Join us for a great night of wine tasting as we head Down Under. Plentiful sunshine and a comparative lack of winemaking red tape have allowed the Australians to lead the field in the development of mainstream, competitively priced wines with a crowd-pleasing formula of fruit and oak. However Australia today is home of the boutique winery, where a focus upon quality and restraint are changing the face of Australian wine. For a tiny nation, New Zealand wine punches way beyond its weight. You can't have missed the UK Sauvignon revolution spearheaded by New Zealand's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; we take some time to understand the subtleties of this vibrant, vivacious wine style and then look beyond Sauvignon at what New Zealand has to offer.
Part 1: New Zealand
We kick off with a detailed deconstruction of a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to understand what makes it such a flamboyant and exilerating wine style. We also compare it to a leaner, more restrained example of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. There's more to the New Zealand story than just Sauvignon with other fragrant whites such as Pinot Gris and Riesling starting to make an appearance. You can't leave New Zealand without taking a look at Pinot Noir which has caused a buzz in recent times, especially from Martinborough, but is it good enough to challenge Burgundy and perhaps cement New Zealand's place as a producer of wines worthy of comparison to the very finest? Tonight, you decide....
Part 2: Australia
Today, Australia is an exciting source of some of the world's most interesting wines that truly reflect the diversity of its climate, regions and winemaking culture. A new wave of independent boutique winemakers, preaching the values of focussing upon limited quantities of high quality, hand made wines and restraint in the use of oak are making their presence felt. We'll taste a high quality lightly oaked Chardonnay as well as revel in the sublime headiness of an intensely rich Barossa Shiraz before we head off to Western Australia where we'll uncork some wine from the Margaret River.
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