Category Archives: Wine and Food Pairings

Apr 04 2012

De Bortoli Highlights Regional Focus of the Windy Peak Range

Posted on April 04, 2012 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Over the past 20 years dozens of new Australian wine regions have been discovered, and many of these regions are now flourishing. Just look, for example, at the success of wines from Orange, Geelong, the Great Southern and the Canberra District. Even within regions winemakers are becoming far more attuned to the nuances of terroir and how subtle differences can influence the character of the wine.

Consumers are also becoming more terroir savvy. I have friends who say they prefer the tropical fruit flavours and crisp acidity of Orange sauvignon blanc, for example, even if they can’t recall exactly which wines they’ve tried.

Family-run De Bortoli, one of Australia’s best independent producers, has re-labeled its entry level Windy Peak brand, and now the region where the wine is made is clearly displayed on the label. De Bortoli owns substantial vineyards in the Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley, King Valley, the Riverina and even has a vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand.

The move to include the region on the Windy Peak label looks like smart marketing for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s recognition that even the budget-minded consumer is becoming more discerning about where and how a wine is made. Secondly, it highlights that Windy Peak is a quality product sourced from De Bortoli’s own vineyards. (Unlike some of those wines I’ve seen from the so-called critter brands – you know, the ones with the cute little marsupials on the label – that vaguely state that the wine is from ‘south eastern Australia’!)

De Bortoli launched the new label for the Windy Peak range at a luncheon in Sydney at Matt Moran’s and Peter Sullivan’s new Woollahra venture Chiswick. The setting reminded me of a stylish but comfortable Southern Highlands home. Our room overlooked a beautiful lawn and a kitchen garden brimming with fresh herbs. The food was delicious and, while the flavours were sophisticated, the presentation was unpretentious. A perfect complement for wines designed for every-day drinking.

The highlight for me was the fish and prawn pie… [Read More]

Nov 11 2011

Can you tell if a wine is any good just by tasting it? Impressions from a Craggy Range Tasting

Posted on November 11, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Have you ever been unimpressed with a wine on first taste, but then fallen in love with it over the course of a meal?

Well, according to a very interesting article by Decanter’s Andrew Jefford “digestibility is as much a hallmark of truly fine wine as is sensorial intricacy and harmony.” Jefford goes on to explain:

Twenty-five years of reading wine assessments, as well as providing assessments of my own, have convinced me that tasting without drinking is, in fact, a monstrous (if inevitable) flaw in all wine criticism... [Read More]

Nov 11 2010

A Brilliant BYO Dinner!

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you love great wine and food, one of life’s great pleasures is to organise a group dinner at a favourite restaurant that allows BYO, and ask each of the diners to bring one of their best bottles.

On Thursday night we attended such a dinner at the fine French restaurant La Grande Bouffe in Rozelle. Organised by my husband’s Food and Wine Society, I knew the wine selections were going to be pretty good (the table captain had been in touch with key members of our table in advance of the evening) but,.. [Read More]

Nov 11 2010

Getting Serious about Wine and Food Pairing!

Posted on November 11, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

This week Gary Vaynerchuk looked at what wines go best with hot dogs! (What Wines Pair with a Hot Dog? Episode #944, Wine Library TV, 3 November 2010)

Recently Wine Spectator’s New World Wine Experience brought four of the best chefs in the world together, Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck and Charlie Trotter, to work with Wine Spectator’s Executive Editor Thomas Matthews on pairing the right wine to their dishes. (2010 New World Wine Experience: The Four Chefs Food and Wine Match by Alison Napjus,.. [Read More]

Oct 10 2010

Viognier: A Difficulty Grape makes a Great Wine!

Posted on October 10, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

In yesterday’s post, Wine of the Week: Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier I talked about how Clonakilla had transformed perceptions of Australian Shiraz with its ingenious blend of Shiraz and Viognier – inspired by a style of wine associated with Northern Rhône’s Côte-Rôtie. By co-fermenting just a small percentage of Viognier with Shiraz, Tim Kirk of Clonakilla lifted his wine’s aromatic profile and added a new dimension to the palate structure, creating a wine that was lighter and more elegant than traditional Australian Shiraz.

So what are the attributes of Viognier,.. [Read More]