It’s 32 degrees and the middle of winter here on the East Coast of USA, but in Australia it’s 92 and sunny! So why not bring a little summer into this dreary winter day and celebrate “Aussie Day” with our Mates from Down Under!
Australia Day commemorates the arrival of The British First Fleet in 1788 to Sydney Cove and the establishment of British sovereignty over this new Colony. The celebrations, however, didn’t begin until 1808. Today, Australia is no longer under the British rule, but the celebrations continue with great fanfare!
Winemaker Steve Roden was kind enough to send us that bit of Australian history lesson along with two of his wines. Tasting the Fish Eye Pinot Grigio and Shiraz, both from South Eastern Australia, it didn’t take me long to get in the summertime mood.
2011 Fish Eye Winery Pinot Grigio: This wine is almost crystal clear, with a tint of pear color. The aromas are fresh and citrusy. Soft fruit flavors of melon, lemon and peach give this wine its refreshing character. The finish, while short, is cleansing and fresh. Alcohol 12%
2011 Fish Eye Winery Shiraz: Aromas of fresh cut grass and strawberry jam greet you with reminders of springtime! The flavors are fruity and bright, with blackberry and blueberry predominant. The finish is medium dry, with very soft tannins and a tiny hint of spice. Not typical of the rowdy, in your face Australian Shiraz, this is a fruity (not sweet) quaffable wine, a good daytime red wine, perhaps slightly chilled on a very hot summer day. Alcohol 13.5%
I paired these wines with Smoked Spicy Baby Back Ribs and Homemade Sweet and Spicy Baked Beans. The Pinot Grigio offered a refreshing palate cleanse from the heat of the dish, and the Shiraz offered a bit more of a full mouth feel with the fruit and hint of spice on the finish. The Siraz would go equally well with a traditional Australian dish of Steak smothered with mushrooms and onions.
I tasted these wines in the 750ml size bottle; however they are also available in 1.5L bottles and 3L box format. (*Pricing is $7 $12 and $18 respectively). Boaters in my hometown of Annapolis, Maryland are going to love this wine in box format!
Folks are always asking me for wine recommendations under $10. Here are two easy to quaff, good varietal examples that clearly won’t break the bank.
Cheers & G’Day Mates!
*Note these wines were provided as trade samples.