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Get Out of Your Wine Comfort Zone.

Get Out of Your Wine Comfort Zone!
by Michael Davey © 2012

A client recently bemoaned the fact that year-in, year-out many of his friends purchase the same wines from the same wineries, very reluctant to get out of their comfort zone and try something different.

This begs the question: when did you try something different in your glass, something out of left field; a wine that that made you go ‘wow’?
In Australia we are blessed with an abundance of wine choices due to an enormous land mass containing many diverse climates and wine growing areas.

We are not the ‘meat and three veg’ country anymore and have not been for a long time. This country has embraced its diverse people, their cultures, cuisines and grape varieties from all corners of the globe. Not only is there a wealth of wine producing areas to choose from but there is an extraordinary range of varieties from which to choose.

There are a couple of things to remember about choosing wines - don’t let preconceived prejudices cloud your judgement or get in the way of a great wine. A case in point is ‘New World’ Sauvignon Blanc. Much bemoaned in some quarters - and we have all heard and read the analogies, cats pee etc, etc. If that fresh, green, unwooded, tropical fruit style is not your cup of tea do not give this variety the cold shoulder. There are many examples of Sauvignon Blanc being made in differing styles with barrel fermentation and wild yeasts used to give it more complexity. There are also blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon being produced in this country that will take your breath away!

There are a great deal of weird and wonderful labels out there, not to mention bottle shapes with some pretty amusing wine descriptions on their labels to boot, but as the old adage goes, ‘never judge a book by its cover’. I mention this as I have a couple of clients who have an aversion to any wine bottle with an animal on the label!

Sometimes people are reluctant to try different varieties because they are adamant that only certain wines go with certain foods. But there are no set rules for what wine goes with what food. Ask your wine merchant and take the sommeliers advice when out dining. Wine and food blogs can offer some good guidance too. Newspapers and magazines are filled with wine scribes and critics of wine and most offer a food suggestion to accompany the wines. Most chefs’ recipes that appear in these publications also offer suggested wines to go with their dishes.

Our son visited for dinner a couple of months ago. A lover of Asian cuisine, we prepared a chilli prawn dish with a green mango salad. He asked us, as is the norm when he visits, to surprise him with a wine to accompany the meal. We chose a Gruner Veltliner from Austria, his beaming face told the story immediately. How could you go wrong with a racy, zingy, wine with a spicy, sweet, sour and salty dish?
Said son had not heard of the variety before, since however I think we have exhausted nearly every Gruner Veltiners available in this country. The good the ordinary and the sublime! It has been an exciting and interesting journey – and we have our favourite, for the moment.

So next time you are throwing a steak on the barbie, instead of the usual Shiraz think Sangiovese. And if it’s a prawn you are throwing on the barbie try a Pinot Gris, an Alberino or a Soave.
People do indeed have their favourite wineries and wine makers and a love of specific varieties. All I am suggesting is that you do not put all your eggs in one basket. Try something different, you will be more often than not pleasantly surprised!

Vive la difference!
It's easy to discover wines that are a bit out of the ordinary. No matter what wine variety you are looking for, from an Arneis to a Zinfandel, Michael Davey from WineSeek can help. Visit http://www.wineseek.com.au for a great selection of Australian and international wines at remarkable prices.
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