If you are a trendsetter, now is the time to reintroduce yourself and your friends to Australian wine. Wine critic Robert Parker’s love affair with gargantuan reds from Down Under, subsequently underscored by a glut of plunkish Australian wines in the U.S. marketplace, resulted in a backlash, as consumer palates tired of the high-alcohol, huge-fruit styles of many Australian wines from warmer regions. There are many very compelling and reasonably priced cool-climate Australian white and red wines demurely presenting themselves in the marketplace these days with more earth-driven and less full-bodied characteristics that make these wines fantastic accompaniments to food.
Plantagenet Hazard Hill Shiraz 2009
Sourced from cool-climate areas in the Western Australia region, this fairly full-bodied Shiraz has a moderate jam-berry nose with vanilla notes that precede dusty-earth, peppery qualities on the palate, yielding an elegant spice-fruit balance. Pair with beef tartare, grilled ahi tuna steaks or pappardelle pasta with chanterelles in white wine-cream sauce.
$12.99; Parker’s Table, 7118 Oakland Ave., Richmond Heights, parkerstable.com
Kilikanoon Mort’s Block Watervale Riesling 2010
Clare Valley, Australia
Zesty and bone-dry, this Riesling offers an abundance of lemon-lime, apple and mineral notes, with nuanced apricot and white peaches on the nose. Riesling loves Clare Valley’s moderately continental climate – think warm summer days and cool nights. This is the region from which some of the country’s finest Riesling hails. Pair with endive, apple and blue cheese salad; grilled striped bass with orange-saffron butter; or pad Thai.
$16.99; The Wine Merchant, 20 S. Hanley Road, Clayton, winemerchantltd.com
A St. Louis-based wine and food enthusiast, Jennifer Johnson is a sommelier, wine educator, journalist, and hospitality and marketing consultant who loves to celebrate life, family, food and wine.