Monday 14 January 2008


YOU can always rely on the Riverina's Bill Calabria to come up with a
drop that's both a darn good wine, and easy on the wallet as well.

His 2007 Westend Estate Richland Viognier is just such a goodie, a
full-bodied white to serve chilled with barbecued seafood on a balmy
day or with lighter white-meat dishes – and truly Australian summer
drinking at its best.

And while wonderfully fruity and quite luscious, the varietal sweet
peach, apricot nectar and spice flavours that grab the palate aren't
cloying, while the apricot and orange blossom aromas simply explode
out of the glass on pouring.

Put it on the table for just $10.95 and enjoy with pan-fried whiting
and salad, chicken fillets with zucchini fritters, or with a platter
of creamy brie and camembert, summery fruits, crackers and some crispy

Or, since Bill's just done a deal to sell this and others of his wines
to Vietnam's national air carrier and into Thailand as well, discover
how well this variety goes with Asian dishes influenced with ginger,
coriander and basil.

OUT OF THE BOX: A first from NSW South-western Slopes maker,
Bidgeebong Wines is their 2006 Verdelho – a drop that Director of
Winemaking, Andrew Birks likes to describe as "a Portuguese original
that's an Australian natural."

Verdelho from the NSW Hunter and Victorian Swan Valley has long had a
strong following amongst those who enjoy this crisp and zesty variety,
and for his first-ever under the Bidgeebong label, Andrew chose fruit
exclusively from the Ward family's vineyard at Canowindra.

The result is a wonderfully easy-drinking and quite dry wine with
melony flavours and a cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness that, just like in
its homeland, seems made for our own summer lifestyle: pay $23 and
quaff away with Portuguese-style char-grilled sardines, roasted
capsicum, and a salsa salad.

(David Ellis' wine columns are archived on


PHOTO CAPTIONS: JUST the drop with barbecued seafood, Westend's

Richland 2007 Viognier.

BIDGEEBONG's 2006 Verdelho: "a Portuguese

original, that's an Australian natural."

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