2018 South Australian Wines: What best is expected?

A pearler year

The Wine Grape Council of South Australia is expecting 2018 to be a “pearler” year for wines as compared to the earlier vintage. The harvest has almost wrapped up. Winemakers reported a warm and dry weather and cooler nights. Such weather provided favourable ripening conditions for 2018 vintage.

Best wines 2018

Though extreme frosts were reported at Limestone Coast in early November, careful management has helped overcome such tricky patches.

Low yield, high quality

Though the 2018 wine vintage has produced top quality grapes across many varieties, the yield has dropped slightly due to extreme weather events. At the same time, growers across all the regions of South Australia produced quality grapes in all varietals, be it red or white. It concludes that not just the best 2018 wines from South Australia will be rich in quality. The whole low-yielding vintage will in fact see a boost in flavours.

Varieties showing elegance

Barossa’s traditional Cabernet and Shiraz as well as the alternative varieties, from Tempranillo to Montepulciano are showing themselves brilliantly. The Coonawarra reds developed bright colours with fruit characters of mulberry and blackberry, and the ripe fruit showed complexity with chocolate characters.

Cellaring Potential

The 2018 red wines from South Australia would be great for cellaring; the 2018 South Australian white wines should show some good cellar potential too. The colours, tannins and flavours, all will be in the right spot.

In conclusion

Overall, 2018 is undoubtedly a vintage year that deserves space in every cellar. Since every wine tastes slightly different in every vintage, you can expect something really good coming out from the 2018 vintage of South Australian wines. A good vintage might guarantee good grapes, but there are always going to be exceptions. You never know what you may find in a wine until it reaches your taste buds. Explore the whole range of 2018 vintage wines at Just Wines and let your taste buds decide on the best wines for 2018.


Best Victorian Sparkling Wines of 2018

When the talk is about sparkling wines, Victorian bubblies stand on an unparalleled stage. Rich in flavours and high in crispiness, the Victorian sparkling wines have gained truly deserved international attention and accolades. Down below, we have listed some of the best sparkling wines of 2018 from the Victorian Wine Show 2017.

Victorian Sparkling Wines 2018

If you still miss a Victorian wine in your cellar, this is the right time to choose any sparkling wine from the list below, as all these wines have been awarded Gold or Silver, and truly deserve a special occasion to get celebrated.

White and Rose sparkling wines from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

This mixed class displayed some standout examples of traditional sparkling varietals in the show. Two gold medals were awarded to the wines showing freshness, texture, purity and a degree of complexity.

  • Greenstone Methode Traditionelle 2012 (Gold, 96 points)
  • Seppelt Salinger Pinot Noir Chardonnay 2013 (Gold, 95 points)
  • Delatite Wines Demelza Cuvee Blanc 2011 (Silver, 93 points)
  • Taltarni Blanc de Blancs 2013 (Silver, 93 points)
  • Brown Brothers Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Meunier NV (Silver, 91 points)
  • Coldstream Hills Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling 2013 (Silver, 91 points)
  • Feathertop Blanc de Blanc 2012 (Silver, 91 points)

White and Rose sparkling wines from other varieties or blends

This was a solid class, showing the improvement in Prosecco style and quality. Gold medal wine was delicate, fine and persistent.

  • Redbank Long Paddock Pty Ltd Redbank Prosecco 2017 (Gold, 95 points)
  • Brown Brothers Milawa Vineyard Innocent Bystander Prosecco NV (Silver, 92 points)

Sparkling red wines

Best wines from this category showed complexity, layers and balance.

  • Gapsted Wines Limited Release Sparkling Saperavi NV (Gold, 95 points)
  • Blue Pyrenees Estate Sparkling Shiraz NV (Gold, 95 points)
  • Foxeys Hangout Sparkling Shiraz 2016 (Silver, 93 points)

Your choice among any of these is going to be rewarding, no matter which one you choose. These Victorian wines and their winemakers deserve an applause and space in your heart and your wine cellar too. You can buy these and more best sparkling wines for 2018 from Just Wines. Explore the world of Aussie wines at a price that won’t hurt your budget at all.

How Shiraz, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Stack Up Against One Another

For the uninitiated, navigating the wide world of wines can be extremely difficult. There is so much to learn and know about wine, that it can get brain-numbing pretty quickly.


Let’s start off easy with the following 3 wine styles –

  • Shiraz

Shiraz is usually regarded as the ‘king’ of red wine grapes, is arguably the most popular grape variety around the world.

Shiraz varietals are generally full-bodied, bold, complex and intense. These strong wines are filled with tannins, making them hearty and powerful drinks to consume.

These wines match very well with red meats, hearty stews and wild game meats.

Shiraz wines are planted abundantly across Australia, California and the popular Rhone Valley of France.

  • Chardonnay

Amongst white wines, Chardonnay is probably the most popular grape variety.

Usually, Chardonnay wine varietals feature citrus, apple, pear and peach flavours, with an assortment of characters like vanilla, honeysuckle, lemon zest, almond and coconut.

These delicious flavours go well along with dishes like oysters, chicken breast, peas, goat cheese and mushrooms.

Chardonnay plantings can be found in California, France, New Zealand & Australia.

  • Pinot Noir

Pinot is earthy, has a lighter colour, and exhibits low to medium tannin density.

A flexible and easy drinking red variety, it features mushroom, cut hay and leather nuances dominated by fruity flavours of raspberries & rhubarb.

Fatty fish, pasta, meaty stews and casseroles are suggested food pairings with Pinot wines.

Pinot Noir can be found in abundance in Australia, Canada, UK and France.

Now that you’ve learnt a bit about all 3 of these wine types – you have to look deep within & figure out what kind of tastes do you have. Only then would you be able to judge which of these wines would work the best for you – Shiraz vs Chardonnay vs Pinot Noir.

If you cannot decide, just rush to your nearest wine store & pick up a bottle of each of these 3 varieties. Invite a couple of friends over, bring out a bunch of new wine glasses, prepare 1 or 2 meat dishes, and voila, you are all set for a wine tasting session. Cheers!

Shiraz vs Merlot vs Chardonnay: How the Three Compare with Each Other

Are you a newbie to the world of wines? Just as a heads up, you will hear words like ‘palate’, ‘cellaring’ & ‘vintage’ a lot. You will also have to struggle to understand what it all means. But don’t you worry, we’ll help you start simple. To begin, just know that there are 2 kinds of wines – red and white.

Shiraz vs Merlot vs Chardonnay

To start you off easy, we recommend you the following 3 wine types –


  • Shiraz can easily be considered the ‘king’ of red wine grapes, and is arguably the most popular red grape variety across the world.
  • Shiraz wines are generally full-bodied, robust, complex and dense. This powerful variety is filled with tannins, and is an intense and hearty wine to consume.
  • It pairs exceptionally well with red meats, steaks, thick stews and wild game.
  • Shiraz grapevines are planted abundantly in California, Australia, and the Rhone Valley in France.


  • Merlot is a soft & fleshy type of grape. It is used to create mild and juicy red wines showing the purity of fruit. For a beginner, Merlot is a really nice choice.
  • The delicate, fruity flavours of plums, currants and berries take your mouth on a pleasing journey, which can be enhanced by pairing it with foods of all kinds.
  • Softer Merlots match well with mushrooms, salmon and green veggies. Light-bodied Merlot wines tend to go well with bacon, prawns and scallops.
  • DO NOT drink a Merlot with strong or blue cheeses since they can overwhelm the fruity & joyous flavours of this wine style.
  • Merlot vines excel in various regions like California, Chile, Australia, Italy and the Bordeaux district in France.


  • To most people, Chardonnay is the only white wine name they know & can pronounce correctly.
  • Chardonnays mainly feature citrus, pear, apple and peach flavours, with a variety of added elements like vanilla, lemon zest, honeysuckle, coconut and almond.
  • These flavours pair elegantly with cuisines like chicken breast, oysters, goat cheese, peas and mushrooms.
  • Chardonnay is planted extensively in France, California, Australia and New Zealand.

Now that you know a little know a bit about all 3 wine types, you have to decide which one you want to try first – Shiraz vs Merlot vs Chardonnay. If you don’t like it at first, don’t you worry. It takes time getting used to the taste of any wine. Also, not every wine suits every tongue, so move on to another variety if one seems “unlikable”.

The Different Types of Sweet Wines – A Quick Review

To begin with, sweetness in a wine comes from sugar in the grape juice. When fermentation is allowed to continue to a point where the sugar is exhausted in a wine, it becomes a dry wine. Similarly, if fermentation is stopped before the yeast consumes all the sugar in a wine, the drink shows sweetness. Remember that any wine can be made dry or sweet. Just because Cabernet Sauvignon is usually dry, doesn’t mean that it can’t be made sweet. That said, wines like late harvest Riesling are generally sweet. Let us discuss some of the popular types of sweet wines.


  • Richly Sweet Dessert Wines – For one, remember that a sweet wine doesn’t mean that it’s going to be sickeningly sweet. The sweetness is balanced by a good dose of acidity. These wines include noble rot wines, that are produced using Botrytis cinerea, a spore. This might sound unusual to those who have never tried these wines, but the fungus adds a beautiful honey dimension to the wine. This category also includes late harvest wines, which are much simpler to understand. Harvesting the grapes late means that they stay on the vine longer, and become sweeter as they ripen.


  • Lightly Sweet Dessert Wines – Perfect for a hot summer day, these refreshing wines pair wonderfully with spicier cuisines such as Indian. Chances are you have had a lightly sweet wine already if you are a wine aficionado. These include Gewürztraminer, which flaunts a flavour profile marked by rose petal and lychee characters. Riesling can also be produced in a lightly sweet style. The grape has a high natural acidity, that cuts through the sweetness on the palate. Similarly, Chenin Blanc is often produced in a sweeter style too, but this is usually true in the US.
  • Sweet Red Wines – The last category in this list of types of sweet wines is sweet reds. Sadly on a decline, many of these are worth a try! Italy produces a lot of sweet reds, including the world-renowned Lambrusco.


There are so many ways a wine can be crafted. Why not enjoy them all?

Dive into 20 Popular Types of Wine Grapes

With a wide variety available in different types of wine grapes out there, it’s not an easy thing for a novice to know all wines by names. To benefit them, we have collected 20 popular types of wine grapes to find wines from various regions. To make it easier and simpler, we are not getting into the regions part and just have featured the popular varieties of grapes, along with the red and white categories that might help you to begin.types-of-wine-grapes

Red Wines White Wines
Cabernet Franc Chardonnay
Cabernet Sauvignon Gewurztraminer
Carmenere Muscat
Grenache Pinot Grigio / Gris
Malbec Riesling
Merlot Sauvignon Blanc
Nebbiolo Semillon
Pinotage Viognier
Pinot Noir
Shiraz / Syrah

Some Related Info on Wines for Beginners

  1. A wine is called a single varietal when only one variety is mentioned on the bottle in Capitals (such as Chardonnay or Pinot Gris). A wine is called a blend when two or more grapes are used to craft that wine.
  2. The wine will be rich in varietal flavours if the name of the grape variety is mentioned on the bottle. The wines featuring region will portray regional characters of the grape variety. On the other hand, if a wine bottle features the grape variety as well as the region from where the majority of the fruit was sourced, it will have the flavours of both the variety and the region.
  3. The vintage year displayed on the bottle is the year when the wine was bottled and not the year when the grapes were harvested. It may take many months or even years for a wine to ferment and develop the desired taste and characters.
  4. The wine keeps on changing even after it is bottled due to the residual sugars and tannins present in the grape.
  5. Every wine has a different cellar potential. The cellar potential or how long a wine can be stored depends on the variety of grape and the region from where it comes. Most wine labels feature the ageing potential on the bottle’s back.

Understanding Wine Names: A General Guide

For a vast majority of wines, you would have noted that their names are the same as the grape variety used to produce them. Today, we will discuss those names of wine in a greater detail.


  1. As stated earlier, varietal wines are named on the grape variety used to manufacture them. For example, a wine produced using Chardonnay grapes is simply referred to as Chardonnay, one developed using Shiraz/Syrah grapes is simply called Shiraz/Syrah, and so on.
  2. The names of blended wines contain the names of both the grape varieties, in cases where the blend contains two grapes. For example, a blended wine crafted using Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes is known as Cabernet Merlot. Similarly, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grapes is called Sémillon Sauvignon Blanc. With wines containing more than two grapes, the name would end up becoming too lengthy if it were to contain all the names. Hence, a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre grapes is abbreviated to GSM.
  3. The names of sparkling wines are a whole new world in themselves. The globally-renowned bubbly, Champagne, comes from the Champagne region of France. (Hopefully this also helps to bust any myth about any other country producing Champagne! Even if a bubbly is produced the same way as a Champagne, but outside the Champagne region, it would be labelled a sparkling wine. On another note, a sparkling called blanc de blancs is produced using Chardonnay grapes. You might often also spot words like brut on a sparkling bottle. They are aimed at informing about the sweetness in the wine. Brut refers to a dry wine, while demi sec means a sweet one.
  4. Just like the previous category, the names of fortified wines are complex. Port is a fortified red wine from Portugal. The world-famous Sherry, made with white grapes, hails from Spain. Fortified wines from other countries would sometimes bear the word tawny in their names, referring to an orange-brown/ amber coloured, oak-aged wine.
  5. The names of rosé wines sometimes contain the name of the grape used to produce them, but this is not always the case.


Please note that this is not an all-inclusive directory on names of wine and the aim with the above information is to have a general guide on the subject. Apart from the names, you should also remember to indulge in the beauty of these fabulous wines! Cheers!