I’ve been on a bit of a wine bender. It started when Kinokuniya had this 20% off cookbooks. I asked the dude at the counter if it included wine books. It did. So I went home with this book called the Wine Opus, which gives a quick rundown of wines the world over that the writers thought were worth mentioning. It’s got like a ton of wineries listed and with each one, they recommend particular wines as the best.

Seeing as I’m in Australia right now, I thought it’d be good to start out with something local, for not much reason other than proximity and availability. I reasoned that my living in Sydney would mean I had good access to NSW wines. That is true. But I don’t live near a really really good wine store like Ultimo Wine Center, which I visited the other day and found to be insanely stocked with all kinds of stuff and a carrier load of French stuff.

Anyway, so I decided to go with some NSW wines and kopped a Chalkers Crossing Hilltops Shiraz from 2004, a Mount Pleasant Elizabeth from 2004 and a Margan Semillon from 2008. I topped off the shiraz over 2 days. If I recall correctly, dark berries on the palate, herbs and grass on the nose. I liked it but it’s not y’know something insane. The 2 semillons are still waiting. They’re all cheap wines so I’m not expecting much but I actually kinda like Hunter Semillon with it’s buttery toasty characteristics, even if it’s a touch green.

Well anyway, my locavore wine tasting spree went to shit today when I decided I was gonna get some roast duck from my usual Canto roast place. Duck = Pinot. So I flipped through the Wine Opus, which had this little paragraph that recommended these wineries for Aussie Pinot. Kooyong, Bass Philip, Mac Forbes, Stoney Rise, Bannockburn and like the only one I found in my local, Stefano Lubiana’s Estate Pinot Noir 2008. Oh man… This shit is sick. I mean, it smells like cherries, touch of herb in the back or just something deeper/woody ish. Probably oak. Tastes like dark fruit with a touch of choc and feels like wonder. It’s got so much tannin but it also has this wonderful bubbly effervescent spirit that you can only get with pinot. This just totally reminded me why I like pinot in the first place and why $20 and under pinots are a waste of time for the most part. With cheap pinots, you get reasonably good flavor and quaffability but it’s just so… lacking. What I have now in my glass though, has already inspired me to write some silly blog post about good wine, as if anyone really needed to know that. It’s not the fact that this was me splashing out on a bottle like totally for myself. It’s just that this thing is sick! Stefano Lubiana recommend serving this wine with lamb or beef but with this duck I’m just like in heaven. This is just really really good and the savory aspects in the food really brings out more of the wine. My first contact with the two brings out this brightness and acidity that was somehow blocked before. Giving it air in the mouth just makes it insane. Intense and deep flavour with that dark fruit, feels like crushing cherries in lightly sparkling mineral water and this light dark choc bitterness in the aftertaste. Superb. I mean, I would totally buy another bottle to keep because I like it sick. It’s got brightness, darkness, balance, acidity, sparkles, depth, body. I’m probably raving under the influence but auffice to say, I’m only drinking like one grape for a long time. I’m done wasting time with some locavore wine concept. Except for Clonakilla. I really want to know the hype forreal.