Here’s another shopping list for the Holidays. A variety of reds and whites. Nothing over $20.
REDS: Santa’s Red, Romeo & Juliet, and Aussie Beaujolais
You can cover all the red wine bases with this light, medium and rich trio. Put a bottle of each on your Christmas dinner table.
LIGHT RED – MEET AUSSIE BEAUJOLAIS!
Pinot and Gamay grapes often play similar tunes. Pale red colour, lighthearted feeling and a refreshing tang. Red wine to chill and gulp. My favourite. This is very Beaujolais in character – refreshing edge, blast of fruitiness, and a ‘let’s party’ message. Also a good partner for white meats, or salmon. Chilled, of course.
LINDEMAN’S 14 Pinot Noir, ‘Bin 99’, Australia 458661 $11.95
MEDIUM-BODIED RED – MEET SANTA’S RED!
Tastes great, and at a gift of a price. ‘Santa’ Carolina has got to be one of world’s best volume producers. What separates them from the herd is the ‘genuineness’ of flavor in the wines. Non of the usual ‘crowdpleasing tricks’ such as sugar and vanilla. Expect a Cabernet of medium weight, and slanted more towards charm than heft. Perfect for either red or white meats, tomato based anything, and party sipping. Bravo Santa.
SANTA CAROLINA 13 Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Reserva’, Chile 275925 $12.95
RICH RED – MEET ROMEO & JULIET
No, the label is not the art work of the owner’s child, but ‘love message’ graffiti from the Romeo & Juliet wall in Verona – where the Pasqua winery is located. Expect something rich and velvety, as promised on the back label. However, I’m not so sure about the ‘elegant’ bit! The partial drying of grapes gives ‘Passimento’ wines a richness not normally found at this price. So you will get wows without spending lots. Plus, why not spread some R&J love this season.
PASQUA 13 ‘Passimento’, Veneto, Italy 141952 $11.45
WHITES: A cheapo, new-style Chardonnay and a bucking mule
There is no disputing Pinot Grigio’s claim to the ‘basic-but-good’ prize in white wine. And the Italian editions also score for value. I doubt if anyone ‘really loves’ PG, but it does offer good company – and quite often that’s all we want in a drink.
The 14 vintage from Casal Thaulero could not be more easy-drinking, and better priced. The bright new green and white label is perfect for suggesting the refreshing nature of the wine. Put some in the fridge for everyday sloshing.
CASAL THAULERO 14 Pinot Grigio, Terre di Chieti, Abruzzi, Italy 73163 $8.95
TIMES ARE A CHANGING IN AUSSIE CHARDONNAY
Some Aussie wineries such as Nugan are gambling on the next trend in white wine. The post-chardonnay era. A fashion for less rich, less full-flavoured whites. Still produced from Chardonnay grapes – just crafted differently.
This 13 Chardonnay is very understated – certainly non-glam. There is a fresh, nervy, slightly savoury feeling that points towards food as opposed to the traditional ‘yummy’ style of Chardonnay. Could be likened to a frame looking for a picture.
NUGAN ESTATES 13 Chardonnay ‘Third Generation’. Australia 400317 $11.65
MULES MAY BE SLOW BUT THIS ONE IS A LIVEWIRE
Fans of livewire Sauvignon should be in the Chile aisle looking for Las Mulas. It’s turbo charged and raring to tingle your taste buds. Should that read buck!
MIGUEL TORRES 15 Sauvignon Blanc ‘Las Mulas’, Chile 272609 $12.95
Coming up – Sparkling!