Life Eat & Drink Top of the drops: Bargain summer wines

Top of the drops: Bargain summer wines

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What are the hot wines to drink this summer? Something that tastes great with all the tacos, burgers, Asian salads and barbecues you’ll no doubt be indulging in.

With so much to choose from, it’s hard to work out what to drink. Luckily, here’s a few trends to watch out for to make the decision easy – both reworked classics and some surprising new ones.




Two birds, one stone: Go International, Go Riesling
Wake up your palate with this refreshing Riesling from German producer, Dr Loosen. Yes, it has some sweetness, but you’ll need that if you enjoy spicy food. It’s got fresh, green apple, lemon-lime sherbet notes with lively acidity. Great with spicy, tiger prawns and a green papaya salad.
Dr Loosen ‘Dr L’ Riesling 2012, Mosel, Germany, $23







Date an Italian #1
Italian varieties are hot this summer. They suit our climate not only to grow them, but also to drink them. Chalmers’ Vermentino is a modern classic, with white florals, wet slate, lemon, verbena and soft, mineral-driven acidity. Try with fried whitebait and aioli.
Chalmers Vermentino 2011, Heathcote, Victoria, $25






Explore Tasmania
Tasmanian wines are creating waves, producing a great range of cool climate wines from refreshing whites to sophisticated reds. Derwent Estate Pinot Gris is on the fuller side, showing musk, pear, quince and guava balanced by soft acidity. Crying out for a pork belly crackling roll.
Derwent Pinot Gris 2013, Derwent, Tasmania, $25








Revisit Chardonnay
Australian Chardonnay is now much leaner and crisper that the heavy going wines of the 90s. The Woodlands Chardonnay is perfectly balanced, with white peach, linear minerality, lemon, crisp apple, a touch of sweet spice and a lingering finish. Enjoy with southern fried chicken.
Woodlands Chardonnay 2013, Margaret River, Western Australia, $23







Plump up on Pinot
Warmer months call for lighter drinking fare, and Australian Pinot is going from strength to strength. Mac Forbes’ Pinot Noir evokes raspberries, musk sticks and summer red fruit cocktails with a touch of earthy nutmeg and fine, acid-driven length. Pair with a summery, shredded duck salad.
Mac Forbes Pinot Noir 2012, Yarra Valley, Victoria $32









Date an Italian #2

Again, Chalmers is on the ‘tavola’ with Nero D’Avola. They make an excellent version of this variety on the warmer northern slopes of Heathcote. It shows punchy, ripe, black cherry, blackberry, blueberry, soft tannins and a hint of sweet spice with medium acidity. Match with charcuterie.
Chalmers Nero D’Avola 2011, Heathcote, Victoria, $29






Unearth the New Barossa
Barossa of old is about over-oaked, alcoholic wines. Not so the new wave of winemakers coming through. The Head Red GSM is soft and restrained showing juicy, red fruit of raspberry, loganberry and boysenberry with white pepper and sweet spice. This summer’s best taco and barbecue wine.
Head Red Old Vine Grenache Shiraz Mouvedre 2012, Barossa Valley, South Australia, $26

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