Naked Wines’ democratic approach to buying has just blown some pretty standard wine stereotypes out of the water! Amongst a room of around 30 tasters, only 3 of which were women, we tasted through 52 Australian wines from producers looking to break into the UK market and were tasked with whittling it down to one. Given the circumstances (mainly men & Australian wines) you’ll be forgiven for assuming the winning wine would be red. But Australia’s come miles since the days of over oaked, sugary Chardonnay and this tasting proved the UK wine drinking public is prepared to reopen its eyes to Australian whites. The winning wine? The delicious Sidewood Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from the Adelaide Hills.
Rightly or wrongly Australian wine has a reputation for producing one style and that’s fruity-sugary-quaffable-plonk. But Naked Wines
‘ the customer is always right
wine buying formula has achieved what several years of Wines of Australia
‘s regional hero campaign has failed to do and that’s convince the masses that there’s more to Australia than fruit, sugar and oak.
For me there are three unmistakeable wine styles coming out of Australia that highlight that the Old World aren’t the only ones that can produce regionally identifiable wines. Here are three styles to look out for when you want some elegance with your Aussie wine:
Riesling from the Clare Valley
– a fresh, dry style of riesling that’s aromatic & citrusy, with a mix of apricot stones and minerality that I have yet to find anyone dislike. Plus it’s cheap at half the price and gives Erstes Gewachs
from Germany a serious run for their money.
Sauvignon Blanc from the Adelaide Hills
– the finest in my opinion and not always the priciest Sauvignon Blanc in Oz (Sauvignon from Western Australia is notoriously expensive). Typically full of green grass, sweet pea, mange tout, lime juice & gooseberry characters and wonderful served well chilled. It’s not surprising that if a white was going to win the Australian Naked Wines tasting it’d be one of these and the Sidewood Sauvignon Blanc 2012
is already online to check out for yourself. Think NZ Sauvignon Blanc meets Loire Valley to decide if it’s up your street.
The last flagship regional Australian wine you should have on your must try list is Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. Not the big blowsy fruit punch style of generic Aussie Shiraz we all know, think red currant jam, eucalyptus freshness, and a grown up ribena Blackcurrant character. Often a lot less in your face than you might expect and surprisingly good with curry and spicy dishes.