Monday, 9 March 2009

MASTERFUL BILL’S BARBECUE SHIRAZ

Wc9March09

david ellis

IF Westend Estate's 2007 Richland Shiraz was a beer, you'd be putting it into the biggest glass you could find and quaffing it in great swallows while the steaks cooked on the barbie.

But it's a wine, so you've got to take it in smaller glasses and not throw it down with gusto.

Which is easier said than done, because this Shiraz from the Riverina's masterful Bill Calabria is huge on varietal black plum, red currant and spicy pepper flavours, and slips down the throat with a velvety smoothness.

And remarkably it's priced at just $11.99 so you can enjoy a few now with family or friends around that barbecue, and put a few aside for later when it's gained a bit more complexity with a couple of years aging.

Enjoy with beef fillet off the BBQ plate accompanied with some lightly cooked mushrooms infused with a touch of garlic, and a good dollop of polenta.

And here's a tip: if it's a particularly warm day, pop the bottle in the fridge for 30 minutes before opening to take a bit of heat off the glass; it'll make it all the more enjoyable – as it won't be cold, but it won't be too warm either.

ONE FOR LUNCH: The Hunter Valley's Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard has been selling a damn good Tempranillo at cellar-door-only for some years now, and finally it's released its first of this varietal under the Audrey Wilkinson label.

It's done so from the 2007 harvest that was one of the earliest and best in the Hunter's history, and thus suited this early-ripening Spanish varietal perfectly; the resultant wine has full-on black cherry and spice aromas, and lovely dark- berry fruit flavours with accompanying fine tannins.

At $19.99 how better to enjoy this Spanish beauty than with a hearty Paella?

(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com)

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PHOTO CAPTIONS:

[] JUST the drop with BBQ'd beef fillet, garlic infused mushrooms and polenta

[] TEMPTING Tempranillo: a Spanish beauty to enjoy with Paella

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