I’ve always loved my beer, after a hard days work on a hot summers night nothing can beat an ice cold beer! But I also pride myself on being open minded and willing to try new things, that ‘giving it a crack’ Aussie attitude! So when I was approached to do a wine tasting my first thoughts were ‘I’m not a wine drinker’* but then I thought ‘why not give it a crack!’ and I’m so glad I did because I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had to travel half way across the world to discover an Aussie gem and here’s what I learned…
The wine tasting consisted of trying 6 different types of wines, 2 whites, 3 reds & a dessert wine and I was ready to go!
If I was to be converted to wine, I knew it was most likely going to be to white, I used to drink white wine when I was younger, but it was just becuase it was cheapest and it clearly was crappy wine, so I went into the night believing that my idea of wine was ruined by my teenage years, it was time to scrap that and start fresh with no expectations!
Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc
First up we tried a Stoneleigh, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (the only kiwi we had), the grapes for this wine are grown on a riverbed which is a warmer climate than what most Kiwi wines grapes are generally conditioned to. If you love acidity, tropical flavours and citrus you will should definitely give that one a crack, as you’re sipping on this wine it kinda feels like you’re on a beach… if you don’t know what to bring your family for the holiday dinners, grab yourself a Stoneleigh Sav as it’s the perfect pairing with oysters and clams!
Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay
Second wine was a Jacobs Creek Reserve Chardonnay or ‘Shaard’ as I’ve come to call it. I noticed as soon as I saw the label that this is the wine my mum (mother) used to drink, I like to think of mum as a classy wine connoisseur so this one had high expectations before even starting! Generally with Chardonnays we usually expect that oaky flavour and they used to have a really bad reputation in Straya because it was used to hide the bad quality of the grape, thank god we evolved since then and you’ll have acidity balancing the oakiness perfectly. It’s fruity, dry and round which I didn’t expect since my usual experience of wine was that bitter flavour (mainly because I would take beer sized sips), so this was a nice surprise, could definitely see myself enjoying this with a creamy risotto when it’s -30 in Toronto.
This was the interesting one, I had tried a few whites in my time and not minded but never really appeal to red wine, in my mind it was always a heavy warm drink, definitely not what I want to sip on after a hot summer day.
For the reds, we did a blind tasting and we had another Jacobs Creek, this time it was the Shiraz Cabernet and believe it or not this is the most popular red wine in Canada! Aussie come out on top again! In another cup was a George Wyndham Shiraz, which is actually the oldest red wine in the world.. and last but not least was Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz, this one spends 3 months in a whisky barrel, talk about innovation!
Jacobs Creek Shiraz Cabernet
So why do canadians love it so much? Well it’s a blend which means you have a mix of 2 or more grapes creating the perfect balance. It’s also not as spicy as the European ones. Dark berries lovers this one is for you. It’s also dry with a little bit of oakiness, it’s super smooth and easy to drink. Also perfect with pizza or tomato bases pasta!
George Wyndham Shiraz
We’ve got to commend this bloke for being the first person to plant a commercial vineyard in Australia making this Shiraz one of the oldest grape ever! It’s such a big, juicy and spicy wine so you can be sure to love this with a big, juicy steak.
Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz
Ok if there is one that blew my mind it’s gotta be it. First of it’s produced in the best valley for Shiraz, Barossa. It was originally toasted in oak wine barrel but after a party one of them had the idea to use a whiskey barrel instead and burn the crap out of it. It took them a bloody long time to get it right as there was too much air getting in at first. Instead the wine is only finished for 3 month in a scotch risky barrel. This accentuate the flavours, the tanin making it so smooth agains the rough scotch barrel. You can taste some chocolate and toasted flavours but don’t feel like you can’t find the perfect meal with it, anything smokey will do.
Jacobs Creek Moscato
I always thought dessert wines, in particular the Moscato was just a white wine where they’d thrown in a bunch of sugar to sweeten it up, turns out I was totally wrong. The fermentation part is only half the time as regular wine, which means not all the sugar in the grapes turns to alcohol leaving a slightly less alcoholic and very sweet wine. I actually loved this wine, it’s delicious! It is also awesome to use in cocktails, soak some fruit in it and you have yourself a delicious sangria, plus many other ideas. If you google ‘Jacobs Creek Moscato cocktail’ you’ll find heaps of awesome recipe ideas…here’s one I tried and loved:
FIND AT LCBO – http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo/product/jacob-s-creek-moscato/
My Final Thoughts….
This whole experience was fantastic for me, it opened my eyes and better educated me not only on Aussie wines but wine in generally. Often you get preconceived ideas in your head, such as ‘wine is for girls’ or ‘wine is just a fancy drink’ which is plain stupid. If you are heading to a dinner or a house party, next time try giving an Aussie wine a go, you’ve got nothing to lose and you may be pleasantly surprised!