Tuesday, August 9, 2011

They Come From The Lands Down Under

I’ve always been a bit fascinated by Australia and New Zealand.  I’m not sure if it’s the opposite seasons or the cool accents but I would LOVE to travel to both places one day.  Since a trip like that is not in the budget right now, I have to settle for drinking their fabulous wines.  There is a plethora of affordable wines out there from both countries and I am having a lot of fun trying them all.

Last weekend I was on the prowl for some new Down Under wines.  I was shopping at my local ABC rather than Total Wine so the selection wasn’t quite as good but I did manage to find three that fit my budget.  I couldn’t wait to go home and try them.

I picked up two varieties from the Nugan Estate Winery in Australia.  Nugan is one of Australia’s Top 20 wine exporters and they are the 18th largest vineyard holders in Australia…certainly nothing to sneeze at!  They have been in business for more than 65 years so they are obviously doing something right.  I picked two varieties from their Vision label which is their second estate label.  Both bottles cost $10.99.  The first variety I tried was the 2009 Chardonnay.  I had a friend sample it with me and we drank it by itself.  The color was a lovely light yellow with an almost green tint.  I detected the aroma of peaches and spice with a hint of vanilla.  The peach carried over to the flavor.  It was slightly acidic with a dry finish.  I think it would go well with seafood so I think when I buy it again, I’ll try that pairing.

The second variety tried was the 2009 Shiraz.  It was a lovely deep red color with hints of chocolate and spice in the aroma.  The taste was full-bodied with hints of mocha and spice.  My husband and I tried it alone at first and we both agreed it was very good.  We also had a glass with our pasta and meatballs one night and I thought it went well with it.  I think it would also go well with red meat dishes and anything a bit spicy.  We’ll definitely be buying it again.

The third wine I picked up was from Smythe & Renfield in Marlborough, New Zealand.  I tried the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc and like the other two bottles, it cost $10.99.  Upon pouring I noticed the hint of citrus and tropical fruit which carried over to the flavor which was very crisp.  I still have some left and I plan on trying it with some grilled seafood later this week.  I think the two would pair well.

As I continue to sample new wines from the lands down under, I’ll daydream of the day when I can actually drink the wines while in their country of origin.  Maybe some day….

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