Exploring wines from “Down Under” An evening of blind tasting of Australian Wines

Adding even more competition to NFL Championship games this past Sunday, we amassed an assembly of wines from “Down Under”. The competition was a blind tasting of four wines from Southern Australia. The wine line up included wines readily available from our local wine shops, and are listed in order of appearance in the photos below.

  • 2007 Epicurean Grenache, McLaren Vale
  • 2008 Woolundry Road Cabernet, Loomwine, South Australia
  • 2003 Five Geese Shiraz Hillgrove Wines, McLaren Vale
  • 2008 The Footbolt Shiraz d’Arenberg McLaren Vale

The fun part of a blind tasting was not only comparing tasting notes, but trying to guess the varietal. We didn’t hold it against anyone if they guessed it wrong.

The outcome was very interesting, two tied for 1st place, and two tied for 2nd, with an even split between the men and women.

Tied for 1st place was ’08 The Footbolt Shiraz, this wine is brilliantly hued with a good acid/sugar balance. Light wood and berries on the nose with a strong alcohol presence. Strong chewy tannins; 100% Shiraz $18 with 14.5% alcohol. The men picked this as their favorite.

The women voted the ’07 Epicurean Grenache as their favorite. The wine was light on color, with strong cherry flavors lasting long on the finish, but with mild tannins: 100% Grenache $16 with 14.5% alcohol.

Tied for 2nd place the women voted ’08 Woolundry Rd Cabernet Sauvignon, Loomwine, this wine had a simple fruit nose, and surprised us with a powerful mouthful of tannins with an earthy finish. This was the surprise wine, as many couldn’t believe it was a Cabernet Sauvignon:  100% Cab Sauv $13 with 14% alcohol.

2003 Five Geese Shiraz presented a very dark color with little nose and a brief impression on the mouth, with only a bit of fruit and some tannin on the finish.  Toward the end of the evening, this wine really opened up, we determined this would pair well with a hearty meat dish, given plenty of decanting time! 100% Shiraz $18 with 14.5% alcohol. The men selected this as their #2.

All in all these wines were a fine sampling of what Australia has to offer.  Each one was well enjoyed as noted by 4 empty bottles by the end of the event! The blind tasting made us really concentrate on the wine as we didn’t have bottle labels to sway our opinions.

I encourage you to try a blind event next time you have a group over, there is no right or wrong answer in expressing what you like about a wine, just keep sipping and expressing!



About Wine Everyday

Eileen Gross is a 1983 Graduate of Fordham University and retired Financial Professional and Founder of Phillips Charitable Foundation, Inc. Annapolis, Maryland. She is wine lover, traveler, and collector who shares her wine experiences with private wine tastings and on her blog “Wine Everyday." She is a member of the Society of Wine Educators, The Wine Century Club and a contributor the former 12Most.com.
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