Officially winter means one thing: red wine season is definitely here. Let’s celebrate with a bottle of said red. Still clearly obsessed with new current favourite Artwine lets check out the other bottle I bought on my recent visit to their Adelaide Hills cellar door. The Saint Vincent Pinot Noir is grown in the Adelaide Hills and has a palate of cherries, spices and earthy tones. Pinot Noir is not huge here in SA but is one of my favourite varietals. Condemn me if you must but despite being a South Australian local I’m not a huge fan of super heavy reds that you tend to find in the Barossa. I often prefer Pinot Noir’s and Cabernet Sauvignon’s as my go too. I was delighted to discover a local Pinot Noir that was delicious and well-priced and could not resist walking away without a bottle.
To book I will be pairing this special wine with is one that I adored and found to appeal to my soul. Where The Trees Were by Inga Simpson is a beautiful story set here in Australia, telling the story of Jay and her friends growing up in the country and discovering an important secret, sacred tree carvings of the Aboriginal people, or arborglyphs. Further down the track we see Jay as an adult, working as an art curator and still trying to protect these sacred trees. Why pair these two? Well, a major focus of this novel is the amazing artwork that is these sacred and culturally significant trees. It is important to Jay that there significant items are treated with respect and returned to their true custodians. Plus, adult Jay is a woman after my own heart, she loves good food and good wine and much of her conversations with her partner in this book occur in her kitchen, glass of wine in hand and food being prepared. This is a truly magical book that tells an important aspect of our Australian history, one we should all understand. It deserves to be savoured, much like this drop of wine. Bring the two together when you have the time to sit and appreciate both to their full extent. A greater pairing you will not find.
Wine & Words Wednesday is back and we are ever close to my favourite season of the year: red wine season. Let celebrate with a bottle of the good stuff. Today’s bottle comes from a new favourite cellar door. Artwine‘s beautiful cellar door is located in the Adelaide Hills, with wine grown there and in the Clare Valley. Their cellar door was filled with friendly staff who were all too happy to oblige in any way they could. I had a great tasting (all the wines I tasted were delicious) and even ended up buying a glass to drink there so I could sit and read in the sun. What did I sit and drink there? Well the focus of today’s pairing, The Temptress 2016 Rose, grown in the Clare Valley. This Rose is made from Tempranillo with aromas of strawberries and florals and yet some savoury spice, stopping it from tasting too sweet. This Rose is delectable and I couldn’t help myself walking away wth a bottle and a glass for there. What might I pair this delicious and pretty wine with?
Well, with a name like Artwine you cannot go past a book that combines these two great things: art and wine. Okay, so maybe wine isn’t a heavy focus in this book but the characters definitely drink some wine in this novel. The Muse by Jessie Burton is a great read that follows two storylines, both heavily influenced by art. Odelle is a typist working at a fancy gallery when a mysterious piece of artwork is discovered. Olive is the young daughter of a famous art dealer who believes that women can’t be artists. This is an addictive and captivating novel that I highly recommend. Is there a temptress in this book too? Why, yes there is. Another fitting example of why this book and wine should be paired together. Who that temptress is, and if there is one or more, well you will have to read to find out.
Had a bust week at work? Need to unwind after a long day? Chill a bottle of The Temptress and transport yourself to London in the 60’s and Spain in the 30’s and lose yourself in this fascinating book, while pleasing your palate at the same time. Have the opportunity to visit the cellar door? Well, don’t delay, bring the Muse along and settle in with a glass and one of their amazing looking platters and take in the beautiful views of the Adelaide Hills.
Just look at that beautifully balanced date (I’m a bit weird like that, I love dates that are balanced in some way of another). Let us celebrate with a bottle of wine and a great book. Just because. Today’s wine is brought to you by a favourite South Australian winery, Bird in Hand. Looking for a well-priced but absolutely delicious sparkling wine? You cannot go past their Sparkling Pinot Noir. Seriously, go try it. But this is not the focus of today. Today I am presenting you with their 2014 Two in the Bush Merlot Cabernet. A delicious and way too easy to drink red, this is what you might call their budget line of wines and yet it is still very drinkable. If you ever make your way to Adelaide, do head up into the hills and taste their many delicious wines, you really cannot go wrong.
What novel comes to mind when I think of birds and bushes or trees? Well the absolute classic To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. There are birds and trees filled with treasure and to be honest some of my favourite characters in all the literature. If you have not read this classic, I implore you to pick it up, Most deserving of the hype is this novel and if you have rad this but back in the old school days, pick it up again. My water damaged copy was purchased in Paris. I had been backpacking for almost two months and missed home and my own space. I picked up this familiar story to entertain myself for the rest of my trip and I was not disappointed. In fact I probably read this book every twelve months. If you don’t know what this book is about, who even are you? But if you haven’t, this book teaches you a very important life lesson, that is that…
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Ahhh, the wise words of Atticus Finch. Autumn is a beautiful time in the Adelaide Hills. The trees are turning orange and depositing the golden leaves on the ground. The mood is contemplative and melancholic. Grab your own copy of this novel (you won’t regret it) and take a drive up to Bird in Hand, grab a bottle of Two in the Bush and a blanket (provided by the winery too) and sip a little while immersing yourself in Maycomb County with Atticus, Jem and Scout. A better afternoon could not be found.
Wine & Words Wednesday has arrived and not a moment too soon! This week is has an important accompaniment: cheese. All the cheese and for good reason, I promise (I mean, is cheese ever a bad idea? I think not). This Wednesday’s wine of the week comes from McLaren Vale favourite Coriole Vineyards. Coriole is located south of Adelaide and has the most gorgeous cellar door. A quaint little cottage filled with delicious wine and local produce. Well worth a visit if you are ever in the area. The wine I have selected is their 2013 Dancing Fig. Named after the figs that grow on their estate and dance in the wind while growing on the trees. This wine is blend of morvedre, grenache and shiraz that I could not walk away from after tasting. Earthy and smooth tasting Im excited to delve into this one. What am I paring it with this week you ask?
Well, thinking about figs, delicious cheese and all things food related I can’t help but jump to my favourite novel that is about all things food related. Julie & Julia is the hilarious recount of Julie Powell’s adventure that was cooking her way through every single recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I listened to this as an audiobook on a trip home and found myself laughing the whole way home. This novel is well-written and entertaining and you can help but root for Julie the whole way. Anyone who enjoys cooking with love this book, understanding Julies struggles along the way from overcoming her dislike of eggs to facing live lobsters.
Settle in with a delicious cheese platter, with figs of course, this delightful novel and a bottle of The Dancing Fig and entertain not just your mind but your tastebuds. Cheese, good wine and someone else’s cooking struggles? You cannot go wrong.
Easter has just ended for another year. A weekend of family, friend, drinks and too much food. Time for a detox? Definitely not. Another Wednesday, another bottle of wine. This week embarrassingly enough I have already drained the bottle I wanted to discuss. Proof that it is a great drop? Most definitely. What wine am I discussing tonight? Let’s head to McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide to a local favourite Alpha Box & Dice. Alpha Box & Dice as their description suggests they are a boutique winery slowly making their way through the alphabet of unique and tasty wines. Each wine is named after a letter, a different letter every time with a correspondingly unique label. In fact a highlight of these wines are the beautiful labels capturing the essence of what is bottled inside. Their cellar door is eclectic and welcoming. If you ever head this way, this cellar door is a must-visit. One I stop at each time and walk away with more wine than I need (although, you always need more wine). Today’s post is brought to you by the letter ‘T’. Alpha Box & Dice’s 2011 Tarot contains mostly grenache, plus some shiraz and tempranillo. I’m going to borrow from their online tasting notes with this one because I could not describe this wine as eloquently as they have. This bottle “feels like a favourite pair on jeans, sounds like Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know and smells like toffee apples and gingerbread”. If this description doesn’t tempt you then what is wrong with you?
What book could I pair with this mysterious wine? Well, when I think of tarot readers I can’t go past The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Captivating and distinctive, this is a charming read that I stumbled across in a book store, drawn in by the cover. Quickly it became a fast favourite of mine. To quote the cover:
The circus drives without warning.
No announcements precede it…
It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
I’m not giving you anymore, trust that this is a stirring read full of mystery, intrigue and some unforgettable characters. Keen an eye out for Isobel, the mentioned tarot reader. A complex character who I always felt was a little hard done by, but some things cannot be denied. Intrigued yet? Good, now go get yourself the bottle and book. Sit down one quiet autumn night and let yourself be transported to another time and place, the night the circus rolls to town. Have the opportunity to visit the cellar door? Well, grab your book one crisp afternoon and travel down to McLaren Vale. Grab yourself bottle (or three) to take home and glass to drink there. Indulge in one of their delicious platters and takes some time for yourself and meet the tarot reader herself within this intricate plot. You will not be disappointed.
Oh, and the beauty of their gorgeous bottles is you can reuse the empties as candle holders. I most certainly did not steal this idea from their cellar door either *shifty eyes*.
It’s my favourite day, once again. Wine & words Wednesday is here again and I have my glass in hand and bottle opened and ready to go. Once again we are travelling to the Clare Valley to Shut The Gate Wines. I have described this winery several times already so I’ll spare you the long spiel (all the more time for drinking and reading) but basically if you ever have the opportunity to visit the Clare Valley do it and visit this gem of a winery. To get to the cellar door you cross an old stone bridge and find yourself in a lush green garden with a cellar door packed with boxes of wine and the most amazing local produce available for purchase too (think of the cheese!) plus the staff are friendly and approachable. The wine I have selected for you today is their 2013 Single Site Grenache. Grenache is one of the most widely planted varietals of red and delicious in my humble opinion. This grenache has notes of liquorice, forest fruits, oak and florals. The perfect drop for a rainy yet temperate autumn afternoon, looking out the window, taking in the bouquet with a book in the other hand. What book you may say? Well, let us press on and find out.
A highlight of Shut The Gate’s wines is their unique and visually pleasing labels. Seriously, the black and white illustrations are intricate and alluring. Just have a look at the close up below. Far too pretty to dispose of in my opinion, in fact this one will find itself with a candle in the neck once it is empty. To go with each illustration is a little anecdote and a description in the top left hand corner. The anecdote and illustration of this bottle is that of the wold in sheets clothing, the description “for hunger”. Here lies my inspiration for this pairing, Warm Bodies. Who better knows hunger than a zombie hankering for some human brains? A vampire maybe? But I prefer Warm Bodies to Twilight any day. Although as the story progresses our narrator, R, becomes more of a sheep in wolves clothing losing his hunger for brains as his hunger for human companionship increases. For those of you who have not read this book or watch the movie, well I suggest you do both. Warm Bodies is essentially a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet, instead we have R, the zombie, and Julie, one of the few free humans still living. Pick up these beauties, book and wines of course, and settle in for a delightful read with an action twist and a heart-warming Grenache to satisfy your hunger for wine.
Wine Wednesday is here again, lets do a little happy dance and proceed to cracking a bottle. What am I cracking today? Well, a pretty special bottle in my opinion. Hahndorf Hill Winery is a boutique winery just outside the historic town of Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. This is a beautiful winery that uses sustainable practices such as sheep for seeking and guinea foul for insect control. The cellar door is in a beautiful building overlooking the vineyards and with the unique ChoccoVino experience. Chocolate paired with wine? Yes, please! Their wines are delightful, in fact I wanted to take one of everything home. Instead, sadly, I had to limit myself to only a couple including the one I am discussing today. The Hahndorf Hills Winery Blueblood Blaufrankish 2013 is an exceptional bottle of wine I immediately fell in love with. Blaufrankish is a red grape varietal hailing from Austria. Hahndorf Hill Winery was the first winery in Australia to grown this particular varietal which debuted in 2008. With a nose of blueberries and black cherry this is the perfect bottle of red fit for a king.
What might I be pairing this tantalising wine with? Well a wine fit for a king that is named blue blood could only be paired with the most noble of novels. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory tells the story of Mary Boleyn, who catches the eye of Henry VIII and enjoys his attentions until his interest begins to wane and she has to step aside for her sister and rival, Anne. This is an epic story of intrigue, gossip and drama. A story made for an entire bottle of wine. Set yourself up in your favourite reading chair, back tall and draped in your best throw rug. Crack a bottle of Blaufrankish and pour into your finest crystal wine glass and sit back and revel in the story of the Boleyn sisters trying their best to hold the affections of a capricious king. You certainly will not be disappointed, wth your wine or choice of entertainment.