Category Archives: Wine

White Wine: Popular Types, Regions and Their Pronunciations

Explore popular white wine types until you find the one that tempts your taste buds. Though considered white, these white wines are very different from each other in terms of colour, aromas, and palate. This page discusses white wine styles by a variety of names, popular wine regions where they are mostly grown in Australia, and how to pronounce them right.

white-wine-types

Chardonnay [shahr-dn-ey]

Chardonnay grows mainly in Riverland, Murray Darling – Swan Hill, Riverina, Padthaway, and Adelaide Hills.

Gewurztraminer [guh-voo rts-truh-mee-ner]

Also called as Traminer, this white wine variety is grown widely in Riverina, Riverland, Big Rivers zone other, Padthaway, and Langhorne Creek.

Chenin Blanc [shen-in blahngk]

Chenin Blanc is planted well in Riverland, Swan District, Margaret River, Riverina, and Murray Darling – Swan Hill.

Colombard [kol-uh m-bahrd]

Columbard is widely planted in Riverland, Murray Darling – Swan Hill, Riverina, Lower Murray zone, and Adelaide Plains

Marsanne [mɑh-say-n]

Riverina, Goulburn Valley, Barossa Valley, Heathcote, and Big Rivers zone are top five regions where Marsanne was mainly crushed in 2017.

Muscat [muhs-kuh-t]

Riverina, Riverland, Murray Darling – Swan Hill, Big Rivers zone, and Barossa Valley showed a huge success in Muscat variety.

Pinot Grigio [Pee-no gree-zo]

Murray Darling – Swan Hill, Riverina, King Valley, Adelaide Hills, and Riverland are top five regions showing growth in Pinot Grigio.

Riesling [reez-ling]

Top five regions where Riesling was highly crushed last year include Clare Valley, Eden Valley, Riverina, Riverland, and Langhorne Creek.

Sauvignon Blanc [soh-vin-yohn blahngk]

Murray Darling – Swan Hill, Riverland, Riverina, Adelaide Hills, and Margaret River topped the crushing of SB in 2017.

Semillon [sey-mee-yohn]

Riverina, Murray Darling – Swan Hill, Riverland, Margaret River, and Barossa Valley are major regions where a really large quantity of Semillon was crushed last year.

Verdelho [vehr-DEH-lyoh]

Riverina, Riverland, Swan District, Hunter, and Murray Darling – Swan Hill wine regions produced a huge quantity of Verdelho wines in 2017.

Vermentino [ver-mehn-TEE-noh]

Riverland, Murray Darling – Swan Hill, Riverina, Barossa Valley, and Heathcote were the top regions for Vermentino crush.

Viognier [VI-og-nier]

Riverland, Riverina, Murray Darling – Swan Hill, Barossa Valley, and Eden Valley are five regions where Viognier wine was highly produced in 2017.

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The Basics of Red Wine Types You Should Know

From the eclectic lush greens and cool climates of Southern Australia to the warmer states of Western and Northern Australia, red wines are produced almost everywhere in this smallest continent of the world. Here are some basics that will help you to identify the red wine types of Australia.

red-wine-types

The Grape Variety

The dominant grape variety listed on the label is what designates the type to a wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Malbec, Grenache, and Tempranillo are some famous varieties used for making wine types red.

Cool Climate and Warm Climate Wines

The regions experiencing cool climate produce varieties that have different flavours when compared to those from warmer regions. Influenced by higher elevations, water bodies and sunlight, the cool climate wines are low on tannins and alcohol. Gamay and Pinot Noir are the two popular cool-climate red wine types. On the other side, the warm climate wines have deeper red colour, higher alcohol contents, and are more tannic. Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Mourvedre are warm-climate red wine types.

Single Varietals and Blended Wines

Single varietals are the wines made from 100% fruit of a single variety. Blended wines are crafted from two or more than two grape varieties. Most of the New World wines are named after the variety or varieties used to craft a wine, while the Old World utilises the region in the name of the wine. Australian wines use both region and the variety to provide clarity about the wine specifications. For example, the wine crafted from Shiraz and Merlot from Barossa Valley will have Shiraz Merlot Barossa Valley featured on its label.

The Impact of Terroir

The structure of the soil and the climatic conditions define the terroir of a region. The impact of a terroir can be easily noticed in the wines produced in that particular region. The adaptability of grape vines to the climate of the region along with the viticultural practices followed by the wine producer determines the aromas, flavours and tannins of the wine. A red wine type which produces light-bodied wine in one part of a country can produce medium bodied wine in another region of the same country or vice versa. Both red wine types will have different tastes as well. This all happens because of the varied terroirs.

Tips for a wine date

Why do people drink wine on dates? This might be because wine symbolizes love and make the day seem more romantic. However, while on date one should be careful not to spoil it. Here are few tips to keep in mind while on the romantic date –

  • Don’t order wine by your own but ask your date what would he/she like to have.
  • Order food that pairs well with wine. You can ask for help from wine waiter on which food will compliment best with your wine
  • Do not overdo on your drinks. Drink slowly. The main purpose should be to enjoy the evening.
  • Do not overthink. Keep the conversation light and easy for both while enjoying the wine.  Let the conversation built up. And Remember –
  • Wine-Quote-Theres-a-built-in-romance-to-wine

 

 

Four prominent red grape varieties in Australia

Here are 4 prominent red grape varieties of Australia and some information on initial plantings of these grape varieties and the total plantings –

  • Shiraz – Initial plantings in late 1700’s in Australia. Total plantings of ~40,000 ha vineyards in Australia.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – Initial plantings in mid 1800’s. There are total of ~25,000 ha vineyards in Australia.
  • Grenache – Initial plantings in 1840s. There are total of ~1,500 ha of  Grenache vineyards in Australia
  • Pinot Noir – Initial plantings in 1830s. There are total of ~5,000 ha of Pinot Noir vineyards in Australia

Four-Prominent-Red-Grape-varieties-Australia

Other red grape varieties of Australia that are worth the mention are Mourvedre, Temperanillo and Petit Verdot.

Best 2018 Australian Sparkling Wines You Can Buy for $50 or Less

Australians have always been huge fans and connoisseurs of sparkling wines, both red and white. Renowned for its award-winning wineries, Australia too has earned the reputation of producing some of the oldest grape varieties, allowing the upcoming and reputed winemakers to hone their winemaking skills in its lush regions. Whether it is a full-bodied Cabernet, light bodied Pinot Gris or bubbly sparkling wines, Aussie winemakers today hold expertise to craft it all.

Best 2018 Australian Sparkling Wines

Here is a list of the Best Sparkling Wines 2018, created for the wine lovers around the globe to help them stock their cellar with the best wines of Australia at affordable prices.

  1. 2004 Miceli Sparkling Rose Brut, Mornington Peninsula –  $49

A stylish blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris grapes, this stunning pale salmon – pink hued Rose Brut is rich with toasty yeast, cream and delicious strawberry notes.

  1. 2005 Jansz Premium Vintage Late Disgorged, Tasmania – $50

Pale gold hues with fine bead. Intense aromas of shucked oysters, sea spray, truffle and brioche on the nose. The rich and layered palate is packed with truffled honey, caramelised pears, and toasted almonds.

  1. Bay of Fires Arras Brut Elite NV, Northern Tasmania, $50

Exotic aromas and flavours of lychee, spice, white peach and fresh oyster, combine with glace cherry and truffle oil characters on the generous palate to present a soft and persistent Brut Elite.

  1. 2008 Alexandra, Lake Barrington Vineyard, Northern Tasmania – $45

Post maturation on lees for 4 years, this enticing wine from Lake Barrington Vineyard displays persistent beads, along with interesting aromas of fresh fruits and nuts. Light and creamy texture of this wine further enhances its dynamic appearance.

  1. 2008 Blanc de Noir, Barton Vineyard, Northern Tasmania – $35

This pale quartz coloured Blanc de Noir is a refreshing wine, showing complex flavours of yeast, brioche and citrus.

  1. Macedon Brut Rose NV, Hanging Rock Winery Sparkling Rose, Macedon Ranges – $30

Salmon pink colour. Delicate fruit flavours on the palate lead to a dry finish, making this stunning Brut Rose an ideal aperitif.

  1. 2009 Howard Park Jete Grand Vintage Methode Traditionnelle, Burch Family Wines – $38

The palate is rich and elegant with flavours of stone fruit, citrus, cashew meal and freshly baked brioche. This exquisite sparkling wine showcases a creamy texture and lingering finish.

  1. Pirie Sparkling NV, Tamar Ridge, Northern Tasmania, $30

This gorgeous Pirie Sparkling boasts of complex and fresh fruit characters, balanced by vibrant lemon acidity, culminating in a slaty, mineral finish.

  1. Taltarni Blanc de Blancs 2011 Pyrenees – $26

Crafted using premium Chardonnay grapes, this classic Blanc de Blancs has lemon and subtle peach characters, all of which combine with bold, natural acidity to offer a textured and captivating finale.

  1. Turkey Flat Sparkling Shiraz Barossa Valley – $40

Mesmerising aromas of prune, cherries, plums, blueberry tart and dark chocolate precede the fresh and intense palate to offer a lingering finale.

Shiraz vs Merlot: Difference and Similarities

The following lines on Shiraz vs Merlot are going to help you in two ways. It will especially help those who will be tasting Shiraz and Merlot wine styles for the first time. And, it will also cater those who have tasted them already and want a detailed but quick study of these styles. So, here are the differences and similarities between Shiraz and Merlot grape varieties and wines made from them.

Shiraz vs Merlot: The similarities

shiraz-vs-merlot

  1. Both Shiraz and Merlot are among the most loved and popular wine grape varieties in Australia.
  2. Shiraz and Merlot grapes are used in producing red wines and some Rose wines.
  3. Though very different from each other in structure and winemaking processes, it needs a well-trained nose to distinguish between Shiraz and Merlot wines, especially when both wines are diligently crafted as medium-bodied.
  4. Both Australian Shiraz wines and Australian Merlot wines show almost same ageing potential.
  5. Most of the Shiraz and Merlot wines are meant for immediate consumption after opening the bottle. Blends with high alcohol content are exceptions and can survive longer.

 

Shiraz vs Merlot: The differences

Shiraz Merlot
Shiraz grapes are best utilised when ripe. Merlot is a soft, fleshy and early ripening grape.
Shiraz grapes help in producing full-bodied red wines with high tannins. Wines made from Merlot grapes are medium-bodied, fruit-centred and easy on drinking.
Showing deep, intense and dark crimson colours, Shiraz wines are very bold and sophisticated in nature. Merlot wines show dark red to light crimson shades when poured into the glass.
Shiraz wines possess earthy flavours of pepper, truffle and leather. Merlot wines have a delicate, fruity, feminine flavour with a velvety feel in the mouth. Hints of plum, berry and current go along with the flavour.
Most Shiraz wines pair well with red meats, juicy steaks and thick stews. Merlot can be combined with a variety of foods. The best food pairings with Merlot wines include salmon, prawns, shellfish and mushrooms.
In Australia, Shiraz grapes are mostly grown in Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Hunter Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions. Merlot grapes are widely planted in Barossa Valley, Wrattonbully, and McLaren Vale wine regions of Australia.

 

Shiraz vs Cabernet Sauvignon: Wine Regions, Aromas, Texture, Food Pairing

Did you always wonder how Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, two of the most popular grape varieties, fare against one another? Known for being used to produce some of the boldest and flavoursome red wines with intense colours, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are similar in many ways, but they have certain differences too. Read on to know how Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon fare on similar aspects:

Shiraz vs Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Regions

Talking particularly about Australian regions, Shiraz, also known as Syrah, is grown in hot climate zones and dominates the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale regions.

Cabernet Sauvignon rules well in the Maritime climate of two of its kingdoms – Margaret River and Coonawarra regions.

Aromas

Aroma characters in Shiraz wines can range from violets to berries, espresso, chocolate, cloves, and black pepper.

Wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon are known for their intense fruit flavour, subtle minty notes, blackcurrant, and grassy aromas.

Texture

Australian Shiraz is a full-bodied, jammier fruit with softer tannin. The high to low acidity and tannin levels of Shiraz grapes help in producing wines with promising aging potential.

Australian Cabernet Sauvignon makes dense, dark and tannic wines with noticeable acidity which contributes to aging potential of the wines.

Food Pairing

Think big and spicy flavours when it comes to food pairing with Australian Shiraz wines. Grilled or roast beef, beef stews, spicy sausages, and hard cheeses like Cheddar, pair extremely well with Australian style Shiraz wines.

On the other hand, steak is a great choice for pairing with Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Other food pairings that enhance the taste of a Cabernet Sauvignon wine include aged Cheddar cheese, grilled Portabello mushroom, braised beef, and grilled lamb.

Some Fine Examples

Shiraz wines

Tahbilk Rare 1860 Vines Shiraz 2013 Nagambie Lakes

Yalumba Rare & Fine Collection The Octavius Shiraz 2013 Barossa Valley

Cabernet Sauvignon wines

Cullen Vanya Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Margaret River

Redman Cabernet Sauvignon Magnum 2013 Coonawarra