Monday 11 August 2014

Mistletoe Semillon - Duff Beer

SNAP UP this one when visiting Mistletoe's
Hunter Valley cellar door
– it's perfect with seafoods.

David Ellis

WE were reminded the other day of how the Hunter Valley's Mistletoe Wines was somewhat scorned by some fellow Hunter makers, and not the odd cellar door visitor too, when back in the late 1990s the company launched a series of Semillons that had varying degrees of sweetness – much like Germany does its Rieslings.

These ranged from an almost extremely-dry The Reserve Semillon to an off-dry Home Vineyard and a Silvereye Semillon that was close-to Mosel-like sweet. And while critics had a field day then, it's a different matter today: many other Hunter makers now also make sweeter-style Semillons, including some of those original critics, and customers today heap praise on Mistletoe's at its Cellar Door.

Owners, Ken and Gwen Sloan and their Winemaker, Nick Paterson say this has achieved one of their original goals: to have those who initially lean towards sweeter wines try these sweeter Hunter Semillons, and as their palates mature, progress to Mistletoe's (and the Hunter's generally) drier-style Semillons.

We recently tried all three Mistletoes and loved the off-dry 2013 Home Vineyard Semillon from a vintage many consider one of the best in 20 years for Hunter whites. It's a wine with wonderful lemony grapefruit flavours and a perfect harmony between sweetness and crisp acidity, to us a perfect drop at $22 with all manner of seafoods. Available cellar-door and select restaurants; see

HOMER'S favourite drop is now available
here in six-packs and cartons.
ONE TO NOTE: FOR twenty-odd years we've remained true in this column to our favourite tipple, wine – be it red or white, still or bubbly, chilled or room temperature.

But we mentioned enjoying the occasional "cleansing ale" the other day to a beer-loving mate who also happens to be a long-time fan of TV show, The Simpsons – and to our surprise he offered us bozo Homer's favourite drop, a Duff Beer which we didn't even know existed. USA-made, it now sells here through BWS and Dan Murphy's at $17 for a 355ml cans 6-pack. Lager in style with a hint of fruit on the palate, it'll doubtless have fans sharing one with Homer… what'll they think of next?

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Wc11 Aug 14

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