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--Wine Reviews Wine Regions

Out Of The Bottle

With David Ellis

Wine

Wolf Blass Verae Summer Red

Put your money on it: with the predictions of a coming long hot summer, more of us will be reaching for the fridge when the call is for a glass of red.

Not that we’re likely to be pulling out chilled big Cab Sauvs or Shirazes, but local winemakers are looking more and more to creating lighter, softer and fruitier reds that go ideally with everything from summer barbecues to tapas, seafoods and salads – and which prove quite magical when served off the ice.

Most of these makers are getting away from varietal names to identify labels, with the idea of encouraging us to consider their new-look “chill reds” – many of which have in fact been around in Europe for years, particularly in places like Spain, Portugal and Italy where ice-cold light reds are all the summer go.

Wolf Blass has just put out a light-bodied and slightly spritzed soft red that if we weren’t into advocating moderation in drinking, we’d be saying to toss it down with gusto: called Verae Summer Red, it offers the warm weather refreshment we look for in a white, with the full fruit flavours of a red.

And interestingly it’s not something new: Wolf himself experimented with similar  “white wine drinker’s” soft and fruity reds way back in the 1970s.

This slightly spritzy Wolf Blass Verae Summer Red is good buying at $17.99 to share with tapas, antipasto platters, lamb barbecues, even summer pudding, strawberries and cream and, dare we say it, chocolates.

One For Lunch

Chardonnay buffs will be anything but disappointed with a drop from Brand’s Laira winemaker, Peter Weinberg – his 2008 from Coonawarra is a rich, full-on-flavour wine that’s got nice stonefruit and minerality on the palate, and creamy characters from aging on lees and malolactic fermentation.

Pay $21.99 for this and share it with a seafood basket and salad – the flavours of the wine and food will complement each other wonderfully.


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