Category Archives: Australia

I am a marketer’s wet dream…

2006 3 Rings Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia $23.95 LCBO #015495

I have a confession to make. I am a marketer’s wet dream. Show me a slick commercial or some great packaging and chances are I am going to buy it. That was the case with this week’s wine. Truth be told, I bought it solely on the fact that I thought the label was cool. I admit liking the label is not the most scientific way to choose a wine, but now that I am about to taste it, I am praying that the juice in the bottle matches the coolness of the wrapper.

This time we got lucky! The 2006 3 Rings Shiraz is a powerhouse of a red wine. This super alcoholic wine (15% alc.) screams with flavours of blackberries, peppermint, and a hint of milk chocolate. This is a wine that will taste best with food. I would recommend pairing it with anything grilled. As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with Gruyère.

At $23.95, the 2006 3 Rings is a great wine for a reasonable price. Buy it today and drink it anytime over the next 5 to 7 years…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on February 16, 2009 in Australia, Red Wine, Shiraz


Where did you get that brain Igor?….From a grave named Abby Normal master!

2006 X&Y Margaret River Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia $17.95 LCBO #048561

When I was younger, I remember reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and thinking how misunderstood that poor beast of a man was. Cobbled together from spare parts, Frankenstein’s monster didn’t know it was a monster until someone told him so. The same could be said for this week’s wine.

The 2006 X&Y Margaret River Chardonnay is a prime example of how winemakers tinker with nature by adding and subtracting elements in and out of the wine making process. The end result is often a disjointed wine that has all the right elements but lacks that intangible force that pulls the whole package together. To put it in familiar terms, this “mad scientist” wine might have human DNA, but the bolts in its neck and it jerky movements gives away the monster within. The X&Y Chardonnay has typical flavours of citrus, vanilla, and oak and would go well with chicken or salmon. As for cheese, I would recommend trying it with a Brie or mild Gouda.

At $17.95, this isn’t a horrible wine. I just think there is nothing terribly special about the way it was put together. I would take a pass…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on February 2, 2009 in Australia, Chardonnay, White Wine


Flight of the Condor!!!

2006 Penley Estate Condor Cabernet/Shiraz, Coonawarra, Australia $22.95 LCBO #731893

This week’s wine is very interesting. It’s a blend of two very popular grape varieties grown in Australia: Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. In most cases, when these two grapes are blended, the result is often less than spectacular. One grape tends to dominate the other. Fortunately for us, the 2006 Penley Estate Condor marries the two beautifully.

This wine shows the best of both grapes with flavours of cassis, blackcurrants and blackberries from the Cabernet and red cherries from the Shiraz. All of these powerful fruits are nicely wrapped up with flavours of tobacco, vanilla, and spice.

This wine would pair great with a rack of lamb or ribs. As for cheese, I would recommend that you try a sharp cheddar or even a Parmigiano.

This is a blockbuster wine and a must buy! I know that it is the holiday season, so when you are at the LCBO picking up a gift for yourself, please pick up a bottle of this wine! At $22.95, it’s an amazing value…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.


Simple…but guilt free drinking

2007 Hardys Stamp Series Chardonnay/Semillon, South Australia, Australia $9.95 LCBO #335638

After last week’s great response to my bargain basement red wine recommendation, this week’s wine selection should make all those white wine drinkers feel a little less left out.

The 2007 Hardys Stamp Series Chardonnay/Semillon is a delicious white wine, and at $9.95 it will supply you with endless guilt free drinking. This un-oaked chardonnay and Semillon blend is very easy drinking and has flavours of green apple, peaches, and a hint of banana. It would pair very well with a meaty fish like salmon or a pasta with cream sauce.

This is an uncomplicated wine that is meant to be drunk now. I would definitely recommend that you go out and pick up a couple bottles of this wine. It’s another great example of the fact that good tasting wine doesn’t need to cost a bundle…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on December 1, 2008 in Australia, Chardonnay, White Wine


The red chicken has come to roost

2007 The Black Chook Shiraz-Viognier, South Australia, Australia $17.95 LCBO #066738

Welcome back everyone. Sorry about not posting a “Wine of the Week” last week. If I told you I was kidnapped by a travelling Mongolian circus would you believe me?

Anyways…back to the wine. This week’s wine is a monster wine from South Australia. The 2007 Black Chook is super fruity and quite alcoholic. There is nothing small about this wine. It has very big flavours of cherry, strawberry, red currants, and cedar. The one thing this wine lacks is balance and a bit of finesse. This is not a wine to drink by itself; it needs to be paired with grilled meat to really shine.

At $17.95 The Black Chook is a fantastic value. I would strongly encourage you to seek out this wine at your local LCBO …but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

Oh…if you were wondering…a chook is what they call a chicken in the Land of Oz. Go figure….

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Posted by on November 17, 2008 in Australia, Red Wine, Shiraz


A Cockfighting BBQ….Awesome

2005 Cockfighter’s Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon, Langhorne Creek, South Australia, Australia $23.95 LCBO #672550

There is nothing like a good long weekend to get things back on track. That extra day really does seem to make a difference. So I wanted to get your weekend started in the right direction by picking a great BBQ ready wine.

The 2005 Cockfighter’s Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon is a big Australian red with flavours of raspberry, blackberry, mint, and a hint of dark chocolate and cedar. It has really smooth tannins that make this wine go great with anything BBQ (no matter how badly overdone your neighbour might have cooked it).

At $23.95, this wine is also enough of a value that you won’t feel guilty opening up a couple of bottles this weekend…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think. Enjoy the long weekend everyone!


Good Riesling from Oz! Who knew?

2006 Pikes Traditionale Riesling, Claire Valley, Australia $17.95 LCBO #066894

Ok…the secret is out…I love Riesling! Hands down, it is one of the most drinkable and food friendly wines out there. The problem is not enough of us are out there trying it. That has to change!

We all know that Australia produces some excellent Chardonnay, but in South Australia’s Claire Valley, it’s Riesling that is king. The 2006 Pikes Traditionale Rieslng is an exceptional example of what a Claire Valley Riesling can be. It has well defined flavours of lemon, lime, red delicious apple, and a hint of gasoline. (Yeah…I know it sounds weird but trust me on this one.) It also has a great acidic zing to it that holds all the flavours together. I would recommend serving this wine with spicy Thai food or even a salmon ceviche.

At $17.95, Pikes Traditionale Riesling is an amazing value, but the hidden secret about this wine is that it will age beautifully and can be drunk any time over the next 10 years…but that’s just my opinion. Let me know what you think.

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Posted by on July 21, 2008 in Australia, Riesling, White Wine

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