We Brits love Aussie wine—

The UK is the world’s biggest importer of Aussie wine, and with Australia Day coming up on Jan 26, there’s a great excuse to discover their new tipples. Where once bold flavours indicated quality, today Australian wine-growers are creating more nuanced wines that reflect their place – the personalities are just as striking, but the quality is even more memorable.

You can still find good-value, hearty crowd-pleasers, but spend a bit more on the rising tide of premium Aussie wine to access a diverse treasury of spectacular style. Look for grape varieties that you wouldn’t perhaps associate with Australia such as Malbec, Tempranillo or Montepulciano for reds. For whites, Riesling is top of my list but look out too for Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Semillon and even Greek Assyrtiko.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

FAIR DINKUM FRUIT: Extra Special Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (14.5%) £7 Asda. Gorgeous fruit that’s as indulgent and elegant – think silky blackcurrant opulence. Bathe in it.

BONZER ZINGER: Finest McLaren Vale/Adelaide Hill Sauvignon Blanc-Riesling 2017 (12.5%) £8 Tesco. Tropical vibrancy in this zingy blend which is discreetly exotic and altogether refreshing.

LITTLE RIPPER: Craft 3 Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2017 (12%) £10 M&S. Turbo-charged with zesty splendour, this electrifying Chardonnay represents the future for Chardonnay Down Under.

PEACHY BEAUT: Tahbilk Nagambie Lakes Marsanne 2017 (12%) £10.50 The Wine Society. Peachy yet zesty, drink it immediately or keep it for a couple of years to evolve hidden richness….if you dare.

WINE OF THE WEEK

Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling 2017 (12%) £6.99 Aldi. I’ll keep recommending this zesty poised stunner for its thrilling zing that leads the pack on price and quality.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 20th January 2019

 

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