Tags: Wine. White. Red. Wineries. Bribie Island. Brisbane. SE Queensland. Australia
A few years back wine used to be packed by the dozen and most wineries used more or less the same size 750ml bottles. Then marketers became involved and some saw the opportunity that if they made them taller and wider they would stand out of the crowd, the unfortunate side effect was as they became taller they also became heavier, a lot heavier to such a degree that they had to be packed in six-bottle packs instead of dozen packs because in most liquor outlets a lot of ladies work behind the counter and as much as 5 kilos was added to the dozen carton.
Another problem was as the bottles became taller and taller, they didn’t fit on the shelves and many wines have been deleted from the outlets due to their height. Schild Estate from the Barossa has just announced it is going to reverse this trend and has sourced a lightweight 750ml bottle that is smaller in height and easier to recycle and will be available as the 2018 vintage red wines are being released. Schild Estate began when the Schild Family moved into the Barossa and purchased a vineyard near Rowland Flats where the original homestead is still situated.
Today the family owns 12 unique vineyards and included is one small patch of 170 year old Shiraz vines from which their flagship wine the iconic Moorooroo Shiraz comes from which is made in very small amounts and is strictly rationed to allow as many premium retailers the opportunity to carry the product which has a recommended cost of $199 per bottle. Whilst Shiraz is certainly their claim to fame and they have won many awards with this variety they also produce Riesling, Chardonnay, Moscato, an unwooded Chardonnay, a sparkling Pinot Chardonnay, a GMS using Old Bush Vines, and a Merlot.
At cellar door they sell a Frontignac which is a variety that used to be quite popular forty years or so ago, the wine tends to be quite perfumed and has distinct notes of lime/lemon citrus and a number of wineries in the Barossa still produce the wine. If you are looking for wines that are amongst the best from The Barossa then lookout for Schild Estate they are available from leading premium wine outlets such as Dan Murphy’s.
I have a couple of bugbears about this industry, firstly I get annoyed that to get a reasonable price in BWS and Dan Murphy’s you are expected to purchase a minimum of six bottles of wine and usually a couple of cartons of beer which in an age of moderation in alcohol consumption goes against the grain. I am also suspicious of Woolworths and Coles promoting their own labels all the time at half price which explains why 1 in every 5 bottles of wine sold through their store is now a label exclusive to each of them.
Having tried a couple of their exclusive label wines I certainly wouldn’t pay the full price for them whilst at least with wines from Rosemount, Wolf Blass and other major brands you at least know what the regular shelf price is, am I suspicious the other wines have been deliberately overpriced so that a halfprice can be applied every day, of course not, what would make you think that? My other bugbear and has been for many years is the mark-ups restaurants put on their wines, wines that retail in the liquor store with a 30-40% mark-up are marked up by as much as 300% making it very expensive to enjoy more than one bottle, and this practice isn’t just confined to five star restaurants even pizza restaurants get in on the act.
There was a time when there always used to be a good quality wine at around the same price as some of the main courses but often the house wine which may be under a label you don’t recognise is probably bought by the restaurant for as little as $5 a bottle and you are expected to pay upwards of $30 which I feel is a little rich. I suppose having worked in the industry for so long you know what the mark-up is which makes it all the more annoying, whilst I understand glassware gets broken, staff wages can be high especially on long weekends and normal week-ends and rents can be a killer I still believe consumers would appreciate it if some wines on the wine list were priced so everyone could enjoy them and even encourage diners to return more often, an evening of good food can be ruined by overpriced wine.
As mentioned last time it is Penfolds 175th birthday this year and other wines that have been released to celebrate the event are The Grange 2015 RRP $900, Penfolds 2017 Kalimna Shiraz RRP $50, Penfolds 2017 Bin 2 Shiraz Mataro RRP $40, St. Henri 2016 RRP $135 and the Penfolds 2017 Yattarna Chardonnay RRP $175. I have fond memories of The Bin 28 and also The Bin 128 which used to be priced the same, both were exceptional quality wines for the price but I suggest you have a look at what Dan Murphy’s and First Choice Liquor come up with, they often have these wines out closer to $35 than $50 if you are looking for them.
This is a small selection from the 17 different wines that Penfolds have released for their 2019 collection, also released are a 2019 Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling RRP $40, and a 2018 Reserve Bin Chardonnay RRP $125, we forget Penfolds also make very good white wines but a problem that Penfolds have had for many years is whilst having a great reputation for making fantastic red wines they have never had much success with white wines. A quiet week on the home front with a bout of flu, this week Liquorland had Vinvale Shiraz on special from the exceptional Shingleback winery for $12 a saving of around $6, A Wynns 2017 Coonawarra “The Sidings” 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, this company produces some of the most consistent red wines from the area, the Wynns Shiraz is always great value especially when on special and their black label range never disappoints, also at Liquorland was a Vasse Felix Classic Red from Margaret River, again a very good wine and a Cape Campbell Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from BWS which was 2 bottles for $20, not a bad wine for the price.
Cheers, Philip Arlidge [email protected]
In a wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.
Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.
F. Scott Fitzgerald