Let’s Taste – Yalumba ‘The Y Series’ 2018 White & Rosé Wines

Nine months after opening the 2017 vintage of the Yalumba ‘The Y Series’ white and rosé wines, I’m looking at the 2018 vintages. For me this is some of the best value on the market as far as Australian wine goes, and as always it is a privilege to be able to share my impressions. Similar to the 2017 wines there are some that stand out over the others, let me know what you think in the comments below!

Wines tasted;
Yalumba ‘The Y Series’ Riesling 2018 – RRP $15.00
Yalumba ‘The Y Series’ Sauvignon Blanc 2018 – RRP $15.00
Yalumba ‘The Y Series’ Pinot Grigio 2018 – RRP $15.00
Yalumba ‘The Y Series’ Viognier 2018 – RRP $15.00
Yalumba ‘The Y Series’ Chardonnay 2018 – RRP $15.00
Yalumba ‘The Y Series’ Sangiovese Rosé 2018 – RRP $15.00

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December 3, 2018 · 5:10 pm

The Wine Show with Phil Smith from The Wine Depository – 25/11/2018

On the 28th of November 2018 I was privileged to join colleague, friend and multiple-time former guest of the podcast Phil Smith from The Wine Depository on The Wine Show, a weekly program broadcast on 96.5 Inner FM here in Melbourne. Phil has become a regular host of the show which focuses on wine topics and features a co-host as well as several guests via telephone. Our guests on this edition were;

Celia Hinault from Richmond Hill Café & Larder speaking about wine and cheese pairing;

Daniel Balzer from Willem Kurt Wines speaking about vermentino;

Kim Chalmers from Chalmers Wines Australia speaking about importing Italian grape vines; and

Brian Lewis from Bike & Barrel Wines speaking about schioppetino.

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Let’s Taste – Morris Classic Liqueur Topaque NV

The Morris Winery in the Northern Victorian region of Rutherglen has a significant amount of history, and was an important contributor to the success of Australian wines in the past, particularly in the context of fortified wines. These incredible gems take serious skill and patience to come together, and are woefully unappreciated by wine consumers these days. I was privileged to have an opportunity to taste the Classic Topaque when Casella Family Brands sent me a sample, let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below.

Wine tasted;
Morris Classic Liqueur Topaque NV – RRP $25.00 (375ml)

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November 26, 2018 · 10:08 pm

Let’s Taste – Heartland ‘Director’s Cut’ Shiraz & Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

The final in a series looking at new releases from Heartland Wines based in the Langhorne Creek region of South Australia. Ben Glaetzer has been crafting exceptional wines at various price points for many years, and these new ‘Directors Cut’ wines are no exception. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Wines tasted;
Heartland ‘Director’s Cut’ Shiraz 2015 – LUC $33.00
Heartland ‘Director’s Cut’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – LUC $33.00
Website – https://heartlandwines.com.au

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November 26, 2018 · 9:49 pm

Let’s Taste – Heartland ‘Foreign Correspondent’ 2018

I’m always grateful to receive samples from Heartland Wines from the #LanghorneCreek region, as much as I appreciate the opportunity to look at alternative varieties and interesting blends. The #ForeignCorrespondent 2018 encompasses all three of these things, being a blend of Dolcetto and Lagrein, two varieties you are highly unlikely to see together in Italy being that they are from different regions. Here are my impressions of this wine, let me know what your thoughts are, or if you’ve seen these varieties together before!

Wine tasted;
Heartland ‘Foreign Correspondent’ Dolcetto Lagrein 2018 – RRP $25.00

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November 26, 2018 · 12:56 pm

Let’s Taste – Peter Lehmann ‘The Barossan’ 2016

Back in my wine retail days I used to sell a fair amount of Peter Lehmann Wines, being both a reliable and very affordable brand. Since that time they have become part of the Casella Family Brands company joining other important and historic brands, and the winery has gone from strength to strength. On this edition I taste ‘The Barossan’ Shiraz 2016 and I’m interested to hear what you think in the comments below!

Wine tasted;
Peter Lehmann ‘The Barossan’ Shiraz 2016 – RRP $25.00

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November 26, 2018 · 12:51 pm

Let’s Taste – Peter Lehmann ‘Wigan’ Riesling 2012 & ‘Margaret’ Semillon 2011

Peter Lehmann started his own winery in 1979 after experience at iconic and historic Barossa estates, Yalumba and Saltram Estate . He started the business off the back of growers having their contracts to supply fruit cancelled, and a legend was born. Since 2013 the business has been owned by Riverina-based Casella Family Brands who submitted these and other wines for me to taste.

Wines tasted;
Peter Lehmann ‘Wigan’ Riesling 2011 – RRP $34.95
Peter Lehmann ‘Margaret’ Semillon 2011 – RRP $34.95

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November 26, 2018 · 12:45 pm

The art of picking the right wine for your meal

We all love our wine and pairing a glass or two with a delicious home-cooked meal is always a sublime culinary experience. There are few joys greater than inviting friends and family over for some great food, great wine and great conversation.

While you might choose not to overthink what type of wine will go perfectly with your meal, you may be missing out on the most optimal dining experience. Certainly, some wines will go better with a specific dish than others and it never hurts to get educated on what the most harmonious pairings are.

Luckily, there’s a suitable wine for just about any kind of dish you can come up with. Whether spending hours in the kitchen perfecting a signature dish or just following HelloFresh simple recipes that will fill you up with the ingredients delivered to your door, it pays to have foreknowledge of what kind of wine will go best with your culinary creation.

The basics

Wine has a lot of different characteristics that separate different bottles from one another which can make the task of choosing the perfect candidate for dinner agonising if you’re too picky. Ultimately, your dinner guests are unlikely to express dissatisfaction with your choice simply because it wasn’t the most appropriate pairing for their meal, but choosing the right pairing will go a long way in enhancing their dining experience.

At the most basic level, we separate our choices into red wine and white wine. However, this is further broken down into fruity, dry and oak-aged varieties. Of course, knowledge of the specific grape variation used in each bottle and their individual traits will greatly assist you in finding a perfect pairing and it’s always worth undertaking a little research on this front.

Pairing similar flavours and aromas

The most obvious place to start is to find a wine that has a similar taste and aroma to the food you are serving. This helps to create consistency in your meal that won’t upset anyone’s palate and will greatly add to their experience.

For example, if serving fish with herbs and a generous helping of lemon, then it makes sense to go with a lighter wine that has a citrusy bouquet. If you’re going heavy with some smoked meat, perhaps choose a wine with an oaky, earthy bouquet.

Pairing with specific meats

Meat is by far the most appropriate food to serve with wine since it is most often the most expertly cooked element of a meal. However, different types of meat will suit different types of wine and you can get very specific here.

Lighter meats such as pork, chicken and fish should be paired with a wine that matches the taste and aroma of the seasoning you are using as this will be where all the flavour is. In the case of red meats, a dryer, tannic wine is more appropriate.

If the sauce base you are using includes wine, then it makes sense to go with the same or a similar wine as an accompanying beverage.

Pairing with spicy food

As a general rule, less alcoholic wines go best with spicier foods. This is because the alcohol content of the wine will bring out more of the oils in spicy food, potentially making the eating experience unpleasant.

This is important because you shouldn’t just choose a wine for its individual taste or alcohol content; you should choose it for its ability to complement the dish. While it’s always tempting to go with some highly alcoholic wine, if you’re serving a dinner party then it’s best to go with something that gives your guests the best possible experience.

Geographic and cultural pairings

Another logical place to start when pairing wine with your food is to look at the cultural and geographic influences behind the dish you are serving. If you’re serving Mediterranean food, pair it with a Mediterranean wine. If you’re serving a Northern European dish, serve a wine inspired by or from that specific cultural region.

Get an informed opinion

If trying to find the perfect wine to pair with your dish is getting too complicated, reach out to someone who knows what they’re talking about. This could be a professional chef, a wine connoisseur or just a friend you know has a background in this area.

There’s no shame in getting help and if you make sure you’re listening then you’ll become an expert yourself over time.

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Let’s Taste – Heartland ‘one’ 2015

The name of this wine (plus the recommended retail price) clearly indicates that this is the top wine for Heartland, a blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz from the Langhorne Creek in South Australia. I was honoured to be able to taste this wine, let me know what you think in the comments below!

Wine tasted;
Heartland ‘one’ 2015 – RRP $72.00

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October 23, 2018 · 10:29 am

Let’s Taste – Heartland Shiraz 2015

The next wine in a series looking at Heartland Wines from Langhorne Creek in South Australia, this time it is an estate wine, and arguably the most important variety that Ben Glaetzer works with. Let me know what you think in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

Wine tasted;
Heartland Shiraz 2015 – RRP $19.00

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October 23, 2018 · 10:27 am