WAS 2007 "the greatest red vintage ever" in Margaret River? If you listen to Evans and Tate winemaker, Matthew Byrne the answer's a resounding "Yes."
Matthew says slightly warmer than usual weather was the key, and that a resultant 2007 Shiraz blended from fruit from vineyards in both the northern and southern areas of the region was "benchmark Margaret River."
This elegant wine has beautiful aromas of mulberry and plum and a rich palate of dark fruit flavours and tannin ripeness; exceptional value at $22.99 to enjoy with braised lamb shanks and parsley-infused mashed potatoes.
ONE FOR LUNCH: IT'S that time of year when our thoughts turn to bubbles, and reflecting their Italian heritage De Bortoli Wines have come up with something quite out of the ordinary – a sparkling Pinot Grigio.
Bottled under their Emeri label – appropriately so-named after the wife of the late Deen De Bortoli, the ever-bubbly Emeri – this is a great value party-room wine for the Festive Season. At just $15 lay in a few to enjoy with Christmas canapés or to go with holiday seafoods, salads or light pasta dishes.
AND ONE OR FORTY TO TASTE: Join NSW's best winemakers in Sydney on Thursday October 22 for a "tour" embracing the State's 2009 Wine of the Year, Trophy Winners and it's "Top 40" Wines. Choose a guided small-group tasting tour with one of the successful "Top 40" winemakers, or simply D-I-Y; all wines will be matched to appropriate regional cheeses at this one-off opportunity to see all the wines that made the "Top 40" in 2009.
Venue: Customs House, 31 Alfred St, Circular Quay, Sydney from 5.30pm to 9.00pm. Tickets cost $40pp that includes a NSW Wine glass, Wine & Cheese Tasting & Winemaker Tours. Buy tickets online at www.nswwine.com.au
(NEED A FOOD/DRINK IDEA? Check out http://www.vintnews.com )
 ONE for a rich lamb shank casserole
 JUDGES do their thing to choose NSW's 2009 "Top 40" – and Wine of the Year