If you are a serious entertainer, a gorgeous champagne bucket is simply a must-have! For elegance and affordability it is hard to go past the Peugeot platinum rimmed glass bucket. Its appeal lies in its exquisite simplicity – clean lines, perfect proportions and that dazzling platinum accent. A sparkling statement in any setting!
This elegant cooler typifies the sophisticated design exhibited in all Peugeot barware. Their comprehensive range offers everything the discerning oenologist could desire – from innovative wine aerators and corkscrews (including electric!) to uber-stylish decanters and glasses.
A SERIOUSLY GOOD DROP
At a gala dinner at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria in Shanghai on Wednesday (17th November), wine connoisseurs and collectors from Asia, Europe and Australasia gathered for the release of one of Australia’s most exceptional and coveted wines – Penfolds 2008 Special Bin 620 Coonawarra Cabernet Shiraz. Treasury Wine Estates (owner of iconic Barossa Valley winemaker, Penfolds) have allocated only several hundred cases globally of this premium vintage which retails at $1000 a bottle, such is the demand. An almost 50/50 blend of Shiraz and Cabernet, Special Bin 620 has emerged as a truly superb and very collectable wine. In 8 – 10 years it will begin to reveal the full depth of its luscious character and has the integrity and body to evolve into something even more outstanding given another decade or two of careful cellaring. Stocks in Australia are extremely limited – Penfolds cellar door is your best option.
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING MORE AFFORDABLE…
When it comes to alcohol I’ve always been a “bubbles” kind of girl. I developed a penchant for champagne in my youth and it remains my preferred tipple. I’ve never experience hangovers with champagne – even when I have occasionally over-indulged. Wine on the other hand does not sit quite as well with me. Is the difference in the bubbles?? None-the-less – over recent years a very dear friend (who happens to be an exporter of fine Australian wines), has patiently persisted in converting me – and she has indeed won me over – at least with whites (I’m working on the reds)…
Anyhow – I digress. If you haven’t already had the pleasure, I just wanted to bring to your attention a very pleasant and affordable drop from New Zealand – Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. With a lovely grassy/tropical nose this fresh and zesty SB delivers a delectable balance of melon, citrus and gooseberry flavours which linger seductively on the palate. In Australia, with another long summer almost upon us, this one is an obvious choice for all that lazy outdoor entertaining – a fine complement to red or white meats, salads, Asian cuisine, seafood and…well – just about anything really! Versatile!!
Oyster Bay Wines have earned an enviable international reputation as Super-Premium wine makers since the stellar release of their first vintage in 1991 – the multi-award winning and ever-popular Sauvignon Blanc. Now New Zealand’s third-largest wine producer, they boast a small but very impressive stable of winners – and export to over 20 countries. The original winery (well worth a visit!) is situated in Marlborough, on the coast of New Zealand’s South Island. A second winery; specialising in the production of cool-climate Merlot, was established in the 1990’s at Hawke’s Bay, on the east coast of the North Island.
The Oyster Bay Chardonnay is also quite delightful – in fact, I would not hesitate to recommend their entire range which also includes two sparkling wines (Cuvee Brut and Cuvee Rose) and a fine Pinot Noir. Very consistent palate pleasers – perfect for the festive season! Cheers!!
When we celebrate the holiday season in our Sydney home we like to serve Australian wines to showcase the fine local produce to our overseas visitors.
Last year on Christmas day we served Cape Mentelle Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2010 – a lovely summer drop (as is its 2009 predecessor), with fresh grassy flavours enhanced by citrus and tropical notes – very refreshing and easy on the palate. This is a great complement to our summer menus which feature a lot of seafood and Gabriella’s exotic salads. Cape Mentelle is a world-class winery in the famous Margaret River region of Western Australia. This superb white is a member of the prestigious LMVH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) stable and our Swedish and Canadian houseguests helped us through several bottles during their stay. Drink this affordable crowd-pleaser now – 2013.
Our visitors also took a liking to the Capercaillie 2006 “The Ghillie” Shiraz from New South Wales’ Hunter Valley. This lovely red has a deep ruby colour and distinctly spicy “nose”. It is quite complex in character – fine tannins and a subtle earthiness rounded out with delicious plum, berry and liquorice elements. This highly awarded shiraz is most enjoyable now but will be even more impressive given another 10 years or so.
For festive toasts (and any other plausible excuse) my husband raided the cellar for two particular champagnes – the stellar Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002 (Fine Champagne Magazine named it world’s number one) and my new favourite – the Louis Roederer Cristal Rose 2002. Pale coppery-pink in colour with complex evolving aromas of citrus and red fruits, followed by almonds, apples and frangipane, this most refined bubbly is mellow and perfectly balanced on the palate. Drink now – 2032. (Enjoy right now, but bear in mind that Cristal Rose 2002 will be so much better again with cellaring! Lay down a case or three because this magnificent champagne is going to be highly covetable).