Regional Heroes Wine Tasting @ 2013 Good Food and Wine Show, Perth

Earlier this year I attended the Good Food and Wine Show in Perth. I only had a few hours at the show so it was a rushed visit but I managed to book tickets to the Regional Heroes Wine Tasting. This tasting consisted of 6 wines from different wine regions across Australia that the presenters felt were good and solid examples of the wine being produced in Australia.

Riesling

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E: pale colour.

N: sweet, fruity, apple, aromatic, lemon, and lime.

P: hint of sweetness, crisp, acidic, lively, lemon, dry, fresh and also a hint of minerality.

Semillon

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E: pale clear lemon.

N: oak, lemon, sweetness – reminded me of a lemon meringue pie.

P: dry, crisp, acidic, with a hint of oak.

Chardonnay

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E: clear pale lemon.

N: soft nose, oak, lemon.

P: good mouth feel, good length, lemon, oak, fruity and a hint of acidic minerality.

Pinot Noir

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E: clear ruby red.

N: oak and berries – cherry in particular.

P: dry, spice, silky tannins, acidic and berries.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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E: vibrant plum coloured wine.

N: berries, oak and spice – I had YUM! down next to this wine.

P: dry, luscious berries, oak, good finish, some grippy tannins and vibrant fruit.

Shiraz

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E: brick red wine.

N: oak, spice, plums, and dark berries.

P: smooth, very dry, balanced, spice, rich and savoury.

Overall it was a lovely wine tasting and I enjoyed being introduced to some staple wine regions in Australia. While I have personal preferences that differ to some of their recommendations I still enjoyed the wines they had presented.

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UnWined WA 2013

A few weekends ago I was invited to attended Unwined WA as a guest and invited my friend C to come along with me. I went to Unwined WA last year (blog post here) and loved it so I was exciting to be returning to the event again this year. Unwined WA is a wine show held at Market Square Park in Subiaco over a weekend in October each year to showcase wine and food produce of Western Australia.

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While at Unwined WA I took C around and introduced her to some new wine varietals as well as a few favourite wineries of mine. After a few hours of sampling many of the wines on offer we came to the consensus that Castelli was our favourite winery of the day for across the board quality. We however also enjoyed the Malbec at Talisman Wines and the Rose at Fifth Estate Wines.

I had made the mistake last time of missing the fudge stall so this time around I made sure to not leave before I had tried some. Around the time we were ready for a break from wine tastings we found Gidge Gourmet Fudge, and let me tell you, boy did the double chocolate fudge make for a perfect gooey snack at the show. Loved it and the few pieces that I took home did not last very long either. Lovely range of flavours with something to tickle everyones fancy!

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Gidge Gourmet Fudge.

I enjoyed the show again and it was great to see more stalls at this years event. Looking forward to seeing how the show goes next year!

I would like to say a big thank you to Jessica at CMS Events for providing me with tickets to this years show.

Wine(s) of the Week: Back at the books again… with a slight detour…

Hi everyone,

I have just entered into a month long practicum and I am hoping I will be able to find some down time to get a handle on the backlog of posts I have to put up. I attended the Vintage Cellar’s International Wine Festival in Perth roughly 2 weeks ago, being a team member for Coles Liquor I was granted free access to the event and used it as a chance to sample many new wines that I sell to customers as well as getting a chance to talk to the people behind the wines. It was, like last year an enjoyable evening and while I missed interacting with the patrons like I had the previous year when I worked the event this time around it was nicer to be able to talk to the wine makers and the reps about their products.

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I did not make any detailed notes at the event for specific wines, rather I used this event to gage what I liked and what I felt I could sell back at work. I also had the chance to speak to Matt Skinner briefly while he was in town and it was nice to finally meet the man who is the face of wine for Coles Liquor.

Matt Skinner and I.

Matt Skinner and I.

The event was segregated into two areas, one being Australia and New Zealand (with some Spanish booths) and the other being Old World. I ended up spending more time in the first area due to the stock on hand in my store, however I would have much preferred to have spent the majority of my time in the Old World section of the event – Unfortunately this is not what my current store stocks. Below are just some of the wines that I tried and thought were worth mentioning.

Australia

Dandelion Vineyard

This is the only Australian winery that I visited at the show and for a good reason – I have loved the wines from this winery every time I have come across them in the past.

Shiraz Riesling ($23.99) – The Riesling provided a nice pop of interest to the Shiraz, loved it!

Red Queen of the Eden Valley Shiraz ($99.99) – a VERY nice wine and it lingered in the mouth for a long time. Not sure if I would pay as much as they’re asking for it but it was a a treat to try this wine.

Chile

Casillero del Diablo/Cono Sur

Carmenere ($14.99) – plum and blackcurrant fruits with a toasty coffee finish. This one was recommended by a fellow wine taster and I’m glad they did, I enjoyed it.

France

Piper-Heidsieck

Brut Champagne NV ($49.99) – a fresh citrus driven Champagne. Not bad. I’m still have a soft spot for nutty and toasty sparkling wines but this one did not disappoint.

Italy

Ruffino

Prosecco DOC ($17.99) – my first Prosecco and I’m impressed! I will have to dabble with these more in the near future!

New Zealand

Blind River

This winery chose to stick to what New Zealand is known for – Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. Both of these varietals have been done exceptionally well by Blind River and their premier line was very nice, and consisted of a Sauvignon Blanc ($22.99) and Pinot Noir ($34.99) which highlighted why these varietals are the standouts for the region. The lady running the booth was fantastic to talk to as well!

Jules Taylor

Exceptional wines and it was nice to see a few different varietals that differed to the traditional Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. I spent quite a while here talking with the wine rep, it was interesting to go into more depth on the reasoning behind the alternative varietals as well as their struggles when it came to getting it out to a wider market due to the overwhelming popularity of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs.

Rose ($19.99) – 100% Merlot grapes and it won me over from the first sip. I will have to get my hands on some bottles of this for next summer as it will be a perfect wine to sip away on a hot summers afternoon.

Grüner Veltliner – white peach, lime and floral notes. I was hunting for a Riesling from New Zealand and this was as close as I got to one. It was not quite what I was looking for but still a delicious wine.

Robinsons

This is a line which Coles has exclusive rights to in Australia. I have always been a little wary of their wines due to this fact. I have to say that I was wrong for being skeptical and really enjoyed tasting my way though their range. I was very impressed all around and the husband of one of the children of the owners who was running the booth was well versed with the wines and a pleasure to chat with.

900 Grapes/Squealing Pig/Matua

I had a wonderful time chatting with the wine rep and wine maker at this booth. They had quite a large range of wines to try over the three labels which I ended up comparing and contrasting with as I went through.

Ranking the Sauvignon Blanc’s (and the labels overall):

1. Squealing Pig

2. 900 Grapes

3. Matua

I also enjoyed the 900 Grapes Merlot over their Pinot Noir (both $19.99) – it seems that Merlot was out to surprise me this night and was trying to convince me to give it another try after swearing off it a few years ago.

Portugal

Casa Santos Lima

This is the same people who make the wine LAB which I loved and reviewed in this blog. I went through the rest of their range that they import to Australia and there were some other gems to be found like the LAB in their range.

Bons VentosRose ($9.99) – refreshing and a great value for money rose.

Quinta Das Setencostas Red ($14.99) – Not a bad wine, I still preferred LAB to this one personally but I wouldn’t mind having a bottle of this over dinner either.

Touriz ($26.66) – complex red wine with cherries, blackcurrant and plums. Loved it!

USA

Wente Vineyard

I worked this booth at last years show so I quickly popped by to try the Beyer Ranch Zinfandel ($19.99) and the Morning Fog Chardonnay ($19.99) once more. They were both as nice as I remembered from last year and the booth was very busy so I did not linger for very long.

Chalkboard Series

This is another Coles exclusive range. One which is in the process of being added to (Matt Skinner mentioned that there will be a Prosecco out in the near future from Brown Brother under this label, which I am definitely going to be on the look out for after my first tasting of a Prosecco at this event!)

The Central Otago Pinot Noir ($18.99) was a definite favourite of many people at the booth tasting the wines. However it was the Cote’s du Rhone ($11.99) which stole my heart in this range!

Until next time!

February Favourites

Hi everyone,

1. Favourite wine of the month?

Sorrenberg, 2010, Gamay, Victoria, Australia. Review of the wine can be found here. This is the bottle of wine which was suggested for our meal at Perth Print Hall by the Sommelier. A luscious wine filled with cherries on the nose and palate, I am still keeping an eye out for a bottle of this wine as it was delightful! I am still on the hunt for a bottle or two of the 2010 vintage so do share if you find some please!

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King River, 2011, Saperavi, King Valley, Australia (RRP $55) – 14.4%

For such a plain looking label this wine really impressed me with it’s bouquet. I could have quite happily spent the entire night with this wine watching how the nose of the wine evolved as it aired out. This wine was  limited release which I had the chance to try at the second meet for the Wine Century Challenge. I ended up purchasing a bottle as there was limited supply left from this inaugural vintage.

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2. What has been the best value wine of the month?

Massena, 2010, Tannat, Barossa Valley, Australia (RRP $28) – 14.5%

This is a wine I tried when I met up with some fellow wine lovers and bloggers for a Wine Century Challenge Meet. This is the wine that on the night I felt was the best vallue for money when we were discussing all the wines at the end. This wine I felt had a nice body and mouth feel of a much more expensive wine. This wine would be perfect once we’re into some cooler weather with a nice roast.

3. What has been added to my to-try wine list?

a younger vintage of the Arneis by First Drop. I had the chance to try the 2010 vintage at the Wine Century Meet. I was impressed with the wine’s structure however I felt that the wine’s age had brought it down. I would love to see how a younger vintage of this wine performs and if it meets the expectations I now have for it since trying the 2010 vintage.

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4. What restaurants do I want to return to?

BF and I went to George Street Bistro during the past month (I haven’t had the chance to upload the post as of yet). The meal was hearty and filling for that one weekend this past month were we received a welcomed cold snap in Perth along with some welcomed rain. BF had a Seared Sirloin Steak while I had the ‘Pie of the Day’ which was Chicken in a tomato based sauce.

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5. What was my favourite meal this month?

Desert at Perth Print Hall, it was to die for!

Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant ($16).

Bittersweet Chocolate Fondant ($16).

Lemon 'Spilled' ($16).

Lemon ‘Spilled’ ($16).

6. Upcoming events for next month?

Eat Drink Perth

7. Favourite wine packaging?

Claymore, 2011, ‘Joshua Tree’ Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia.

Simple packaging which drew BF in to select it and overall it was a delicious Riesling. Review of the wine can be found here.

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8. Best service?

Perth Print Hall – review can be found here. The service was professional, quick and reflected the developments in Perth’s fine dining restaurants.

9. Restaurant I am most keen to try next month?

Bad Apples Wine Bar in Applecross is a place I have been trying to get to for the past month or so to check out their wine selection.

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10. Wine Century Challenge.

Total: 35 varietals.

Favourite = Arneis (white) and Saperavi (red).

Until next time!

Perth Wine Group: Second Meet

Hi everyone,

We had our second meet for a group of Perth wine lovers and bloggers attempting the Wine Century Challenge. We met at Steve’s in Nedlands like our first meet, the blog post for our first meet can be found here. While we sampled our way through the wines I adopted the method of nothing down what I saw (1), smelt (2) and tasted (3) in the wine.

WHITES

Marq, 2011, Vermentino, Margaret River, Australia (RRP $27) – 11.5%

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1. Clear and vibrant pale lemon coloured wine.

2. Crisp citrus, stone-fruits and sherbert.

3. Clean and refreshing on the palate with balanced acidity, dry medium finish.

Pere Ventura, 2011, Xael.lo, Penedes, Spain (RRP $20) – 12%

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1. Clear and vibrant lemon coloured wine in the glass.

2. Slight sweetness (fruity), aromatic and stone-fruit (pears and apples).

3. Crisp acidity, sherberty palate (at the front of the mouth), melon, honey, flabby, medium very dry finish at the end.

First Drop, 2010, Arneis, Barossa Valley, Australia. (RRP $26) – 13.5%

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1. Clear wine in the glass with no colour.

2. Musky, citrus, Nashi pears, slight sweetness (fruity).

3. Musk, crisp, residual sugar was possibly present, cleansing medium dry finish.

This wine showed great potential for the grape varietal however the wine was a little too old and had turned a little flat and tired. I would love to get my hands on a younger vintage of this wine as it was my favourite white wine of the night for the potential it showed.

Cour-Cheverny, 2011, Roantin, Cour-Cheverny, South West Loire (RRP $43) – 12% (no added preservatives)

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1. Clear, dull yellow coloured wine in the glass.

2.Sweetness (fortified),  stewed fruit (pear, apple), hint of oak – smelt more like a red wine than a white wine.

3. Dry, warm big mouth feel, nutty, lees, long finish on the wine – a perfect wine for the winter months.

REDS

Arancio, 2010, Nero d’Avola, Sicily, Italy (RRP $25) – 13.5%

this is a wine I had tried the previous week, and while I had been slightly impressed with it at home I think it impressed me more at the tasting. Perhaps it was the use of better glassware or being able to isolate the flavours that I hadn’t been able to place last time a little better being at a tasting.

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1. Plum red coloured wine in the glass.

2. Berry fruits, vanilla, oak, spice, ash/smoke.

3.Tannins, vanilla (brought a softness to the wine), rich and dense wine, hint of raspberries and strawberries on the palate, warm short to medium finish, rounded finish (lack of acid in the wine).

Diemersfontien, 2011, Pinotage, Wellington, South Africa (RRP $35) – 14%

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1.Brick red coloured wine in the glass.

2. Rubber, coffee, dusty, chocolate, oak, vanilla.

3. Tannins, meaty/gritty feel to the wine, very dry finish.

King River, 2011, Saperavi, King Valley, Australia (RRP $55) – 14.4%

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1. I didn’t actually record anything for this I was too focused on the nose of the wine.

2. Floral (Violet and Rose), hint of spice, stewed sour red fruits (red apples and rhubarb), hint of sweetness, pomegranate, apple.

3. Stewed sour red fruits (red apple and rhubarb), a good amount of tannins present, refreshing, possibility of residual sugar, cleansing, medium to long dry finish.

Massena, 2010, Tannat, Barossa Valley, Australia (RRP $28) – 14.5%

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1. Plum coloured wine in the glass.

2. Plums, oak, spice, ripe blackcurrant, tobacco, hint of sweetness.

3. Lots of fruit, tannins, smooth, warm, dry finish.

For those who want to see a different view on the challenge feel free to check out what Perth Wine Enthusiast thought of the wines. You can find the post on his blog here.

Anyone interested in joining us is more than welcome to! Our next meet will likely be in the next 4-5 weeks and will be occurring south of the river this time at Bad Apples Wine Bar in Applecross. Feel free to contact myself or Perth Wine Enthusiast if you wish to join us!

Until next time!

Burch Family Wines and Terrace Hotel Dinner

Hi everyone,

On Tuesday March 19th there will be a dinner at the Terrace Hotel, as part of Eat Drink Perth, which a series of dinners, workshops and events occurring accross Perth over the month of March.

default-image-cafe_0Howard Park has also released the wines that they will be putting out for the  intimate 5-course degustation wine dinner created by Executive Chef Shannon Wilson.

The Wine List

Penet-Chardonnet Grand Cru Reserve Extra-Brut NV

Marchand & Burch Chablis

Howard Park Riesling

Marchand & Burch Bourgogne Rouge

Marchand & Burch Mount Barrow Pinot Noir

Howard Park Leston Shiraz

Howard Park Scotsdale Shiraz

Howard Park Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon

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Details for the dinner are,

Bookings: Very limited. Bookings essential. Email functions@terraceperth.com.au

Time: 7pm arrival for Champagne, seated by 7.30pm

Where: The Terrace Hotel, 237 St Georges Terrace Perth

Until next time!

Valley and Vines Festival, Swan Valley

Hi everyone,

Sunday March 3rd 2013, part of the Labour Day long weekend in Perth will see the inaugural Valley and Vines Festival. This festival is designed around 6 different venues in the Swan Valley offering food, wine for sample and sale along with live entertainment from 10am to 5pm.

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Participating Venues:

Olive Farm Wines & The Cheese Barrel

Duckstein

Carilley Estate (Homestead location)

Chesters of Heafod Glen

Harris Organic Wines

Ugly Duckling Wines

Venue Location - V&V

The format for the festival consists of visiting three venues (of your choice and order or in a pre-arranged package including transportation) for a two hour period at each with 30 minutes provided between the venues for transportation. Ticket holder are entitled to:

  • Valley & Vines branded lanyard featuring their itinerary (must be worn all day)
  • Valley & Vines wine glass to be used throughout the day
  • First pour (120 mls) at the first session of the day

Tickets are $35  per person with an additional $40 if you wish to not have to worry about transportation or a schedule for the day. To make a booking to attend Valley and Vines, follow this link.

I unfortunately am not free to attend this event which is in a format which I would have been very curious to see, if anyone does end up attending this event feel free to comment below and let me know how it went!

Until next time!