02/10 2019

Alternative facts: Australia’s best “other” reds

Alternative facts: Australia’s best “other” reds

Deepthroat’s famous advice to journalists Woodward and Bernstein was to “follow the money”. The scent of cash, he suggested, would lead them through the maze that eventually uncovered Richard Nixon’s role in the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up. It seems the same is true of winemaking. Grenache’s recent revival following a welter of wine show […]

19/09 2019

Welcome back Grenache: The Top 25 red blends

Welcome back Grenache: The Top 25 red blends

Grenache is to Australian wine what paisley is to the fashion industry. Once Australia’s most widely planted black grape, grenache fell out of fashion in the 1960s as public tastes swung away from sweet reds towards the dry “table” styles preferred today. But – just as mid-20th century fashion and furniture is resurfacing among the […]

07/08 2019

Big Red: Australia’s Top 25 Shiraz

Big Red: Australia’s Top 25 Shiraz

Big Red is a sand dune outside Birdsville that guards the border of the Simpson Desert. It has an “easy” side that tempts four wheel drivers casually wondering whether their vehicle is up the task of crossing over the 30m lump and into the world’s largest sand dune desert. But, like Hotel California, Big Red’s […]

21/06 2019

South by south-west: Australia’s Top 25 Cabernet Sauvignons

South by south-west: Australia’s Top 25 Cabernet Sauvignons

Every country has its go-to wine grape – that for which that country is associated around the world and which is most enthusiastically embraced by its growers. Think malbec in Argentina, sauvignon blanc in NZ, German riesling, American chardonnay and so on. In Australia, that grape is shiraz. And why not? The vine grows like […]

04/06 2019

Spilling the claret: Australia’s best cabernet merlots

Spilling the claret: Australia’s best cabernet merlots

Burgundy might be home to the world’s most expensive wines but Bordeaux packs the biggest punch when it comes to French reds. The region’s blends comprising some or any of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot wear the wine world’s biggest labels including Chateaux Margaux, Mouton-Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Latour and Haut-Brion just […]

22/05 2019

A Wine for the True Believers: Australia’s best cabernet shiraz

A Wine for the True Believers: Australia’s best cabernet shiraz

If Australia can lay a claim to any wine style it is cabernet shiraz. The style popularised by Penfolds Bin 389 blended two grapes previously considered incompatible by traditionalists – although history does record some French examples of the blend that predate Australia’s efforts. The blend has become so synonymous with Australia that many big […]

09/05 2019

The Comeback Kid: Australia’s Top 25 merlots

The Comeback Kid: Australia’s Top 25 merlots

Merlot’s unloved image in Australia got a bit of a cuddle last year. A mainstay of Australia’s red grape crush, merlot was the lowest ranked of any Australian wine show class bar moscato in 2017 with a medal strike rate of just 48 per cent. But the grape could be in for a re-rating. Australian […]

01/05 2019

Back to Black: Australia’s best Pinot Noirs of 2018

Back to Black: Australia’s best Pinot Noirs of 2018

Last year was the one that Tasmania regained Australia’s pinot noir crown. After being pipped for the throne in 2017 by the Mornington Peninsula the island state resumed its primacy ahead of labels from the Yarra Valley. Mornington Peninsula labels fell to third spot in 2018 although, technically speaking, all the big regions were pipped […]

29/01 2019

Love is all you need: 20 best pink bubbles this Valentine’s Day

Love is all you need: 20 best pink bubbles this Valentine’s Day

Rose is the New World’s favorite wine colour right now. Pink hues ranging from delicate blushes to light reds are helping bottles fly off the shelves as millennials flock to their generational shade of choice. And it seems the colour is weaving its magic on the wine show circuit too. Pink bubblies outperformed their red […]

16/01 2019

Liquid Gold: The Top 20 Chardonnays to drink this Australia Day

Liquid Gold: The Top 20 Chardonnays to drink this Australia Day

This time each year this blog has focussed on Australia’s top cabernet shiraz wines. The blend as popularised by Penfolds Bin 389 is Australia’s gift to the wine world after all so what better way to celebrate the pending arrival of the national day? But, as the nation gathers up Eskies, plastic cricket bats, tri-color […]

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