De Bortoli 2013 Villages Pinot Noir
It is hard to find quality pinot noir at an affordable price but this one offers both exceptional quality and excellent value. Made using fruit from several different districts in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, this is hand-picked and hand-sorted by winemaker Steve Webber and his team. It has everything you’d want in a “drink now” pinot with softness, plump juicy notes on the palate, and plenty of textural interest. Pair this with a barbecued duck from Dixon Street. $22.
Matua 2014 Smooth Sauvignon Blanc
You rarely see reviews of New Zealand sauvignon blancs because many wine critics can’t stand them. Lots of drinkers, however, can’t get enough of them because of their zesty up-front flavours. This is a very good example from Hawkes Bay, a more soft and elegant style than many of its Marlborough cousins. It is one of three different expressions of Matua sav blanc that highlight the taste profile of each wine on the front label; Smooth, Crisp or Lighter. Fruity and fun, this can often be found on special. $20.
Coriole 2013 Sangiovese
The Lloyd family were way ahead of the game when they planted the Tuscan grape variety sangiovese in McLaren Vale almost three decades ago. With Italian varietals now all the rage, Coriole has the oldest sangiovese plantings in the country. Fruit quality shines through here in an attractive medium-bodied wine that combines bright red fruit flavours with savoury characters and a lovely structure. This is the style of versatile food wine that is perfect for when friends drop around for a bite, or you need to grab a bottle for a visit to the BYO. $25.