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Whilst we believe every season is wine season, certain wines lend themselves to specific months of the year, particularly as what we eat tends to change with the weather and is often based on the fresh produce that is available.
The most obvious transition as the weather starts to cool is from white to red, however there are no hard and fast rules around what to drink and when. Although the most obvious, colour is not the only consideration in drinking seasonally. In fact, many winter dishes call for white wines with a balance of fruit and palate-cleansing acidity to cut through the richness. Style, texture and weight all play an important role when choosing a wine, as of course does the food, mood and occasion.
We’ve selected some wines which we believe are particularly enjoyable during the autumn months so if you’re ready to switch your chilled Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc for some cooler weather wines, please read on.
Here are our top six wines to try this autumn, along with some food pairing inspiration.
With Frose all the rage, its easy to overlook just how well-suited Rosés are for enjoying during the cooler months. Offering the fruitiness of a white combined with the structure of a red, it can be the perfect transition from summery whites.
This is a juicy rosé fresh and vibrant in style with lovely fruit flavours of strawberry and rhubarb capped off with a crisp, refreshing finish. Pair with baked salmon or a warm roasted vegetable salad using fresh seasonal ingredients.
Celebrate the changing colours of autumn with a glass of Pinot Noir. Peter Lehmann Pinot Noir is an elegant cool climate wine displaying rustic aromas of sweet spice, red cherries and a forest floor earthiness. The palate is ripe and juicy, offering an array of bright red fruits finishing and balanced acidity.
This versatile wine is perfect for pairing with food as it goes well with so many dishes. Commonly known for enjoying with duck and salmon but it makes fine friends with wood fired pizza and Charcuterie. Vegetarians can also rejoice as it is delicious alongside an array of vegetable dishes, particularly mushroom risotto and grilled eggplant. What’s not to love?
For those who chose not to drink red wine, there are plenty of winter-appropriate white wine options and Chardonnay is one such varietal.
Brand’s Laira Chardonnay has ripe melon and stone fruit flavours accompanied by creamy nutty oak characters which perfectly accent the richness and flavours of cold-weather favourites such as homemade macaroni and cheese, chicken in a creamy mustard sauce or roasted vegetable risotto.
Peter Lehmann Wigan Riesling — named after chief winemaker Andrew Wigan — is aged in the bottle for five years before being released, which gives it toasty notes. The layers of texture and flavour make it a great partner to a good roast chicken with lemon and sage stuffing. Riesling makes the perfect accompaniment to spicy food; Indian and Asian spices are a natural pairing.
This indulgent, sparkling Shiraz is a perfect celebration wine during the cooler months. It’s regal red in colour and boasts bold flavours of ripe plums and dark chocolate. Best enjoyed chilled, it matches beautifully with smoked oysters or a delicious roast turkey. And here’s a little wine trivia to share with friends and family as you toast – Black Queen is named after the Queen of Sheba who, like the wine, was a woman of great richness, power and beauty.
As autumn gets underway and the nights draw in you may find you’re drawn to heavier red wines and comfort food, Shiraz is a classical varietal that won’t disappoint. The Brand’s Laira Blockers Shiraz from Coonawarra offers a plush flavours of red plum, raspberry fruits and spice with vanilla oak, combined with fine grained tannins and a lovely long and lingering finish. The palate is of medium weight with an elegant structure and lingering fruit flavours, making it the perfect guest at the final few barbeques of the season.
As the leaves turn to shades of rich red and golden brown, so should what’s in your glass. Cosy up around the first fireside of the season with a glass of Morris Classic Liqueur Muscat. Sweet, yet fresh and bright with flavours of dried fruits, chocolate and burnt toffee it is the perfect way to bring a warm glow to a dark chilly evening.
Whether it’s trawling through an online site or standing in front of a wall of wine in a retail store, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice and not knowing what bottle to choose.
Here are some easy tips to help you select a good bottle of wine.
Don’t just admire the artwork on the front of the label, take the time to read the back of the label. Where is the wine from? Which region and vintage? What kind of wine is it? Although the label information isn’t going to tell you everything – including whether you will definitely like it – it offers important clues about its taste and style and helps you make a more informed purchase. At the end of the day, it’s about discovering new wines and broadening your palate.
If you are gifting a bottle of wine to a friend, knowing whether they prefer red or white is a good place to start. If you are taking wine to dinner, familiarise yourself with the cuisine or research the restaurant. For example if you are going out to enjoy Thai, you might like to pick-up a crisp and delicate Brand’s Laira Old Station Rosé – a winner with most Thai dishes. An off-dry Riesling, like the lively Peter Lehmann Wines Portrait Riesling can also be a treat with the spicier Thai plates.
You don’t need to spend an excessive amount of money to buy an excellent bottle of wine. There are many Australian wines available that offer outstanding quality at a friendly price tag, say between $15-35. Are you buying wine to enjoy right away or are you buying it to cellar and improve with age? Generally speaking, if you’re buying a bottle to drink immediately, then you probably don’t need to spend as much as if you were going to put it away for a few years. Wines that age are usually made with cellaring potential in mind and have already spent time in barrels or have had extended bottle ageing, hence the increased cost.
Explore a broad range of wines and you will start to get a feel for what you enjoy more – juicy or jammy, light or full bodied, sweet or spicy notes. Listen to your palate and take the time to take in the aromas. There are many wine descriptors out there and it all comes down to personal preference. The more you try different wines the more you’ll learn about what you enjoy most.
If you’re still not sure…here are some of our top wine picks this month.
During the warmer months, we tend to opt for lighter meals such as seafood, grilled meats, or perhaps fresh and vibrant salads. When it comes to wine, the ‘go to’ summer drop is often described as a crisp, light and refreshing white. However, there are plenty of other wine varietals and styles that pair beautifully with lighter dishes and snacks, or are perfect on their own as a sundowner! And they are not all white wines either.
Here is a quick guide to help you find the perfect summer wine across different occasions.
Pairing wine with seafood can be slightly daunting. While white wines, like a zesty Riesling or fresh Pinot Gris are the general rule of thumb when it comes to pairing white fleshed fish such as ling or John Dory; red wine (or Rosé) definitely have potential to rise to the challenge. Softer, more delicate reds such as Pinot Noir or Blue Imperial can be a great accompaniment to red or pink fleshed fish like tuna and salmon, or even a more robust and spicy Shiraz goes exceptionally well with oily fish like mackerel. The same thing applies for seasonings and sauces, such as Moroccan-inspired barramundi tagines or stuffed calamari in tomato sugo, which could pair nicely with a flavoursome Grenache. The Morris Pale Flor Apera could work really well with seafood too.
When it comes to BBQs, red meat and red wine makes for the perfect partnership. However, you may be surprised to know there are a few other wine varietals that are an equally great match with grilled meats, including steak.
Try teriyaki chicken skewers with a glass of Riesling. This wine usually pairs well with sweet or spicy BBQ flavours. A Pinot Gris - like Peter Lehmann Wines Hill & Valley Pinot Gris - with higher acidity is also a winner with pork, especially the fatter cuts like pork belly. A full-bodied and fruity white - like Brand’s Laira Blockers Chardonnay - can also be a surprising match to a juicy steak. Mature whites with bottle aged complexity (like Peter Lehmann Wines Margaret Semillon) also stand up to the char of the grill. At the end of the day, the goal is to find a white wine that imitates the robust qualities of typical reds.
Summer Sundays are for lazing around and soaking up the sunshine. Whether you’re entertaining friends at home by the pool or having a beach-side picnic, a chilled glass of wine is a must-have on the drinks menu. Try a bright and crisp Sauvignon Blanc or an elegant and delicate Rosé like Peter Lehmann Portrait Grenache Rosé. Just make sure if you are serving wine outdoors, keep it cool in a bucket of ice and water, and out of direct sunlight. Or if you’re feeling a little creative, pour the Rosé into a shallow tray and freeze overnight. Scrape with a fork and serve in an elegant glass with fresh berries for a show-stopping Frosé! Cheers!
With the hot Aussie Summer on our doorstep and the festive season just around the corner, most of us will no doubt be enjoying a chilled glass of sparkling wine in the coming months to celebrate the warmer weather and holidays. So what exactly is sparkling wine? What types exist and what do I choose?
On the simplest level, the bubbles or effervescence found in sparkling wine is carbon dioxide gas. This can be introduced to wine in a few ways, such as during the bottling process or during the fermentation process. Sparkling wine is produced right around the world, with several regions having unique means of production, with varying emphasis on fruitiness, levels of effervescence and bottling methods.
Champagne is probably the most famous type of sparkling wine. It’s named after the region where it is grown, fermented and bottled – Champagne, located in north-east France, near Paris. Only wine that is bottled in, or around this French region is allowed under European Law to be called ‘Champagne’. ‘Blanc de Blanc’ or ‘Blanc de Noir’ Champagnes are made from 100% Chardonnay and/or Pinot Noir grapes.
Although Champagne is widely synonymous with special occasions, Australian sparkling wines are rising quickly in popularity and fast becoming the celebratory drop of choice. Many are made in the ‘methode traditionelle’ style. Popping a bottle of sparkling wine is just as acceptable in everyday settings as special occasions – around the family dinner table, a picnic lunch or with a cheese platter after work with co-workers.
The fact is, Australians have been enjoying sparkling wines for many, many years dating as far back as the late 1800s. It was around this same time that Sparkling Red was first introduced and is still known today for its unparalleled wine style, iconic to Australia.
If you haven’t yet tried a Sparkling Shiraz, consider tasting Peter Lehmann Wines Black Queen. It’s a unique and indulgent sparkling wine that is made with premium quality Shiraz grapes sourced from low yielding vineyards in the Barossa, South Australia. Or the Morris Wines Sparkling Shiraz Durif –the addition of Durif elevates this Rutherglen favourite with extra richness and flavour. Whether it’s sharing a glass of chilled sparkling red or white wine with friends at a party or enjoying a long and lazy Sunday brunch, it’s a delicious drop that’s sure to delight the palate and tickle the taste buds.