The warm Aussie climate means you can enjoy summer wines in autumn too

Warm days and balmy evenings provide plenty of opportunity to bring along a bottle of something refreshing.

By Nick Stock , February 24 2020
The warm Aussie climate means you can enjoy summer wines in autumn too

We bathe in a warm, relaxed lifestyle in Australia, and days spent outdoors with family and friends are the ones we cherish and which really define our laid-back way of life.

Whether it’s a casual get-together or marking a grand occasion, these are ideal times to explore flavours, try new recipes and make drinks discoveries. Here are a few tips to point you at what’s on-trend for the warmer months of 2020.

No backyard barbie is complete without a careful selection of wines to offer guests.
No backyard barbie is complete without a careful selection of wines to offer guests.

A good year for the rosés

The run from late summer into autumn is peak rosé season and you’ll be a popular host if you’ve stocked up on a few bottles of pink.

Rosé is the perfect accompaniment to outdoor drinks and the best styles impress with peach, watermelon and mouth-watering freshness. Look for lighter, pale salmon-coloured wines in clear glass bottles and chill them a little – or a lot, depending on the conditions and the setting.

Yarra Valley winery Dominique Portet has made a huge play into the rosé market and its Fontaine Rosé is a great example of this modern Australian style.

Yarra Valley winery Dominique Portet has made a huge play into the rosé market.
Yarra Valley winery Dominique Portet has made a huge play into the rosé market.

It bottles in the regular 750ml format as well as magnums and double magnums, and these impressive large-format bottles will definitely get a good run on your Instagram feed as they set the tone for casual indulgence.

Murdoch Hill, S.C. Pannell and Ochota Barrels are all great rosé makers, perfectly balancing the line of cool refreshment with flavour and texture.

The white stuff

If you’ve given sauvignon blanc a workout over recent summers, you’re probably looking for a new option in the refreshing, crisp white zone. There are plenty of good options to switch up the white wine selection, and the zesty world of riesling tends to attract the hottest winemaker talent.

Today’s best examples offer such juicy, crisp and lip-smacking fruit they deserve a look.

Adelina Riesling from the Clare Valley is a culinary weapon around an eclectic lunch table.
Adelina Riesling from the Clare Valley is a culinary weapon around an eclectic lunch table.

South Australia’s Clare Valley is ground zero for these styles and look out for the colourfully illustrated Adelina Riesling. This sets the bar high for ultra-fleshy lemon, nectarine and white peach fruits and is a culinary weapon around an eclectic lunch table. It will match with summer salads, all things hot and spicy and anything fresh from the sea.

Other sources for consistently delicious Clare riesling are Grosset, Jim Barry, Pikes, Paulett’s, Kilikanoon, Koerner and Tim Adams.

Tasmanian is very on-trend in the wine world just now, making big waves with chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wines; but the best rieslings from this cool island climate are some of Australia’s most exciting and impressively flavoursome.

These tend to be made in smaller quantities so you’ll have to seek them out, but expect to impress with stunning small-batch riesling from Mewstone, Pooley, Quiet Mutiny and Wellington & Wolfe.

Code red

Even when the temperature is up, a carefully selected lighter red can be a popular choice at the dining table.

Our most switched-on winemakers have been busy making lighter, fresher reds based around this exact idea. They’ve tuned into our outdoor lifestyle and are bottling fresh takes on grapes such as grenache, touriga, tempranillo and – of course – pinot noir.

The best advice here is to shop by region, and McLaren Vale, the Barossa and Langhorne Creek are making strong headway with these innovative, supple warm-climate reds led by grenache.

For pinot noir, the Yarra Valley is hard to beat for variety and value, but also look to the Mornington Peninsula, Macedon Ranges and Tasmania. All of these regions have established a reputation for high-quality pinot and have also attracted much of our brightest winemaking talent. This means consistent quality that’s on a steady upward path with each new vintage.

Nick Stock

Nick Stock is one of Australia’s most popular and well-travelled wine critics, covering great wine from all corners of the globe.

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This article may not be in particularly good taste, given the horrendous summer many Australians have had to endure. We'll soon be able to enjoy summer wines in winter too, if current trends continue ...


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