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I always start off the weekend having a look at Des Houghton’s Quaff column in the Courier Mail and his recommendations which often would require something of a bank loan to try, however this week he showcased a couple of reasonably priced award winners from the recent Royal Queensland Wine Show. If you missed the article it mentioned the Jacobs Creek Le Petit Rose 2018 vintage made from Pinot Noir, Grenache and Mataro grapes and sells for around $15, A Wolf Blass Yellow Label 2017 Chardonnay selling for around $14 and A Windance Estate 2018 Margaret River Shiraz at $26

With a couple of friends arriving on Bribie for a few days from Perth via Cairns, we knew it was going to be a fairly damp weekend eating hearty homemade food and drinking plenty of outstanding wines. On Thursday we started the evening with pea and ham soup with which we served a Rapaura Springs 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, this was followed by spaghetti bolognese and served with a Joel Gott 2017 Californian Zinfandel and a Sister’s Run 2017 McLaren Vale Shiraz.

The Rapaura Springs Sauvignon Blanc and The Sister’s Run both were bought at Liquorland and both wines were very good, as I have commented on before I believe when the Rapaura Springs, which has heaps of grassy overtones and finishes fresh and crisp, is on special it is one of the best buys around, I paid $10 for the wine. I have bought The Sister’s Run before and again when on special for $12 which is around $8 off the normal price it represents very good value, being from McLaren Vale the wine has plenty of spicy aromas, it is a full-bodied style and fully recommended when the price is right again.

When you take friends around you realise what jewels we have around us within a very short drive and Friday involved a trip up to Mooloolaba with a visit for lunch to the surf club and fish and chips with which we enjoyed a very acceptable Angove Long Row Riesling. Friday night began with some more pea and ham soup followed by a butter curry and this time one of the big guns I have been saving for a rainy day came out of the wine fridge. To begin with, we started with an Angove Alternatus Small Batch Rose 2018 McLaren Vale Grenache, Tempranillo, Vermentino and Carignan which was crisp, pale pink, with dry light berry fruit and made a refreshing change from Sauvignon Blanc.

wine wineries australian queenslandThis was a very well made wine with interesting grape components but McLaren Vale Grenache makes for some outstanding wines. This was followed by the wine of the week-end a Penfold’s 2012 Bin 28 Kalimna Shiraz which I bought from Dan Murphy’s vintage wine section several years ago, the wine had spicy peppery aromas and was probably wasted alongside the curry but sometimes you just have to indulge! On Saturday after a mornings visit to The Eumundi market we had lunch at The Noosa Surf Club where garlic prawns was washed down with a Jim Barrie ‘W’ Riesling which is a fantastic bone dry white with lovely citrus aromas and is available from BWS for $20 then back home to try a couple of interesting fruit wines from our far north.

Our visitors had brought with them a bottle of Golden Drop Sparkling Mango from Mareeba North Queensland and a bottle of Jaboticaba Tropical Dry Red from the Shannonvale tropical fruit winery which was a Brazilian Tree Grape which was said to be medium-bodied with plum-like aromas. The sparkling Mango lived up to its title and was served with a cheese platter including a very pleasant Stilton and the wine went surprisingly well with this selection.

However the second wine had aromas more in keeping with cough medicine and was quite disappointing, but the overall experience was very interesting as a change from everyday grape wines. Sunday evening was relatively light as the weekend came to a close and platters of assorted meat, cheese and olives were enjoyed with Taylor’s 2017 Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which had aromas of black currents and an Angove Long Row 2018 Pinot Grigio which has aromas of apples and pears with a crisp and a fresh clean finish, a great weekend enjoyed by all.

If you are interested in matching food with wine take a close look at the back label and consider what the winemaker explains about the wine and what the characteristics of the wine are. For instance, if the wine has aromas of apples it almost certainly suits pork, look for a Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris, an unwooded Chardonnay or even a Viognier from Yalumba. Wines such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc with citrus characters will suit prawns, lobster and light seafood especially with a squeeze of lemon.

Steak with a pepper sauce would suit a full-bodied Shiraz and if winter has brought out the lamb shanks or Osso Bucco enjoy with a cabernet sauvignon but use the wine as part of the gravy as well and never skimp on the quality used in the cooking serve the same wine with the finished course. The friends have continued on their journey and everything is back to normal, Liquorland has Vin Vale Shiraz from Shingleback on special this week, everything that comes from this winery is always top draw including the Red Knot range from BWS or Dan Murphy’s.

Cheers, Philip Arlidge arlidge@bigpond.com.au

“Exercise makes you look good naked, so does wine, it’s your choice.” Anon

“The secret of enjoying a good red wine: Open the bottle and let it breathe. If it doesn’t look like its breathing give it mouth to mouth.” Anon

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