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Antipodean Adventure

As the nights draw in, and you start feeling all 53 of our degrees of latitude, try thinking about those places where summer is currently blazing away. If you want to cheer yourself with a glass of summer, it might be time for a little Fun from Down Under.

Aussie and Kiwi winemakers learned from the experience of the Old World, and put what they learned to great use. There are just as many inspired artisans as there are companies making wine by numbers. We work with the artisans who understand that bigger isn’t necessarily better, and their focus on quality is what drew us to their wines. Michiel Eradus and Mark Lloyd are two such winemakers.

Ana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Michiel Eradus in Wines Direct Mullingar


Sauvignon Blanc is one of those rare grapes that stands apart in having its most famous expression come from the New World. In the world of wine, Marlborough, at the north end of the South Island in New Zealand, is synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc. In the 1980s, winemakers around Marlborough started making an assertive and tropical style of Sauvignon Blanc. Since then winemakers the world over have been trying to emulate this.

Ana Sauvignon Blanc, made by Michiel Eradus, is a great example of this Marlborough style of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s got a balanced burst of tropical passionfruit flavours that lead into a fresh and sustained finish. It’s a wonderful glass of southern hemisphere sunshine and would be great with lighter seafood. Come to think of it, Ana with a salad involving any kind of sweet element would be a fantastic combination.

Coriole McLaren Vale Sangiovese Shiraz

Speaking of fantastic combinations, Coriole Vineyards in Australia’s MacLaren Vale produces a wonderful red wine using the somewhat unusual blend of Sangiovese and Shiraz grapes. Sangiovese was once Italy’s most planted grape and made famous by the part it plays in Chianti. Jancis Robinson has acknowledged the success of Coriole’s efforts with Sangiovese: “Coriole and Pizzini have shown that Sangiovese can thrive in such different wine regions as McLaren Vale and the Victorian Highlands.”

On its own, Sangiovese has an elusive flavour ranging from mulberries and prunes to spice, tobacco, leather and chestnuts. In this wine, the influence of the Shiraz lightens the Sangiovese resulting in aromas of tart red fruit and earthy dark chocolate. On the palate, there are hints of spice and liquorice along with generous juicy fruit. To my mind, this is a prototypical barbeque wine lending itself to red meat and game, and particularly to anything that gets a bit charred.

So if you feel that the Northern Hemisphere just isn’t doing it for you these days, take a trip to the Antipodes. Both Ana Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Coriole McLaren Vale Sangiovese Shiraz will be open to taste in our Arnotts and Mullingar shops from Monday, November 27th.