The Biscayne Times

Aug 11th
Catch Up with Wines Down Under PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jacqueline Coleman, BT Contributor   
April 2020

Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $15 or less

APix_Vino_4-20ustralia was hit hard last year with wildfires that caused widespread damage across parts of the continent. Around the world, horrified people watched televised images of burned buildings, injured wildlife, and suffering communities.

Whenever a disaster like this strikes, there are many ways we can help from afar, including supporting the industries from that country or region.

For wine lovers, one way of showing support is by reaching for a bottle of something that represents the region in need next time you’re out shopping. Luckily for us, there are many great wines coming out of Australia at all different price points. From larger, mass-produced brands to smaller, family-owned operations, Australia’s wine industry is robust, with bottles ranging in all different styles of wine, too.

This month let’s journey Down Under for a taste of something Australian. Here are seven economical bottles, from white to red, that are perfect for your next shrimp on the barbie, or maybe just your next Tuesday night.

On the white wine side, we have a couple of options, including the 2018 Frank White Blend, which is a blend of 43 percent Sauvignon Blanc, 30 percent Sémillon, and 27 percent Chardonnay. It’s a great fresh “lemon and linen” wine. Grapefruit and lime flavors complete the citrus and tropical fruit-dominant profile, adding a tanginess to the palate. Crisp acidity pervades with a clean finish, leaving your mouth feeling refreshed.

The second white wine is the 2018 Martin’s Pick Up Chardonnay, which is a nice bottle to bring to that next “barbie” party. Perfect for shrimp and grilled chicken, this wine is bold and surprisingly impressive for its price. Apple and melon flavors lead on the palate, encompassed by a creamier texture. On the scale of Chardonnays, this is a pretty typical medium-bodied version with a mix of freshness and weight.

Ah, Shiraz. The signature wine of Australia. Did you know that Shiraz is the same as Syrah? If you love the peppery black fruit of Syrah, then Shiraz is a sure fit for you. The 2013 Hope Estate Family Vineyards “The Ripper” Shiraz, with grapes from western Australia, was the oldest wine of this group and a refined option. Chocolate-covered raspberries, licorice, and spice entice the nose, while dark and spicy fruits and black licorice take over on the palate, intermingled with noticeable tannins for a nice, solid structure. This is not a beginner’s Shiraz, but definitely one worth noting.

The 2016 Milton Park from the Barossa region has more of that jamminess that many wine drinkers love in their Shiraz. Extra-red fruit and white pepper, with notes of plum and mixed berries take over in this wine. It’s rich but not quite as dark as the previous bottle, showing us that there’s no such thing as one type of Australian Shiraz.

Who doesn’t sometimes fancy the idea of being out of touch? The 2018 Miles from Nowhere Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Blend is from the remote wine region of Margaret River, on the western side of the continent near Perth, and truly miles from the nearest town. Blueberry, blackberry, and cedar aromas are reflected as flavors in the mouth. Soft, rounded tannins give the perception of elegance at a reasonable price. Note that the back of the label does say “contains egg/milk,” as these are used in the fining (clarifying) process of the wine.

For those who like a little scandal, check out the 2017 19 Crimes Red Blend. This brand does a great job with marketing, and they do have an app available that uses augmented reality to bring their labels to life. The wine? It’s friendly and approachable. This red blend is easy drinking, with a robust fruitiness that some may perceive as more sweet. Definitely not a dangerous wine, 19 Crimes is actually a pretty safe bet for a crowd-pleaser.

Lastly, the 2017 Hope’s End Red Blend from South Australia is a flavorful wine in an attractive yet simple black bottle. Jammy blackberries and ripe red fruit are complemented with vanilla spice for a mouth full of taste. The blend is predominately Shiraz but also includes Grenache, Malbec, and Petit Verdot, which accounts for some of the inky darkness in the wine. Not all is lost at Hope’s End, because there is always a great bottle of Australian wine.


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