Tag Archives: grenache

It’s time to celebrate some fabulous Australian ladies in wine – Olivers Taranga

Right about now, there’s an awards night happening in London to celebrate Australian women in wine http://womeninwineawards.com.au/

While I’m am all the way back here in Melbourne, Australia, I thought I would celebrate Australian women in wine my own way…

Let me introduce you to Olivers Taranga

I love wineries that have great stories behind them, whether it’s about the history or about the people behind the wine label.

Olivers Taranga is one of those wineries embedded with family history. The head winemaker behind Olivers Taranga is Corrina Wright. Corrina is joined by Brioni Oliver – vineyard, cellar door, and wine stock manager. Both Corrina and Brioni are part of the sixth generation at Olivers Taranga.

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tip the bottle Brioni.jpg Top – Corrina Wright, Bottom – Brioni Oliver (Credit http://www.oliverstaranga.com)

Olivers Taranga was the feature winery at the last fabulous ladies wine society event in Melbourne at Lumé restaurant.

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Ladies getting fabulous at Lumé (Credit @fabulousladieswinesociety)

Olivers Taranga features a diverse range of wine varieties; varieties which are not all that common here in Australia just yet, like Vermentino, Fiano and a Rosé that’s made from Spanish grape variety Mencìa (pronounced “Men-thee-a”).

To kick start the evening we were treated to a unique sparkling wine  – A sparkling Fiano called ‘The Hunt for Mrs Oliver’.  I’ve never come across a sparkling Fiano before, as it’s traditionally made as a still white wine. ‘The Hunt for Mrs Oliver’ was fresh out of the barrel. So fresh in fact, that the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society were one of the first in the country to taste this amazing drop. It’s expected to be released later this year.

Fresh, light, bubbly, and acidic, its crisp finish made it a very easy drinking. Some may say too easy!

This sparkling wine is the first sparkling in the Olivers Taranga range. Corrina, being a lover of bubbly wine, had been wanting to introduce one in to the range for some time. She experimented by using the Fiano grape, turning it into a bubble using the Traditional Method. Voila! Success!

What’s the Traditional Method? It’s the Champagne wine making method of bottle fermenting, riddling and disgorging.

‘The Hunt for Mrs Oliver’ was born. The story behind the title and label came from their grandma, Marjorie Hunt. Marjorie was the matriarch of the family.  On the label you’ll see flowers and feathers, which symbolise the flowers and feathers she used to collect. It’s a wine that pays homage to the great lady herself.

Next on the tasting list was the Vermentino, an Italian variety. The Vermentino was light with loads of length, and a crisp finish – The perfect wine that can be paired with seafood.

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The wine lineup! (Credit @fabulousladieswinesociety)

Number three on the wine tasting list was the Fiano, the non-sparkling style. It was great to taste the Fiano without its bubbles, as it took on a different character; textured, nutty, with great acidity.

After we finished the whites, next came the pink! The Rosé.

This Rosé was made from Spanish grapes called Mencìa. I’d never heard of this variety before, so I was super keen to try it. In fact, Olivers Taranga are the first in Australia to be growing Mencìa grapes. After the vines were planted and the grapes were picked, Olivers Taranga decided to test it out by making a Rosé. Turns out it was a success, and it’s now into its 4th vintage!

What’s a vintage? Vintages are used to describe the year grapes are picked in from a vine.

The flavour of the Rosé was refreshing, just like munching into a watermelon on a hot summers day. After tasting the wine, it left me with a warming toffee-like finish in my mouth. Delicious!

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Those watermelon summer feels

Now it was time to move on to the reds! Here’s where the party is at! There is nothing better than sitting down with a glass of red, cosied up in front of a fire during Winter.

The Grenache was the first up on the red wine tasting list.

The Grenache, for Olivers Taranga, is more of a traditional variety. It’s one they feel works well with their philosophy of trying new things, but also sticking to well known structured wines like the Grenache. It had a slight oaky and pepperyiness to it, and was described as an easy pizza drinking wine. Hello! Any wine that’s teamed with pizza has my tick of approval.

 

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Wine – Tick!, Pizza – Tick! Happy Days

Next up there were two more traditional style of wines – the Shiraz variety. It was asked what would be the plural of Shiraz – which Jane, the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society host, aptly stated that it was ‘Shirazeses’. Try say that one!

A fun fact about Olivers Taranga: Their Shiraz grape also goes into making Penfolds Grange – a high quality red wine

To start off the Shiraz tastings we had the 2015 Olivers Taranga Shiraz, which was one of their newly released wines. Alongside the new released Shiraz was an older release; the 2013 Olivers Taranga HJ Reserve Shiraz. This wine took on a dark choc, rum and raisin flavour which was velvety and smooth – wow, sounds like I’ve just described a block of Cadbury rum and raisin. Yum!

And for the finalè, to cap off the night, we finished off with a 20 year old sticky fortified wine called The Banished.

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So much stickiness! The Banished

Again, a great story as to how this one came about – second generation brothers to the winery used to live the good life of drinking, smoking and gambling rather than working on the vineyard. As a result they were banished. Ruth Oliver, married to Archibald Oliver, took over the winery and was head winemaker. You go girl!

So there you have it, some fabulous ladies in wine, making great bottles for the rest of us all to enjoy. To all the ladies in wine out there, Cheers!

 

Until next time winos,

Cheers!

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On the ninth day of Christmas, my wine rack gave to me a Robert Oatley GSM

Welcome Friyay!

Wine number 9 in the advent calendar, and this wine gives me the same happy feels as Friday happy feels – it’s the Robert Oatley 2015 GSM. I’ve featured this wine previously in my blog ‘three wise men, three brilliant wines for Christmas dinner’

Australia is renowned for mixing up the grape varieties, and blending them to make some new and interesting creations. This GSM is no exception. As the acronym suggests it’s a mixture of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre. Each of these grapes adds it’s character and personality to the wine.This wine blend is like having a party with a great bunch of friends!

Grenache adds the berry and sublte peppery flavours to the wine and the depth of colour. This is like the host of the party that puts on the food

Shiraz adds more of the peppery notes and also throws in some tannin. This friend is more like the one that brings dessert along to go with the food.

Mourvèdre mellows the wine out, and creates a smoothness. This friend is more like the one that creates the rockin dance list for the party.

So. Much. Fun!

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Hailing from Robert Oatley winery, the face behind the wines, Robert Oatley unfortunately passed away earlier this year. This man was a great influence on the Australian wine industry, and introduced many styles and varieties to the market – he’s even been crowed as the ‘father of Australian Chardonnay’.

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“Macerated red fruits and musk from Grenache, structure and longevity via Shiraz, Mouvèdre’s gamey notes and minerality.” http://www.robertoatley.com.au

I hope you enjoy this wine as much as I do, and I hope it gives you those Friday happy feels.

Until next time winos

 

Cheers

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Hop yourself to Nagambie over the Easter long weekend for some great wine!

The Easter long weekend is approaching! If you haven’t planned what you’re going to do, here’s one suggestion – a trip up to the Nagambie wine region. I did this little round trip last Easter, and only takes an afternoon. Being autumn, it’s the perfect time of the year to taste and stock up on some great reds, ports and fortified’s in preparation for winter.

 

First stop – Mitchelton Winery

Welcome

Welcome

This winery is about an hour and a half’s drive from Melbourne up the Hume Highway. Driving up the driveway, you will instantly notice the ‘legendary tower’ peaking up above the winery. This tower was designed by architect Ted Ashton in 1974, and has a great lookout at the top across the vineyard. Don’t worry there is a lift up to the top, which is very handy after you’ve completed your wine tastings.

The legendary tower!

The legendary tower!

View from the top

View from the top

 

With a variety of wine on offer, and at many different price points, you will be sure to find a wine that suits you.

 

Tip the Bottle’s top picks:

 

2012 Mitchelton Marsanne

2010 Heathcote Shiraz

2012 Mitchelton Shiraz

2012 The Blend – Cabernet Merlot

 

Got me some wine!

Got me some wine!

Winery lyf

Winery lyf

 

Second stop – Tahbilk

If you ever want to go to a historic vineyard, this is the one to go to. Established back in 1860, the vineyard was taken over by the Pulbrick family in 1925, and has been in the family ever since.

Historic buildings

Historic buildings

On arrival, when driving up the driveway, one of the first things you will see is the old vineyard. It’s enough to get your taste buds excited. Once you hop out of the car, take your time to wander throughout the cellar door, and take in all of the history on offer. See the many bottles of Marsanne dating back years (I can’t remember how many exactly, but there was a lot), and the change in colour as it has aged. Wander down below the tasting area to the old underground cellar and see barrels as old as 100 years!

 

Even Prince Phillip has visited Tabhilk!

Even Prince Philip has visited Tabhilk!

So much wine to taste!

So much wine to taste!

YES!!

YES!!

Once you’ve worked your way through your tastings, wander over to the café, take a seat and relax beside the billabong. I recommend the meat and cheese platter, along with your favourite glass of Tahbilk wine. I can guarantee you will find yourself saying ‘ahh..this is the life’.

 

While you’re there, sign yourself up to their wine club and get yourself some great discounts.

 

 

 

 

Tip the Bottle’s Top picks

2008 Old Block Shiraz

2013 Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre

Grand Tawny

Stocking up

Stocking up

If I don’t speak to you again until Easter, I hope you have a very happy and safe Easter break with some great wine and many chocolate easter eggs.

If you have any fab round trips that you’ve done, please share! I’d love to hear.

 

Until next time winos,

Cheers

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Wine and Food Match test – Jamie Oliver’s Beef Tagine & a Shiraz

This week I’ve decided to road test a food and wine match suggestion I recently read about.

 

I came across this suggestion through Foxtel’s Lifestyle Food newsletter, featuring their wine expert Angus Hughson. His motto – ‘Life is too short to drink bad wine’. I couldn’t agree more.

Foxtel Lifestyle Food newsletter

The wine suggestion was the 2012 Angove Long Row Shiraz; an elegant spicy Australian Shiraz, described as being medium bodied, peppery, fruity with dark cherry notes.

 

The food suggestion was Jamie Oliver’s Beef Tagine. For those of you who don’t know me, I must let you know I am a massive Jamie Oliver fan, so this match suggestion had intrigued me from the get-go; yep, that’s me with Jamie Oliver.

Me Jamie Oliver

Armed with the wine suggestion and recipe in hand, off I trundled to my local supermarket to source the ingredients. Unfortunately my local wine seller did not stock this particular wine, however, Angus did suggest a Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon or a Grenache as the best wines to pair with Beef Tagine.

Putting my reading glasses on, I scoured the wine racks to find something that would be of similar style to the Angove Long Row Shiraz. What I came out with was a Partisan Trench Coat Vintage 2010 from McLaren Vale – a blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre (or commonly known as a GSM wine).

 

Partisan Trench Coat

The label stated the style of the wine to be ‘spicy, complex and brightly fruity’, which I figured aligned well with Angus’ first suggestion of pairing it with an elegant spicy Australian Shiraz – A man in a trench coat is elegant right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a long 3 hours waiting for the beef tagine to cook, I could not wait to sink my teeth in to the food and wine.

 

The verdict? Angus you are a star. This was a match made in heaven. The melt in your mouth meat paired perfectly with the spicy and fruity Shiraz – or in my case the GSM.

 

The Partisan was a dream to sip on – peppery on the nose, and spicy on the palate. I could easily drink this wine without the beef, however drinking it with the tagine really did balance out the 100+ spices that went in to the dish.

Jamie oliver beef tagine partisan

If you have a few hours to spare, I highly recommend you to whip up this dish and have your Shiraz on hand to serve up at a dinner party. I can guarantee you will have your friends coming back with their wine glass asking ‘Please sir, I want some more?’

 

Until next time wino’s,

 

Cheers

 

 

Here’s the recipe! Credit to Lifestyle Food channel.

http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/recipes/16634/beef-tagine

Ingredients:

  • 600g stewing beef
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • a small bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 800ml vegetable stock, preferably organic
  • 1 small squash (approximately 800g), deseeded and cut into 5cm chunks
  • 100g prunes, stoned and roughly torn
  • 2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted

For the spice rub

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 level tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix*
  • 1 level tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 level tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 level tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 level tablespoon sweet paprika

 

*Ras el hanout (Arabic for ‘top of the shop’) is a blend of the best spices a vendor has in his shop. The mixture varies depending on who is selling it, but can be a combination of anywhere from 10 to 100 spices. It usually includes nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, aniseed, turmeric, cayenne, peppercorns, dried galangal, ginger, cloves, cardamom, chilli, allspice and orris root.

 

Method:

1 Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover with clingfilm and put into the fridge for a couple of hours – ideally overnight. That way the spices really penetrate and flavour the meat.

 

2. When you’re ready to cook, heat a generous lug of olive oil in a tagine or casserole– type pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your chopped onion and coriander stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Tip in the chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½hours.

 

3. At this point add your squash, the prunes and the rest of the stock. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½hours. Keep an eye on it and add a splash of water if it looks too dry.

 

4. Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter the coriander leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds, then take it straight to the table with a big bowl of lightly seasoned couscous and dive in.

 

 

 

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