Wine(s) of the Week: University (week 2)

Hi everyone,

I managed to survive my second week of intensive classes and along the way I had a few drinks. Australia Day also fell on this past weekend, hence the belatedness of this blog post as I spent the weekend down south with family and out of internet range.

First off was a Champagne Bellini from Olivers on James street in Northbridge, which I had with a lovely meal before going to the theatre with BF to see The Motherf**ker with the Hat. Consisting of Champagne, Peach Schnapps and Nectar. This drink helped me settle into my second week of intensive classes before I begin heading out into classrooms and meeting the teachers and students over the next few weeks.

Champagne Bellini.

My Australia Day drinks consisted of a 2011 Permberton Chardonnay from Capel Vale, which we were having lunch at to celebrate a family birthday. It was a tough way to spend Australia Day, especially the deserts which I put photos up on my Facebook page.

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I had a quick tasting on the way out of Capel Vale Winery. I think this is the last wine of theirs that I had to try, Their Sassy NV Sparkling. This wine was nice with lots of apples on the palate and a dry finish. I think this wine would do well with some fruit and cheese platter on a summer’s afternoon.

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We also cracked open a bottle of Emri sparkling Moscato which was on clearance for $4 at work. Unfortunately it is clear why the wine was being run out, the sparkling element was missing and the wine that remained showed great promise (the sweet marmalade element of Nobel 1 were just present on the palate for me) if it had of been a sparkling but was left lacking as a still wine.

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There ended up being a late entry into this weeks wine recap. We ended up having lunch before returning to Perth and did so with a bottle of Fermoy’s 2010 Geographe Shiraz. This little gem sold for $90 a dozen and has since sold out which is an absolute shame as from the first sniff to the last sip this wine was luscious and fruity and required no airing time at all. A definite standout for the wines I had this week!

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Hope all my Australian readers are enjoying their long weekend for Australia Day and my other readers around the world have had a good weekend!

Until next time!

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Wine(s) of the Week: Summer Break (week 6)

Hi everyone,

Last Sunday I only posted up my drinks from Christmas Day, which can be read here. With the heatwave that has struck Perth the last week or so, drinking anything other than water has been not a significant priority for me last week so this blog post and this Sunday’s blog post will likely be quite small. I will be heading off to Melbourne on Sunday so I’m hoping there will be less humidity and heat over east so I can really delve into and enjoy some Victorian wines while I am there.

Last week I also opened up a bottle of Banrock Station’s Moscato so I could tell customers what I thought of it when they ask. This moscato reminded me of Brown Brother’s especially the almost syrupy finish of the wine. For a $5-9 bottle of wine it isn’t bad if you’re in the mood for something sweet however you may feel a little sick by the end of the bottle due to the after taste, not enough acid in the wine to cleanse the palate. Tropical fruit on the palate and served chilled made it a nice wine to have a glass of after getting home from work during the heatwave.

Banrock Station Moscato.

Banrock Station Moscato.

BF and I decided to head out for lunch late last week and opted for the Left Bank outside Fremantle for lunch overlooking the river. The location seemed to attract the breeze which helped fight off the horrid heatwave heat. While we had lunch I opted to try West Cape Howe’s Mount Barker Riesling ($10.5 a glass) for some refreshment. The crisp dry Riesling was a good pick for the weather.

West Cape Howe Riesling.

West Cape Howe Riesling.

I ended the week by heading down south to see some family before heading to Melbourne, where the temperature and humidity were lower and a little more pleasant. While I was there we opened and shared a bottle that Mum and I had picked out for them for Christmas when we went on a tour of Peel Estate Winery last year as part of my Wine Essential’s Class (write up of the winery tour can be found here) a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. For a mere $30 if you buy the bottle individually you receive a bottle of wine which in my opinion stands in the same league (possibly even better) as wines from Margaret River which attract prices over $60. The wine had body, and was showing balance on the palate as well as the potential to have cellared for a few more years. Thinking I need to head back to the Cellar Door at Peel Estate sooner than later to not only try their famous Zinfandel but also to stock up on some more of their value-for-money reds!

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Until next time!

Wino 101: Australia Day BBQ – Pairing White Wines.

Hi everyone,

The first post of 2013 is quite fittingly about barbecues’ and in particular the one many Australians will have on Australia Day at the end of the month.This will be the first of two posts, this one will focus on white wine pairing while the Wino 101 post next week will focus on red wine pairings. When pairing wines with a barbecue the main aim is to keep the wine simple as the food is simple and uncomplicated. When it comes to white wines you are spoilt for choice as summer is the season for white wine as it is drunk chilled, which helps to fight off the summer heat.

Sparkling wine can be drunk throughout the entire meal. Sparkling wines range in degrees of sweetness as well as flavours and aromas. Common aromas include nutty, toasty, fruit, and yeast. With common flavours on the palate including those listed for aromas as well as the texture from the bubbles and the final finish of the wine. Below is a  Tasmanian Sparkling which I sampled on Christmas Day. Tropical fruit with a nutty finish, this wine would be a great drink to sip on throughout the entire barbecue.

Ninth Island NV Sparkling.

Ninth Island NV Sparkling.

For those who like it sweet can consider a

  • Sweet still: eg. a Chenin Blanc or Moscato or,
  • Sweet sparkling: eg. a Moscato or Spumante.

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Banrock Moscato is one that I tried this past weekend so as to be able to recommend wines at work. Personally this wine reminded me of Brown Brothers which is the ‘premier’ Moscato that people think of when they come in for a bottle at work. The tiny differences between the two wines can be easily justified by Banrock being roughly half the price of Brown Brothers. This is a wine is sweet with passionfruit on the palate and a delightful drink when chilled.

When you have your meats cooked and salads out of the fridge, you can choose to continue with the sweeter white or instead opt to move onto the more dryer white wines which have along with the fruit the sweetness from the sweeter wines is replaced by oak and/or acid coming through on the nose and palate depending upon the varietal you choose. Favourites for a dry white wine include:

  • Rieslings: acid and stone fruit – think Great Southern or Tasmanian,
Plantagenet 2012 Riesling

Plantagenet 2012 Riesling

  • Sauvignon Blanc: citrus, grassy and crisp – think New Zealand.
  • Semillon Sauvignon Blanc: tropical and citrus fruit, the wine has more aroma on the bouquet than the Sauvignon Blanc – think Margaret River where my favourite ones have lychee on the palate for a zingy surprise that leaves you feeling refreshed at the end of the glass.
Leeping Lizzard Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

Leeping Lizzard Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.

Next week I will post up some options if you’re more of a red drinker for what to drink at a summer barbecue.

Until next time!

Wino 101: Like This? Try That!

Welcome to the first edition of ‘Wino 101’! Working in a bottle shop I often have customers coming in who do not know much about the different grape varietals and are often unsure about how they can branch out to try something new. This blog will hopefully leave you more informed next time you want to try a white wine a little ‘outside the box’ or next time the shop assistant is offering a recommendation/advice you won’t feel so lost.

Like Sweet White wines? Try a Chenin Blanc!

(For example the well known Chenin Blanc by Amberley – pricing tends to be $10-15 in bottle shops in Perth. Amberley no longer has a cellar door due to the estate being sold in 2011.)

Chenin Blancs are dryer than your typical sweet wines such as Moscato, Crouchen Riesling, Traminer Riesling, Soft Fruity White, etc. But what makes a Chenin Blanc a nice difference is its greater ability to be paired with a meal, as well as the lack of a syrupy aftertaste that some sweeter wines have left me with in the past after a few glasses. The higher alcoholic content (from less sugar remaining for the sweetness) is also a plus if you want a bit more of a kick from your glass of wine. Chenin Blancs tend to have more fruitiness than the sweeter wines to make up for the lower sugar content, as well as just a hint of zesty acidity to balance out the fruitier flavours.

Like Sauvignon Blanc? Try a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinot Gris/Grigio!

(For example a Margaret River SSB/SBS – pricing tends to be $15+ in bottles hops in Perth)

Sauvignon Blanc has really been put on the map from the wines coming out go the Marlborough region in New Zealand. A Sauvignon Blanc (SB) tends to be zesty, with grassy and tropical fruit notes to it. By adding a Semillon to the SB you produce a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (SSB) or a Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (SBS) depending on which is the dominant grape in the wine blend. The addition of Semillon will add a more a more citrusy flavour. Margaret River is well known in Australia for producing SSBs and SBSs, there is little variation between the different wineries with regards to overall flavour of the wines produced in the region, the greatest variety can be seen in their varing degrees of quality.

(For example – Pinot Grigio/Gris from Australia, NZ or Italy – pricing tends to be around $10-15 in bottle shops in Perth.)

Pinot Grigio/Gris (originally the name varies as to whether you adopt the Italian or French name for the grape and its subsequent wine) is a very rich fruity dry wine. In Australia it seems ‘grigio’ is used to imply that it is dryer than a ‘gris’ wine, however the term is often used so interchangeably that there has been talk of doing away with one of the terms. If you are wanting to try a much fruiter alternative to your SB then give the grigio/gris a try.

Like Chardonnay? Try what I’ve recommended in this post!

Generally if you’re a Chardonnay fan like myself you’re not big on the acidity that comes with drinking a SB, this can be overcome by avoiding the SB’s and even the SBS/SSB’s to an extent, the Pinot Grigio/Gris while being slightly acidic has much more emphasis placed upon the fruitiness of the wine, and the Chenin Blanc is a more sweeter and less fruiter alternative to the Pinot Grigio/Gris.

If you think I’ve missed a wine and think that I should include it, feel free to comment below and let me know! Look out for the red wine version of ‘Like This? Try That!’ to come in the near future, depending upon requests. Let me know if you take any of the recommendations on board how it goes.

And as always, until next time!