the city. During part of the cruise we had lunch provided which consisted of a Lamb curry, vegetarian lasagne, cold meats, a variety of salad and bread. The food was to die for and I could not get enough of the curry and potato salad that they had!

View of Perth as the boat departed.

View of Perth as the boat departed.

To go with the food I had a glass of Waters Edge Classic Dry White and we ended up having a bottle of their Wagtail Sparkling on the house as we were celebrating two birthdays. The bubbly was quite refreshing and the service on the cruise was exceptional!

Wagtail Sparkling.

Wagtail Sparkling.

I also managed to slip a red wine in this week with a small glass of Vasse Felix’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot. The wine was light bodied and smooth and it was good to have a red wine as with it being summer I’ve been tending to stick to white, rose and sparkling wine. I have always been impressed whenever I have a Vasse Felix wine and this one did not disappoint me! Expect to see a more in depth review of this wine when I review the meal I had with it at the Blue Duck in Cottesloe.IMG_1006

This week was also the first time I met up with The Perth Wine Enthusiast and The Perth Food Journal for our Wine Century Challenge meet. We added two new varietals to the list as well as having the chance to taste the range from a small winery in the Yarra Valley which is run by some passionate wine makers as well as a blind tasting of Mourvèdre which was my first time trying this varietal straight. You can read about our meet in this blog post. We also had some food at Steve’s Fine Food and Wine in Nedlands where we met up so there will be photos of that in the post also.

Last wine to quickly slip in this post, is one which BF actually picked out last night when we went for a quick meal to celebrate my final marks at uni meaning that I will be graduating at the end of summer! BF is a keen lover of cricket and the label of this wine played into that love leading to a big decision of which of the two label for this wine to pick (he chose the one on the right). We ended up taking this Jim Barry Sauvignon Blanc Semillon to Blend Cafe in Melville as I had a friends birthday party in the area to go to afterwards. The wine was a good, and for a bottle that was picked for the label BF did good. There was recently cut grass on the nose along with a hint of lychee and tropical fruits, on the palate it was slightly fruit sweet with a good amount of acid but little on the finish. Tasting notes for the wine can be found here.

Wine Labels.

Wine Labels.

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Until next time!

Perth Wine Group, First Meet

Hi everyone,

As many of you should know I stumbled across the Wine Century Challenge a few weeks ago and over that time there has been a lot of interest from other food and wine bloggers in Perth as well as general people. The founding members of the group consists of The Perth Wine Enthusiast (PWE), Perth Food Journal (PFJ), Travelling Corkscrew (TC) and myself. TC was not able to make it to our first meet at Steve’s Fine Wine and Food in Nedlands.

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If you want to find people who are passionate about wine then Steve’s is the place to go! Michael who runs the bottle shop brought such great energy to the place and he really loves his wines both to sample them and to talk about them!

We ended up adding sampling two new varietals along with a few well known varietals as it turned out that Wednesday nights is when Steve’s has a winemaker or rep in for tastings. We ended up also sampling most of the range from Soumah winery in the Yarra Valley, which consisted of their Pinot Noir, Wooded Chardonnay and Savarro (their trademarked name for Savagnin, due to their vines being planted as Savagnin intentionally while it was still being mistaken in Australia for Albariño). I adored their Pinot Noir and it made me quite excited for my trip to Melbourne next month! Their labelling was delightful and informative unlike many labels you see out on the shelves these days.

Soumah label.

Soumah label.

Our two new varietals tried were:

Müller-Thurgau

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This wine had some nice acid, minerality and a hint of spiciness that made for an exciting wine to sample.

Savagnin

(aka what was accidentally thought to be Albariño in Australia for quite some time)

The Savarro when first poured was very chilled and as a result there was little to no aroma that BF or I could determine and on the palate it reminded me of Gewürtztraminer and how it had been disappointing for me compared to Rieslings which I love. The wine improves as it warmed in the glass but by then I had moved on to other wines before ending up back with the Müller-Thurgau which had impressed me at the start of the night.

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The picture below is a shot of the sides of the labels on Soumah’s wines and what makes it clear that the wine makers are driving these wines. The detail on the side of the label are like nothing I have ever seen before but something that I truly hope more wineries will adopt as it makes selecting a wine so much easier when you actually know what is in the bottle.

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I adored the first wine (the Müller-Thurgau from northern Italy) from the aroma to the taste of the wine across your palate it continued to surprise me with where it went next. A real treat and one I just barely resisted adding to my collection, but it is on the list along with a few other wines for when I have depleted my stash.

After having a quick sample of the wines we were all quite peckish, especially after PFJ had told us all about her food adventure while she was in New Zealand recently, especially her all-time favourite fish and chips. We ended up grabbing a Fish and Chips and a Pizza to share. The fish and chips batter was a little on the soft side for my liking, however the tartare sauce and chips were delicious. The pizza was however the highlight of the two dishes, the base was delicious and cooked just the way I like it, the toppings worked very well together and overall the pizza was just yum.

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Pizza: prosciutto, fresh tomato, fresh basil and mozzarella.

Fish and chips.

Fish and chips.

We ended the night with one last wine which Michael brought to us as a blind tasting. It was a wine that threw us all. I knew it was a wine varietal I recognised, but could not narrow it down more than that. PWE said it seemed like an ‘Old World’ wine but Michael then went on to tell us he had thought the same but it was an Australian wine. In the end we all quite liked it but had no idea as to what it was, Michael then revealed it to be the 2010

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Torbrek, 2010, Kyloe, Barossa Valley. (Mourvèdre grape varietal)

It was a wonderful night and BF even popped in for a little while and gave both the new varietals a tick of approval. he too was more of a fan of the first wine, his preference being based upon the lack of aroma on the second wine as well as it being quite limiting on the palate until it had had a chance to warm up in the glass.

For anyone interested in attending our next meet and joining us on the Wine Century Challenge please feel free to contact any one of us on our blogs or Facebook pages as we will add you to the list for those to contact for the next meet which will likely not be until late January next year.

Until next time!

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Sunday Crepe Brunch.

Hi everyone,

BF and I got out the crepe maker that I received as a gift last christmas (and one I have enjoyed using throughout the year) and we decided to finish off the left over bubbly from my graduation dinner. The recipe is nothing flash, we just followed the recipe provided in the instruction manual of the crepe maker.

Making the crepes.

Making the crepes.

The process of making the crepes is a simple as:

1. make the batter.

2. pour the batter onto a plate (the plate in the middle of the above image).

3. flip the crepe maker over into the plate of batter, count to 3 and then flip the crepe maker back over and allow the crepe to cook (as it is doing so in the above image).

4. repeat until batter is all gone.

5. wash and cut up some fresh fruit and serve with cream, ice-cream, maple syrup, sugar, lemon juice, etc.

Fruit.

Fruit.

This device is seriously fool-proof and has led to some delicious brunches. We kept it simple this time with some strawberries, blueberries and bananas along with maple syrup and cream. However in the past there has been some quite complex and intricate arrangements of toppings.

Crepe brunch.

Crepe brunch.

If you know anyone who loves their crepes this is a device I’m sure they would love to receive for Christmas!

Until next time!

Swan Valley

Hi everyone,

With the overseas family in town over the weekend that just passed and we decided to take them to the Swan Valley so we could all explore it for the first time together. We only had a few hours in the Swan Valley and many of our visitors wanted to see the Woodbridge House so we ended up only going to two wineries and a nougat factory as my family has a long line of nougat lovers, and then ending our Swan Valley dash a quick late lunch at the restaurant by Woodbridge House.

1st Stop: Houghton’s.

Our first stop was at Houghton’s, as it is one of the most well known Swan Valley wineries and therefore one to show the international tourists. The grounds were spectacular and I will have to return in the future for a picnic there.

Wisdom Sparkling.

Wisdom Sparkling.

At Houghton’s they had a tasting flight of three white wines and three red wines for $3. In the flight we tasted:

Wisdom Pemberton Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay

2012 Wisdom Pemberton Sauvignon Blanc

2009 Wisdom Pemberton Wooded Chardonnay

2010 175th Anniversary Limited Edition Red Blend

2010 Wisdom Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon

2007 C.W. Ferguson Cabernet Franc

Red's from tasting flight at Houghton's.

Red’s from tasting flight at Houghton’s.

I didn’t mind the white wines beside’s the Chardonnay, for some reason it did not impress nor appeal to me. The red were quite nice, they showed potential but were still quite young.

I left Houghton’s with a hamper of wines from Moondah Brook as we were not allowed to sample their wines and their Rose looked quite tantalising – we ended up having the Rose with dinner that night and it was a great wine for the summer! A full review of the Rose will be in Sunday’s post.

Moondah Brook Hamper.

Moondah Brook Hamper.

2nd Stop: Mondo Nougat.

We left Houghton’s and headed for Mondo for a quick stop here for some gelato and nougat for the rest of the day as well as a few pieces for them to take back home with them. The Nougat here is gluten and dairy free which is a big plus if you or any one you know who loves nougat has these alleges! Also in the shop was the cute Mini Cooper pictures below, not sure if I could drive something like this as it would continually make me hungry!

Mondo Mini Cooper.

Mondo Mini Cooper.

3rd Stop: Cheese Barrel and Olive Farm Wines

We ended up deciding that the Olive Farm would be our last stop before lunch as we heard it had the Cheese Barrel next door and being greeks anything with ‘olive’ in the titled would gamer our attention! The driveway to the Cheese Barrel and the cellar door for Olive Farm Wines was straight through the middle of the vines and with the blue skies that we had this past weekend it was photo-op worth.

Arriving at Olive Farm Wines and Cheese Barrel - wonderful driveway!

Arriving at Olive Farm Wines and Cheese Barrel – wonderful driveway!

Cheese Barrel Sign.

Cheese Barrel Sign.

Cute and unique seating at the cheese Barrel.

Cute and unique seating at the cheese Barrel.

We didn’t stay too long at the Cheese Barrel but we did grab a few different cheeses of which I have had some and they were interesting, the European cheeses were a lot stronger than the Australian cheeses I have tried in the past. Definitely will be visiting this place again when I head up to the Swan valley as the wine barrel tables were adorable and the view from the elevated location of the cheese barrel over the back of the property made for a relaxing location for a cheesy Sunday lunch.

Sign for Olive Farm Wines.

Sign for Olive Farm Wines.

After checking out the Cheese Barrel we walked over to the cellar door for the Olive Farm Winery and found the counter at the cellar door packed with people doing tastings – a good sign when you know nothing about the winery besides it being the first winery planted in the region.

At the cellar door I sampled:

Olivine Brut

2011 Dry Verdelho

2012 Chenin Blanc

2012 Viognier

2012 Rose (sweetish)

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

2003 Grenache Shiraz

2007 Shiraz

Liqueur Muscat

Liqueur Verdelho

Stari (fortified)

My favourites from what I tasted was the dry Verdelho, Viognier, Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Shiraz and all the Liqueurs were delightful also. I ended up leaving with a bottle of the Rose, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon and mum also bough a bottle of the Liquer Verdelho and we were recommended to try it over a quality vanilla ice-cream and this is something I am dying to try after hearing of it!

I will be back to try the rest of their wines for sure! And the two guys who were flat out at the counter of the cellar door were a delight to talk to and did a good job of looking after all the people who wanted to try their wines. Also the olives they had for tasting while they got back to you were delicious and well worth a visit just for their home-made marinade!

4th Stop: Woodbridge House and Riverside Restaurant

The portions were more than generous at the Riverside Restaurant. And the flavour combinations were interesting and in the case of the Spinach Salad they were delightful! The sweet balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the salad that accompanied my Frittata was not the right dressing for my liking but other than that I could not fault the food. The service from both the owner and her staff at the restaurant was friendly and they went over and above what was needed to look after us even though we came in right at the end of their lunch service. I highly recommend the staff and food at Riverside!

Sweet Potato Frittata with Smoked Salmon.

Sweet Potato Frittata with Smoked Salmon.

Tasting plate of the day.

Tasting plate of the day.

Spinach Salad.

Spinach Salad.

This was a wonderful introduction to the region and I will be back checking out the wineries over this summer for sure!

Until next time!

Wino101: Wine Essential Course – worth it?

Hi everyone,

So you all know that I was provided the opportunity to attend the Wine Essential Course for free in return for sharing my experience with those who read my blog. I wanted to find a way to break down the cost of the course without compromising my views as the course provided free of charge besides the cost of the meal we had in the final class.

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I decided to tally up the cost of the wine’s and food tasted in the class (not including the wines which were brought in by other members of the class) and see how they totalled for each week:

Week 1: $138.98, Week 2: $174, Week 3: $166.95, Week 4: Dinner $60 and Wine $269.95

Total: $809.88

(Actual cost of the course: $295.)

Just on the premise of the cost to buy the wine’s tasted individually and the meal at the bistro you are already saving well over 50% of the cost while also receiving an educated walk through of the wine’s and the process of tasting and reviewing them.

When I proposed this breakdown of the cost while writing this post, I was met with comments such as “I am sure you could buy many of these wines by the glass in a restaurant as in the class your really only get a glassful and not the whole bottle; so your calculations are incorrect!” this is true in part as some of these wines may be available by the glass in restaurants but then do we add the cost of your meal to the total? Also the pricing listed for these wines are often the discounted case prices and what it cost to buy them years ago when the Wine Education Centre acquired the bottles. This in turn means that inflation may not have been included. Long story short you can get down to the nitty gritty of the pricing of the wines but even at $10 a glass which is a low average for restaurant pricing for these wines you are looking at $310 for the wines and the meal, so you still are getting value for money when it comes to the course even when looking at the by-the-glass pricing.

The people in my class range from my age to many years older than me as well as across a variety of professions and reasoning behind their decision to attend the course. Some want to learn to pair wine with food as they work in the industry, while others just want to learn something about wine or share the experience with someone. The chance to meet like minded people who loved and enjoyed wine was a pleasure and hopefully I will see some of them again in the future.

This wine course has also provided me with more confidence when it comes to describing, reviewing and determining a wine grape varietal and origin. While I still have plenty still to learn and develop on this topic this course gave me a good foundation to work from. This course has also given me the chance to not only try a generally amazing array of wines as selected for the class tastings but also the chance to try a unique selection of wines as brought in by other members of the class. It is an experience that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

I guess at the start the most honest thing to say is that I was skeptical about the cost of the course, especially given the shortness of the course. However upon completion of the course I personally would say that for me it would have be money well spent for the experiences and confidence I got out of the course. While a lot of the basics from the first week were nothing new to me there was still always the little snippets of new wine facts from people in the class or from our wine educator that made it well worth it.

I would say if you have been eyeing off the courses that the Wine Education Centre provides and you were unsure of which one to pick. I would say personally this 4 week course is what I would pick over the Wine Basics day course if you are looking for a good introduction to wine tasting and different wine varieties, however if my blog is a little to simple in its descriptions than the wine varietal course may be better for you. I have not heard much about the more in-depth courses on red and white wines but many people who I did the class with where considering attending that class next year, and who knows depending on uni and my bank account next year maybe I will see them there!

Until next time!

Halliday Day: Week 9 – Peel Estate Winery.

Hi everyone,

As part of my Wine Essentials Class with the Wine Education Centre of WA we had the chance to be given a tour of Peel Estate Winery in Baldivis by its owner and senior winemaker Will Nairn. Peel Winery is located in the Peel wine region, which is located at the southern end of Perth; situated roughly between Rockingham and 50km south of Mandurah and runs from the coast to the Darling Scarp.

James Halliday rated the winery 4 stars in the 2012 Australian Wine Companion, and commends them on their “remarkably consistent track record”. Peel Estate is known for it’s unique ‘wooded-Chenin’ which Halliday rates as the best wooded-Chenin in Australia and compares it to that of the Loire Valley in France.

We were taken by Will Nairn for a tour of his vineyard and winery and I managed to grab a few half-decent pictures along the way. Below are some pictures I took while we were given a tour of the winery. Will spent about an hour discussing with us the formation of the winery and where he had sourced the grapes cuttings from, how they had developed and how he had altered the vision of the winery along with their successes and failures and his views on oak and other wine making methods and advances. Climate change was of great importance to Will as it is impacting many aspects of the Wine Industry, regarding irrigation, harvest and the success of certain grape varietals.

Vines.

Mature Grape Vines.

Recently grafted grape vine.

Recently grafted grape vine.

Newly grafted section of the vineyard along with most of our teacher in the wine class.

Newly grafted section of the vineyard along with most of our wine educator from the Wine Education Centre.

This tour was possibly the highlight of the Wine Essential Course that I have been completing this past month. It was so interesting and exciting to hear from a man who has been in the industry for years as well as to see him in his own environment, that of his winery and vineyard.

Review of wines sampled:

2011 Verdehlo: dry, crisp, fresh, and citrus on the nose. The palate was dominated by apple, floral, and zestyness from the citrus notes in the wine. The Verdelho had been left on lees for a bit which made it different to other Verdelho’s I have tried, but still overall one that I would happily have again.

2012 Oaked Chardonnay: On the nose you could note floral, fruity and a hint of butteriness from the oak. The acid was balanced on the palate and the time on oak led to it having a good texture as well as giving the wine a toasty flavour along with citrus and spiciness from the fruit.

2011 Wood-matured Chenin Blanc: this wine was different to any Chenin I have tried in the past, while at first it seemed unfamiliar and therefore slightly odd tasting I warmed up to it in the end. On the nose the wine was crisp but still nutty and toasty thanks to the time on oak (between 12-18 months for the Chenin). On the palate the wine was fruity, rich, dry and a hint of honey. This is a wine which would do best I believe with food.

2012 Rose: Their rose is a blend consisting of mainly Cabernet Franc with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon also. The wine began with strawberries and cream on the nose and was fruity and smooth on the palate. The wine began sweet on the tip of the mouth it’s overall finish was medium-dry. I was a fan of this and think I have have preferred it to the wine’s I sampled at the Rose Revolution earlier.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon: the bit of age on the wine had done it some good thought it was still a little on the young side. The acid and tannins on the wine were still noticeable but it was still a pleasant drop. Dark plum was present both on the nose and palate and along with vanilla, spiciness, and a slight hint go earthiness or chalky-limestone thanks to the location of the vineyard on the old limestone coastal plain in the region.

2005 Old Vine Shiraz: spice, black olive, vanilla, licorice, chocolate and toasty all came to mind from the nose of this wine. On the palate you could taste berries and chocolate as well and it was quite a smooth wine. Not a bad wine either and it came close to usurping the  Cabernet Sauvignon as my favourite red.

Fortified Shiraz: wow! This is a wine which I am so glad I had the chance to try! It was like liquid gold for me! If you make it to the winery this is one to try and you will likely end up taking a bottle home with you!

They also do a Zinfandel which they were currently out of stock on the previous vintage and a few weeks off having the next vintage available for tasting which was a shame as it came highly recommended. There was also a Shiraz Cabernet which we accidentally passed over during the tasting. All the wines sampled on the day were very reasonably priced, with the aged reds being $30-35 which impressed me greatly, in comparison to what they would have likely cost had they come from a Margaret River winery.

A big thanks to Will for having the class on the tour and for being such an entertaining host! I do hope some of you make it down to the winery as it is the perfect location for a lazy weekend barbecue with their electric barbecue and wine cellar open 10am-5pm 7 days a week.

Until next time!

Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 3)

Hi everyone,

The review of my last Wine Essential Class and reviews of the wine’s I tried there can be found at this blog post for those of you who missed it. This class was spent comparing two different wines with each course of the meal and comparing and contrasting how different wines paired differently with the meals. This is something that I would love to continue at home to see how my palate deals with and prefers food and wine combinations.

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Crush Rose.

Mum was given a bottle of Barwick Estate’s Crush Rose which we opened with dinner one night this past week. The wine had berries and cream on the nose and a slight sweetness on the palate. It was a delicious wine! Tasting notes for the wine can be found here. This is a wine I would happily drink again and a big thanks to the family friends who gave it to mum!

Sitella Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay.

Sittella’s Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay.

To welcome the overseas family to Perth we began the night with Sittella’s Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay. This was not a bad drop, definitely one to make me curious to try the rest of their range.

Kerrigan & Berry Cabernet Sauvignon decanting.

Kerrigan & Berry Cabernet Sauvignon decanting.

Along with the bubbly I also dove into my small collection of Margaret River red wines, the family was given the choice of a 2007 Leeuwin Estate Arts Series Cabernet Sauvignon or a 2008 Kerrigan and Berry Cabernet Sauvignon. The Kerrigan and Berry was selected and was then decanted into my recently acquired decanter which BF spoilt me with for my birthday. The Cabernet Sauvignon spent roughly 2 hours in the decanter and what came out was a smooth and fruity but still young wine. Tasting note for the 2009 vintage can be found here, while it is the wrong vintage you can get an idea of what the winemakers were looking for.

Kerrigan & Berry Cabernet Sauvignon.

Kerrigan & Berry Cabernet Sauvignon.

Last new wine try of the week was Leaping Lizard‘s Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. This wine surprised me as I was expecting quite a mellow SSB but instead this wine packed a punch on the palate as if you had just bitten into a ripe lychee. Not a bad wine, and I personally think this one would go perfectly with seafood over the summer months! Tasting notes for the 2009 vintage (I tried a much more recent vintage) can be found here.

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Leaping Lizard Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

I will be in the Swan Valley today with the family so expect to see a review of my wine and food discoveries next week! Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy what is left of your weekend!

Until next time!