I’m not sure if the winemakers of Australia are looking for a theme song, but just in case they are, let me suggest Oasis’ Where Did It All Go Wrong?
A decade or so ago the Aussies were the kings of varietal labelling (supplementing the grape names with cute and quirky animal imagery) and captured the palates of the world with their boozy, up-front fruited wines.
Today, sales are slipping thanks in no small part to a knee jerk reaction to critter labels (now everything on the shelf looks the same) and some major homogony in flavour (too many taste the same).
Though hopes are high that regional diversity will save the day, I’m more of the mind that personality is what will win new fans, and with its blend of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot the Wirra Wirra 2008 Scrubby Rise Red ($15.95 - $19.32) has gobs of it.
Rich, deep and muscular, it’s a Down Under red that cries out for some grilled beef.
The 2007 Ringbolt Cabernet Sauvignon ($21.99 - $25.43) is another unique red that shows of the individuality Australia can offer.
This is some killer juice with plenty of well wooded black berry fruit that’s extremely steak-friendly.
Prices reflect the range across the country. Some products may not be available in all provinces.
Prices reflect the range across the country. Some products may not be available in all provinces. Peter Rockwell is the everyman’s wine writer, working in the liquor industry for more than 25 years and traveling the globe looking for something to fill his glass and put into words.