Tags: Wine. Chardonnay. Shiraz. History
THE BRIBIE WINELANDER
Making wine isn’t rocket science, the wine was probably first developed by accident some five thousand years B.C. in China or the Middle East when the sugar in the juice of some crushed grapes reacted with natural yeast.
Probably it was off the skins or just floating around in the air and combined with some heat started the fermentation process off. I have no doubt the first accidental winemaker tried this strange concoction and was the first wine drinker to wake up the following morning with a hangover! Obviously, in those days the wine they were drinking had no preservatives and they probably developed a taste for oxidised wine.
It is thought Romans or the Greeks discovered that by adding a little sulphur the wine freshness lasted longer. Then of course came the bottle and cork. The evolution of the perfect container and enclosure has continued and it was an Australian company that came up with the screw top known as a Stelvin Cap due to severe problems with cork taint in the late eighties and early nineties when over 10% of our wine was affected.
Although this system hasn’t been accepted universally I am sure eventually more countries will see the light and go down that track eventually. Unfortunately, some of the romance of a waiter discouraging a cork disappears when he unscrews the bottle but least you almost certainly get a wine in perfect condition and we almost lost this technology. In the late 1970’s, early eighties Yalumba had already recognised a problem with some corks and developed the Stelvin Cap, initially, the seal was only used on the cheaper end of the market and eventually was once again replaced by corks.
GOOD WINE MAKES THE DINNER PARTY MUCH MORE LIVELY, ALWAYS START THE
EVENING WITH BUBBLES AND THE FUN WILL BEGIN.
DON MARQUIS COMMENTED:
“I DRINK ONLY TO MAKE MY FRIENDS INTERESTING”
When cork taint became a severe problem in the nineties wineries tried replacing cork with plastic corks and other strange closures but when someone opened some cellar stock from the early stelvin tests found the 15-year-old wine in perfect condition interest reappeared. Now, most of our wines regardless of cost are under this enclosure, except for some export wines to America and Europe who regard this closure still for cheaper wine so corks are still used, and they insist on using plastic corks in their homegrown cheaper products.
When will they ever learn? Wines have characters which make them unique and also helps when matching certain styles of food to them each month we will look at a couple of varieties and try to match the food.
Chardonnay is the most planted white grape variety in the world and excels most in cooler climates where its peach, nectarine and melon flavours and aromas are backed by subtle mineral characteristics. When matured in French Oak barrels the added flavours of the oak add to the complexity of the wine. Varietal characteristics include grapefruit, celery, minerals, green apples, citrus, peach, melon, and nectarines Food match: Note where making a white wine sauce use the wine that is being served with the meal. Roast pork, mature cheese such as cheddar, chicken salads, roast chicken, paella, cheese fondue, duck pate, turkey dishes, minestrone soup, mussels in white wine sauce, scallops in white wine sauce, potato soup, rockmelon and prosciutto, salmon pate, roast lamb, spicy spaghetti marinara, tarragon chicken.
This grape is widely grown in Australia and grows well everywhere, however it grows particularly well in The Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale, and The Barossa Valley. Varietal characteristics include black olives, white pepper, black pepper, spice, raspberry, redcurrant, jammy, plum, eucalyptus, earthy, and chocolate. Food match: Again use the wine in making sauces and serve with the meal. Beef lasagne, chargrilled steak with pepper sauce, beef burgers, paella, Irish stew, venison with a red wine sauce, mousaka, paprika beef, or spaghetti bolognese. Cheers!