Corks

Dan's Blog

RIDING THE TRAIL

Friday, March 13, 2020

As a result of changes to the liquor licensing laws, Adelaide now has several cellar doors within a stone’s throw of the CBD. In fact, these cellar doors along with a couple of breweries and a collaborative cellar door called, Ferg’s, have banded together to form the, EASTSIDE WINE & ALE TRAIL, which as far as I am aware is a first for an Australian city. Whilst there is the occasional city “winery” in other cities, this is the first wine trail.

The nine participating venues are only a few minutes east of the CBD in the suburbs of Payneham and St Peters.

This, along with the Chateau Yaldara cellar door (next to the Adelaide Central Markets) allows time-poor interstate visitors to have a wine experience within a short distance of the centre of the city.

The participating venues are:

Amadio Wines – Adelaide Hills & Kangaroo Island

Clare Valley Brewing Co – Clare Valley

CW Wines – Coonawarra & Limestone Coast

Ferg’s – Collaborative Cellar Door

Heartland Wines – Langhorne Creek

Jeannerette Wines – Clare Valley

Lambrook Wines – Adelaide Hills

Little Bang Brewing Co

Signature Wines – Adelaide Hills, Barossa & McLaren Vale

Salena Wines – Riverland

Vineyard Road Wines – Langhorne Creek.

So if you find yourself in Adelaide and too short on time to visit one of the excellent surrounding wine regions, you can get a great representative taste by going along the EASTSIDE WINE & ALE TRAIL.

Download trail map here.


HOW COOL IS THIS?:   Matrix Engineering, in Silicon Valley California, has developed a wine cooler that will be capable of chilling a bottle (750mL) of wine to the desired temperature in just three minutes. They are saying that in effect it is a “reverse microwave” which can cool white wines down to 10oC in just under three minutes. Oh, and the creators say that it can also be used to chill soft drinks – if you must!!

It seems to me to be perfect wine accessory for busy people who don’t have the time to plan ahead as to what they will be drinking with their next meal.

It is expected to be on the US market very soon and presumably will follow over here in the not too distant future.

MORE CONFIDENT, LESS KNOWLEDGEABLE:   Studies by the international group, “Wine Intelligence”, have shown that in recent years average wine buyers/consumers have become more confident in their wine knowledge/skills – whilst in fact their actual wine knowledge is lower in general than the wine knowledge of the average consumer 20 years ago.

Although initially this seems strange, the explosion of information available on the internet is the main cause of this strange situation.

In days gone by consumers who wanted to know more about a new variety or wine style had to do a considerable amount of “digging”, to find what they wanted to know. Today, it is just a few keystrokes away on Google. Thus, to find out about a new variety, instead of reading about it in an authoritative publication like, Darby Higg’s Vinodiversity – The Book, they simply look it up on Wikipedia and get a degree of very general knowledge about the variety. Whereas a decade ago they had to look it up on their PC/Laptop, these days they can look it up instantly on their phone while standing in front of the bottle, scan the QR code or find out about it when armed with the wine list in the restaurant.

This confidence to explore new wines is a boon for non-traditional winemakers and those who produce “natural” wines, funky wines or adorn their wines with bright and sometimes garish labels. At the same time it is an increasing problem for mainstream, conventional winemakers, as these new drinkers boosted with confidence, try new and sometimes odd wines rather than mainstream wines.

It is almost impossible to predict where this trend will end up, given that global wine sales are slowly decreasing and most of the younger generation opt for different forms of alcohol to what their parents consume. Suffice it to say that the wine industry will be in for some challenging times over the next decade.

STOP PRESS:   I have just heard that McLaren Vale based, Alpha Box & Dice, are opening a city bottle shop/cellar door soon called, “Sometimes Always”, at 130 Gray Street, Adelaide, just off Waymouth Street. www.alphaboxdice.com


THIS WEEK’S WINE REVIEW:

This week I am talking about a unique wine (or as a dear friend of mine always says – “very unique”!!) which is a native Turkish red variety called, BoĞazkere.Yep! That’s a name that will be easy to remember!! Maybe we should call it, “The Turk”, instead?

Whilst the native Turkish white varieties have consumer friendly names like, Narince (a great wine) and Emir (which according to Go Turkey Tourism: “is one of the best grapes in the world to produce white wine”), their reds are a bit more tongue-twisting with names like öküzgözü, Kalecik, Karasi and Çalkarasi as well as the BoĞazkere that we are talking about today.

BoĞazkere (pronounced “bow-aahz-keh-reh”) hails from central/southern Anatolia in Turkey and its name translates into, “throat-burner”, as there it produces big, tannic wines which have been compared to the older style of Tannat from Madiran in France (before they started to soften their wines off with Cabernet).

Today’s wine is the Lokum BoĞazkere 2018 from Dookie in Central Victoria, where winemaker, Robert Paul, who has worked as a consultant (or flying winemaker, as we used to call them) around the globe, including Turkey, planted the vines in a joint venture with Tallis Wines. Robert selected BoĞazkere and imported cuttings in 2007 because it is drought resistant and thrives in the harsh, hot, dry conditions in Southern Turkey. Therefore, he thought it should do well in the hot, dry Aussie conditions. To the best of my knowledge this is the only planting of BoĞazkere outside its native region, making this a “very unique” wine indeed.


Tasting this gorgeous wine, I would suggest that he has been proven right as it is doing bloody well here. The first vintage was a small quantity of the 2014. It was only in 2017 that they finally got “a decent crop”. As the vines go maturing one would expect to get a bit more depth and complexity in the wine, making it an even greater wine.

The Lokum BoĞazkere 2018 is bright purple in colour, medium-bodied with cool climate Shiraz-like aromas. It has great depth of tight, tasty flavours of cherries, plums, a hint of raspberries, and with just a dash of savouriness about it. It is a smooth, rich, delicious wine, which is well-moreish even though it is in need of some cellaring or double decanting to show at its very best.


This wine is available in several restaurants in Melbourne as well as at the superb, Anason Turkish Restaurant at Sydney’s Barangaroo waterfront. “Note-to-self”: Must get back there sometime soon!!

I highly recommend this excellent wine and if I have (hopefully) whetted your interest in this fantastic wine please contact Robert directly at: www.lokumwine.com

Whilst it will probably take quite some time, I would suggest that we will be seeing more Australian BoĞazkere wines in the future.

Cheers and drink interesting and unusual wines – I do!!