Yesterday, Australia’s First Families of Wine (AFFW) gathered at the Press Club in San Francisco, showcasing wines from twelve different firmly-established wine-making families of Australia.As a history major, I love First Families.They get things started, they blaze trails and begin an era. They create “tradition.”And Australia has tradition. In an effort to highlight this tradition and history as it relates to Australian wine, and put to rest any idea that Australian wine might be a “fad,” Australia’s First Families of Wine are going global! Continue reading The future of Australia… it’s bright indeed!
In 2007 I had the pleasure of visiting the great wine country of Australia. The two things I noticed there: the country is REALLY big and the people are REALLY nice. And I mean genuinely nice.
One of our favorite properties we visited was d'Arenberg. Not only did we enjoy a personal tour with d'Arry himself, but we got to taste some fantastic wines.
One of things that makes d'Arenberg stand out – other than the wild hair and loud shirts of Chester Osborn – are the labels. All the d'Arenberg labels have the signature red stripe that runs diagonal through them, which make them stand out on a shelf. Plus each wine's name has a story behind it. A few of my favorites are:
The Laughing Magpie – this name comes from a story of Chester's little girl. Finding the word kookaburra too difficult to pronounce, she called the bird a laughing magpie instead. Laughing Magpie is a Shiraz+Viognier blend that earns great reviews every year and is a perfect representative of the blend in Australia – usually available for under $25!
Love Grass Shiraz – the flowers on the label make me think Grateful Dead, but the story comes from actual grass that is so sticky, they call it 'love grass' since it is so hard to detach from you. See the picture attached!
The Dead Arm Shiraz – a personal favorite and Wine.com's feature today. Dead Arm is named for the disease that affects the vineyard that Dead Arm grapes come from. The disease is called Eutypa dieback, which is actually a fungus, most often found in older vineyards. Most vineyards are trained with two arms out to the side. What happens with "dead arm" is that one arm of the vine becomes infected, and eventually dies off, leaving the other arm to receive all the vines energy and nutrients. The result is very concentrated grapes, which lead to a very concentrated wine, as you get in d'Arenberg's The Dead Arm. It's dense and jammy, but with layers of delicious fruit and spice. The sweet spice aromas actually remind me of the holidays, which makes it perfect for the season.