The cold season is well and truly upon us in Australia. The cooler months mean more nights in, dinner parties at home and time sat by the fire. With all these people coming over, or you visiting them, it’s time to consider what wines you should consider serving.
Wine is one of those amazing things in life. Every harvest is different, every harvest only produces a certain quantity and once they’re gone, they’re gone. This is why sharing a bottle of wine is sharing something that won’t happen again. Like that dinner with friends, that wine is part of the experience, part of the moment, part of history. We spent quite some time tasting over 25 different wines focused on winter and found five wines for 2016.
Taylors Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
A little pricey but similar to a lovely gown, is also very elegant in flavour and structure. This wine is absolutely sensational on its own or with your winter roast. Some strong dark berries on the nose, great depth of flavour, not overly strong in alcohol and well balanced so no sting in the tail. Single vineyard wines are usually of a higher quality because the wine is made entirely from the one plot. Usually to make large quantities of wine or blends of wine, vineyards need to be combined to create flavours or increase quantities. Single vineyard wines are also more expensive as the amount of bottles produced is far less. The St. Andrews carries medals all over the label deserved of a very good single vineyard wine.
St Hugo Cabernet Shiraz 2013
We tried all the St Hugo wines pictured however among friends we found the Cabernet Shiraz to be most enjoyed. People new to red wine loved how smooth the cabernet shiraz was without losing that great earthy Barossa Shiraz flavour. If you could wrap up the terroir and vines in the Barossa Valley, mould them into a silk scarf and consume it, this would be that experience. Smooth, great long flavour and will go very well with steak… or again, by itself before dinner.
Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz
Jacob’s Creek wines can start from the very very cheap to the premium side. We went through them and came to one which was our favourite from the label. The Double Barrel Shiraz is from the Barossa Valley, the home of amazing Shiraz. This Shiraz has very deep red fruit flavour, raspberry, blueberry, it has very little tanins or strong spice on the tail, goes down very smooth for a Shiraz. On the sniffy sniff though – oak, oak, oooooak. This Shiraz is poured from a glass bottle but you’d swear it came straight from the barrel.
St. Hilary Chardonnay 2015
We had to put a white in there somewhere! Some people will simply refuse to jump on a red and hey, if you’re planning a thai dinner or a curry then it would be understandable to enjoy a white wine with it. This Chardonnay caught us by surprise. On the nose we had plenty of pear and in the mouth we got an old crushed apple flavour in between. A really creamy, smooth Chardonnay which just wasn’t expected. If you prefer something a bit spritzy or sparkly in the mouth then consider the St. Helga Riesling. The Lawson’s on the right is a fantastic Shiraz but at $65 we couldn’t see it being better value than the previous Shiraz wines above.
Mitolo Angela Shiraz
The Mitolo Angela Shiraz came to us in a very different way. We first sampled this wine in the Qantas lounge before a flight to Shanghai. This wine is served in business class and can be bought from Qantas also. What we really liked about this wine is the simplicity of it all. Like a typical pre-flight wine you want it to be tasty, full of flavour, not too high in alcohol or too strong in tanins. It’s a lovely wine to enjoy by itself or with some cheese and crackers. If you’re preparing dinner and want to crack a bottle then this is a great one to start with.
We’ve been through over 25 wines in this process to bring you five. The world has thousands of wine varieties so don’t take this is the definitive guide. We enjoyed them, and like any wine – it is best shared, so we’re sharing them with you. Our final advice is to enjoy them, share them, tell stories, create memories and be safe in the process. If you have any wine recommendations for winter, pop it in the comments below!