Author Archives: justwines

Best wines to enjoy in Spring 2018

Warmth of sun, blue skies, breezy days and greens everywhere, no doubts Spring is the most beautiful time of the year. This beautiful season and weather demands something pleasing to be enjoyed with your favourite sea foods (which will be now available in abundance). When those lovely flavours of fresh cheesy dishes roll within the mouth, they demand something elegant to pair along. Spring is the perfect time to drink lighter whites but that doesn’t have to dishearten red wine embracers. Here, we’ve compiled 10 best wines that you can enjoy in Spring 2018 with your fave dishes.


For Red Wine Lovers

Young Pinot Noir

Young Pinot Noir with bright and intense raspberry notes are perfect to enjoy with spring meals like salmon or tuna, seared duck breast and fresh red berries salad. Best examples of young Pinot Noirs come from Marlborough New Zealand.

Sparkling Shiraz

For upcoming festival get-togethers and party foods, there’s nothing better than Morris Sparkling Shiraz Durif Rutherglen. It will steal everyone’s heart in one go!

Light rose

Light rose wines are perfect to drink with barbeques, grilled tuna and a salad mixed with garlic mayo.


This is a must-try. Your favourite spring fruits can be clubbed in a Sangria. Here’s a quick Sangria recipe.

For White Wine Lovers

Pinot Grigio

The best wine to alongside antipasti, risottos and light seafood pastas is a Mornington Peninsula Pinot Grigio. This elegant minerally white also fits to fresh tomato-based pasta sauces.


Fruits like peaches and raspberries go well with a charming sparkling wine (preferably Prosecco) that’s softer and more rounded than Champagne. Tasmania wines are doing best in this genre.

Dry Riesling

The crisp, zesty and fresh flavours of a dry Riesling make it a perfect spring sip. Stick to Clare Valley for this style of Riesling when you’ve smoked dish, seafood salads, lightly-spiced Asian foods on the mind.

Sauvignon Blanc

An Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc will be your best pick if your dish contains goat’s cheese,  asparagus, or lots of herbs like coriander and dill.

Semillon Sauvignon Blanc

Not-to-aggressive Hunter Valley Semillon Sauvignon Blanc will be a great choice for delicate dishes like poached-in-chicken stock.

Gruner Veltliner

Every sommelier’s darling and less demanding than Riesling, Gruner Veltliner is a great accompaniment to light Asian dishes, Thai salads, noodles, and Vietnamese spring rolls.

Let the amazing flavours of these best wines enhance your spring vibes. Enjoy!


Types of sparkling wines to serve at a wedding

Wedding is a very special day, not just for the couple but for the loved ones as well who have visited to shower their blessings. Isn’t it? So the food and wine has to be the best. No matter what food style you’ve planned for your wedding, wine is the number one thing that should not be missed from an important event like wedding. Sparkling wine is an integral part of every celebration and especially the wedding party but choosing the perfect sparkling wine for this auspicious day can be a daunting task. To make it a bit easier for you, we’ve shortlisted some interesting types of wines that are perfect pours for weddings.

Sparkling Chardonnay

  • House of Arras Blanc de Blancs 2007 Tasmania ($71.99 / bottle)
  • Sidewood Isabella Rose Methode Traditionelle 2012 Adelaide Hills ($28.00 / bottle)
  • Sidewood Sparkling NV Adelaide Hills ($25.00 / bottle)
  • Deakin Azahara Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV Murray Darling 200ml ($5.50 / bottle)


Sparkling Moscato

  • Yellow Tail Bubbles Red Moscato South Eastern Australia ($7.98 / bottle)
  • Deakin Azahara Sparkling Moscato NV Murray Darling ($10.99 / bottle)
  • Angas Premium Moscato NV Barossa Valley ($11.99 / bottle)
  • Gapsted Fruity Sparkling Moscato NV Victoria ($12.99 / bottle)


Sparkling Pinot Noir

  • Grant Burge Sparkling Blanc De Noirs 2013 South Australia ($29.99 / bottle)
  • Deakin Azahara Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV Murray Darling  ($5.50 / bottle)
  • Sidewood Sparkling NV Adelaide Hills ($25.00 / bottle)
  • Sidewood Isabella Rose Methode Traditionelle 2012 Adelaide Hills ($28.00 / bottle)


Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay

  • House of Arras Grand Vintage 2008 Tasmania ($71.00 / bottle)
  • House of Arras EJ Carr Late Disgorged Chardonnay Pinot Noir 2002 Tasmania ($153.00 / bottle)
  • De Bortoli Emeri Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV Griffith 200ml ($3.99 / bottle)
  • Jansz Premium Cuvee NV Tasmania ($30.99 / bottle)


Sparkling Prosecco

  • Zonte’s Footstep Bolle Felici Prosecco NV Fleurieu Peninsula ($19.00 / bottle)
  • Tatachilla Those Who Wander Prosecco NV King Valley ($21.00 / bottle)
  • Gapsted Tobacco Road Prosecco NV King Valley ($18.00 / bottle)
  • All Saints Estate Prosecco NV Victoria ($24.99 / bottle)


Sparkling Rose

  • Deviation Road Altair Brut Rose NV Adelaide Hills ($28.50 / bottle)
  • Ninth Island Sparkling Rose NV Tasmania ($27.85 / bottle)
  • Jacobs Creek Sparkling Rose NV South Eastern Australia 200ml ($3.99 / bottle)
  • Bird in Hand Pinot Nero Rosé 2017 Adelaide Hills ($28.00 / bottle)

We suggest choosing one white and one red to serve throughout the night/day. These types of wines will not just pair well with the wedding foods but will also double-up your special day’s toasting ceremony. Cheers!


Merlot vs Chardonnay-Know the Difference

When people ask about the different between Merlot and Chardonnay, the first thing which comes to mind is what are the common traits of these wines? It is well known that Merlot is a red wine whereas Chardonnay is a white wine, and this itself means a lot of difference. Both these grape varieties have originated from the same grapevine- vitis vinifera, but still are vastly different.


The first important distinction is of skin colour of the grapes. The Merlot is a purple red grape variety whereas Chardonnay is a golden or yellow grape variety.

Second, Merlot has a soft and silky texture. This texture is different from that of Chardonnay which is rich and lush when aged in oak and pure and crisp when aged in stainless steel.

Third, Merlot exhibits flavours depending on climatic conditions of the region. Cooler Merlot varieties have flavours of plum, strawberry and raspberry, whereas hotter climes have flavours of fruitcake and chocolate. However, Chardonnay exhibits flavours of fruits, such as citrus, stone and tropical.

Fourth, Merlot is a medium-bodied wine whereas Chardonnay is a medium to heavy bodied wine. A ‘body’ of wine refers to the weight of wine in mouth. Full or heavy bodied wines are big and powerful whereas the light bodied wines are more delicate in nature. Chardonnay can be heavy-bodied and this more weight is due to presence of more alcohol. Besides alcohol, wine contains non-volatile solids, such as tannins and glycerol, sugars and acids, and these also determine weight of the wine.

Merlot Vs Chardonnay differences are not clear. Wine lovers buy the wine in the wake of these differences and have practical experience of understanding or feeling the difference.

Making of the red wine types sweet

Wines are made from grapes by a process called fermentation. In this process, the sugar content present in the grapes in converted into alcohol, gases and organic acids in the absence of oxygen. This is generally done by yeast. The environment in which this process takes places also determines the character of the wines.

Grapes, whether red or white, are sweet by nature. Red wines are made from dark red skin grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot are a few of the popular red grape types. Once these are crushed and kept in tanks, casks or bottles with the addition of yeast, the process of fermentation begins. The extent of sweetness in the grape juice goes on declining with time as more and more sugar converts into alcohol.
If there is a need to produce sweet wines, then this process of fermentation has to be stopped in between so that the sweetness can be retained. Precisely when it has to be stopped depends on desired level of sweetness in the wine. Some of these sweet wines are also considered to be good as dessert wines and are consumed as such after the meals.
Some of major red wine types sweet producers in Australia are the likes of De Bortoli, McWilliams, Grant Burge, Lindemans, Krinklewood and Martins Hill. The list of these names is not exhaustive and many more wine labels produce sweet wines. De Bortoli has Premium Fortified Tawnys and Noble One wines. McWilliams has Hanwood Estate Tawny. Similarly, Grant Burge also has its own fortified Tawny which is 10 years old. A Tawny is a wine which is aged in wooden casks. This makes it different from Ruby which ages in bottle. However, both Tawny and Ruby are Port wines.
Sweet red wines are also the first preference of first-timers. For those who are having wines first time, these provide the required taste. Otherwise, the wine can be a tasteless and rather boring commodity for the first timers.

Interesting Names of Wine Brands

Australia has a well-developed wines industry. The grapes for wines are grown in more than 60 recognized wine regions of the country. There are about 2500 wineries which produce wines from grapes provided by more than 6000 growers. These numeric also bring to light the problems in finding the names of wine labels. The name holds importance for the new entrants and the catchy ones are most likely to sell well. Therefore, in their enthusiasm to find unique and catchy names, some of the most interesting ones come up. We have compiled a list of these wine names for fun.

wine brands

Names of wines are also based on family names and history. So, you do have the likes of De Bortoli, McWilliams, Mcguigans, Peter Lehmann and many more. In fact, these wine labels named after personal or family names are most commonly in use than any other way of naming the wine.


Another way of naming the wine label which is of common use is that of family name with the region. A good example to quote in this respect is that of Wynns Coonawarra. In this name of the wine label, Coonawarra is a region. There are not many wines which add region to its label as such but this is also a way to name a wine for a few wine companies.

While the wine-makers are free to choose the name they want to keep, the influences could be personal, spiritual, regional or any other.

The law does require that every new name shall be unique and should not be same or even similar to an existing one. No attempt to take an undue advantage of an existing name shall be done else there are heave penalties to be borne.

Types of Wine Grapes

Wines are generally of two types when distinguished on the basis of their colour. These are red and white wine, made respectively from the grapes whose skin tone is reddish or yellowish. Within this broad categorization, there is further subcategorization on the basis of different varieties of grapes.

Following are some of the most common types of wine grapes that are grown in Australia.

red wine vs white wine
The wines prepared from these grapes are either sold as single varietal wine or as mix or blend of two or more grape types. Each of these occupy a particular acreage of vineyard. An increasing or decreasing trend in vineyard acreage for each of these wine grapes shows the increasing or decreasing popularity of that varietal in Australia. Popularity is associated with domestic consumption and export of the wine. Some of these wines are used in making of blends. So, even when the single varietal popularity of these wines is showing a declining trend, the blend can show an increasing graph due to which the vineyard under cultivation may remain almost same for years.
The list of these types of wines include some of the most popular names such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Moscato, Merlo, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio. Besides, it also includes some of the lesser known varietals, such as Nero d’Avola, Barbera, Vermentino, Traminer and others. Most of these grape vines have been brought from their native countries, some almost two centuries ago when the process of planting the first grapes was initiated in Australia.
The list of wine varietals shown above is not exhaustive and there are many other varietals as well that are grown in Australia and fermented for wine making purposes. About 6000 wine growers spread out on more than 60 geographical indicator regions of Australia grow these grapes. These are then made into wine by about 2500 wineries, a large proportion of which are small and boutique wineries having small farmlands.

Basic Types of Wine

Wines are made from grapes. The ones which are made from purple or black coloured skins form into red wines whereas the ones with yellowish skin colour are used in making of white wines. It is possible to chemically alter the natural colour of wines but it is the natural colour which is mostly retained in the wine making process. So, the basic types of wines based on colour of skin of grape is Red or White.

However, there are other categorizations of wines as well. These are based on following parameters:

1. Types of grapes- such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling, etc. The types of grapes are distinguished on the basis of their physical characteristics, say leave structure.

2. Farming method- Organic, Vegan or Bio-dynamic. Organic vineyards are the ones in which the chemicals are not used. Vegan wines are organic and do not make use of animal residues in fining of wine. The bio-dynamic wines are made using the farming practices in accordance with celestial phenomenon.

3. Fermentation- In some wines, where second fermentation is allowed to take place, it leads to formation of the sparkling wines. These bubbly wines could be red or white.

4. Fortified Wines- If a little brandy is added to the wine, it leads to its fortification against damage, giving it a longer lease of life. The fortified wines are another special category of wines.

5. Dessert wines- Usually taken after the dinner, these are sweet wines and are comparable to taking dessert. These are sweet because the fermentation process is not allowed to complete and some sweetness is retained in the wine.

These are some of the most ways in which the wines are distinguished. In some countries, such as France, the wines are also labelled on terroir influences. Some classic examples are Champagne and Burgundy.