Food and Drink


Trust Me On This One

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The Australian wine industry produces far more wine than can be sold. Over the last fifteen years some producers have marketed their wines as cleanskins, unlabelled and unidentifiable.Many of these wines are available because they are faulty or could not be sold labelled at the price originally asked for.

The choices from the oligopoly of Coles and Woolworths, whether trading as Dans, Liquorland, BWS or Vintage Cellars, are limited; while wine clubs of the mail order type are generally reasonable if you are happy for a very restricted selection. Buying wine from other places, including auctions and on-line merchants, requires a leap of faith and trust. Late last year a writer, who I trust, described the red wine bargain of the year. The wine was only available on-line and in lots of a dozen bottles for $120 plus shipping of $9.90, (less than $11 a bottle). I ordered a case.

The wine was a 2009 Heathcote Shiraz Edition #1 bottled under The Hidden Talent label. It was a medium- bodied classic example of an elegant, spicy, cool-climate shiraz, different from many Barossa shiraz that contain so much oak, alcohol, tannin and extract that they hurt your mouth. What was so good about this wine was how balanced the fruit, acid and tannin were. Very intense fruit flavours in the mouth and a long, fine finish.

I should explain that I have no social or commercial relationship with anyone involved with the production of this wine. The intrinsic value of this wine is about $30, a lot more than $11. I am interested in reader’s comments.

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