Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wine Travel - Queensland, Ridgemill Estate & Cabins

Visit Wine Country.
Stay at the accommodation at Ridgemill Estate Winery, self-contained studio cabins in the vineyards surrounding Stanthorpe on Queensland's Granite Belt. Enjoy a bottle of wine and cheese plate on arrival, plus a breakfast hamper for the morning. Wake up to peaceful rows and rows of vines right at the front door. Well appointed cabins, with everything you need for a relaxing, comfortable get-away.
A great place to stay for a wine tasting weekend. Three cellar doors are within walking distance, Ridgemill itself, plus Lucas Estate and Moonrise Estate. Which is perfect, as no-one will have to drive! Alternatively, you can get picked up from your cabin by a local wine tour operator.
There is a fire place for winter and a BBQ area and air conditioning for summer. If you're lucky you may spot some kangaroos in the driveway at dusk. The cabins at Ridgemill are run by very friendly staff and I am sure that running out wine won't be an issue during your stay!
Ridgemill Estate: Cabins in the Vineyard
218 Donges Road, Severnlea, Queensland, Australia
(07) 4683 5211

I recently was an invited guest at Ridgemill Estate Cabins in the Vineyard.

USA orange wine, Channing Daughters '10 Meditazione

Channing Daughters '10 Meditazione
Beautifully Apricot in colour and a little warm. There is a big lychee hit and pink musk lolly on the nose. I also detect a woody spice, perhaps cedar or ashwood. Can you guess what it tastes like? White-peppered musk lifesavers. Seriously. As well as booze-soaked dried apricots.. and more. This is definitely a white wine that will appeal to red wine drinkers.

Meditazione is an exotic, non-traditional white skin-fermented (or orange wine) blend inspired by the “Vino da Meditazione” wines in the Friuli region of Northeast Italy. The Channing Daughters 2010 Meditazione is comprised of 28% Muscat Ottonel, 20% Chardonnay, 18% Sauvignon Blanc, 12% Pinot Grigio, 10% Tocai Friulano, 5% Viognier, 5% Aligote, 2% Semillon. What a mouthful!
You need to try this for yourself. In Australia, contact Brooks and Amos.

Margaret River Rosé, Si Vintners 2012 Sophie

Si Vintners 2012 Sophie Rosé
Ah, the Margaret River. What a magical place in the world of wine. You probably know by now that I am a huge fan of purpose-made, dry rosé. The Sophie has quite a heavy nose, like you would expect from a dessert wine. However this is truly an amazing dry wine. It tastes like strawberries and porridge with a somewhat creamy mouth feel on first inspection. With some peppered pork, however, the wine is spicy and really savoury. Awesome. You could enjoy this wine either chilled or at room temperature.
A beautiful rosé, bio-dynamically grown, hand-picked, concrete-ferment and unfiltered.
Si Vintners.
Available via Brooks and Amos

USA wine, Channing Daughters '12 Rosato di Refosco.

Channing Daughters '12 Rosato di Refosco.
Wines from Long Island come from a salty, maritime climate and I find that there is always some slight salty aromas or tastes with these wine. Coupled with the Refosco grape makes for a challenging and interesting flavour profile. I say challenging because I personally do not have a reference point for the flavours. Refosco is a very dark-skinned grape, native to Friuli, Italy. Channing Daughters Winery have an amazing array of alternate varieties. They also make quite a lot of rosé, seven, in 2012. This rosé is purpose made with as little as 3 hours skin contact.

To try and describe a unique flavour such as this is tricky, but here goes: The nose is a little like a Pinot Noir, with the promise of something more, perhaps Sangiovese. Sound weird but it is good. Refosco is a very tannic variety plus lends itself to real black fruit flavours. I also got some black olive pip come through. A dead-set perfect match for charcuterie.
To try Channing Daughters wines in Australia, get in touch with Brooks and Amos here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

#MeetTheMaker- Ned Brooks from Brooks and Amos

When you meet Ned Brooks at Brooks of Melbourne- and you are introduced by Matthew Brooke- you know you will be in for a fun evening. Apart from all those Brooks & Brooke gags. Apart from the wine tastings on offer. You just have to listen to the little voice in your head asking, "is that Spiderman?".

I cannot show you his face, because sometimes Ned acts as a dentist on television, but boy oh boy does he resemble a certain Maguire-esque Peter Parker. Regardless of that boyish, mischievous face; Ned, along with partner Joel Amos, get about the place with some smashing wine. I mean, who wouldn't want to drink wine with labels like these?

Bird & Fox - 2012 MSG from Barossa
Big grenache nose, but not as sweet. Decent, peppery middle, minimal sulphur added. An enjoyable drop.

Oiseau et Renard - 2011 certfied organic Shiraz from McLaren Vale, the fruit from Ochre Vale vineyard, Maslin Beach. Minimal sulpher added.the bottle is sealed with cork and wax. 14% alcohol.
Warm and raisiny. Great with cheese. Or, you know, a proper dinner!

Brooks and Amos also kindly look after these fabulous wines: Channing Daughters and Limbo Wines by Ben Gould nationally... Si Vintners east of Perth... Izway, The Wanderer and Patrick Sullivan.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Buying Wine - COOLY LIQUOR, Queensland, Australia

Holidaying on the Gold Coast is something many of us do. I grew up there, so visit as often as I can. At the southern end there are a plethora of beach side apartments to choose from. If you choose this style of holiday, with your own kitchen and spectacular views, you'll need a supply of decent wine. Here's where to buy wine:

Funny sounding name, especially if you're not a local. Funny looking wine displays too:
Excellent service. The staff here have always had excellent wine knowledge, particularly Australian wines. Most of the shop space is dedicated to sub $20 wines with the next biggest allocation $20 - $30 wines. Just about all the white and rosé wines are chilled. There is a small, but well-selected range of reds and Champagne at higher price points if you're looking to splurge. Plenty of Penfolds on offer too.
Cooly Liquor have three outlets on the southern end of the Coast and are my number one tip for take away bottles of good Aussie wine.

COOLY LIQUOR - Coolangatta
Ground Floor / Showcase On The Beach Shopping Centre
72 Marine Parade, Coolangatta 4225
Phone: (07) 55 896 811
OPENING HOURS: Mon to Sun 9am - 10pm

Cnr Kaleena & Kallara Street, Tugun
(opp Tugun Bowls Club)
Phone: (07) 55 250 835
OPENING HOURS: Mon to Sun 10am - 9pm

COOLY LIQUOR - Rainbow Bay
Ward Street, Rainbow Bay
(next to Dee and Pauls Rainbow Cafe)
Phone: (07) 55 994 777
OPENING HOURS: Mon to Sun 10am - 9pm

I have no commercial agreements with Cooly Liquor. I am just sharing a top tip with you! Do you have a tip for me? Comment below or email me at

Friday, December 13, 2013

My 12 Wines of Christmas, penned from Melbourne, Australia

Enjoy my quick and easy food and wine matching, easy buying guide. Cheers!
Lady O's 12 Wines of Christmas:

1) Champagne! My tip for those who want a crowd-pleaser? Bolli, darling! Buy from Vintage Cellars

2) Savvy B. for fresh steamed prawns with lime, Chain of Ponds Black Thursday buy from Wine Selectors

3) Chardonnay for the shellfish, from Oakridge Wines Local Vineyard Series. Buy at

4) Riesling. Because it is Summer of Riesling. Dan Murphy's stock more than 200 via

5) Pinot Gris for drinks with friends. Try De Bortoli Wines La Boheme, buy from their Yarra Valley cellar door

6) Prosecco. For ALL the finger food. I cannot choose just one. Ask the reigning Prosecco Queen, GastronoMel for her top tips!

7) Pinot Noir for all the pork products. Check out the 400+ global range at Prince Wine Store

8) Moscato. For fun. I can't go past Innocent Bystander pink moscato. It even comes in a can.

9) Cabernet. Cullen Cabernet Merlot '12 from Rathdowne Cellars. Esteemed producer, wallet-friendly.

10) Shiraz. Langmeil Winery 2010 Orphan Bank. Seriously good value for super old vines in the Barossa.

11) Fortified. For the plum pudding. Try Penfolds Grandfather Rare Tawny from Cracker Wines

12) Sticky. Says Christmas. Try with cheese. Bass River Winery's Iced Riesling- a stunning choice.

*This post is about my #12WinesofChristmas. I have no commercial arrangements with any of these producers, they are all just good booze. As previously mentioned, I do sell wine for WineSelectors, however I get paid via direct sales and not from you clicking on a link.