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Wine

Ageing Wine - Tips and Tricks of the Trade

If you can resist opening them, certain wines will reward you deliciously with some time spent ageing. The first consideration when ageing wines is storage, so to make sure you’re keeping your wine in optimum condition, check out Tasting Panellist Adam Walls’ tips on the best ways to store your wine.

But before you start squirrelling away random bottles, it helps to know what to expect and which wines are the best to cellar.

What Happens to a Wine as it Ages?

  • Red wines become lighter in colour, while white wines become darker.
  • Primary fruit aromas merge into a more complex ‘bouquet’ as secondary (bottle age) characters mingle with the remaining primary (fruit) characters.
  • At the same time, powerful fruity flavours change into and mix with subtler savoury ones.
  • Acidity and tannin levels fall away, soften and all elements integrate.

Wine Aging Chart

Which Wines Age Well?

Some of Australia’s most famous region-variety combinations are also our best wines for ageing. These include:

How Can You Tell if a Wine is Worth Cellaring?

There are certain characteristics to look out for that will tell you if a wine is worth putting away, including:

  • Higher acidity
  • Firmer tannins in red wines
  • The pedigree of the winery in previous vintages can be a useful guide

So if you find a wine that meets these criteria, remember to follow Adam’s wine storage tips, or if you want to make the investment, a wine cabinet is ideal. There are also plenty of offsite storage options.

But if you can’t wait to experiences the benefits of ageing, we’ve got a sumptuous collection of premium wines that have been expertly aged for you to select from below.

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Wine
Know Your Variety - Australian Malbec
Neglected for decades in France as a lesser blending grape, Malbec was resurrected and championed in Argentina as an excellent single varietal wine. It's now having a similar resurgence in Australia, with some excellent Australian Malbec wines appearing in the  Clare Valley ,  Langhorne Creek ,  Margaret River  and  Great Southern . To help us learn more about this plush and fruit driven red wine, we reached out to a few Australian Malbec experts with winemakers from  Forest Hill Wines ,  Bremerton  and Tamburlaine Organic Wines. AUSTRALIAN MALBEC AT A GLANCE THE VARIED ORIGINS OF MALBEC
Malbec (sometimes known as Côt and Auxxerois) originates from the French wine regions of  Bordeaux and Sud-Ouest . However, it was historically viewed as more a blending grape and played second fiddle to the prized Cabernet Sauvignon , Merlot and Grenache vines in those regions. Malbec found its new home in Argentina, where it has been adapted and refined into an excellent single varietal wine style, with excellent examples from the Mendoza region. Today, 75% of the world's Malbec now hails from Argentina, often blended with a touch of Touriga Nacional. MALBEC COMES TO AUSTRALIA
Rebecca Willson , winemaker at Bremerton Wines, argues that Malbec has a spiritual home in South Australia as it "was the first dry red variety ever planted in  Langhorne Creek  by The Potts Family of Bleasdale in the late 1800s". In fact, Bleasdale's first ever single varietal wine was a Malbec in 1961. However, the great red vine cull in the 1970s and 1980s removed many alternate varieties from vineyards across the country. The recent trend of wine lovers searching for new and exciting wine styles to try, has given rise to a modern resurgence. Malbec is now the wine of the moment. Rebecca thinks this is because "the variety offers an alternative to  Shiraz  as our biggest consumed red varietal, it's berry driven and plush." Malbec can be a difficult grape to grow, but today with better viticulture and better strains of the variety, it's thriving in moderate climates such as the Clare Valley, Langhorne Creek, Margaret River and Great Southern. Tamburlaine Organic Wines chief winemaker,  Mark Davidson , notes that "just like in Argentina, the real lesson has been that the wine produced at higher altitudes of 800m to 1000m has really shone". As such, there is great promise for award winning Malbec from emerging cool climate regions such as Canberra or Orange, where  Tamburlaine's excellent Malbec  is sourced. TASTING NOTES With a similar weight to  Shiraz ,  Cabernet Sauvignon  or  Petit Verdot , Malbec has a big, juicy and plush flavour with a robust structure and moderately firm tannins. It has distinctive dark purple colour and notes of red plum, blueberry, vanilla, cocoa and an essence of sweet tobacco. Forest Hill Wines chief winemaker,  Liam Carmody , is rather fond of the "intense purple colour and fruit brightness" of  their Malbec  and notes that it has a "generally softer tannin structure than some other red grape varieties." For Bremerton's Rebecca Willson it's the "violet, currant purple fruits with velvety tannins, plushness and purity" of the variety. MALBEC AND FOOD PAIRING
The bold flavours, robust structure and higher tannins of Malbec call for dishes with a bold flavour to match such as hard cheese, steak or even sausage such as this  chickpea and chorizo hotpot recipe by Miguel Maestre.  Our  Argentinian beef steak with chimichurri sauce recipe  is also a great way to round out an Argentinian themed dinner. Or for a vegetarian option, our spinach and cheese empanadas recipe matches well to a  plush Malbec from Great Southern  . When it comes to Malbec food matches, Bremerton's Rebecca Willson prefers "charcoal barbecue of a great cut from your local butcher, or pulled pork sliders". For Forest Hill Wines' Liam Carmody, Australian Malbec means just one dish, "a rare steak sandwich!" Recommended Recipe:  Miguel Maestre's chickpea and chorizo hotpot TRY AUSTRALIAN MALBEC TODAY Explore Australian Malbec with these great examples that have all passed our rigorous Tasting Panel selection process with flying colours.
Wine
How to host your own wine tasting party!
Gather your friends and put your collective wine knowledge to the test with a wine tasting party! It’s all about bringing that cellar door tasting experience to your home and enjoying good wines and good times. There are no rules to the type of tasting you host –  from a sit-down dinner to an impromptu barbeque, or a casual lunch. Or, you can step it up a notch and host a themed party using some of our ideas (see further below), or make up your own – just make sure it’s lots of fun! WHAT YOU’LL NEED So, what do you need to set up your wine tasting? Besides, the wines of course, you’ll also need: Wine glasses – white or red wine glasses depending on the wine being tasted Covers –  to disguise the wine bottles Water – supply still or sparkling water to cleanse the palate between wines Spittoons –  in case some guests don’t want to drink the wine once tasted Snacks – to cleanse the palate. Plain water crackers, breads, olives and cheeses are perfect Pens and note pads – to complete your tasting notes Friends – from two to ten friends, the options are endless HOW TO PLAY
Disguise the Wines Put the wines in bottle covers and mix them around so no one knows which is which and number the bottles. We suggest tasting up to four wines each session. Once you’ve assembled the glasses, bottles and the extra bit and pieces, there’s really one thing left to do – enjoy the tasting Taste Now for the best bit. Pour a wine into the corresponding numbered glass for each player. Announce the theme and let the tasting begin. Make Notes Thinking about the colour, aromas and taste, each player should jot down their thoughts on their tasting sheet. Mingle Reveal and discuss each wine, reading out your tasting notes, remembering there is no absolute right or wrong. Re-set and start again. Be the host with the most
Have fun choosing the wines for your party. Simply select from your latest Wine Selectors collection or ask your friends to bring a bottle. Tasting theme ideas There are so many themes you can chose for your wine tasting party. Here are a few different ideas to get you started. Regional rumble – taste the unique characteristics of varieties grown in various regions. Favourites – ask your guests to bring their favourite varietal making sure they’re all different. Price wars – choose the same variety and vintage from different price points and see if the price reflects the quality. Vertical tasting – choose one wine and taste several different vintages. It’s really interesting to experience the similarities and the differences from year to year. Food theme – Thai with Riesling or Gewürztraminer, tapas with Tempranillo or Sangiovese, seafood with Semillon or Sauv Blanc, the combinations are endless. New wave wines – with so many fantastic emerging alternative varietals now available, step out of the comfort zone and introduce your guests to some deliciously new drops. Practice makes perfect With each party and tasting session you’ll detect deeper, more involved aromas and flavours – after all, practice makes perfect. Get Your Own Wine Tasting Party Kit!
To help expand your love of wine and make tasting fun and easy, we’ve created a great kit, which you can use next time you’re hosting a tasting or even at an impromptu get-together.  
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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