All posts filed under: Wine

Potsdam

Time for a small detour out of Berlin today, some 30kms away to Potsdam, summer vacation jaunt for the Royals of days gone by. But first one must fuel the fire, so another cafe for breakfast, and a ripper at that. We are quickly discovering Berlin’s love for coffee, and have found another beauty just up the road from home. Plus, parked out the front has to be the crappiest car in Germany. It fair dinkum looks like its just been pulled from the river, covered in mold, grit and grime. Remarkably, it still drives, evidently! We didn’t witness this miracle, but the staff assured me it does in fact start! There’s an article about it on the counter inside, but our waitress was Dutch and couldn’t read it, or explain this wonder of modern mechanics! Anyway, breakfast was fabulous, so much so the wasps attacked in number. Germany is in the grip of drought and wasps are in plague proportions, dive bombing anything sweet. Evidently they dont like croissants, which is reassuring! Fueled, we …

on-line wine cellars

Everyone loves a bargain, a secret wine buy known only to those on the inside! The wine deal that started off all Chinese whispers, and progressed to virtual reality, wine style. The icon wine forgotten at the back of the cellars, until an over observant bean counter discovers said treasure, demands stock movement at any cost, and on-line wine guy pounces, thin chequebook in hand. Written up, praise heaped….ready to sell. A few clicks, a ready credit card, and whooshka…you-beaut, bonzer booze for a fraction of retail. This is the mystical on-line wine businesses dream of, had aspiration to, wish they could conceive, yet fail to deliver, turning into yet another bottleshop, sans walls! Many try, few succeed. A great website, funky layout, persuasive words, cool graphics….a great buying team! All these, and more, are required to succeed in this hotly contested space. Here are some I like…. vinomofo….the cool cousin, selling wine at a great price, sometimes so cheap they can’t reveal the maker until delivery, as well as own label stuff which looks …

Lanson

Special occasions should always be celebrated with a bit of pizzazz, and nothing spells pizzazz like Champagne! Lanson Black label NV ~$40, exclusive to Dan Murphy’s. ‘A Champagne made predominantly with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the purest Champagne style. Vinification without malolactic fermentation: a historic decision at Lanson to guarantee a fresh and fruity wine.’ Everyone loves a ‘champers’, and nothing beats the birthplace of sparkling wine, Champagne. Aussies have forever been in love with the bubbly stuff we colloquially called ‘champers’, Australian sparkling wine made in any number of ways, but for many years labelled and marketed under the moniker “Champagne”, much to the annoyance of the French. Nothing wrong with Australian sparkles, just it ‘aint Champagne. Maybe our wine industry suffered from an inferiority complex in our early days, labelling everything after foreign wine regions such as Port, Chablis, Rhine Riesling, Burgundy etc. To make matters worse, we didn’t really even try to make wines true to those regions styles. For instance, Chablis is Chardonnay, yet our ‘chablis’ could have been almost any …

Sparkling Shiraz!!

It’s that time of year again, when there’s no longer an excuse needed for drinking Sparkling Shiraz. Not that I’ve ever spent too long justifying my indulgence! Seppelt Original Sparkling Shiraz 2012, about $20-25 pretty much everywhere. Sparkling red’s are a quintessential Australian wine style, frowned upon by the French and confusing most other wine producing countries. The sparkles come in all sorts of varieties from Cabernet, Malbec, Durif, and even that most dreaded grape….Merlot (urgh!). But the predominant style is based around Shiraz, mainly from warm(ish) climates. My favourite area is the Grampians region….Best’s, Grampians Estate & Seppelt leading the way. There’s good ones out of the Coonawarra…Majella is a beauty. The Clare Valleys contributes with Leasingham Classic Clare, amongst others. So many to choose from, so little time… You may have guessed it….But I LOVE Sparkling Shiraz! Seppelt Original is one of the pioneers of the style; consistent, reliable, refreshing and undervalued. A bargain at the price. Yes, there are plenty better (which will get a look in this festive season!) but none …

the best wine I’ve had this year!!!

Man, this wine is good! Sevenhill 2012 Inigo Shiraz, $17 from Dan Murphy’s. When you read the spiel about this wine in the latest Dan’s buying guide, and they claim 98/100, one needs to try it if for no other reason than to knock the score down a few pegs. I mean, 98 is a ridiculous score for any wine, and even more so for one that’s only $17! Scoring for wine has become ridiculous, with 90/100 becoming the benchmark score for any wine that is half decent. James Halliday has set a rod for his own back giving out higher and higher scores in his wine companion book and magazine, seemingly making perfectly good wines superfluous if they ‘fail’ to garnish a high enough score. If your wine scored a 90 a few years ago you’d shout it out loud for all to see, and hopefully buy, but now that is seen as only a fair pass mark. Even our own Dromana Estate 2012 Chardonnay got a 94/100 this year, and it barely caused …

travel planning, with Vino!

One of the bests part about travel, for me anyway, is the planning. The searching out towns and villages, researching accommodation, planning routes with transport needs, finding interesting and varied things to do, places to visit, surprises found along the way…tripadvisor, booking.com, airbnb, google, etc, etc. I enjoy it so much I sometimes forget I’m not travelling alone! I probably need to keep Rachael in the loop! Hence the wine, the book, the map….time for a debrief! And what better way to do so than with a wine from the region? Except the wine we tried isn’t! It’s from Burgundy, which we visited last year. Never mind, it is French and anyway Bordeaux is expensive, and I don’t want to spoil the excitement before we get there! So…La Chablisienne 2011 Chablis 1er Cru, Cote De Lechet. $40 from 1st Choice. Quite the mouthful, lots of detail. La Chablisienne is a co-operative of growers that have bandied together since 1923 producing wines, coming from a mosaic of vineyard plots, providing a pallet of emotions marked with a …

d’Arenberg d’Arry’s Original

Sometimes when you look at the vast array on offer on the wine list, you thank your small mercies for a trusted old friend that rears up at you, saying “pick me, pick me”. So, I did! d’Arenberg d’Arry’s Original Shiraz Grenache 2010, about $16 pretty much everywhere. Unless its on a wine list, in which case it could, and will, be a whole lot more!! Confession first, I have a very soft spot for d’Arenberg, and more particularly the Original, which used to be called Burgundy. So, yep, I love this humble wine which has never failed to please and impress. What used to be predominately Grenache, now has plenty of Shiraz for the younger set, but this is still an old fashioned wine with plenty of tannin, grip, and old school ‘get down & dirty’ to it. Grenache is quite popular in the McLaren Vale, as in the Barossa, and is usually blended, most often with Shiraz and Mourvedre, becoming GSM. Sometimes its a straight varietal wine, which can be a bit course …