2021 St Hugo Grenache Shiraz Mataro
    14.5% Barossa Valley South Australia, RRP $45

    ‘GSM blends’ constitute the vast majority of wine made in France’s southern Rhone valley, and yet Australia makes some excellent examples.  Some blends of varieties positively thrive when assembled with care. But beware of companies using leftovers, or trying to prop up a mediocre wine with a dollop of better material. 

    This wine delivers thrills starting with its brilliant neon crimson colour. Then comes ripe dark raspberry, savoury spices, violets and wild herbs. The textured palate just gallops away – savoury, cleansing, juicy, and spicy with a mix of dark fruits, red liquorice, and enough tannic grip to provoke further sampling. It’s got the best attributes that bigger companies can provide (fruit selection, blending experience, and attention to fine detail). VFM indeed!

    This wine demonstrates that blends can deliver refreshment, excitement and intrigue, with the inherent structural complexity to merit cellaring for another ten years – if its current charms are able to be deferred.

    Food match? Versatility reigns here. Any grilled meats – including sausages – casseroles/stews, pizza aplenty, and with the surprising boldness to stand up to curries too! 


    2021 Rosewood Flora Rosé
    Ontario, Canada, ABV 12.1%% RRP $36

    They say variety is the spice of life. We should never be afraid to experience the untried and broaden our horizons. As a lover of all things wine, I find it so exciting to dip my toes into previously undiscovered wine waters and discover something new. I was off to a dinner with a friend (check the food pairing below for details…) and I stopped into Mr. West Bar and Bottle Shop with my heart set on a good rosé. This gamay dominant gem is blended with 36% cabernet franc and 8% pinot noir. It’s unfined, unfiltered; so vegan friendly and bottled with the lees to show off its minimal intervention, ‘hands off’ approach. What you get is a scrumptiously red fruited, bold and round flavour bomb. Fresh and clean over the palate and a super savoury finish with surprising length. I’ve never had a wine from Canada and I’d never think to choose one when there are so many sure things to choose from. But I’ll be continuing my journey into Canadian wine off the back of this one. So affordable as well, in the scheme of things. As the light of day lengthens and the blossom starts to sprout, now is the time to put down the jammy, bold reds and jump back on the Rosé bandwagon!

    Pair with: The Afghan Gallery on Brunswick street. It’s BYO. Order the ‘feed me’ option. You’ll thank me later! 

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