Tag Archives: tipthebottle

Let them drink wine… “hang on, how many calories is in that?”

How was your New Years? Mine was great! Lots of good food, good wine, and good company.

In fact, I probably had a little too much good food and good wine.

Most see the start of the new year as a time to shape up and shed those few kilos stacked on from the Christmas celebrations in December. Myself included!

fat barbie

Even Barbie can get carried away over the festive season!

While few of you are still kicking back and enjoying the good life, many of us are putting ourselves on a calorie restricted diet and exercise regime. Wine is one of those items that really packs a punch (or grape punch!) when it comes to calories.

Whenever I’m trying to watch my calorie intake I like to compare things to junk food, as it helps me avoid consuming it if I think I’m consuming a piece of junk food.

To put wine into perspective, here’s an overview of what you’re potentially consuming if wine was a piece of junk food.

Fine print to note – Comparisons are purely subjective and depends on how much you pour in your glass. These measures are based on a standard pour.

Red wine = 125 calories

1 quarter of a Big Mac burgerNew Phototastic CollageThink about it, consuming 4 glasses of red wine you might as well just eat a Big Mac!

White wine = 121 calories

Half a McDonald’s cheeseburger

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Consuming a whole bottle of white stacks up to be 3 cheeseburgers!

Sparkling wine = 84 calories

1 Freddo frog

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Let’s admit it, you never stop at one glass of sparkling. Am I right?!

Fortified wine = 165 calories

1 cherry ripe

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While you think that some of these beverages are relatively okay calorie wise, once you add on top of this the meal you’re eating with your wine, or the cheese and chacturie board coupled on the side, a Big Mac burger all of a sudden becomes a mountain of Big Macs!!

The lesson here is to not eat and just drink wine. After all wasn’t it Marie Antoinette that said ‘let them drink wine’?

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Happy calorie counting January!

Until next time winos


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On the sixth day of of Christmas my wine rack gave to me a Rob Dolan Cabernet Shiraz Merlot

Growing up back in the country, Tuesday night used to be pizza night. It was from here where my obsession and love for the round piece of dough topped with every bit of deliciousness grew.


To celebrate Tuesday night pizza night, a good pizza wine is required.

This wine I came across at the Williamstown Wine and Cheese festival. The Rob Dolan 2013 Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlottipthebottle2.png
Rob Dolan winery is a relatively new winery, and was crowned as best newcomer winery by James Halliday in 2014.
If you’re wondering who Rob Dolan is, he was the face behind Sticks and Punt Road wines in the Yarra Valley – wineries with spectacular wines, particularly the Sticks Pinot Noir which is an absolute cracker.

At the festival it was recommended by cellar door assistant manager Courtney that this wine would be paired well with pizza, and is known as THE pizza wine.

To test it out, a pizza was consumed (quite quickly) alongside a bottle of the Cabernet Shiraz Merlot.
And Courtney was right.

The spiciness from the Shiraz paired well with the tomato, and had a smoothness from the Merlot. It was rich and deep in colour, and was an absolute delight to drink.

If you’re looking for your next pizza wine, I’d recommend going for a Rob Dolan 2013 Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot.

Until next time winos


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On the fifth day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me a Geppetto Shiraz

Monday after work, and wine is calling my name.

The best way to kick back after the first day of the working week, is with one of my favourite wines – a Shiraz.

The wine that’s accompanying me on the couch tonight is the 2016 Geppetto Shiraz from Crittenden Estate.


Those couch feels when pouring a Geppetto Shiraz

Crittenden Estate has a range of labels alongside the Geppetto wine range – Crittenden Estate, Los Hermanos, and Pinocchio. Each of these wines were created to reflect the variety of wine, with a touch of quirkiness to it.

The Geppetto Shiraz is smooth, medium bodied wine, spiced with flavours such as pepper, and aniseed. Its smoothness makes for a good quaffing wine, which means it’s easy to drink, without breaking the bank account.

It will turn your Monday blues in to Monday woo’s as soon as you crack this one!tipthebottle1

“On the palate you’ll find mouth filling structure, juicy acidity and those most desirable of attributes: cherries, pepper and liquorice. This wine has it all in abundance.” http://www.crittendenwines.com

Until next time winos


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On the fourth day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me, a 2016 Mr Mick Vermentino

The sunny weather here in Melbourne today has made me think it’s the perfect temperature to crack a crisp, refreshing white wine. What sort of crisp, refreshing white wine do you ask? A Vermentino that’s what!

A Vermentino is an Italian variety, that’s not all that common here in Australia – similar to the Fiano, which was my second wine in the advent calendar.

This wine hails from Mr Mick in the Clare Valley located in South Australia. It’s here where the climate is perfect for Italian varieties to grow in, as it’s hot and dry.

This Vermentino has a slight acidity to it from the citrus and a smoothness from the pear. Once finished sipping you’re left a lingering finish. An absolute delight!



“This wine has grapefruit, apple and nashi pear aromas and flavours, modelled in the classic Italian style with just a touch of fruit sweetness to balance the refreshing minerality and spritely natural acidity” http://www.mrmick.com.au

Serve this one from an ice bucket and you’ll be saying bellissimo in no time!

Until next time winos


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On the second day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me an Olivier’s Taranga Fiano

Day 2 in the advent wine calendar and this calls for a bit of Friday fun, a Friday Fun Fiano


Hello Friday Fun Fiano!


This here is Olivier’s Taranga 2016 Fiano



I tasted this wine at the Flemington grazing trail a couple of years ago and it was love at first Fiano.

An Italian variety, this type is not a widely common one here in Australia, although it is gaining momentum. Hailing from McLaren Vale in South Australia, the Fiano is a really crisp and refreshing wine. Slightly floral with notes of pear and zest makes this wine for one fun Friday drink. A great alternative to the Pinot Grigio you may usually sip on for your Friday’s.

“Pears and nutty aromas, almost like cashew, some honey and white peach skin. More time reveals some citrus flower and leaf. In the mouth and poached pears drive the bus followed by a subdued ginger and cinnamon like spice. Flavours are long and mouth filling – some delicious textural interest. I’d happily have a couple of glasses.” http://www.oliverstaranga.com

Until next time winos


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25 days of wine – a Christmas calendar of wine. Day 1

Ahh the month of Christmas. When this time comes around, the countdown to when the big man in the big red suit arrives is on!!!


Hellooooo Santa!

To help with this countdown, an advent calendar is a great way to tell you what day of December it is.
Typically these calendars are filled with chocolate – But why do chocolate when you can do wine?! Hello 25 bottles of wine!
To help you out, I’ll be posting my choice bottle of wines each day in the lead up to Christmas. Hopefully it will help make the Christmas season a very jolly and merry one for you!


Credit: abroadcooking.com

To help kick it off, I suggest easing in to a nice bottle of Cosmo Wines’ 2014 Shiraz.

Winemaker Lindsay Corby makes the wine in Preston (Melbourne, Australia), using grapes from all over Victoria. This particular Shiraz comes from the Yarra Valley. A really nice, smooth, and satisfying Shiraz that will leave you feeling like you’re in Shiraz heaven. All the classic feels of a Shiraz, with berry notes, subtle oak, topped off with a dry finish. I hope you enjoy this first wine on the first day of December.tipthebottle.jpg

“New French oak gives spicy notes and fine tannins that complement the dark fruit cake aromas and flavours provided by the ripe fruit used to make this wine. Match with spicy and full flavoured meat dishes.” http://www.cosmowines.com.au

Until next time winos,


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Dom Pérignon, THE bubble man. The story of Champagne


If there’s one man we need to thank in this world, it has to be Dom Pérignon. This 18th century monk is THE bubble man that created and founded champagne. The best thing about this story is that it was all by mistake!

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THE bubble man and I

Back in the day, monks from the Abbey of Hautvillers (where Dom Pérignon came from) worked on the vineyards to produce wine. Even though the monks were making wine, their wine making reputation of Pinot Gris and Chardonnay wines were not so good.

Dom Pérignon wanted to change this, and revamp the wine that was being made. His aim was to make it a more enjoyable drink – As all wine should be!

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The Abbey

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Inside the Abbey

Being in charge of the cellars, Dom decided to implement a few changes to the wine making process….

He introduced an oak wine press from the Burgundy region

Instead of foot stomping the grapes, the oak press extracted the white juice from the red grapes through a soft, slow press – something that had never been done before!

He introduced Pinot Noir to the region

This variety is one of the key grape varities in the Champagne mix – Chardonnay, Mourvèdre, and Pinot Noir

He was the first to mix grape varieties together

Talk about a match-maker master!

He was the first to put wine in a bottle!

A crystal see-through bottle in fact!

This was a big development in the ‘World of Wine’. Being able to see the bottle contents meant that you didn’t have to worry about whether it had poison in it.

People were so brutal back then!

He also made the bottle a flat bottom bottle. This too meant that it prohibited people from popping explosives in the base of it. Again, so brutal!!

He was the first to put the cork in a wine bottle

Dom brought this innovative technique to Champagne from Belgium where they corked beer bottles.

To produce the cork, cork trees were then planted in the Champagne region. Not sure about you, but when I hear cork trees, all I can imagine is a tree growing little wine bottle corks on it.


How the magic happened

While Dom Pérignon was in the process of making wine, it was during the 2nd fermentation where all the magic happened.

When the yeast and sugar mixed, the wine started to produce carbon dioxide, and as a result 18% of the bottles exploded. This was due to the sheer pressure built up inside the bottles from the carbon dioxide. Whoops!


Hooray for mistakes!

With such a strange occurrence happening during the wine making process, the townsfolk thought it was the workings of Satan.

While there were still some bottles in the mix that didn’t explode, they decided to taste them and boy where they surprised! It’s been claimed that they felt like they were drinking the stars. This iconic moment is featured on the label, with the one star.


Notice the star on the label?!

While you’re probably thinking they were drinking the champagne as we know champagne today, back then it was a very VERY sweet syrupy wine – 400g of sugar with bubbles on top to be exact. That’s 2 cups of sugar in a bottle!! Talk about a sugar hit. Most fortifieds have only a quarter of that sugar content.

So how did champagne become what we know it as today?

There were many great influencers over the years following Dom Pérignon.

Madame Clicquot (Verve Clicquot)

A century after the discovery of Champagne, Madame Clicquot didn’t want to wait until dessert to drink the sweet wine. She discovered that the yeast and sugar could be shifted to the neck of the bottle by conducting a rotation of the bottle, slowly moving the bottle to sit upside down – known as riddling.  She discovered this process from placing the bottles in the holes of her table.

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An example of what her table would have looked like! So much wine!!

Once she completed the riddling process, the top of the wine bottle was frozen and the sugar and yeast was removed – known as disgorgement. The wine was then topped up with more wine. This process also made the wine a lot more clearer.

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Thanks Madame Clicquot


Madame Pommery (Pommery)

In 1874, Madame Pommery decided it was still too sweet and reduced the wine sugar content even further from 150g to 10g


Madame Pommery didn’t like the sweet life


While Dom was not necessarily behind the Champagne we know today, he is the king of the blend and technique of Champagne.

I take my hat off to him, if I was wearing a hat, and thank him for giving us this bubbly goodness we pop to drink for special occasions, and just to enjoy a glass of those sparkling stars.

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RIP Dom Perignon

A couple of fun Dom facts

The world’s most expensive bottle of Dom Pérignon is €2000

Every Dom Pérignon is a vintage wine, meaning that the bottle comes from the best grapes from the region in one year. If the Dom Pérignon is not a good vintage, it then off it goes to Moet and Chandon.


Until next time winos,




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A trip around France’s wine region in one Paris wine bar – O’Chateau

You may or may not remember me saying, that it was a dream of mine to visit O’Chateau wine bar in Paris. Well ladies and gentleman, that dream came true on my recent trip to France!

O’Chateau was founded by Olivier Magnay in 2004, and has received many awards for being Paris’ best wine bar. If you’re wondering who he is, check out my previous post here.
O’Chateau is nestled in a quiet street off the main drag, not far from the Louvre.

Much truth

On arrival we were welcomed by the friendly staff. We took our seats, and were handed the vin menu containing an expansive list of French wines from across the regions.

A great read 🙂

The real highlight of this bar is the 40 wines on tap, with many MANY more bottles to try. Something quite unique for a wine bar!
Each of the wines are housed in a temperature controlled glass cabinet, with tubes running from each bottle to the outside. To serve, the bartender simply presses a button and extracts the wine in to a glass.

The house of wines!

It’s like an adults version of a self-serve drink machine in a fast food restaurant, only that it’s not self-serve, and you can’t go filling it to the brim!
With the sheer number of wines on tap, O’Chateau welcomes you to do a tasting, have a glass or, if you’re feeling complete adoration ‘love-at-first-sight’ for a wine, you can even buy by the bottle. For me, it was glasses ahoy.

Glasses ahoy!

With the day being a little warmer, I felt like starting with something light and refreshing.

Spoilt for choice!

#1 Wine – Viognier

Region/Area – Languedoc – Côteaux du Languedoc  (located in the South of France)
Wine – Pierre Vaisse Hasard Viognier 2015
This was an interesting wine. More floral than I’ve tasted before for a Viognier variety.
Floral on the nose, with tasting notes of kiwi fruit and elderflower.
It had a medium to high acidity, and was straw in colour.
While it was a pleasant wine to start with, as I got further through the glass it was very much a ‘one-glass-I’ll-try-a-different-type-of-wine’ variety.
Just nice on its own as an aperitif.


On to the next wine!
To help me choose my next wine, the bartender went through the whites list, explaining the regions where each had hailed from. He even slipped me a cheeky tasting to make sure I’d be happy with my choice.

Location, Location, Location

#2 Wine – Chenin Blanc

Region/Area – Loire -Savennières (located in central France)
Wine – Domaine FL – Chamboureau 2010
 This wine was a mineral style of wine, typical of its region – mineral on the nose, with a medium acidity and a slight dryness to it. It was certainly a more pleasing wine to drink than wine number one, and one that you COULD have another glass of.
Mid way through our wine flight through France, we decided to get a cheese board.
What a great decision that was!

Good decisions being made. All these cheeses came from the South of France

While we were eating our way through the delicious French cheeses, we decided to spice things up and change our wine to a rouge (red).

#3 Wine – Grenache

Region/Area – Châteauneuf-du-pape, Rhône  (located in the South of France)
Wine – Domaine Jérôme Gradassi 2014
This was a big red – rich in colour, full bodied, peppery on the nose, and big in flavour.  Notes of French oak, and red current, with a really dry finish. It was a wine that warmed the heart, and made the smile grow bigger.

Happy Days!

#4 Wine – Pinot Noir

Region/Area – Bourgogne (located East-Central France)
Wine – Domaine JJ Confuron Jeunesse 2014
A comforting rouge with strong oak notes, liquorice and spice. A great wine to top off the afternoon.

Taking in the wine

Although, it didn’t stop there…
After being at O’Chateau for almost 3 hours, and having taken a wine flight across France, the bartender brought us over a complimentary fortified. What a delight!

Pretty much my expression at the time.

O’Chateau really is Paris’ best wine bar.

Not only was the service and cheese on point, but the varieties and quality of the wine was impeccable. These guys really do know their wine – which is no surprise, as they’re all sommeliers.
My next dream now is to go back and visit the wine bar again, and take another flight through the French wines I didn’t have the chance to try!


Until next time winos,


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