If money is tight after Christmas, here are some wine bargains to explore.
Italian style: Mezzacorona 2018 Pinot Grigio
A classic northern Italian pinot grigio from the cool Trentino region in the foothills of the Italian Alps, this is perfect for quaffing on a warm summer day, or for pairing with a seafood platter. Sustainably farmed and hand-picked, this is deliciously fresh and vibrant with Granny Smith apple and flinty minerality to the fore, along with a crunchy acid finish. Imported by Single Vineyard Sellers, this is a racy little number that is terrific value for under $20.
Bargain bubbles: Azahara NV Sparkling Rosé
Azahara means “orange blossom” in Spanish and the chardonnay and pinot noir grapes for this refreshing sparkling wine are grown alongside orange orchards in Mildura in Victoria. This is light, fresh and fruity; perfect for a summer party or barbecue. I like the fresh raspberry and cream characters on the palate and the grapefruit notes on the finish. A bargain quaffer for $15.
Hunter hero: Brokenwood 2019 Semillon
Young semillon is a standout summer drink, full of freshness and vibrancy, and is a perfect partner for picnics and seafood. This is from one of the Hunter Valley’s finest producers and has classic lemon and lime aromas from a warm, dry vintage. There is lovely acid here with delicious citrus and apple flavours on the palate and a zingy, dry finish. Enjoy well chilled. $28.
Cracking rosé: Taylors 2019 Pinot Noir Rosé
A new release from the Clare Valley-based Taylor family, who have sourced fruit from a grower in the cooler Adelaide Hills for this delightfully fresh and delicate pink wine made from pinot noir grapes. This is a dry, pale, savoury rosé for enjoying chilled, in its youth, preferably with Lebanese dishes, or perhaps with some roast Tasmanian salmon or a vegetarian quiche. Lip-smackingly good for $20.
Intense red: Schild Estate 2018 Shiraz
The Schild family has been growing grapes for generations and owns some of the oldest vines in the Barossa Valley. This is a terrific choice for those looking for a savoury red that is powerful without going over the top. Think dark cherries, black plums, hints of leather and spice and impressive tannin structure with well-integrated French and American oak. Perfect with grilled steaks or a gourmet hamburger. Try Dan Murphy’s. $25.
Something special: Burton McMahon 2018 George’s Vineyard Pinot Noir
Hunter Valley winemaker Matt Burton, from Gundog Estate, combines with his good friend Dylan McMahon, of Seville Estate in the Yarra Valley, to produce a range of impressive small-batch wines with style and swagger. This individual vineyard wine comes from the cooler Upper Yarra Valley and is both elegant and savoury. Both winemakers have spent time in France and that is reflected in their aesthetic. $40.
See Winsor’s work at www.gourmetontheroad.blogspot.com.