Feb 2017

Vino For Valentine’s

Ok, so you’ve done the roses, the chocolates, the dinner booking etc…now, what about the wine? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner it might be a good idea to get that someone special something nice to drink – forget Feb Fast, you might find you need the old social lubricator if things get desperate. Anyway, here are some suggestions to hopefully help you win their heart and palate…good luck!



Guys & Girls- Ok, if it’s ‘Wow Factor’ you need then it just has to be one of the big gun French Champagne labels like Veuve Cliquot, Moet Chandon/Dom Perignon, Bollinger, Louis Roederer, Pol Roger, Pommery…the list goes on, and everyone pretty much knows the score price wise. However, Aussie sparkling worthy of such an occasion should have a place too and those from our local region fit the bill perfectly. Barwon Ridge is one such sparkling producer, located out near the Barrabool Hills, where they produce a surprisingly exceptional sparkling wine in their Barwon Ridge 2014 Sparkling Vintage Brut ($35). Terrific for any occasion, this possesses a finesse and elegance coupled with complexity and interest both in the aromatics and on the palate quite beyond its modest price point. Rich, yet refreshingly crisp and delicate on the finish, this would definitely pair well with the oysters!



Girls – Many white wine lovers are falling out of love with Sauvignon Blanc of late I wonder? and falling into the willing arms of another, more often than not, the very accommodating Pinot Gris grape. For girls who just wanna have fun, try the Hipsters Sister from Livewire Wines ($33), it’s a very textural, rich, and complex blend of six white varieties (Riesling, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Muscadelle and Chardonnay), guaranteed to please!


Guys – It’s funny with guys, but I don’t think there’s any particular preference for any one particular white grape variety over another, so go a rich, layered Chardonnay from Geelong like the super dooper 2015 AD1314 from Bannockburn $32), its absolutely delicious for the price, but come to think of it, there is that whole “Bro –sé” thing going on too at the moment, so maybe a pale dry rosé from say the likes of Provence in France or a local treat in the Baie Rosé $28 (if you can track it down!) is again, deliciously light and crisp and perfect for that summer nights dream date…either way, I’m pretty sure he’ll be happy.



Girls – All the single ladies out there love pinots…yep, it’s a popular red variety for sure with the better examples like the delicious 2015 Curlewis ‘Bel-Sel Pinot Noir ($30) from down on the Bellarine Peninsula, going down an absolute treat. It’s sensational value drinking, showing beautiful perfumed ripe cherry/plum aromatics, and rich berries and spice on the palate. The wine is medium bodied with fleshy tannins and the feel is soft and seductive…sexy even, which sounds just perfect.


Guys – Sensative New Age Guys (S.N.A.G.’s) will probably want some left of centre, obscure savoury Euro red, so the just released ridiculously smooth, juicy and complex 2015 Rowsley Fault Graciano ($32) – is a Spanish red grape variety grown out Sutherlands Creek way in the Moorabool Valley that will definitely spice things up! If your bloke’s more the gung-ho type Aussie male then a good solid fruit rich Shiraz from the Barossa or McLaren Vale is a good place to start also. However, deep in our own backyard out Murche Boluc way (think Hamilton Highway), Spence Wines are producing some terrific wines and their current 2013 Spence Shiraz ($40) is a cracking wine full of richness, suppleness and complex aromatics making it downright deeelicious, no wonder they did so well at The Geelong Wine Show last October.


Cheers, Jon Helmer