WE don't know of many wine buffs who go in search of the juice of the grape from Austria, but Hesketh have released an Austrian Gruner Veltliner that – if it follows overseas trends – could prove to be something of a new fashion statement here.
Both an any-time and food-friendly wine, the crispy 2008 Hesketh "Perfect Stranger" Gruner Veltliner was made by Berthold Salomon from fruit sourced along the steep hills bordering the Danube River, and made at the company's historic circa-1792 winery.
Salomon and other makers are enjoying a new-found popularity with this varietal that's actually been around since Roman days, and not only in Austria but from London to New York: younger patrons of trendy bars and clubs in these cities have dubbed it "Gru-Vee," in keeping with its hip new popularity.
And while a style for any-time enjoyment, if you want to try it with a meal you'll find its fresh peppermint, lime citrus and green apple flavours an ideal match with Thai soft-shell crab; if not into seafoods, enjoy it equally as well with fresh-cooked asparagus. Certainly excellent value at $24.95.
ONE FOR LUNCH: After a couple of not-so-good vintages weather-wise in Western Australia's Margaret River, 2008 returned to the exceptional conditions for which the region is known, and Evans & Tate lost no time in turning out a super 2008 version of their benchmark Classic Red.
A great blend whose dominant Shiraz component has given beautiful fruit sweetness and a fleshy texture, its Cabernet Sauvignon input has added even more fruitiness plus a touch of elegance and a generously long finish.
You'll find the Shiraz component in particular makes it a rewarding match with most barbecued red meats, and the $19.99 price is again excellent value.
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 SOMETHING different out of Austria.
 CLASSIC Red is classic Evans and Tate.