The more I learn about wine, the more nervous I am writing about it

I’m sure you know the feeling — where the more you know, the more you realise you have to know. That’s how I feel about wine, and that’s why I haven’t written about it in the last few months.

wines close up

I do like to drink wine, though. And, in 2007, I completed the Wine Essentials course through Western Australia’s Wine Education Centre. I knew I had found true love and determined that I would one day complete the ‘Plus’ course that comes with exams and an industry-recognised qualification. I am still at least a human gestation period away from this goal.

In the meantime, I will keep drinking this magical elixir, and I will even tell you what I think of it occasionally. Today happens to comprise one such occasionally.

wonderful whites

Take the Ad Hoc ‘WallFlower’ 2009 Riesling. This delightful white smacks of grassy florals at first blush, and the light acid finish is zesty with a hint of strawberry on the palate [and I’m not just saying this to be a wine whatsit. That’s what I’m actually tasting].

The Montrose ‘Stony Creek’ 2007 Chardonnay became a firm favourite of mine following Neil’s [of Your Shout] recommendation, and I just can’t get enough of it’s light oakiness. After a few years of unwooded chardonnays, I have turned back to the bold buttery characters of oaked chardonnays and, as I prefer French to American oak, this bottle suits me perfectly.

I first thought the Pierro Margaret River Blanc de Blanc 2009 an unusual blend [it’s actually chenin blanc, semillon and sauvignon blanc], then I discovered that many a famous label has released a ‘white from white’, and this label can refer to any white blend. I found Pierro’s version to be an easy drinking yet complex wine that I would happily to take to a dinner party.

I love real champagne. You may recall my Pol Roger epiphany at a Star Anise degustation shortly followed thereafter by the Bollinger upset. Although French champagne will remain in it’s special place in my heart, there are a number of decent Australian sparklings to substitute as an aperitif or accompaniment to a spicy meal, and the crisp, dry Petaluma ‘Bridgewater Mill’ Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir Chardonnay is one of them. I don’t think you can really go wrong with Petaluma wines.

As the weather cools down, I’m not just drinking white wines. There are some awesome reds out there to be savoured.

velvety reds

There are some wines that I could just smell all night without needing to drink a drop. The Montrose ‘Black’ Shiraz 2006, with its amazing bouquet, is one of those wines — but I am oh-so-happy when I do take that first sip. This is an interesting wine for me. For the last bottle: at first blush, I tasted red berries and, after the last of the wine left the glass, I smelled mushrooms. This is such a big wine; I enjoy it best with steak.

The Bleasdale ‘Mulberry Tree’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 has a blackcurranty sweetness that is equally lovely on its own or with a meal [of pepper steak pies, for example…]. I am a huge fan of Bleasdale reds but haven’t yet tried the whites, for no particular reason.

Finally, the Gemtree Vineyards ‘Tatty Road’ McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot Merlot Cabernet Franc 2008 may be a mouthful to say, however I assure you it presents a far more pleasant a mouthfeel to taste. This is an elegant wine that softens and expands from berries to chocolate to mellow [Is that even a flavour? It is now!] with the drinking.

Don’t take a self-confessed amateur’s word for it. Try these wines for yourself and let me know what you think! Wine-tasting is so completely personal that I am sure yours will be a different experience altogether, and I would love to hear about it.

H πŸ™‚



  1. Don’t feel nervous I prefer honest reviews from people with knowledge like yours rather than the so-called experts that can sense hints of blueberries when all I can taste is tar πŸ™‚

    I look forward to trying and reviewing some of your picks and giving my take!


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