Author Archives: justwines

Best White Wines You Should Have for Winter 2018

Winters have just approached the Australian shores. Is your cellar ready with some elegant and enjoyable white wines? Yes, white wines! For years and years, it has been said that red wines are great for winters. Agreed! But which wine will you have with your favourite seafood (that’s white), which is available in abundance in winters? So, you got our point, right? White meats taste best when paired with white wines. Just Wines brings you a listing of some best white wines for winter 2018 that have been highly reviewed in the current and past year. Varying from prices under $10 to over $50, these white wines hail from various wineries and wine brands of Australia, and make up as great pairs with winter foods.


Under $10

  • Beach Hut Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Mudgee
  • Robert Oatley Chain of Fire Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017 Western Australia
  • Angove Long Row Moscato 2017 South Australia
  • De Bortoli Sheep Shape Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Riverina
  • Angove Long Row Sauvignon Blanc 2017 South Australia

Under $20

  • Berton Vineyards Metal The Vermentino 2018 South Eastern Australia
  • Robert Oatley Fiore Moscato 2017 Mudgee
  • After Hours 9 to 5 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Margaret River
  • Take It To The Grave Pinot Grigio 2017 Tumbarumba
  • Mcguigan Bin 9000 Semillon 2017 New South Wales

Under $30

  • Te Mata Estate Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Hawke’s Bay
  • Sticks Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Yarra Valley
  • Yallingup Reserve Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Western Australia
  • Paddy Borthwick Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Wairarapa
  • Nocton Vineyard Estate Chardonnay 2017 Tasmania

Under $50

  • Bird in Hand Chardonnay 2017 Adelaide Hills
  • Moss Wood Ribbon Vale Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2017 Margaret River
  • Pierro LTC Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Margaret River
  • Tyrrells Winemakers Selection Vat 63 Chardonnay Semillon 2017 Hunter Valley
  • Bay of Fires Pinot Gris 2017 Tasmania

Over $50

  • Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2017 Clare Valley
  • Giant Steps Sexton Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 Yarra Valley
  • L.A.S. Vino Chardonnay 2017 Margaret River
  • Vasse Felix Icon Heytesbury Chardonnay 2016 Margaret River
  • Holm Oak The Wizard Chardonnay 2016 Tasmania

Try these best white wines for winter 2018 and let us know which wine you like(d) the most. You can also try the mixed white wine packs for a palate of different flavours. Don’t forget to subscribe to Trophy Club to fetch these or any of your favourite delicious and crispy whites with extra discount and free shipping.


Warm Climate Wine Regions of Australia – Victoria

The warmer regions of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western are best known for their rich red wines. The warm climate wine regions in these states of Australia produce wines that are full of generous flavour and softness – all thanks to their warm and dry growing season. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the warm climate wine regions of Victoria.

Goulburn Valley (Elevation 130-300m)
Goulburn Valley is in Central Victoria about 100 km north of Melbourne and 50 km east of Heathcote. Home to the world’s oldest (and largest) plantings of Marsanne, the region experiences wildly fluctuating temperatures during the growing season. The region also excels in Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Popular Wineries: Tahbilk, Mitchelton

Heathcote (Elevation 130-300m)
Situated between Central Victoria’s Bendigo and Goulburn Valley regions, Heathcote has made a name across Australia for its rich, velvety and spicy Shiraz. Look out for Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Merlot, and Chardonnay too.
Popular Wineries: Jasper Hill, Shelmerdine, and Heathcote Winery.

Pyrenees (Elevation 350-450m)
Home to diverse microclimates, Pyrenees land can cultivate a wide range of grape varieties. Perhaps the greatest strength of this region is its spicy and savoury red wines. White varieties including Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grow well here too.
Popular Wineries: Dalwhinnie, Blue Pyrenees, Redbank, Taltarni.

Grampians (Elevation 240-350m)
Famous for its natural beauty, Grampians is primarily a red wine region. Its wines are worthy of a single note too, such is their power, elegance, and ability to age. Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz lead the way in this Victoria region followed by white varieties such as Riesling and Chardonnay.

Important Wineries: Best’s, Seppelt Great Western.

Rutherglen (Elevation 160m)
Based in north-east Victoria, Rutherglen is best known for its diligently crafted fortified wines that have gained international reputation. The innovative spirit, and the uniqueness is seen not only in Rutherglen fortified wines but also in the wide range of varieties and styles it produces. Apart from Rutherglen Brown Muscat and Muscadelle, the region also excels in Durif, Riesling, Chardonnay and sparkling Shiraz as well.
Popular Wineries: Campbells, Chambers Rosewood, Stanton & Killeen, Morris.


Cool Climate Wine Regions in Australia -Victoria

Cool Climate Wine Regions in Australia -Victoria

Australia’s cool climate wines have become trendy worldwide. When it comes to Aussie cool climate wines, Victoria takes the lead. So, it’s time to pin down some renowned cool climate wine regions in Victoria, whose wines characters differentiate them from wines produced in warmer areas.
Yarra Valley (Elevation 50-400m)
Located near Melbourne at an hour’s drive, the Yarra Valley is known for its star varieties Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The region best produces single varietal table wines and traditional sparkling blends of Noir and Chardy. Shiraz and Cabernet have also shown success in this region.

Popular Wineries: De Bortoli Yarra Valley, Oakridge Estate, Seville Estate, Tarrawarra Estate, Yarra Yering, Mount Mary, Coldstream Hills, Yeringberg

Beechworth (Elevation 400-500m)
The interest towards Beechworth has been driven by the sublime wines of Giaconda, but there are other great producers in the region too. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz are particularly successful here, producing wines of complexity and elegance.

Popular Wineries: Amulet, Giaconda

Gippsland (Elevation 30-100m)
Gippsland is an emerging region developed by small family wineries. It extends from Phillip Island in the south to the southern border of NSW to its northeast. South Gippsland Pinot Noir is considered amongst the very finest in Australia. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are other primary varieties grown in Gippsland.

Popular Wineries: Nicholson River, Bass Phillip

Mornington Peninsula (Elevation 1-200m)
The Mornington Peninsula region is blessed with a cool maritime climate that’s best for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties. Besides these Pinot Gris and Shiraz from this region are also making an impression.

Popular Wineries: Paringa Estate, Stonier Wines, T’Gallant

Macedon Ranges (Elevation 500-690m)
The Macedon region is the coolest wine region on mainland Australia. The area is well suited to the production of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay and Shiraz sparkling wines. Though table wines made from Pinot Noir have also shown success in this region.

Popular Wineries: Hanging Rock, Rochford, Mount Macedon Winery, Bindi

Geelong (Elevation 10-100m)
It was Geelong where the first commercial vintage of Victoria was produced in 1845. An outbreak of phylloxera pest put this budding wine industry on hold for almost 100 years. But, today Geelong is best known for its Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays of exceptional complexity.

Popular Wineries: Austins, Bannockburn Vineyards, Jindalee Estate

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”.