So let’s indulge ourselves. Let’s have some fun.
Cold winters nights call for a relaxing, comfortable glass of red while cooking dinner… That warming, perfectly matched glass of red with dinner…. That soothing little night-cap before bed.
BUT! How do you pick the right wine for your evening?
Do you go by brand name? There’s 1000’s.
Regions? Wow, seems like there’s a new one every week!
Varietal? Traditional, or feeling a little adventurous and thinking about an emerging varietal…
Don’t even start me on vintage…
How about a little crash course on all things Red. Let’s dive back in, explore a little, and try a LOT! After all, we can point you in the right direction but the very best way to understand and learn is to simply take one for the team and try new wines!
Built on reliability, most big name brands will give a consistent offering year in, year out. But when you want to explore, where should you venture from the ‘tried and tested’? Best advice, ask the person behind the counter! They’re always happy to help, and often have great insights and advice in to lesser known brands and smaller family owned operations.
Australia is blessed to have some of the best and most recognisable wine regions in the world… Along with some of the oldest vines still producing fruit! However we also have some truly beautiful regions only now starting to attract attention.
We all know Barossa reds, famous for Shiraz, stunning Cabernet and even now producing some Nero D’Avola, Montepulciano and the evergreen Grenache. We get elegant Shiraz from Adelaide Hills, Premium Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley, and luscious fruit driven Cabernet from Margaret River.
How about a few of the newer regions you ask?
Lets start with Tumbarumba, NSW. Elegant, light bodied Pinot Noir thrives in this cool climate region, quickly becoming well established with vines first planted in 1982.
– Think light, bright, and packed with flavour.
Lets head south from there and jump down to Tasmania. Whilst not new in wine game, recent years have seen significant growth in the amount of producers crafting beautiful wines from no less than SEVEN recognised regions on the island. Stunning Pinot Noir, luscious lighter styles like Grenache and some Sangiovese’s, and we’re now even seeing some elegant cool climate Shiraz’s coming out.
– Think light bodied wines with complex and brooding flavours.
Victoria’s own Gippsland region now has more than 50 producers crafting wine in its beautiful cool maritime climate. Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are all grown throughout Gippsland’s varied micro-climates, and with many emerging varietals already planted I’m sure the region will continue to become more prominent in the future.
– Think powerful full varietal flavours with a light to medium weight
And finally, Queensland. You heard me, Queensland. Granite Belt wine region now has more than 317ha under vine and is known for premium quality Shiraz and Cabernet. At more than 1000m above sea level, it also hosts some of the highest altitude vines in the country.
– Think medium-bodied with rich, soft fruit
Now we’re talking! Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all mainstays in the Australian market. Some of the better known emerging varietals have now been around long enough to be recognisable, think Montepulciano, Tempranillo and Sangiovese. But what if we throw in some Nero D’Avola? Syrah? Nebbiolo, Malbec? All great varietals, all worth a try if only to experience something new! Here’s a brief run down.
A medium bodied wine, think a Pinot on steroids! Luscious ripe red currents and a silky palate weight that builds over the palate and develops a lovely savory finish. Great with game meats, red pasta’s and it is THE perfect pizza wine!
Think a cool climate shiraz. Deep brooding flavours of dark currants and spice but with a lighter body and elegant pepper tail
Bold flavours and generally fairly high alcohol with lovely savoury tannins, but the ripe, bright fruits Nebbiolo characteristically displays keep the wine from becoming too powerful. Great with the big flavours of modern Chinese food, fleshy fish or duck.
The Argentinians celebrate it, the French blend it away with other varietals. Medium to full bodied, rich and round this beauty will suit the Shiraz drinker who is chasing something a little different. Dark purple colour and classic notes of red plum, blueberry and vanilla. The perfect BBQ wine, it will stand up to charred meats, strong sides and intense conversations.
Armed with fresh ideas and newfound interest, hit the bottleshop, grab something different with confidence and go home to start exploring!
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