Wine, Corks and Canvas – A fundraising event for the National Breast Cancer Foundation

I’m no Picasso, but put a glass of wine in my hand, with a paintbrush in another, and Picasso has some competition on his hands. Just sayin!

Corks and Canvas is an art studio located in Melbourne. As per the name of the studio, Corks and Canvas allows you to paint, while sipping on your favourite wine.

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Some encouragement before we paint

I went to Corks and Canvas as part of a fundraising event for the National Breast Cancer Foundation on Friday night, where all money raised went to this fabulous cause.

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Important paiting equipment

To kick-start the night, we filled our glasses with wine and took our seat in front of a blank canvas. We were shown the art piece that we would be painting for this evening, using acrylic paints – The iconic Brighton Beach Boxes, which looked bright, and fun to paint.

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The example of what we were going to be painting!

Our art teacher took us through each step in creating our masterpiece, starting with painting the sky, then the sand, and finally the water. From there, we then got our creative flair on, and painted our beach boxes. Throughout the night we took breaks to fill up our glasses, chat and mingle with others, and see how everyone elses masterpieces were developing. It was so much fun!

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I am ready to get my Picasso on!

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Step by Step, with wine in between

While painting is a relaxing activity, adding wine in to the mix makes for a super relaxing activity – almost as relaxing as a massage! At the end of the night, we all ended up with our masterpieces to take home! And best of all, we helped raise money for a great cause.

If you too want to get your creative flair on, you can! Corks and Canvas offers many classes which you can book in to at your own leisure. Check it out, and get your Picasso on!

If you’re looking to donate to this great cause, click here

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credit @corksandcanvas

Until next time winos,

Cheers

 

 

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Battle of the old vs. new oak – wine terminology

Have you ever come across the wine terms ‘old oak’ and ‘new oak’? Many wineries will refer to this when they’re describing their wine: “this wine is 80% old oak, and 20% new oak”. So what does this all mean?

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Getting the low down on old and new oak at Cloudy Bay Winery NZ

‘Old oak’ and ‘new oak’ refer to the types of oak barrels being used to house the wine. When a winemaker uses percentages to describe the wine e.g. ‘80% old oak and 20% new oak’, it means 80% of the wine has been stored in old oak barrels (which have been used time and time again), while 20% of the wine has been stored in new oak barrels. Storing wine in old oak barrels tend to give off subtle oak characteristics, while new oak barrels enables the wine to exhibit a lot of characteristics of the oak.

A great way to think about old oak and new oak terminology is by using the humble teabag – When you use a new tea bag, you really get the full flavour of the tea leaves – this is like new oak. After having dunked the bag a few times, the tea bag only releases a small amount of flavour from the leaves – this is like old oak.

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I know what you’re thinking; “what a great analogy”…or “all this wine talk, I need a vino!” Am I right?!  Either way, you’re welcomes 🙂

Until next time winos,

Cheers

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Penny’s Hill – Fabulous Ladies Wine Society wine night

Let me introduce you to a magnificent winery – Penny’s Hill. I was introduced to Penny’s Hill at the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society event, in Melbourne at Lumè restaurant.  Read about my last Fabulous Ladies Wine Society event here.
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Me with a few fabulous ladies @fabulousladieswinesociety

About Penny’s Hill

Penny’s Hill is based in McLaren Vale, South Australia.

The winery first began when Tony Parkinson, who was running a successful advertising agency, moved out of the city and down to McLaren Vale, where he bought 80 acres of land. It was on this land where the first vine was planted in 1991. Fast forward to today, and the winery now operates across two vineyards, and also sources grapes from a range of others.

The name Penny’s Hill was decided upon after deliberating over a long list of potential names. The name ended up being, quite simply, the name of the hill where the vines are located.

One of the really striking aspects of Penny’s Hill is the big red dot on the bottle, which is part of the winery’s branding. Ever seen those big red dots stuck on artwork in galleries to tell people it’s sold? That’s where the big red dot came from! It’s the perfect branding for this award-winning wine – each bottle a work of art, and easily recognisable from a mile away in a wine shop.

Award winning wines

Did you notice that? not just ‘award winning wine’, but ‘award winning wines’.

This is a world-class winery, having won three world awards! Go Penny’s Hill!

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  • 2015 Malpas Road Merlot – Winner, Best Australian Red in Show
    Mundus Vini, Germany, 2017
  • 2014 Footprint Shiraz – Winner, Best Australian Red in Show
    Mundus Vini, Germany, 2016
  • 2014 Edwards Road Cabernet – The World’s Best Cabernet
    Concours International des Cabernets, France, 2016

The Fabulous Ladies Wine Society night

On the night of the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society event, the Fabulous Lady herself from Penny’s Hill, Alexia Roberts ‘Lexie’ took us through a selection of wines. Lexi’s background in wine is impressive, having worked at Wirra Wirra, Maxwell Wines, and now Penny’s Hill –  she’s no stranger to good wine.

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Lexi @fabulousladieswinesociety

 

Served up with a stellar selection of wines from Penny’s Hill, matched with delicious dishes on the night, here are my three favourites.

The favourites:

The grapes that made up this wine came from the original vineyard planted, which are grown on an elevated area hit with a cool sea breeze. The wine contains 35% new French oak, and was an absolute delight to drink. Structural and delicate, with fine tannins, it’s no wonder this wine earned itself the ‘Worlds Best Cabernet’.

This wine was another one that originated from the original vineyard, this time from the valley floor, where the soil is clay.
When it comes to picking, Merlot is one of those tricky grapes that can become quite ‘jammy’ if it’s not picked at the right time. With the small window of opportunity for picking, Penny’s Hill applied a minimal intervention method to making this Merlot. Read about what minimal intervention wines are all about here!

The results – a soft well-rounded Merlot, with strong berry notes. It’s one of those wines that pairs well with food, particularly lamb.

This wine comes from a much higher elevated vineyard in McLaren Vale, and grows in a much cooler climate. The vineyard’s soil is sandy, embedded with rock. With bright red fruits, there’s a spicy and savoury feel to the wine. With 40% new oak, it’s intense and structural, with long length. This little beauty can be cellared up to 10 years.
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Celebrating those award winning wines!

So there you have it winos! If you’re ever in a wine shop, be sure to look out for the big red dot! Or alternatively, go direct to the winery for stocking up on wines that have earned their place on the world wine stage, just like I did.

Until next time winos,

Cheers!

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Marlborough Wine and Food Festival – a tick off the bucket list

You’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been – is she still drinking wine? did she win Tattslotto and disappear to an island?

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Did she really win tattslotto??

The answer to that is yes, I most certainly have been drinking wine. While I didn’t win Tattslotto, I did disappear to an island…an island called New Zealand.

It happened. After two years in the waiting, I finally attended the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival with my fellow wino friend, who is a massive fan of the Sauvignon Blanc. But not just any Ol Sauvignon Blanc fan, she’s a fan of the Sauvignon Blanc hailing from the Marlborough region.

 

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Ready for some great Savvy B!

Marlborough is THE home of the Sauvignon Blanc, due to producing the most notable wine from this grape. It’s quite a young region, with the grape variety only being introduced to the area in the 1970’s. The first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted by Montana Wines, now know as Brancott Estate. So what better place to celebrate the Savvy B than at the estate itself, which was where the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival was held.

To get to Brancott Estate we travelled by bus from Blenhim, which was only about a 15 minute trip from the town centre. As soon as we got the the estate, we waited in line and watched the crowds roll in bus after bus. You could feel the excitement building.

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The start of the day. The crowds just got bigger!

As soon as we got in, we scanned the area looking for wineries that we knew, and wineries that we didn’t know, to add to the shortlist of ones to try. The tastings were setup where you could pay $3 for a few sips, or you could outlay $8-$10 for a full glass. This was a no brainer, pour me a full glass please!

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One of the first wineries, Cloudy Bay – Yes, it was a full glass 🙂

Following our first couple of sips (glasses) at Cloudy Bay and Giesen, we wandered over to the wine Masterclass where a Rosé and cheese matching class was about to get underway, with hosts Brian from Mahi wines, and Dan from Kaikoura Cheese.
Grabbing our seats we sat in front of a selection of 7 Rosés from select Marlborough wineries, along with 7 carefully selected cheeses to match. It was really interesting to try something that wasn’t Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region. An enjoyable spread of Rosé’s, which were very much like the classic French Rosé’s from the South of France –  light in colour, strawberry flavours, and a dry finish. Turns out the cool climate for growing this variety of wine is quite similar to the home of Rosé, France.

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The before shot

The clear favourite for me was from Mahi Pinot Noir 2016 Rosé, paired perfectly with a pecorino cheese with fennel pods. The Mahi Pinot Noir 2016 Rosé was a classic Rosé, with a medium to dry finish, with pronounced strawberry notes.

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Brian from Mahi wines! A brilliant winery, and a brilliant wine maker!

Following the Rosé Masterclass, we stumbled back out on to the grassed area to try even MORE wine! With so many wineries showcasing many different wines, here’s a list of the places we tried which were all standouts!

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Roaming water stations. How good is this?! Australia – take note.

In between the sips (glasses) of wine there was also an abundance of food on offer, from pork belly rolls, oysters, through to baked potatoes. I opted for a Brazilian burger. Delish! This provided some much needed energy after many wine tastings.

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Fuel for the Savvy B

As the day went on, the crowd became livelier, the band got louder, and the dance moves became smoother.  Some were even feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of wineries on site.

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When the day becomes too much a nap is needed!

As the day came to a close, it was time to make way to the busses to get bussed back in to town, where the party continued on at Scotch Wine Bar, in downtown Blenhim.

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The after party location!

So that’s it, I can now finally tick the Marlborough Wine and Food Festival off the bucket list. If you’re planning to make a trip over to the region, I’d recommend planning it around the festival. It will give you a real taste of the region, and will certainly get you in to the spirit of being in the world famous home of the Savvy B!

Until next time winos,
Cheers!

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On Christmas Day my wine rack gave to me a magnum sized bottle of GH Mumm

Presents. Food. Wine. Wine. Wine..

The final wine in the advent wine calendar is a bottle of GH Mumm. The equivalent of 2 bottles, the magnum sized bottle provides enough bubbles to have with Christmas dinner, and then some.

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I wonder what’s inside?!

 

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The bottle of Mumm at the dinner table!

 

Merry Christmas All!!

Until next time winos,

cheers!

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On the Twenty-fourth day of Chirstmas my wine rack gave to me a Tim Adams 20 Year Fine Old Tawny

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house, there was a bottle of Tim Adams 20 Year Fine Old Tawny.

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An appropriate way to get you in the mood for Christmas is with a wine that tastes like Christmas!

The Tim Adams Fine Old Tawny is a 20 year old Tawny, and was made as close to the Portugal way as possible. You will notice that Port style wines that have been made outside of Portugal cannot be named Port. This is because Portugal have claimed the name Port, similar to how France has claimed Champagne.

 

Tawny Ports tend to have a nuttiness and caramel flavour to them, and are aged for around 3 years in barrels.

A great way to drink this Tawny is either on its own, or with a creamy blue cheese. The sweetness of the Tim Adams Tawny will really cut through the fat, and complement the cheese well.

Until next time winos,

cheers

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On the Twenty-third day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me a Tahbilk Old Vines Cabernet Shiraz

Time to look back at last Christmas in the Christmas advent wine calendar.

I’d purchased this wine during the year in 2015 in preparation for a special occasion, which turned out to be Christmas of 2015.

 

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It was the Tahbilk old vines Cabernet Shiraz 2012. This is the second Tahbilk wine in the advent wine calendar – number 8 was the grand tawny.

The old vines Cabernet Shiraz comes from Tahbilk’s oldest vines in the vineyard dating back to the 1860’s.
These old vines are what gives the wine it’s roundness and flavour.

Earning 96 points from James Halliday, here’s what the great man had to say about the wine:
“As one might expect, the colour, the bouquet and the palate all attest to the youth of the wine, yet it has all the hallmarks of the old vines: blackcurrant, blackberry and cherry fruit are the drivers of the bouquet and palate alike, French and American oak totally integrated: the most remarkable aspect is the fine, supple tannins making it a classic two-way proposition.”

It’s a great wine to have at the Christmas table. I wonder what this year will bring?! Stay tuned!!

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I wonder what wine will feature at the Christmas table this year?!

Until next time winos,

Cheers

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On the Twenty-Second day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me a Dominique Portet Fontaine Rosé

With three days out from Christmas, the weather here in Australia is set to soar.

With the working year over (almost over for others), let’s kick back and relax with a Fontaine Rosé, from Dominique Portet.

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This wine hails from the Yarra Valley, a cool climate area in Australia.

The light pink colour is so classic of a Rosé – which is what this wine oozes. Made from Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet it’s a slightly peppery wine, with hints of red berries. It’s refreshing and crisp, and leaves you wanting more just like Oliver.

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Please sir, can I have some more Rose?

Hope you enjoy your Thurday with this one!

Until next time winos,

Cheers

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On the Twenty-first day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me a Haystack Pinot Gris

It’s Wednesday, so let’s get a little bit country, and reach for a Haystack wine from the wine rack.

This Haystack wine hails from the Yarra Valley in Victoria, and is a brilliant Pinot Gris quaffer to get you over the line of hump day (Wednesday). Priced around the $23 mark, this is a real treat.

The sweetness and freshness of the wine pairs particularly well with Asian food, which is what I did the other night, eating Korean BBQ chicken wings, and kimchi calamari pancakes, along with an array of other Korean food.

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Haystack paired with Korean food

 

“Bright pale straw colour with a watery hue. Lifted pear and floral aromas are followed by some ripe apple, musk and a hint of quince. The palate is a hybrid of traditional Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio possessing a full textural feel and crisp dry finish with flavours of pear, ripe Jonathan apples, subtle musk and quince. Aftertaste of pear, ripe Jonathan apples and quince.” www.nicks.com.a

Until next time winos,

Cheers

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On the Twentieth day of Christmas my wine rack gave to me a SubRosa Chardonnay

Chardonnay rhymes with Tuesday right?

This Chardonnay is an absolute cracker in the lead up to Christmas. It’s a Chardonnay hailing from SubRosa wines in the Grampians – a cool climate region in Victoria, Australia.

Behind this brilliant wine is brilliant winemaker Adam Louder. Adam has many years of experience in the wine industry, having worked in Bordeaux, the Napa Valley, and now in Australia. Adam’s wealth of experience really shows in SubRosa’s wine case, and this Chardonnay is no exception. The grapes are handpicked, and are pressed as a full bunch, which is means less fruit damaged, and tonnes of flavour.

The wine is refreshing, and I feel has a slightly modern take on the classic Chardonnay. With melon and citrus flavours coming through, it has a slight acidity level to it. While some Chardonnay’s are big on that big buttery taste, this one is not so much, and is an absolute delight to drink.  The other big plus is that it comes at a price tag of $25! Everyone’s a winner!

The name of the wine also has a great story behind it:

“SubRosa is latin for under the rose. In ancient times, a rose was hung over the table as a mark of secrecy. What was said or happened around the table, stayed at the table.” http://www.subrosawine.com.au

 

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Here I’ve paired the SubRosa Chardonnay with a fresh home made pasta topped with Chicken, Mushroom and Asparagus in a white wine sauce

Until next time winos,

Cheers

 

 

 

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