Wine with Winsor

Glass of red wine near food plate

While we all have our personal favourites, it can be rewarding to try different labels, lesser-known regions, and new grape varieties. Wine writer Winsor Dobbin has some suggestions for taking wine roads less travelled – all of them under $45.

Gorgeous gamay

Hesketh 2023 Adelaide Hills Woodside Gamay

Gamay is the grape used to make the lips-smacking lighter reds from Beaujolais in France, a style that is eminently suited to the Australian lifestyle. It is surprising that only a handful of local wineries use gamay, but this is a newcomer to the Hesketh range, made fruit grown in the Adelaide Hills. It is gloriously gluggable and could even spend a few minutes in the fridge prior to opening. Ideal for a barbecue, or picnic, this is fresh and crunchy with berry fruit flavours to the fore. The same winery also makes a fabulous 2023 Clare Valley Fiano. $34.

Rewarding Riesling

Delatite 2023 Riesling

Riesling remains ridiculously undervalued, which means it offers some great-value drinking. This dry number is from Mansfield in Victoria, where the Ritchie family at Delatite has been making fine rieslings for decades. This is vibrant, lively riesling that can either be enjoyed in its youth or cellared for up to a decade. The 2013 vintage offers classic aged riesling characters if that is your preference, but I enjoyed the youthful charm and persistent length of this current release, which paired impressively with a pad thai from a local takeaway. $30.

Pinot pleasure

Castle Rock Estate 2023 Porongurup Pinot Noir

The Great Southern region of Western Australia might not be your first choice for top-notch pinots, but winemaker Rob Diletti is producing an impressive range to challenge the best from more favoured areas like Tasmania and the Yarra Valley. Give this a few minutes after opening the bottle and it blossoms into a fragrant beauty that deftly combines fresh red berry characters and savoury hints. Perfect for pairing with duck, mushroom, or chicken dishes. Made from low-yielding 30-year-old vines that are hitting the heights. $44.  

Bagnum style

Rewild of Murray Darling Chardonnay

Everyone loves a slurpable chardy, but this one comes with a difference: it is sold in a 1.5 litre bagnum – the equivalent of two regular bottles – that is promoted as being lighter in weight and having less environmental impact. This is ideal for a party or a picnic by the Bay Run – and the sauvignon blanc is also very tasty. This doesn’t taste like a cheap wine. It has classic chardonnay characters with white stone fruit flavours to the fore and some assertive acidity on the finish. Vegan-friendly, too, is that is your bag. $17.99 at Dan Murphy’s.

Portuguese panache

Battle of Bosworth 2023 Exile Touriga Nacional

Here is something just a little bit different. Touriga Nacional is the grape variety used for some of Portugal’s best red wines, from the Douro and Dao, as well as being a key component of many ports. It is known for its structure and concentrated flavours, but this wine from a fine producer in McLaren Vale deviates from the norm being medium bodied and stylish. It is a lively customer this one with plenty of palate length. Extremely food friendly and a good alternative to shiraz or durif with red meat dishes or pastas. $28.

Orange crush

Stockman’s Ridge 2023 Rider Pinot Gris

Looking for a wine to pair with Asian dishes? Here is a wine made from young vines in Orange, Central Western NSW, that fits the bill and won’t break the bank. The vineyard was planted in 2012 and various portions of the fruit were fermented in stainless steel and oak. This has plenty of mouthfeel with textural elements combining with some fresh acidity on the finish. It is made by outstanding local winemaker Will Rickard-Bell and a fine example of cool-climate pizazz. $30.

See more of Winsor’s wine reviews at