Top 3 Winter Warmers from On the Vine

Winter reds from On the Vine

Why is it that we tend to go for red wines in winter and whites in summer? Maybe it’s to do with the heavier and richer dishes in winter which tend to pair better with red wines. And with red wines, serving at room temperature when it’s below room temperature is also more appealing.

Full bodied Shirazes and Zinfandels are inviting but require a steak and suitable meal pairing. Whereas softer reds and blends like Grenache and Mourvèdre/Monastrell/Mataro can be more enticing as they don’t necessarily need a sit down dinner too. Whatever the reason, many of us love a red in winter!

Stef’s Top 3 from On The Vine include a Shiraz Grenache blend from the Barossa, a Nero d’Avola from Sicily and a 100% Mataro from the Barossa.

Wallace Shiraz Grenache, Barossa Valley, 2016:

 This is a blend of Shiraz and Grenache with the Shiraz adding the backbone and meat to the wine while the Grenache brings the softness and juiciness. The age of the Shiraz vines are between 50 – 80 years old while the Grenache comes from vines that range from 50 – 110 years old. Bone dry wine with a residual sugar of 0.55 g/l.

Rod Properjohn chair of the Panel says,Ben Glaetzer is from a winemaking family that is entrenched in the Barossa and been making traditional big oaky alcoholic reds for decades. Ben, a new generation Glaetzer, is attacking red wines in a modern way. He’s after juiciness, vibrancy and softness and achieves this by sourcing old-vine fruit with its inherent deeply entrenched flavour.  We love his classical Barossa red blend under the Wallace label.

Black/red in colour, this has Christmas cake plummy fruit and nutmeg/cinnamon spice aromatics. Old vines play a leading role as the palate is plump with dark squishy fruit, liquorice, along with sandy tannins and integrated soft oak.  Enjoy it now with a winter-warming beef braise. Enormous value!”

$21.99 single, $18.99 each in any six


Timineri Nero d’Avola, Sicily (It), 2015:

Nero d’Avola originates from the Italian island of Sicily and it is grown in a number of wine regions in Australia; McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Murray Darling, Riverland and Heathcote. The name ‘Nero d’Avola’ comes from the actual town of Avola and means “Black of Avola.”

The grapes for this wine are sourced from the Gibellina Hills (at an altitude of 200m) in the west of Sicily. Rod’s tasting notes describe the wine as; “this is a dark red colour with a vanillin oak lift and has lots of fruit across the palate extending to a lively spicy finish. It’s fuller than most Italian reds. Serve with Sicilian meat loaf and tomato gravy. Well priced!”

$25.99 single or $23.99 each in any six


Teusner ‘The Dog Strangler’ Mataro, Barossa Valley, 2016:

Mataro is also known as Mourvèdre (in France) and Monastrell (in Spain). It is found in WA as well as in South Australia; Clare Valley, the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.

As Rod adds, “It’s grown worldwide and is normally tough and very tannic, it’s the steel girder in red blends, it gives them strength. This wine is fruit-driven however, with less skin contact and gentler tannins and has a rich juicy-fruited mouthfeel with an injection of mocha, chocolate and spice. If you like full reds, try this.”

$29.99 single or $27.99 each in any six