Tag Archives: Australia

Weekly Wine – Day Trippers

6 May


Full name
12% ABV
$6.45 (LCBO)

I was so happy to see this wine.
First point – I liked the image of the scooter. I have one and I miss not riding it in the winter. It also needs some maintenance work – but that’s another story.
Second point – This wine is Australian and that usually denotes half decent wine inb the lower price category. Plus, I really like Australia, the little bit that I got to experience, and I wish I could go back.
Third point – This wine is criminally cheap. $6.45 for an Aussie wine. The bottle, the label, the cap and the shipping (never mind the taxes, the middlemen, the mark-ups etc.) alone must mean this wine is cheaper than water drunk out of a lake.
Fourth point – This wine is not bad. IT is not great but it will easily rival wines at twice the price. The label said it goes great with “sea foods, salads and Asian cuisine.” We had it with pork and roast potatoes on an evening where the mercury dropped to minus 30 Celsius.
Yea – it was fine. I’m happy this wine is here. It will be a staple when the warm weather arrives and the scooter is on the road.

Weekly Wine – J.J. McWilliams

22 Apr


J.J. McWilliam Pinot Grigio
11.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

This is a very interesting Pinot Grigio. It is rather more full bodied than most Pinot Grigios that I’ve had. It could be described as full bodied and fruity indeed.
It is smooth and nice, particularly when chilled. When it gets to room temperature, it loses a bit of life and becomes very pedestrian and plain. It is not bad at this stage but you would not really enjoy it too much. You would probably put an ice cube in the wine – a profanation for some.
For me it does not match a standard Pinot Grigio too much. Is it because it is Australian? The full body and the very fruity taste are a bit of a distraction but quite pleasant when the wine is well chilled.
I like the label that gives the wine some class – so I guess this would be a good wine to bring over to a dinner party or some such other occasion.

Weekly Wine – Lindeman’s Cawarra (again)

15 Apr

SONY DSCLindeman’s Cawarra Shiraz Cabernet
13.5% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

So I’ve had a few bottles in the past year or so and I’m getting a little absent minded when it comes to what I’ve tasted and what I have not.
Here is the first one that is a repeat. It is not a complete repeat as this “vintage” is 2014 and the one I sampled previously was from 2012.
I’d like to say it is a completely different wine but that would not be true. It is near impossible to compare the two wines as much time has past and the tasting notes have been taken by the wind. The label is different. Much different.
What has remained is that this wine is excellent. A great wine hanging around as an imposter in the world of sub ten dollar wines. To truly get a much better wine you would have to pay about three times the price. And this is not an economic argument. This wine is a pleasure to consume on its own merits.




Weekly Wine – Tic Tok

25 Mar

SONY DSCTic Tok Pocketwatch Cabernet Sauvignon
14% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

The name of this wine…
The label…
What’s the word … whimsical?
That’s it.
An Aussie wine for under ten bucks. I have not been let down by any Australian wine. And very few wines, purchased at the LCBO for under a sawbuck, have left me disappointed.
I took this wine to a friend’s house to cheer the start of the Formula One season which happened, by coincidence, in Australia.
The race had a few moments but was rather unspectacular.
On the other hand – the wine was spectacular for all the wrong reasons.
It is not good. Syrupy sweet. Heavy without the flavour. Fruity yes – but the fruit that comes from the heavily discounted bin.
There was a time that I considered spilling this wine out – but the race still had a bit to run and there were no other options.

Weekly Wine – Riesling Gewurztraminer

18 Mar

SONY DSCHardys Stamp Series Riesling Gewurztraminer
13% ABV
$9.90 (LCBO)

I wasn’t expecting much from this wine.
I was not expecting grimaces and loathing.
I was not expecting love and joy.
Australian wines have gone upmarket in recent years. They came in as cheap (inexpensive – affordable – accessible) wines several years ago. But now they are up there – costing as much as the “good stuff’” – well the more expensive stuff.
Australian wine is good, Always has been – as far as I know.
This Hardy’s Stamp series is interesting. I believe they used to be in the 12 to 15 dollar range. They seem to have come down in price to get that elusive market share. The quality is the same from what I can tell.
This white wine is a fair wine. Not too heavy but not light. Rather sweetish, but not too much that it makes ones teeth hurt.
It’s a “meh” wine.
OK for the price.

Weekly Wine – Emu

23 Jul

SONY DSCHardy’s Stamp Series Cabernet Merlot
13.5% ABV

I grimaced when I took the first sip of this wine.
Not because I took to big of a gulp.
Not because something hit me upside the head as I took the swig.
I grimaced because this wine shocked me.
It was not too good. Sour. Heavy on the sulphites.
It was not pleasant. And I loved the other wine in this series. I reviewed it this past February. It was, and most likely still is, a great wine. Here’s the review.
What happened?
Bizarre pairing of grapes? No. I’ve drank plenty of good Cabernet Merlots.
A bad year? Why would it be. The other wine was 2012. This is not an excuse.
Is this a bad batch? Perhaps.
I look at the back label more carefully to seek some answers. It states, “Contains: Milk, egg, fish.”
Huh? In wine?
OK. It is used as a clearing agent. But I have not seen this listed on any other wine.
Is the concentration here higher than in other wines?
This is perhaps the reason why this wine is so disappointing.
Perhaps so perhaps not…
Nice Emu. Not nice wine.





Weekly Wine – Kangaroo

5 Feb

SONY DSCHardys Stamp Series Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon
14% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I was actually surprised to see that this wine was under 10 bucks. I thought that this wine was at a much higher level … at least 12 bucks.
And in fact it tastes much like a 12 buck wine. Just that oh so much more finer than something for a measly ten spot.
For a wine with shiraz it is quite light in body and in taste. I know that it can’t be just simply watered down wine because it is at 14 per cent alcohol, which is quite high, and also it is very smooth with a very nicely complete flavour. There is no complexity in the flavour. The label states that it “displays rich mulberry/cherry fruit, integrated vanillin oak …” Sure – the slightly aged cherryness and fruitiness are there but not much other flavours are swirling around in this soup. It is a simple flavour. It is a good flavour.
The label is nice and classy and not too kitchy so it would make a nice wine to bring over for a casual dinner engagement without it screaming CHEAP.

Weekly Wine – Lindeman’s Cawarra

12 Jun

SONY DSCLindeman’s Cawarra Shiraz Cabernet
13.5% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

This is the first Australian wine on the list. Hurray. Aussie wine used to be cheap, and good. But they have moved up in price in recent years. The quality has been excellent.
This wine caused me a great deal of confusion. I open it up, pour it, taste it and go to the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) Web Site to check the proper name and the price. Well… There are two products with the same name. One is $8.95 the other $18.95. The difference is that the less expensive one is 13% alcohol while the one ten bucks more is 13.5% alcohol. The bottle says 13.5% — The horror. I’m drinking 20-buck wine! That’s not plonk territory.
I scurry to find the bill and see that I paid $8.95 (including $0.20 deposit) for this bottle. Peace has returned to my soul. It must be some error on the LCBO site.
I concentrate on the wine. It is good. In fact, very good. Not as heavy as most Shiraz, but nice and spicy with no lingering aftertaste. I’m actually surprised that it can be bought at this price. I have been bypassing the Australian section of late. It is time to return to this land south of the equator and rediscover the wines.