Category Archives: Australia

2011 Taylors Gewürztraminer

Refreshing Australian in our back yard

One of the great things about having people stay with us is that they bring wine…so did a prospective Australian at my wife’s graduate program when she was staying with us in March to check out UMich.

She brought us this Australian Gewürztraminer. Alsace (a French region in the east bordering Southern Germany) is famous for its incredible gewürztraminer, and Germany produces a decent amount. I am quite fond of this varietal. It always has an incredible nose to it, its name literally translates to “spice traminer” or “perfume traminer”. There is always so much going on in your nostrils with these wines. They are naturally high in sugar and that can be their problem when they get too sweet. I have had quite a number of gewürztraminers, but most of them ended up too sweet in my glass.

This one, by Taylors wineries, a big producer from Clare Valley in South Australia, was her choice. I think she mentioned that she liked the umlaut in the label and that it was a German sounding grape. Quite thoughtful! The wine is from Taylor’s mid-tier level of wines called Taylors Estate and seems to retail for about AUS$ 19. I could not find retailers in the US.

The wine in the glass was a very light green and yellow. In the nose, the most prominent smell was that of vineyard peaches. There were distince floral notes, too. To me, it smelled like an Alpine valley in the summer. It was really nice and clean.

The first tastes that I got were citrussy. It was wonderfully dry and pleasantly refreshing (it’s very humid today, so any refreshment was very welcome!!). Nina remarked on litchi flavors, which the bottle also claimed on its back. I am not sure I tasted those. The finish was a bit short, but hey, that made me get a refill quickly. The winery’s tasting note is available here.

I liked this wine. It was just the right thing for a summer afternoon. I told our friend she can come back.

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2010 Little Penguin Pinot grigio

Last night, we had my butternut squash risotto for dinner and decided to pair it with a bottle of the 2010 Little Penguin Pinot grigio from Southern Australia (the label has changed from the one they use on the website). The bottle was a gift for the party on Friday. Note the cute cork print. I love it when winemakers find ways to make their corks stand out!

Now, I am usually not an overly big fan of white wines from the Southern hemisphere. They tend to be too alcoholic for my taste (a result of the high amounts of sunshine they get: more sunshine, more sugar in the grape. And since sugar is turned into alcohol by the yeast, if you have lots of sugar and want to produce a dry wine, you often end up with high alcohol content).

This one was not bad, though. It was somewhat unimpressive, but that is what I often find pinot grigios to be anyway. It was quite refreshing, and the citrus notes went very well with the sweetness of the squash risotto. I think the penguin can be good company with sweeter foods. The still-attached price tag reads $9.99, which I would consider too much for this wine.

In better news, we received a box of six wines from my good friend Stefan Erbes (you can see him here) of Karl Erbes winery in Uerzig. Stefan and I became quick friends over a winetasting at his estate, and when a German friend offered to bring wine back for us from a recent trip, Stefan sent him a box of 2011s for us to try. I am really excited about this!! I am even more excited to be visiting his estate in June, when Nina and I will be in Germany.

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