Monday 13 December 2010



David Ellis

IN its homeland Spain, Albarino is dubbed "The Wine of the Sea," both because it's grown in the Rias Baixas region adjoining the Atlantic, and because of its wonderful compatibility at the table with seafood.

Amongst the largest makers and exporters of Albarino is Vionta, one of an amazing 180 wineries in Rias Baixas devoted entirely to the production of the variety. The 2009 Vionta Albarino is now available here, and is a great warm weather match for summery seafoods and alfresco brunches.

And while it's got distinctive floral peach and apricot aromas, on the palate its all about melons and lemons with hints of apple. A lovely drop at $30.

IF YOU'VE a good Catholic girl amongst family or friends who like their Riesling, surprise them this Christmas with a bottle under the tree of the wonderfully-named Good Catholic Girl 2010 Teresa Clare Riesling.

This you-beaut drop is full of mouth-watering zesty lemon, ripe apple and creamy tropical fruit flavours, making it a delight with the Christmas or Boxing Day prawns and oysters. And remarkably even though only 600 dozen bottles were made, its just $25, which is a real bargain. If you can't find it locally, order through or 0419 822 909.

CHAMPAGNE or Aussie bubbly as guests arrive, Riesling with a seafood entrée, Shiraz, Australia's unique Sparkling Burgundy or if you prefer whites, an aged Hunter Semillon with the ham and turkey, and a Muscat or Tokay with the Christmas pud….

These are Jeremy Oliver's suggestions for Christmas in his exceptional Wine Annual 2011 in which he extraordinarily reviews 14,000 wines from over 300 of Australia's top wineries. It's an easy-to-navigate tome, small enough to fit in the pocket, purse or glove-box, yet crammed with everything you want to know about those 14,000 wines. Excellent value at $29.95 from bookstores.



[] SPANISH beauty with a seafood brunch.

[] SURPRISE that good Catholic girl in the family with this flavoursome drop.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

Chambourcin: Ode to a mixed-race Orphan

Media release

It's wine show season, and one show that always encourages some unusual and inspiring entries is the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show (AAVWS) …and one such lesser known variety ready to now be fully discovered by the Australian consumer is Chambourcin.

A French-American hybrid, Chambourcin's actual parentage is unknown after it was lost upon the death of its creator Joannes Seyve who passed away in 1963. No matter where it came from, Chambourcin is definitely finding a home for itself in Australia, particularly in some NSW vineyards. Quite fitting considering our multi-cultural society.

Frog Rock Wines in Mudgee has taken particular joy in fostering this variety, welcoming it to the family in 1999. The new release Frog Rock Chambourcin 2008 ($25), like previous vintages, is showing true varietal character with the deep black/purple colour expected and also the spicy plum and ripe mulberry on the nose and palate. Where it does differ from some other Chambourcins is a much longer depth and relatively fuller body, demonstrating why Mudgee is a region really suited to growing this versatile grape variety.

According to Rick Turner, owner of Frog Rock Wines, Chambourcin is very much an "underrated" variety and he is surprised that it is not more commonly grown. Rick says, "Chambourcin has excellent structure with a fine balance of acidity and tannins. The flavours aren't actually as heavy as the colour suggests and it can be an amazingly malleable variety. We produce our style to be enjoyed with hearty winter dishes or it can also be chilled down and served with your favourite spicy food."

The Frog Rock Chambourcin is fermented in open fermenters and hand plunged to control tannin extraction. It is then matured in older French barriques to keep oak tannins in balance.

Both the AAVWS and Frog Rock Wines have been aiming to raise the profile of lesser known varietals such as Chambourcin and Petit Verdot for many years now and to introduce all levels of wine lovers to the new and exciting things that are coming out of the Australian wine industry.

Frog Rock Chambourcin 2008 ($25) available in all good independent retailers and direct from Frog Rock  Wines P: (02) 6372 2408    W:

Check out more about the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show at

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011

Media Release

There's great news today for anyone in Sydney or NSW who loves nothing more than heading to the pub for a glass or two of something cold and a delicious, well-priced meal.

The inaugural Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 is published today, and is set to establish itself as the definitive and indispensible guide to the best pub food throughout the Sydney area and regional NSW.

The book's publication will be complemented by the launch of the Good Pub Food Guide 2011 iPhone app later this month.

To celebrate the publication of the new Guide, the first ever Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide Awards were held last night in Sydney, recognising the most outstanding pub food offerings in a range of categories.

Winner of the Best Overall Award was the Four in Hand in Paddington, a pub that also carried off the Best Pub by Region (City & Suburbs) Award.

(For a full list of categories and Award winners, please see below).

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 is edited by renowned pub aficionado Keith Austin, who, along with a team of dedicated reviewers, spent several months putting together the material to make this Guide a pub-lover's delight.

Commenting on the Guide, Keith said that that the humble hotel is undergoing something of a renaissance, possibly fuelled by the inexorable rise of the so-called gastropub in the UK but also, he believes, by the realization that top-end dining has become prohibitively expensive in recent years.

"Pubs can – and do – serve some great food, and it's about time people realised that," Keith said. "There is a misconception that pubs are all about pie-warmer pies and dodgy sausage rolls but that's no longer the case."

"Our team of 70 reviewers visited more than 550 pubs across NSW – everywhere from Bryon to Dubbo, Wentworth, Eden and beyond – and we encountered everything from wagyu beef to fish so fresh it winked at you from the plate."

Keith said that his review team had to choose from more than 1,600 pubs and hotels across Sydney and NSW.

All the pubs reviewed in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 are scored out of 20, with the lowest score of 12 signifying "not bad" and a score of more than 18 receiving the ultimate "gastro-tastic" accolade.

The Guide also uses a "schooner" ranking – just like the chef's hat and wine glass rankings in the recently-published Good Food Guide 2011 and Good Wine Guide 2011 books and apps.

Eight pubs around Sydney, Newcastle and regional NSW scored the top possible ranking of three schooners, while nine pubs scored two schooners and an impressive 30 pubs received a one "raise a glass of the good stuff" schooner rank.

As well as the reviews, The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 features handy "The Best" sections, including the best beer lists, the best family-friendly pubs, the best views – even the best chips!

"This being the first Good Pub Food Guide we can't claim to be omniscient, and there will be places serving great food which we haven't yet discovered," Keith said, adding that readers are warmly invited to suggest pubs for future reviews by contacting him at or by posting suggestions on the Good Food Guide Facebook page (

"Publicans are beginning to realise that the key to a great pub is exceptional pub grub. And if you want to know where to find it, this is the book for you. Certainly there are a few even I haven't managed to get round to yet so maybe I'll see you there."

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 is on sale from Tuesday, December 7 at bookstores, newsagents and online at, or by calling The Sydney Morning Herald  on 1300 656 059. Recommended retail price is $24.95.

The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide 2011 iPhone app is available soon from the iTunes store for $9.99.

Ø  Best Overall
The Four In Hand, Paddington

Ø  Best pub by region (City & suburbs)
The Four In Hand, Paddington

Ø  Best pub by region (Newcastle & surrounds)
Carrington Place, Newcastle

Ø  Best pub by region (Country)
Mount Kembla Village Hotel, Mount Kembla

Ø  Best family friendly
Appin Hotel, Appin

Ø  Best location
The Newport Arms, Newport

Ø  Best waterfront location
The Smithtown Riverview Hotel, Smithtown

Ø  Best beer garden
Burrawang Village Hotel, Burrawang

Ø  Best service (individual)
Danielle Jukes at The Royal Hotel, Moree

Ø  Best service (team)
Harwood Hotel, Harwood

Ø  Most promising
Simon Sim at the Botany Bay Hotel

Ø  Best beer list
The Local Taphouse, Darlinghurst

Ø  Best use of local produce
Mount Kembla Village Hotel, Mount Kembla

Ø  Best value for money
The Shakespeare Hotel, Surry Hills

Ø  Best community involvement
The Heads Hotel Motel, Shoalhaven Heads

About the editor:

Keith Austin is a pub lover of old and a former restaurant reviewer for the Sydney Morning Herald. He has also edited two cookbooks (Blokes and Seafood). British by birth and Australian by choice, Keith sipped his first beer at the tender age of six or seven — a glass of old-fashioned bottled Guinness passed surreptitiously out of the door of the local boozer in East London by his paternal grandmother, who said it would do him good. And so far she's been right. Drinking and eating in pubs has been a pastime of Keith's ever since, so when he was approached to edit The Sydney Morning Herald Good Pub Food Guide, his only question was 'when and where do I start?

Read and enjoy Keith's blog: Scoff

Monday 6 December 2010


NICE drop with Thai
and spicy Asian foods

David Ellis

BOUTIQUE cool-climate maker Shaw Vineyard Estate between Canberra and Yass has released a well-priced Winemakers Selection 2009 Riesling that's a great drop with Thai and other spicy Asian dishes.

Made from entirely estate-grown fruit, the crisp citrus-dominated palate makes it ideal with those Asian foods, and certainly good buying at just $15 to take along to your local BYO.

Although established only 12 years ago, Shaw has already garnered itself a strong following with a nice portfolio of whites and reds from what was once a fine-wool producing property with a history going back to the mid-1800s... enough to give you something to chat about over this delightful Riesling.

BEN Jeanneret is turning heads with some outstanding wines from the family-owned Jeanneret Wines at Sevenhill in the Clare Valley.

TURNING heads: a good choice
with pepper steak, or Festive roast goose
A particularly good red to look out for is his 2006 Hummer Merlot, an aromatic wine with a delicious palate of dark cherry, plum and chocolate flavours; at $40 it's a perfect match with a pepper steak – or if you're thinking about being adventurous at Christmas, with roast goose.

Ben sources his fruit from a range of suppliers in the Clare, in this case from the vineyards of Jim and Coralie Jones who've been growing grapes in the northern end of the Valley for forty years – somewhat of an enviable record.

IF you've oysters in mind as part of your Christmas festivities, don't look past a bottle of Mandala 2010 Sauvignon Blanc from the Yarra Valley to join them.

A somewhat lip-smacking wine with zesty citrus characters and touches of gooseberry and lychee, at $20 it'll make a great match with those oysters – or if you want to be more expansive, a platter of oysters, fruit and goat's cheese.

AWW Shucks
– you'll love this one
with fresh oysters in the shell


Thursday 2 December 2010

Your 10 wines for Christmas

Rob Geddes
Rob Geddes' recommendations for Christmas wine this year have been some of the best tasted in 2010. These may be wines for that special dinner or to give as gifts.

Celebration bubbles:

Ayala NV Brut Majeur Champagne

Dry, fine and complex, a truly smart champagne.

Wine for lighter flavours such as seafood, salads, canapes & white meats with lighter sauces:

Wilson Vineyard DJW Riesling 10

In a year of obvious rich Riesling Daniel Wilson has made a truly delicious dry, subtle limes, elegant and appealing Riesling.

Grossett Springvale Riesling 10

The flavours are pineapple and spice of the Watervale sub region, ideal on Christmas day.

Cape Mentelle Wallcliffe Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 08

This wine is extraordinary fresh nettles and herbs dry and crisp, great texture and length I am sure its their best yet.

De Bortoli Pinot Noir Rose, Yarra Valley 10

You have to try this over summer - dry but rich in texture.

Wine for medium flavours such as lighter red meat & white meat with rich sauces:

Freycinet Pinot Noir 08

The sort of wine wife says” remember that one!” East coast Tasmania has great depth of flavour, velvety tannins richness in texture and fruit flavour.

Spring Vale Pinot Noir 07

This is the more affordable and widely available introduction from the neighbours to Freycinet. In the same style if a touch more rustic.

Wine for medium to heavy flavours such as roasted red meat:

Tim Adams Aberfeldy Shiraz 08

Tasted in a line up of wines costing up to $550.00 this shone for its freshness and fine satiny silky tannins Tim Adams really knows Clare Shiraz and this could be his finest to date.

Chateau Cantemerle Haut Medoc 05

Tasted in a line up of wines costing up to $130.00 it reminds of the subtle elegance, length and power of Bordeuax and only slightly bigger than light medium body.

Petaluma Coonawarra Merlot 06

Tasted in a line up of wines costing up to $130.00 I was remdinded that despite sideways Merlot can rock and in the hands of Petaluma it has rolled along consistently for over a decade.

Wine Odyssey Australia

Media Release

The launch of Wine Odyssey Australia in Sydney in November 2008 represented a landmark moment for Australian winemakers and consumers alike; a world-first showcase for independent Australian wineries.

Now, two years on, Wine Odyssey Australia proudly provides a new route to market for Australia's smaller, lesser known winemakers and enables burgeoning wine lovers to be able to make new discoveries, and experience wines and the people behind them, that otherwise they may never have crossed.

Located in a stunning Heritage building in The Rocks, the success of the model is evident, and these two years are proof that Wine Odyssey Australia has a significant role to play in the Australian wine industry.

A wine lovers paradise, it could be said, but at the same time a fabulous relaxed wine and food destination for locals and visitors alike. It provides an Australian wine experience, an educational facility, a fine wine retail store, a restaurant and foremost is a fabulous iconic Sydney Wine Bar where wine lovers can while away an afternoon or evening, every day of the week.

Tying in perfectly with this two year milestone, Wine Odyssey Australia has appointed Head Chef Brian Villahermosa, to take the Wine Odyssey kitchen to the next level.

Previously head chef at Kirribilli's favourite tapas restaurant, Catalonia, and a CV which reads like the Good Food Guide, including The Art Gallery of NSW, Bayswater Brasserie and the famous Isola Restaurant in London, Brian is extremely enthusiastic about this opportunity.

His passion for wine matched only with his passion for food, has enabled him to re-create the menu comprising share plates and quality dishes all of which can be easily matched with one of the 400 strong wines on the all-Australian list at Wine Odyssey.

Extremely enthusiastic about the future of Wine Odyssey Australia, particularly having attained the two year milestone in some of the most challenging economic times, owners Angela Brown & Lynette Rae, both reflect on the journey thus far.

"Rewarding, challenging, inspiring, exhausting, exciting – these are just a few of the emotions we feel as we celebrate our second birthday this month" says Managing Director Angela Brown "but there isn't a day which passes that we don't feel proud of what we have achieved for the Australian wine industry" Angela continues.

Lynette Rae, who was recently selected by the NSW Department of Industry and Investment to take part of a buying trip to Australia's newest wine region, the New England, spoke of Wine Odysseys place in today's wine industry to other delegates and the regions burgeoning industry.

"Over the past two years Wine Odyssey has become an important part of our local wine industry, it's taken some small unknown brands and brought them to the market, showcased some fascinating and exciting wines from tiny producers in one central location in the heart of Sydney. It's enabled far flung producers like those in the New England to be discovered, and that's what's exciting to us. We're proud to say that we can provide a 'cellar door in the city' for small and family owned producers, and help put them on the map." says Lynette

So, where to next? Rumour has it that the tireless crew at Wine Odyssey Australia may be considering a joint venture opportunity in Asia, replicating a fabulous model showcasing small and family owned Australia wines to the world.

Monday 29 November 2010



$12 BEAUTY with Sunday brunch
seafood-filled omelette.
David Ellis

WITH Australians' growing love-affair with Rosé-style wines, Cumulus Wines at Orange in the NSW Central West have released their 2010 Luna Rosa Rosado that's a steal at just $12 for summertime enjoyment.

And interestingly they brought out Portuguese winemaker Francisco Antunes from a Cumulus stakeholder, The Berado Group (also a stakeholder in arguably the world's most famous Rosé, Mateus) to work with Cumulus winemaker Debbie Lauritz on this moreish drop.

The two decided on 40% Cabernet, 20% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and the remainder Chardonnay, picking the fruit in the cool of night under a full moon – hence the name.

This is a lovely fresh wine with a fruity perfume to enjoy chilled with a Sunday brunch seafood-filled omelette, or be adventurous and try it with Francisco's favourite: Portuguese salt cod fritters with aioli.

ANOTHER luna touch for summertime pleasure is Western Victoria's Blue Pyrenees Luna NV bubbly, that again was made from fruit picked in the cool of the night under a full moon – and again hence the name.
FESTIVE beauty with
party-time finger foods.

Predominantly Chardonnay (76%,) Pinot Noir (20%) and with a touch of the previous year's sparkling base, this is a Festive Season beauty with fresh lemon, shortbread and yeasty flavours that make it a nice match with party room hors d'oeuvres and most finger-foods. Well priced too at $18.

INNOVATIVE winemaker Jeff Byrne at historic Hunter Valley maker Audrey Wilkinson has created an interesting blend for warm weather partying, bringing together Semillon from the company's own vineyards and Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand's Marlborough. At $20 share this rewarding drop with cold summer seafood platters or bbq-grilled seafood and vegie kabobs.



Monday 22 November 2010


FRENCH connection: a great drop
for a really memorable Christmas

David Ellis

IF this is the year you've reason to treat yourself to some of the best of French Champagne with the Christmas turkey, give serious thought to a bottle of Champagne Taittinger's 2004 Brut Millésimé.

This is a wonderfully flavoursome drop with aromas of lemon fruit jelly, mandarins and honey that follow through nicely on the palate; at $140  drop a hint that someone might like to leave you a bottle under the tree for a truly memorable Christmas – or do it yourself for that very special someone.

And if $140 is a bit beyond the budget, pay just $16.99 and pop the cork on a McWilliam's Balance Brut Cuvee NV, a real value-for-money Aussie bubbly that's got the added advantage of being only eight per cent alcohol (compared with the norm of 11-to-14%) for those watching their intake, but still wanting plenty of nice citrusy flavours and sparkle in the glass.

HUNTER Valley winner to
enjoy with grilled lobster
and lemon-infused butter
A MUST-GIVE for wine buffs this Christmas is Matt Skinner's Wine Guide 2011. This comprehensive guide to 250 wines for drinking now or cellaring for later, has excellent tasting notes, photographs, tips on what varieties and styles are the hottest in buying trends, and help and advice on eco and natural wines, low alcohol drops and low calorie wines.

A consultant to buyers and consumers world-wide and contributor to leading magazines and newspapers here and overseas, Matt's reviews cover wines for all budgets and occasions – reds, whites, bubblies, pinks, sweet wines and light and full-bodied ones. A reference must at $24.95 for wine buffs.

"MASTER of Hunter Valley Semillon," Neil McGuigan – lauded as 2009's International Winemaker of the Year – has now had his 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon named NSW'S Wine of the Year 2010.

A typically elegant McGuigan drop, this one's loaded with Hunter Valley lemon and lime flavours and complex honey characters. Well worth the $55 price tag to enjoy with grilled lobster basted with lemon-infused butter.


Tuesday 16 November 2010

Shaw-Fire Success

Media release

A recent proliferation of wine show successes, as well as worldwide recognition stemming from awards and five star ratings, vigneron Graeme Shaw from Shaw Vineyard Estate in the Canberra Wine Region is set to have had a very fruitful year.

Shaw Vineyard Estate is no stranger to international recognition, with recent international wine show success for the label in Vienna, London, Singapore and Shanghai - over 30 awards in total!

Most notable is Shaw's amazing 6/7 medal haul at the world's largest wine show, the Vienna International Wine Challenge 2010 where a record 10,000 entries came from 34 countries. With 1 Gold and 5 Silver medals from this one almighty challenge, the Shaw's couldn't be happier.

At the same time, right in their own backyard, Shaw Vineyard Estate was one of only 5 NSW wineries to have 2 wines named in the prestigious NSW Wine Awards Top 40, which was announced alongside the NSW Wine of the Year on Monday 18 October.

By pure coincidence, both wines named in NSW's Top 40 are both Rieslings, which Graeme Shaw is adamant, will become the regions flagship white variety. He believes the fabulous site on the 700 acre fine wool property at Murrumbateman just north of Canberra is ideal for Riesling and Cabernet production in particular, and this award confirms that Riesling is certainly in its element in this locale.

The Shaw Vineyard Estate Premium Riesling 2009 RRP $22 has an exceptional pedigree for a young winery, with the most recent 3 vintages producing Rieslings which have accumulated more than 30 medals and a Trophy.

What's also pleasing is the Shaw Vineyard Estate Winemakers Selection Riesling 2009 RRP $15 was also named amongst the Top 40 NSW Wines, suggesting that it offers enormous value for money and that a wine which retails at only $15 can well and truly stand up amongst its peers.

Of his success Graeme modestly admits "These victories are something I am very proud of as it has been no easy feat. A combination of hard work and intuition, as well as the relationships with reputable and innovative organisations around the world has assisted in catapulting the Shaw Vineyard Estate label to where it is now in only a few short years".

Graeme Shaw personally attended the China International Small and Medium Enterprises Fair (CISMEF) this September to launch his highly esteemed five-star label into the China market. He followed on from this event to attend the launch of the brand in Europe with his new state of the art distribution and warehousing facility in the Netherlands now in full swing enabling his distributors based in Europe to access the wines directly and efficiently.

There seems to be no stopping this dynamic vigneron from Canberra, and he looks forward to watching his label spread its wings in its new and existing markets.                P: (02) 6227 5827


The award winning, five-star Halliday rated Shaw Vineyard Estate vineyard and cellar door is located just 20 minutes drive from Canberra city. Well known for producing cool climate wines, the estate was established in 1998 on the site of a historic 700 acre fine wool producing property called "Olleyville". A family owned and operated business, 85 acres of the estate is under vines and unlike most vineyards in the area it is elevated 640 metres above sea level, helping to protect against frost damage and allowing good air drainage over the property.

Riesling, Semillon, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz are the hallmark varieties from the vineyard, each handcrafted with vigour by the winemaking team and displaying the cool climate characteristics of full fruit flavours, crisp acid structure and fine, silky tannins. Along with Graeme Shaw's passion for creating great, award winning wines is his commitment to enriching the lives of children living with cancer and their families as he donates a portion of money raised from the Shaw 'Laughter Series' wines to the Camp Quality charity.

Monday 15 November 2010



A NICE touch with late
Sunday morning omelettes.
David Ellis

COLES Liquor is enjoying growing success with sales of Spanish boutique producer Segura Viudas' cavas (sparkling wines) that its been selling here since 2005.

And a couple of these well-priced bubblies well worth considering for the upcoming Festive Season are the Segura Viudas  Brut Reserva NV at $15 and Brut Vintage 2005 at $20.

The Brut Reserva NV is a blend of three little-known varieties here, Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo and is a favourite drink in Spain's Cataluna region where it's often enjoyed with late Sunday morning omelettes. It's also equally ideal with preserved clams, anchovies, and seafood over noodles and sprinkled with Arbequina Extra Virgin olive oil, or a warm quail salad.

The Segura Viutas Brut 2005 is a Gran Reserva blended from ten separate ferments and aged in bottle for at least 40-monhts. Enjoy it with Iberian cured, acorn fed ham, griddled fresh tuna or lighter white goat's cheeses.
a bargain buy at $11.

ONE FOR LUNCH: Bargain hunters need look little further than Logans' Apple Tree Flat 2009 Chardonnay that really does over-deliver at just $11 a bottle.

A blend of premium Mudgee and Orange (NSW) fruit, this is an enjoyable any-reason Chardonnay with enjoyable apple and citrus flavours. Match it up with summer salads or a seafood pasta.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

The Trucks | All Revved Up and Ready to Go

Media Release

After the huge success of The Trucks wines in the States, creators 585 Wine Partners of the Napa Valley, California contacted their mates in Australia at Cheviot Bridge and suggested recreating the wines here.

Cheviot Bridge loved the idea and immediately licensed the Red Truck and White Truck brands in Australia and put one of their most talented winemakers, Shane Virgo, in charge of putting an Australian engine in this American classic.

Whilst the labels remain the same, featuring the appealing painting by internationally renowned Sonoma artist Dennis Ziemienski, the wines have become official Australian citizens being re-crafted from 100% South Australian fruit.

Following the philosophy of the original wine, Shane and the team behind The Truck wines are serious about making great wine, but they don't take themselves too seriously. Shane confesses, "We had a great time jumping in our utes and driving all over the South Australian countryside in the sunshine, selecting the best quality grapes to use for these new wines."

"Then the serious part kicked in and we went through a rigorous selection process. We tasted lots of different varieties and involving lots of different vineyards and winemaking techniques. We must have put over 50 different blends up on the bench at least 5 times, for each wine.

The driving factor (pardon the pun) for selection was definitely quality but we did also keep in mind reflecting the original style of the wines - a smooth ride of big-hearted, bright, juicy flavours, full of youthful energy and fun. It is a great added bonus that the wines are also distinctively Australian, with Shiraz being selected for the red blend and Chardonnay for the white ," Shane says.

2008 Red Truck Shiraz   RRP $14.99

The fruit for the 2008 Shiraz ended up being sourced from three vineyards; 60% from a gnarly old vineyard in the Barossa Hills, and then equally from one near the coast at McLaren Vale and one in Clare. The wine has a firmness and grip which delivers oomph and grunt.

2009 White Truck Chardonnay   RRP $14.99

Chardonnay shone through for the White Truck wine and particularly fruit from the Angas Creek vineyard in the Adelaide Hills and an old Chardonnay site high in the Eden Valley. Half the wine was fermented and matured in French oak barriques and half kept in stainless steel to maintain freshness.

Shane Virgo has definitely cranked up the gears to a new level and created bold, bright wines that will rev-up the palate and make any engine purr. The Dan Murphy's tasting panel certainly agreed with the quality and price, giving each wine a score of 94 points and agreeing to stock both wines. Their decision was backed-up by the 2010 Adelaide Wine Show where the 2008 Red Truck Shiraz also received a bronze medal.

Cabernet Cleans Up...Consistently

Media Release

Blue Pyrenees have had to clear the shelves to make room for the countless accolades they have accumulated throughout the 2010 Wine Show season.

At the 2010 Victorian Wine Show on Friday 22nd October, the Blue Pyrenees Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 was the star, winning Trophy for Best Cabernet in Show and a gold medal in its class. Although there was stiff competition in it's field, this prestigous award did not come as a huge surprise after also winning gold at the recent Adelaide Wine Show, Ballarat Wine Show and National Cool Climate Wine Show.

The Blue Pyrenees Sparkling Shiraz NV was another big hit at the Victorian Wine Show, picking up the trophy for Best Sparkling Wine in show and a gold medal. This trophy has been known predominately to go to sparkling white wines, demonstrating that the Blue Pyrenees Sparkling Shiraz is a versatile wine of exceptional quality.

At this same show, the Blue Pyrenees Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 also won the Top Gold in it's class after a very succesful year, most notably being recognised as Best Commercial Dry Red (classes 9 to 14) at the Macquarie Bank Sydney Wine Show earlier this year.

And the list continues with more top gold, gold, silver and bronze medals being awarded to Blue Pyrenees from a range of wine shows across Australia, and they aren't expected to lose momentum anytime soon.

Andrew Koerner, Senior Winemaker at Blue Pyrenees couldn't be happier with the results and commends his team on the all the hard work and commitment to creating wines of outstanding quality which have caught the attention of wine show judges, critics and consumers alike.

"Again our Cabernet has managed to dominate wine shows across Australia and this has been no mean feat as the quality of our competitors is as tough as ever, " says Andrew of the recent accomplishments. "It just goes to show that this is a very strong variety for our region, and I maintain that very few Australian wine regions can make cabernet so consistently well".

Blue Pyrenees Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (rrp: $22)

Blue Pyrenees Sparkling Shiraz NV (rrp: $24)


Available from wine stockists nationally

All trade enquiries to Red + White Phone: (03) 8413 8333

Rymill Coonawarra Cabernet wins Gold in Great Company


The team at Rymill Coonawarra are very proud that the newly released 2008 Rymill Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon won a gold medal at the 2010 Limestone Coast Wine Show announced 28th October 2010.

The other two gold medals awarded in Class 14 were given to the 2008 Wynns Coonawarra John Riddoch and the 2008 St. Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. Managing Director and great great grandson of John Riddoch, John Rymill said "We were delighted to be in such good company and thrilled that from the 47 entries in the class our Cabernet was only one of three awarded a gold medal".

For more information please contact John Rymill, Managing Director, (08) 8736 5001.

2008 Rymill Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon RRP $29

Created from premium parcels of fruit, aged in French oak barriques for 18 to 24 months.  The resulting wine is lively and richly flavoured, perfect for drinking now but also demonstrating great promise for cellaring.

Rymill Coonawarra wines are distributed nationally by Negociants Australia (08) 8112 4210

Or purchased directly from

Rymill Coonawarra

Recognized world-wide by two majestic bronze stallions rampant, the Rymill family's distinctive winery produces classic thoroughbred wines made exclusively from grapes grown in its own Coonawarra terra rossa vineyards.

Proud wine sponsor of the 2010 South Australian Tourism Awards

Monday 8 November 2010



David Ellis

MUST for the long-term investor
– or a prize wine cellar.
A MUST for the long-term investor, or those putting together a prize cellar for their own future enjoyment, is Katnook Estate's limited release 2006 Prodigy Shiraz.

First made in 1997, with that release going on to win the Jimmy Watson Trophy the following year, this wine has been a consistent trophy and medal winner ever since.

Sourced from a small single vineyard within Katnook's Coonawarra property, the 2006 enjoyed ideal conditions with slightly above-average temperatures that resulted in fruit of outstanding varietal flavour, good palate structure and subtle richness.

It certainly vindicates winemaker Wayne Stehbens belief that while Shiraz may be more challenging in Coonawarra than Cabernet Sauvignon, ultimately Coonawarra Shiraz comes into its own.

This 2006 has loads of dark berry and liquorice flavours with hints of raspberry, together with pepper and spice notes and balanced new oak. A good investment for the future at $95, or to enjoy with close family or friends over the Christmas turkey.

ONE FOR LUNCH: IF you are already starting the shopping list for the Festive Season, jot down Logan's Weemala Brut NV in the bubbly column.

This celebration drink has fragrant pear, crisp apple and citrus flavours from it's predominantly Chardonnay component, and there's a smaller amount of Pinot. Pay $22 and bring it out with an antipasto platter of white anchovies, olives, artichokes, salami, pecorino and goat cheese – or a summery seafood salad.



[] BUBBLY idea for this year's Festive Season.

Friday 5 November 2010

Red White and Blues Festival

The Red White and Blues Festival features a line-up of around 30 fantastic wineries from your favourite NSW regions including Mudgee, Orange, Cowra, Hasting's River and the Hunter Valley to name a few along with a great selection of gourmet food, regional produce and even boutique beers to complement the Wine tasting experience.
With a line-up of Jazz and Blues performances over the two day Festival, it's set to be an entertaining weekend.  Set in the picturesque Dunningham Park, Cnr Elouera Road and the Kingsway, Cronulla Beach, Red White and Blues will be held on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th November 2010, 11.00am – 5.00pm.


Tuesday 2 November 2010



David Ellis

PROLONGED periods of warm weather in Western Australia's Margaret River in 2009, punctuated by short, cool and dry spells, gave growers and winemakers wonderfully slow-ripened fruit with great concentrations of flavour and natural grape acidity for their 2009 labels.

Evans & Tate have now-released three beautifully flavoured white wines from this vintage, with one – their 2009 Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc – already notching up a Trophy and six Golds on the show circuit.

This is a wine loaded with passionfruit, lime and snow pea flavours, and with accompanying fresh grassy hints. The company's 2009 Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc has a similar core, together with herbal, gooseberry and nectarine characters.

And the third of the trio, crafted by winemaker Matthew Byrne, is a Chardonnay with delightfully concentrated stone fruit flavours coupled with finer citrus characters and reflecting the differing characters of the sub-regions of the Margaret River from which he sourced his fruit.

All three wines are value-buying at $22.99 a bottle; the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon Sauvignon and both good seafood wines, and the Chardonnay will go will also make a good match with seafood or a gently-flavoured pasta.

ONE FOR LUNCH: WYNNS have released a moreish 2008 V&A Lane Coonawarra Shiraz, so-named after the long straight road that was constructed in the late 1840s and which traditionally separates South Australia's Coonawarra North from Coonawarra's South.

Winemaker Sarah Pidgeon has created a great drop with sweet red berry, plum and chocolate flavours, nicely supported with spicy oak… at $42.99 just the shot to linger with over a Sunday lunch of roast duck and baked vegies.



[] SEAFOOD serenade… a Margaret River beauty with seafood dishes

[] LINGER with this over a Sunday lunch of roast duck and baked vegies

Monday 25 October 2010



David Ellis

WHEN lack of funds forced the sale of Coonawarra's historic old Penola Cricket Ground in 1996 just four years short of its 50th anniversary, Jim Barry Wines' Peter Barry bought the 12ha property to plant to Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

But he kept both the original pavilion and the pitch as important pieces of Coonawarra's sporting history, and has just released a Jim Barry "The Cover Drive" 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon to honour his vineyard's original owners.

Made from fruit from the Penola property and vineyards in the Clare Valley owned by the Barry family, this is a generously-flavoured wine with loads of blackberry and black cherry fruit to the fore, distinctive Coonawarra cassis characters, fine-grained tannin and oak.

It's value-for-money at $19 and will make an ideal accompaniment to a hearty Osso Bucco.

ONE FOR LUNCH: WITH Pinot Gris' fast-growing popularity in Australia, Logan Wines' Peter Logan believes the variety could soon be equalling – or even outselling – that other hugely-popular white, Sauvignon Blanc.

And his 2010 Logan Weemala Pinot Gris is good reason for his enthusiasm: a variety that responds well to nurturing in cold conditions such as those experienced by Logan at Orange in the NSW Central West, this one has lively fresh citrus flavours and nice white peach and honeysuckle aromas.

"Pinot Gris is often the 'plain Jane' sister," Peter says. "But this one shows how 'plain Jane' can have a hidden beauty shine through."

Pay $18 and enjoy with seafood dishes or curried sausages and mash.



[] DRIVEN by history, a taste of history to enjoy with Osso Bucco.

[] PLANE Jane's hidden beauty shines through with this one; match it with seafood. 

NSW Wine Celebrates Record Sales Growth | $79.3 Million

NSW Wine Strategy Applauded ~ Tempus Two wins NSW Wine of the Year

Hot off the Press: NSW Wine retail bottled wine sales within NSW have grown a staggering 22% or $14.3 million on the previous year to reach a record $79.3 million outstripping the State's growth of only 0.8% in the same period, showing NSW Wine has taken 21% market share from the other state producers including Victoria, South Australia and West Australia. This is a phenomenal result indicating the positive impact of the NSW Wine Strategy, guests at the 2010 NSW Wine Awards Gala Dinner at Guillaume at Bennelong were told last night.

This previously unreleased Nielsen data MAT 31 August 2010 was revealed to the who's who of the NSW Wine industry, who also witnessed iconic Hunter Valley wine family McGuigan take out the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year with their 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon ($55) and Doug McWilliam receive the Graham Gregory Award for his commitment to NSW Wine industry.

Tiffany Nugan, Chair of the NSW Wine Strategy, spoke at the Awards and confirmed how significant this growth is. "It is so exciting to see how NSW Wine's sales growth is continuing to increase each year. This time last year NSW Wines sales within NSW grew by 12.8%, now they're growing by 22% showing the NSW Wine Strategy has serious momentum in the consumer's mind, with ever increasing growth each year."

"Even more exciting is where the growth is happening. 60% of NSW Wine sales were in the $12-20 price point, growing by 23%. And even more impressively, the over $20 category showed a fantastic 56% growth. This proves our State's premium wines are really making an impact on the consumer, who is not only appreciating them but coming back for more!"

"Last year the NSW Wine Strategy set a vision to double NSW Wine's distribution in our State within 5 years, to reach a similar representation level to states such as Victoria. If we continue to grow at 22% we will easily achieve this vision and NSW will be a place where visitors and locals alike will be able to enjoy a good, diverse and interesting representation of local wines in bottle shops and restaurants throughout the State."

Tiffany Nugan was applauded for the achievements of the NSW Wine Strategy since its launch in February 2008 as Nugan announced she would be stepping down as Chair of the NSW Wine Strategy next month, with her successor to be announced shortly. Under Nugan's leadership the NSW Wine Strategy was conceived to increase the representation of NSW Wine's within our State and has seen the launch of the NSW Wine brand; NSW Wine Week, a major consumer event held in March each year, with the 'Sydney Cellar Door' event attracting 20,000 people to Hyde Park to taste NSW Wines; NSW Wine Uncovered Magazine published each August including James Halliday's Top 100 NSW Wines; the revamping of the NSW Wine Awards and a public relations campaign that each year attracts for the NSW Wine industry media coverage valued in excess of $8 million. The achievements of the Strategy, however, are best demonstrated by the sales growth. In February 2008 when the Strategy was launched NSW Wines sales within our home State were $52.4 million, today they are $79.3 million, showing sales growth of $26.9 million in less than 3 years.

But the Award of the night went to Neil McGuigan for a standout Hunter Valley Semillon, the 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon ($55). Neil is no stranger to awards nights having collected the title of both the 2009 International Wine and Spirit Competition "Winemaker of the Year" and 2009 International Wine Challenge "White Winemaker of the Year", but he was particularly proud to collect one of his home-state's highest honours on behalf of the McGuigan family's Hunter Valley brand, Tempus Two.

The NSW Wine Awards Chief Judge Huon Hooke, one of Australia's most experienced palates who judges several competitions each year both within Australia and internationally, supported the quality of the Tempus Two Semillon and all the Trophy winning wines at the Awards. Whilst commenting on the calibre of this year's judges and the stringent tasting procedure used to reach the final decisions he said, "I confidently and proudly commend the wines here tonight. These winners can hold their own at any wine show in the world."

Merilba Estate | Belle of the Ball

Friday night was Merilba Estate's night of nights, taking home two of the three most coveted awards at the New England Wine Show, held each October in Glen Innes to recognise the new and emerging regions' winemaking prowess.

Winning the much sought after Trophy for White Wine of Show, the 2010 Merilba Estate Semillon Sauvignon Blanc RRP $20, also took home a gold medal for a wine that has been in bottle a little less than one week.

Also a shining star on the night, the 2010 Merilba Estate Shiraz RRP $20 also won the award for Best Young Red Wine of Show after topping the class and gaining a silver medal along the way.

Merilba Estate, owned by Shaun & Kassy Cassidy is a relatively new entrant to the New England scene, but has been earmarked as one to watch.

The Cassidy's have created one of the region's leading food and wine destinations at their property near Kingstown just west of Uralla, having recently opened a stunning restaurant and cellar door facility on their vineyard and cattle property.

Producing just over 3800 dozen bottles of wine in their 8th vintage, the 2010 vintage is sure to position Merilba Estate as a leader in the region. The property, of which approx 12 hectares was planted to vine in 1998, produces classic varieties of Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as some newer and emerging varieties to the region, Tempranillo and Gewurztraminer, which Shaun firmly believes are some of the most exciting styles coming out of the region.

Shaun Cassidy also makes wine for several other leading local wineries including Mihi Creek and Thunder Ridge who also took home a swag of medals on the night.

All three wineries are founding members of the New England Australia wine brand which is to announce its regional brand strategy at a celebration in Armidale on 26th October.

The NEW (New England Wine) regional brand has been created as a result of the New England Australia having recently been named as one of Australia's newest, largest, highest and coolest Geographical Indicators (GI) and designated by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation as such.

A group of the regions enthusiastic grape growers and winemakers together with their active viticultural organisations, local industry, councils and Industry & Investment NSW have funded a comprehensive review of the regions wine and wine tourism industry, and a Sydney based wine marketing company, Winestream Communications has developed a new regional brand and strategy which will give the New England Wine region the ability to compete on the world wine stage for many years to come, and be recognised as a leading emerging wine region.

Merilba Estate Wines are available from Cellar Door and various local retailers.

Merilba Estate is seeking distribution in other markets.

Chile and Argentina Rapidly Becoming the New Hotspots for Food and Wine Enthusiasts

Media Release

Melbourne-based Boutique Travel Agency Food and Wine Travel is Pioneering Food and Wine Based Travel to South-America.

Realising the vast potential of South-America for the food-minded traveller, Karen Ridge of Food and Wine Travel has taken a leading role in bringing the destination within Australia's reach. With the influx of award-winning South-American wine onto the Australian market, comes the realisation that these two countries harbour some world-class attractions for the devote 'foodie'. And it's not just the wineries that will get the gastronome excited; both countries have a rich food culture too.

Although a niche in a niche market, the amount of people who like to take their food and wine experience just that little bit further is steadily growing and now South-America is firmly on the radar. This is partly to do with the influx of award-winning Argentinean and Chilean wines onto the Australian market which has boosted awareness of what is on offer on the continent. Food and Wine Travel was quick to react to this interest and is already offering two itineraries into the region: Classic Wine Routes (Santiago & Mendoza) and Andes Wines & Easter Island.

"The sounds and sights in this part of the world are truly unique", says Food and Wine Travel's managing director Karen Ridge. The majestic Andes mountain range function as the anchor, cradling the various wine growing area's with its snow-capped mountains. "If you thought the Alps were scenic, think again" she continues. Although a developing wine growing area, some of the wineries are steeped in history and exude a distinctive European vibe due to the efforts of French viticulturalists in the past. Add to that a splash of Latin spirit and you have a unique destination. More importantly they produce fabulous wines which get better and better every year, plus it's backed up by a fantastic food culture of asados (barbecued meats) and fresh seafood.

With Argentina and Chile as the main destinations on the continent, Food and Wine Travel is steadily increasing its travel options. More itineraries will be released in the very near future. "I intend to be on the forefront of developing the continent as a gastronomic destination as I believe strongly in its' merits" concludes Karen Ridge.

About Food and Wine Travel

With 20 years of experience in the travel industry, Karen Ridge began Food and Wine Travel in 2008 in response to a need she saw in the travel market for unique, memorable, individually tailored holidays, based around food and wine experiences. Food and Wine Travel prefers to design tours to suit the client's personal preferences. Her customers appreciate the finer things of life, enjoy quality food and wine and they know that she will ensure they have the best possible experience on their gourmet holiday.

Food and wine travel is an innovator in the field and prides itself on its varied range of travel options.

Tuesday 19 October 2010



David Ellis

BEST'S Wines in Victoria's Great Western have been producing outstanding Rieslings since 1866 when their original owners planted their pioneering young vineyards with cuttings they'd brought out from Germany.

And interestingly only two families have owned the Best's label since then: the Best's themselves to 1920, and the Thomson family who bought it then, and who in turn have owned it through five generations, the latest of whom are now the guardians of vines that are amongst the oldest in Australia.

Their 2010 Great Western Riesling is another stand-out wine from what winemaker Adam Wadewitz describes as "an outstanding growing season."

Early ripening meant the fruit could be picked at lower sugar levels, meaning wonderfully forward lemon and lime blossom flavours and nice acid balance.

With such a flavoursome front palate this is a wine that can be enjoyed with a range of dishes from spicy Asian through to crabmeat fritters, baked or barbecued pork, or even cold white-meat salads.

Certainly great value to enjoy at $25, and to reminisce on a taste of history.

ONE FOR LUNCH: THE Hunter Valley's Ballabourneen have released a Shiraz they've named after their rising-star winemaker, Dan "Buckets" Binet.

This 2007 Buckets of Hunter Shiraz is loaded with rich dark-fruitcake flavours of cooked plums, cedar oak, chocolate and hazelnuts.

There's a hit of roast almonds as well, and nice fine tannins. At $21 it's made to enjoy with a rich lasagne, a home-made beef pie, or a sunset platter of Australian cheddars and crackers. If you can't find it in your bottle shop, order through



[] A TASTE of history with spicy Asian dishes or crabmeat fritters.

[] BUCKETS of flavour in this one from a Hunter Valley "rising star."

2010 NSW Wine of the Year

The Coming of Age
International Winemaker of the Year
now 2010 NSW Wine of the Year!

 2010 NSW Wine Awards Gala Presentation Dinner, Guillaume at Bennelong, Sydney

Last year, McGuigan, one of New South Wales' (and Australia's) icon wine families brought the world's gaze back to our State's wines claiming in London the title of both the 2009 International Wine and Spirit Competition "Winemaker of the Year" and 2009 International Wine Challenge "White Winemaker of the Year". Tonight the McGuigan family is staking its claim as the State's best producer collecting the Trophy for the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year with its 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon ($55).

Neil McGuigan was presented with the coveted 2010 NSW Wine of the Year Trophy before the who's who of the wine industry, including MC Simon Thomsen and Chair of Judges, Huon Hooke, at the NSW Wine Awards Gala Presentation Dinner at Guilliame, flanked by the other 8 Trophy winners of the 2010 NSW Wine Awards:

NSW Wine of the Year & Trophy Best Mature Dry White ~ Tempus Two 2003 Copper Zenith Semillon (Hunter Valley) $55

Trophy Best Young Riesling ~ Pokolbin Estate 2010 Riesling (Hunter Valley) $22

Trophy Best Young Sauvignon Blanc ~ Angullong Wines 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Orange) $17

Trophy Best Young Semillon ~ First Creek Wines 2010 Winemakers Reserve Semillon (Hunter Valley) $29

Trophy Best Young Chardonnay ~ Hungerford Hill 2008 Epic Chardonnay (Tumbarumba) $45

Trophy Best Young White Other Varieties ~ Benwarin 2010 Verdelho (Hunter Valley) $18

Trophy Best Young Shiraz ~ Nick O'Leary Wines 2009 Shiraz (Canberra District) $28

Trophy Best Young Red Blend ~ Logan 2008 Cabernet Merlot Cabernet-Merlot (Orange) $25

Trophy Best Sweet White ~ McWilliams 2008 Morning Light Botrytis Semillon (Riverina) $30

The McGuigan's are one of Australia's best known wine families, with their roots firmly planted in the Hunter Valley. The family love affair with winemaking began with Owen McGuigan, a dairy farmer, who was born in the Hunter Valley in 1869, and laboured in the local vineyards in order to support his wife and six kids. Since then a further three generations of McGuigan's have made wine their life including household names, Brian & Fay McGuigan, Neil McGuigan and next generation Lisa McGuigan, who conceived Tempus Two.

Industry recognition for this great wine family has been immense. Perce McGuigan (Owen's son) is an inaugural Hunter Valley Living Legend for his part in shaping the Hunter Valley's prominence during his time working for Penfolds. Brian McGuigan (Perce's son) was responsible for launching McGuigan Wines and has been awarded the Australian Medal and Hunter Valley Living Legend status. Similarly, Brian's wife, Fay, who was responsible for McGuigan exports, has been honoured as a NSW Telstra Businesswoman of the Year and Australian Export Hero.

Neil McGuigan (Brian's brother) is now CEO of Australian Vintage (producers of both the McGuigan and Tempus Two brands among others) and under his reign McGuigan Wines has been recognized as one of Australia's best wine producers including "International Winemaker of the Year" at the 2009 International Wine & Spirit Competition in London.

As CEO of Australian Vintage, Neil gets to work in some of the most technologically advanced wineries in the industry. However, Tempus Two remains a boutique winery in the Hunter Valley, specializing in small batch production, and the treatment, maturation and bottling of super-premium wines.

Responsible for the creation of the 2003 vintage was talented winemaker Sarah-Kate Dineen (now based in New Zealand) ably assisted by Liz Jackson (another Hunter Valley local, now at First Creek winery). Liz is a star to watch as she also made the 2009 & 2010 First Creek Winemakers Reserve Semillons, which both secured spots in the hotly contested NSW Top 40 Wines, with the later carrying home the Trophy for Best Young Semillon – a proud hat trick for a young winemaker.

The 2003 Tempus Two Copper Zenith Hunter Valley Semillon is no stranger to success recently collecting 3 Trophies at the 2010 Hunter Valley Wine Show. It is the pinnacle of classical aged Hunter Valley Semillon: vibrant lemon and lime notes with floral undertones and complex honeyed characters developing. Citrus fruit flavours with toasty characters, balanced by a lingering acid backbone.

NSW Wine "Best of the Best Top 40" Tasting @ MCA

Everyone can taste the NSW Wine Awards winning wines at the 'NSW Wine "Best of the Best Top 40" Tasting' on Thursday 21st October. A great way to be amongst the first to discover the finest new wines of NSW, including winemaker-hosted Top 40 wine tours.

When:  Thursday 21st October, Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney.

Trade & Media tasting : 2- 4pm, pre-registration compulsory.

Consumer tasting : 5- 9pm, $50pp including NSW Wine glass, winemaker-hosted Top 40 wine tours, wine and canapés.

Book: for more information and tickets.

Monday 11 October 2010


FISH favourite – or with a simple
roast chicken if you're not into fish

David Ellis

TIM Adams Wines have released a ripper 2009 Semillon from their Clare Valley heartland, a wine that's what Clare Semillon is all about.

Somewhat different to Semillons from such major growing areas as NSW's Hunter Valley,  Clare Valley Semillon can be "more robust" – as is the case with this one – and often with more concentrated fruit flavours. This wine's also got some nice notes to it from its oak maturation.

At $22 grab a bottle of this Tim Adams and put it on the table with your favourite pan-fried white-fleshed fish. You'll find the intense tropical fruit flavours go wonderfully with your fish choice – or if you're not into fish, enjoy it just as much with simple roast chicken and mashed potatoes infused with a handful of chopped parsley, or a baking pan of roast vegetables.

ONE FOR LUNCH: PENFOLDS first started making their now-famous Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz a half-century ago, at the time with fruit exclusively from the Barossa Valley's Kalimna Vineyard it had bought at war's end in 1945.

SPOIL yourself with this and
homemade boeuf en croute
Today Bin 28 is as popular as ever and a showcase of warm-climate Australian Shiraz, but is a multi-region, multi-vineyard blend embracing South Australia's Langhorne Creek, Upper Adelaide, McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast – and with the Barossa still very much to the fore.

The latest release, the 2007, is the product of a difficult vintage with low winter temperatures followed by an unusually hot summer, but through which winemaker Peter Gago and his team maintained the label's esteemed image.

This is a wine with generously concentrated red and black berry fruit flavours, some earthy notes, and aromas almost like uncorking a rich Christmas cake. At $33.99 it's just the drop to enjoy with something out of the ordinary like a homemade boeuf en croute, or a nice piece of chargrilled rare rib-eye.


Wednesday 6 October 2010

New Cool vs Establish | 2010 NSW Wine Awards Trophy Winners Announced

The nine Trophy Winners in the 2010 NSW Wine Awards have been revealed today in the closing battle to be the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year and it looks set to be a neck and neck fight, new vs. established wine regions, with only 12 days remaining until the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year is announced.

These Trophy winners were chosen from the NSW Top 40 Wines, which were selected by a panel of 20 highly regarded wine judges, including Huon Hooke (Chair), Iain Riggs, Peter Bourne, Philip Shaw, Mike De Garis and Nick Bulleid MW. These expert palates whittled down over 800 wines to this impressive shortlist.

The Trophy winners reflect the NSW Top 40 well, being an almost even split between the new, emerging cool-climate NSW wine regions – such as Orange, Tumbarumba and Canberra - and the more established, well-known regions of the Hunter Valley and Riverina.

The 2010 Trophy Winners will be presented with their awards on Monday 18th October at the NSW Wine Awards Gala Presentation Dinner at Guillaume at Bennelong, where the coveted 2010 NSW Wine of the Year will be also be announced for the first time.

Can you pick the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year?

The 2010 NSW Wine Awards Trophy Winners and contenders for the 2010 NSW Wine of Year are:

Trophy Best Young Riesling ~ Pokolbin Estate 2010 Riesling (Hunter Valley) $22

Trophy Best Young Sauvignon Blanc ~ Angullong Wines 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Orange) $17

Trophy Best Young Semillon ~ First Creek Wines 2010 Winemakers Reserve Semillon (Hunter Valley) $29

Trophy Best Young Chardonnay ~  Hungerford Hill 2008 Epic Chardonnay (Tumbarumba) $45

Trophy Best Young White Other Varieties ~ Benwarin 2010 Verdelho (Hunter Valley) $18

Trophy Best Mature Dry White ~ Tempus Two 2003 Copper Zenith Semillon (Hunter Valley) $55

Trophy Best Young Shiraz ~ Nick O'Leary Wines 2009 Shiraz (Canberra District) $28

Trophy Best Young Red Blend ~ Logan 2008 Cabernet Merlot (Orange) $25

Trophy Best Sweet White ~ McWilliams 2008 Morning Light Botrytis Semillon (Riverina) $30

Everyone will have the opportunity to taste the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year, Trophy Winners and Top 40 Wines at:

NSW Wine "Best of the Best Top 40" Tasting @ MCA

Taste the NSW Top 40 Wines at the 'NSW Wine "Best of the Best Top 40" Tasting' on Thursday 21st October. A great way to be amongst the first to discover the finest wines of NSW, including winemaker-hosted Top 40 wine tours.

When:                                    Thursday 21st October

Where:                                   Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney.

Trade & Media tasting        2- 4pm, pre-registration compulsory.

Consumer tasting                5- 9pm, $50pp including NSW Wine glass, winemaker-hosted Top 40 wine tours, wine and canapés.

Book: for more information and tickets.


Saturday 2 October 2010

Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2011

Media Release

The original and best, Hugh Johnson s Pocket Wine Book 2011 successfully distills the world of wine into a handy, eloquent gem of a package.
The original and best, Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book is the ultimate compact guide. Now in its 34th edition, it is the UK's number one wine book appealing to wine-lovers and professionals alike. it is the key reference for enthusiasts, investors and collectors and this year's edition boasts up-to-date news on more than 6,000 wines, growers, and regions, plus invaluable vintage information from experts around the world. A new colour supplement focuses on the array of wines from Spain,while a new section offers the reader alternative wines to try based on those they already drink. More than 200 of Johnson's favourites for 2011 are also included. Hugh Johnson's winning formula of insight, critical appraisal of the world of wine, plus vintage news has never been bettered. During the past four decades he has written many books that have become landmark titles, including his classic the World Atlas of Wine, co-authored with Jancis Robinson and published this year in a new compact format as the Concise World Atlas of Wine, and his Wine Companion, which is fully updated for 2010.

# Mitchell Beazley
# 9781845335670
# $25.00
# Hardback
# October 2010
# 320 pages