In these uncertain times, with restricted movement and loss of earning ability, many of us are looking to "trade down" – to buy less expensive things while not giving up entirely on our customary lifestyle habits. A hundred creative ways with mince-meat would be a popular cookbook, if it exists – which it surely does. As for wine, one response could be not to drop your budget per bottle, but simply drink less. Even better: buy smarter. There are plenty of cracking wines out there that offer extra special value for money. Here are three Australian reds, at widely different price-levels, which all taste like wines of twice the price.
Coldstream Hills Deer Farm Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018, Yarra Valley, $50
I tasted this stonking pinot alongside wines priced at least $100, and it was better than most. It has a powerfully expressive spicy, smoky bouquet with delicious cherry fruit and a dash of charred-oak. It's full bodied, flooding the mouth with exotic, hedonistic flavours. Good tannins; excellent structure. A serious pinot. Screw-cap; 14 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now and for at least 12 years.
Stockists include Dan Murphy's stores and coldstreamhills.com.au
Woodstock Pilot's View Shiraz 2015, McLaren Vale, $38
Every winery in Barossa and McLaren Vale now seems to offer at least one flagship wine in a massive bottle with a price north of $100. This offers all the rich, fleshy generosity of the region at a relatively modest price. Roasting-pan aromas are developing over sweet chocolate, plum, mocha, peanut brittle flavours augmented by soft, fleshy tannins. Hints of Violet Crumble. Screw-cap; 14.8 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to 10+ years.
Stockists include Sydney Wine Beer & Spirits, Terrey Hills (NSW); Red White & Amber Liquor Merchants, Hawthorn (Vic)
Sanguine Estate Kindred Shiraz 2018, Heathcote, $15-$18
The Hunter family at Sanguine Estate have a range of generously flavoured reds including several shirazes, starting with this one. It's very young and fruit-driven, a little callow perhaps, but marvellously full-flavoured and surprisingly concentrated for its lowly price. Dry underbrush, brown spices, licorice and earthy savoury aromas. An amazing bargain. Screw-cap; 14.8 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink now to 10 years.
Stockists include sanguinewines.com.au