What’s the Go with Aussie Wines?

What’s the Go with Aussie Wines?

Like New Zealand, Australia produces some pretty fantastic wine by international standards. This part of the world is known as ‘new world’ in the wine industry, meaning wines produced outside the traditional wine-growing areas of Europe and the Middle East… but that doesn’t mean they are in any way playing catch up! We’ve previously posted a lowdown on the Kiwi wine industry, including what’s best and from which region, and what we’re famous for, but what of our westerly cousin?

Last year, Australia actually had the most awarded wine in the world - a spectacular feat by all standards in such a saturated global market! The World Association of Wine Writers and Journalists (WAWWJ) named the 2014 Jaraman Shiraz from Taylors Wines the winner of over 700,000 other wines in terms of how many awards the drop has managed to win… and it’ll only set you back about $35.

But enough of that! Aside from the Jaraman, what are the general rules of thumb when it comes to Aussie wine?

The Shiraz, mate

Known as the iconic Australian grape, Shiraz (also Syrah) was one of the first varieties brought to Australia by the European settlers. Still using some of the original vines planted in the 1840s, these shiraz vines are the oldest in the world. Not bad for a ‘new world’ producer!

Australian Shiraz is a big flavour, which may take some getting used to. It’s a very full-bodied wine, usually tasting of pepper, berry, plum, and chocolate. Because of its strong flavours, it’s best with gamey meats like venison and lamb, beef, and flavourful spiced dishes.

Aussie Chardy - the trailblazer

Australian producers began producing heavily oaked Chardonnay in the early 1990s to meet consumer demand, but it has had the unfortunate hangover of a well-worn trend. Very oaky, buttery Chardonnay styles were produced for years, and people familiar with the style often avoid the variety, believing it to have the less desirable flavours of the 90s.

These days, both oaked and unoaked (fresher-tasting) Chardonnay is on the market, and in terms of production, Australia regularly produces some of the world’s best. If you’re a red wine drinker, it’s also a good place to start if you want to expand your palate into whites, as they tend to be a lot heavier than other white styles.

Not all varietals are created equal

Especially in a rocky desert of a continent! Due to Australia’s (mainly) dry climate and the huge variation in geography thanks to its relatively huge size, there are too many wine-producing regions to name here - about 60, in fact. What is great, though, is that thanks to this variance in natural growing conditions, some region/varietal combinations are safe bets, as some grapes grow particularly well in those climates. Below is a list of the typical wines of each major region, and what you can expect from the bottles you get your hands on.

  • Barossa Valley - Shiraz
  • Clare Valley - Riesling
  • Coonawarra - Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Eden Valley - Riesling
  • Hunter Valley - Sémillon
  • Margaret River - Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay
  • McLaren Vale - Shiraz

We hope you’ve learned something in this trip across the Tasman, and get stuck into some great Aussie vino.


Also in Blog

When it's cold outside... warm up your wine!
When it's cold outside... warm up your wine!

June 07, 2018

Have you ever wanted to know more about mulled wine? It's the time of year to get into it, and all the different types of ways you can enjoy a hot glass with friends (not that we need a reason...).

Read More

#Mandown: What makes a wine taste bad?
#Mandown: What makes a wine taste bad?

May 24, 2018

What makes a wine go bad? We give you some of the common terms to keep an ear out for, and explain the typical problems with wines not quite at their prime.

Read More

A guide to reading (and understanding!) wine labels
A guide to reading (and understanding!) wine labels

May 22, 2018

If you’re standing in a wine shop looking to choose a drop, what do you look for, and how do you tell what type of wine it really is?

Read More

By clicking "Enter" you verify that you are 18 years of age or older.

Let's discover wine together.