But Hardys, Jindalee won’t break the bank

Did you know that Australia is mainly responsible for making wine a party drink? Oh, I know that big brands like Blue Nun and Black Tower were doing the rounds decades earlier, but with all due respect, these were more like coolers than real wine. Australia tamed the beasty nature of serious reds such as Cabernet, Merlot and Shiraz so they could be easily sipped by office girls and guys. The Aussie formula was to make it soft, smooth and slightly sweet. Yummy flavours helped too. As did low prices and easy names.


Much has changed since the beginning of the Aussie invasion. It no longer wants to be Mr. Cheapo. Most of its sales are now in the mid- and upper-price ranges. Ten-dollar Aussie wine has become scarce.


But I did find a couple that I’d like to offer in our winter search for good cheap wines, such as Jindalee Shiraz. Here’s a critter worth knowing! Jindalee offers Aussie richness combined with a lighthearted feeling. Good with any food, or any time — just bring it on. And it comes in a handy screwcap.


Hardys has always been one of my favourite Aussie producers and you can’t beat their Nottage Hill line — for value and for wines that deliver drinkability without getting too “nice.” Their Chardonnay is just a great house white.


This is the second week of our contest to find good inexpensive wines. Please e-mail your comments to info@billysbestbottles.com. You could win a copy of my annual wine buying guide, Billy’s Best For 2007.

Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter and Billy’s Best Wines For 2007. Visit www.billysbestbottles.comfor information about his in-home wine-tasting seminar. To receive a free copy of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter, e-mail info@billysbestbottles.com


• Hardys 05 Chardonnay ‘Nottage Hill’ Australia, left

LCBO NO.: 283457

Price: $10.05

• Jindalee 04 Shiraz Australia, right

LCBO NO.: 591818

Price: $9.90