Wine with Winsor

Need an affordable but delicious drink option after splurging over Christmas and New Year? Wine writer Winsor Dobbin has some suggestions for summer drinking pleasure, including a couple of splurge choices.

Cracking chardonnay
Curly Flat 2021 Chardonnay
Calling all lovers of white Burgundy. Here is a very fine Australian alternative to your increasingly expensive French addiction. Curly Flat, in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria, has the cool climate needed to produce fine, elegant chardonnay that is an excellent option as wines from the Macconais and Chalonnaise become increasingly hard to source. This is a wine of serious length and purity, varietal yet restrained, with classic fruit and mineral elements dancing a classy tango. Malo has added texture without being intrusive. Seriously delightful. 97 points from me. Available at Annandale Cellars, or Summer Hill. $50.

Pink pleasure
Oakdene 2022 Rosé
The Bellarine Peninsula wine region outside Geelong is often overshadowed by the nearby Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula but it produces a selection of wines that are well worth seeking out – like this outstanding – and seriously smashable – dry rosé blend that is pale salmon in colour and a blend of shiraz, cabernet, and merlot grapes. Fresh and vibrant with lots of red fruit flavour, this is designed for early drinking and would pair brilliantly with a Lebanese feast, or a seafood picnic. Try First Choice outlets. $25.

Something different
Hutton Vale 2022 Off Dry Riesling
Take some spicy Korean fried chicken and pair with steamed rice and vegetable pickles. Add a glass or two of this deliciously refreshing Eden Valley riesling. Sit back and enjoy. This a riesling with some lip-smacking sweetness (45 grams per litre), but the well-judged acidity means it is perfectly balanced and delicious when paired with spicy Asian dishes. Hutton Vale is in the Eden Valley – its vineyard is next to Henschke – and the riesling vines are over 50 years old. Think florals, lemon sherbet and candied fruits. $35.

Italian style
Monteraponi 2020 Chianti Classico
Very stylish, very savoury, very Italian. For those days when you want a red wine with a little swagger and style but without overt alcohol or intrusive oak, this one hits the spot. Made mainly of sangiovese with a dash of caniolo, this is certified organic and weighs in at just 13% alcohol. It is matured in cement to retain fruit purity. Think dark cherry and earthy notes with a long, bright finish. It is a delight for summer sipping and could be paired with a mushroom pasta dish for maximum enjoyment. $69.

Sexy savvy
Raidis Estate 2022 The Kelpie Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon blanc is on its way back. The style has been through a boom-and-bust cycle, but wines like this are great for summer enjoyment, paired with seafood or a picnic, well chilled, of course. This is a very smartly made savvy with varietal character but without those green herbals that sometimes distract from the fresh, clean fruit appeal of the grape variety. For those new to the brand, Raidis Estate is a family-owned producer in Coonawarra that offers good wines at fair prices. $25.

Barossa value
Turkey Flat 2019 Butcher’s Block
This is a quintessential barbecue wine; quaffable, food friendly and affordable. A classic Barossa blend of grenache, shiraz and mataro – some from old vines – it is made by the Schulz family, who have been growing grapes in Tanunda since 1865. They also had a thriving butcher’s business – and the former butchery is the cellar door, adjacent to where the grapes for this wine were grown. This is dark, spicy, and bold, but well balanced, a perfect bachelor for lonely steaks, sausages, and burger patties. $25.    

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