Wines – New Grape Varieties

By Philip Arlidge

Wines. White. Red. Wine. Grape Varieties.

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Tags: Wines. White. Red. Wine. Grape Varieties.

The Bribie Winelander

Remember when you first tried that Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand? It was probably at a friends, at a barbecue, or maybe even a dinner party. You didn’t think you would ever like a dry white wine but the fruitiness of this new wine was something different and you now enjoy it regularly.

But you may have noticed all these strange new names appearing on the shelves and would like to try one, however, what if you don’t enjoy it will you be wasting your hard earned cash? Below I have tried to give some insight into these new grape varieties as the wines can’t talk for themselves on the shelf, as one winery recently reported the largest selling wine at his cellar door, where the consumer gets to try before buying, is his new Gewurztraminer, but if you saw this on the shelf would you feel confident in buying it?

White wines


I have included this even though it has been around forever. Forget the awful stuff that was around in 4-litre casks, enjoy the freshness of citrus aromas, perfect with oysters and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. Australia makes fantastic Rieslings from The Clare Valley, The Eden Valley and The Great Southern District of Western Australia.


This wine usually has spicy perfumed aromas and is a crisp fruity dry white wine. If you are looking for a wine that goes well with Asian food this could be the answer. Vermentino Again Citrus aromas, more perfumed but a light delicate flavour, very good with firm white fish such as Snapper. Fiano Aromatic stonefruit nose, fresh and crisp in the mouth.


Often blended with Shiraz to soften the red wine Viognier is actually a white wine grape. As a stand-alone white wine it often has big ripe tropical aromas with hints of peaches and has an interesting dry fruity palate. Roussanne Usually has hints of green apples and has a crisp mouthfeel.

Pinot Gris/Grigio

Nashi pear aromas with a sweeter pear-like finish. Can produce soft, gently perfumed wines with more substance and colour than most white wines.

Red Wines

Nero D’Avola

Fragrances of fresh red fruits and a creamy palate often with a complexity of tobacco. Fruit and spicy flavours supported by silky soft tannins.


Delicate spicy floral characters and plums with soft and generous mouthfeel. Usually cellars well and can be quite a powerful wine. Perfect for Australian growing conditions.


This wine can be deep purple to black in colour with dark berry aromas. Can have grippy tannins, which will keep for years. A throwback to our reds of yesteryear.


Intense aromas of plums vanilla and herbs, spicy/ leathery notes


Nutty/cassis nose with generous flavour and soft tannins.


The backbone of the Tuscan wine industry is the variety of Chianti. Should make for a very good wine with character.


Long ageing, also known as Mataro (just to confuse everyone) often blended with other grape varieties in Australia


The most important grape variety of Argentina performs there like Shiraz does here and is priced in the same way. There are some very good inexpensive brands and experimenting is the way to go. When matching food and wine the only thing that matters is whether you enjoy it, however as a rule of thumb white wines that have had no oak maturation such as Sauvignon Blanc better suit more delicate fish or poached chicken, whilst barrel fermented white wines such as Chardonnay suit more oily fish such as Tuna and some mature cheeses.

With red wines, there are more tannins extracted from the oak barrels and the seeds when the grapes are crushed and these overpower delicate fish courses and therefore are more suitable to drink with red meat. The bigger the wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo go better with a good steak whilst a bolognese should be enjoyed with your favourite everyday drinking red and use it in the sauce as well.

Organic Wines have been around for some years, I sold a brand called Glenara in the mid-nineties without much success in those days even though they won many awards at wine shows. As there has been a huge increase recently in the availability of organic produce especially fruit and vegetables organically grown wine grapes have suddenly started to find popularity.

Organically produced wines are wines that have been grown in soils that are so healthy they don’t need to be bombarded with artificial pesticides, herbicides or fertilisers in other words with minimal intervention from artificial ingredients, as grapes were grown for hundreds of years before technology lent a hand.

However, to become organic the producers have to be certified and this can take some time because of the paperwork associated with it and it can take three years to convert to an organic vineyard and during this period cannot be considered organic. However recently the government announced the removal of the 12-month pre-certification period and the time can now be reduced to as little as 12 months providing the producer can prove they have been following organic practices over a number of years.

Should you wish to try any organic wines look for wines from Tamburlaine, Bassham, Angove’s, O’Leary Walker and Temple Brewer, they are usually displayed in a separate area in the store, some wines show preservative free on the label and these wines should be drunk fairly young as they do not develop well.

Any questions? [email protected]

Cheers Philip Arlidge

Lily Bollinger was asked “when do you drink Champagne?” and replied: I drink Champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad, Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone, When I have company I consider it obligatory, I trifle with it when I am not hungry, and drink it when I am, Otherwise I never touch it, unless I’m thirsty. And from Napoleon In victory you deserve Champagne, in defeat you need it!

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A highly successful sales and leadership career working in a number of different and very competitive industries. Engaging with decision makers at all levels in business and government. Three decades employed by corporations, SME businesses in senior roles and almost twelve years operating as a freelance contractor has equipped me well for all aspects of business. Whether leading and mentoring sales teams, or in a direct sales role I enjoy the challenge to meet and exceed expectations. Making a real and tangible difference in either a team environment or as an individual is an important personal goal I have consistently achieved throughout my career. In all of my business and personal dealings over the years there is one issue that stands out above all others - communication. Excellent communication skills creates trust, helps with mutually beneficial outcomes and above all cements long lasting positive relationships. I strive everyday to communicate effectively with the people I encounter.