Down under delights

Australian wine is immensely popular in Ireland, thanks in no small part to its unpretentious approach which, when combined with generations of winemaking skill and excellence, makes for some excellent varieties, especially at this time of year


Brand Central

12 July 2018 | 0


  • Australia became a global force in winemaking in the 1950s, due to the efforts of the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide. It was founded to promote the art and science of winemaking in Australia, and helped producers begin exporting all over the world
  • There are approximately 2,000 wine producers across Australia, in 65 characteristic regions. Amazingly, up to 90% of these producers were established in 1970 or later
  • All 65 regions grow and use chardonnay and shiraz, Australia’s best-known grapes
  • An estimated 30m glasses of Australian wine are consumed around the world every day

With consumer confidence growing along with income, Ireland’s wine market is climbing, and expected to record stable growth in the coming years*. That said, the industry faces challenges too, such as the ongoing Public Health (Alcohol) Bill debate as well as the issue of consumers constantly seeking ways to improve their health and wellness through what they eat and drink.

In any case, wine sales are climbing in Ireland, with 9m cases sold in 2016, an increase on the previous year**. Among that number, imports from Australia are also on the increase after several years of stagnation following the global downturn in 2007.

In the coming years, wine sales are expected to continue to grow in Ireland, to reach a whopping 72m litres in 2021. The progress will come in tandem with predicted economic growth, leaving consumers with increased disposable income and predilection for non-essential grocery items such as wine.

*(Source: Wine in Ireland, Euromonitor, June 2018)

Vibrant, flavoursome and approachable

Yellow Tail Shiraz is unpretentious and flavoursome, perfect for enjoying with friends over a barbecue!

The experts at Yellow Tail believe that wine can be affordable and good fun, but also great quality. Their wines are vibrant, flavoursome and approachable, and the brand’s ethos is to make everyday moments more enjoyable.

When it comes to wine, Yellow Tail makes its own rules, and the only thing truly serious about the brand is that commitment to quality! Yellow Tail is instantly recognisable, both for its appearance and personality, and if consumers want to cut to the chase, it’s simple: drink it, share it, and enjoy it.

Often referred to as “the classic Australian red wine”, shiraz is an easy to drink, all-time favourite. Yellow Tail Shiraz is no exception to the rule.

The wine is bottled at the Casella Family Winery in Yenda, New South Wales, where the grapes are crushed and stems removed; next, they are fermented on skins in contact with oak. Temperature- controlled fermentation ensures maximum varietal flavour, colour and tannin extraction. Concentrated red berry fruit is complemented by subtle liquorice, sweet blueberry and subtle spice notes derived from the oak.

Yellow Tail Shiraz is a youthful and vibrant red wine that displays red berry fruit flavours with hints of liquorice and spice. It’s soft and juicy on the palate with a lengthy and weighty finish. It should be enjoyed with a hearty steak, preferably with a bunch of friends in front of an equally hearty campfire!

Pinot Grigio’s grape originates in Italy, and grows well in Australia due to its hot, dry climate

Yellow Tail’s Pinot Grigio grape has its origins in Italy, and grows very well in Australia’s warm climate, creating wines that not only drink well, but make for excellent matching with food. Every glass of Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio feels like a little trip to Italy!

The grapes for Pinot Grigio are harvested in the cool of night, before being pressed and clarified. Particular care is taken throughout this process to avoid oxidation. The clarified juice is fermented at low temperatures by a selected yeast strain to preserve fruit intensity and freshness. The cold storage of the wine maintains the youthful character until it is bottled at the Casella Family Winery in Yenda, New South Wales.

The resulting wine is delightfully fresh with aromas of pear, hints of green apples and a zing of citrus lime; a crisp, clean palate and vibrant flavours of passionfruit, pear and apple.

Serve lightly chilled with Asian-inspired share plates on a warm summer evening.

Cookout companion

De Bortoli’s Woodfired Heathcote Shiraz was developed especially with barbecuing and grilled meats in mind

The De Bortoli winery is a third-generation, family-run company established by 1928 by Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli, who emigrated from Italy to Australia some years earlier. The winery got started when Vittorio took farmers’ excess grapes free of charge and created wines that were an instant hit with the Italian community and beyond.

Based in the Yarra Valley, which is one of Australia’s premier cool climate wine regions, the De Bortoli winery is located approximately 50 km north-east of Melbourne, near the towns of Yarra Glen (pop. 2,600) and Healesville (pop. 6,800). The Yarra Valley is recognised for producing some of Australia’s finest Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Chardonnay.

At this time of year, De Bortoli’s wines are perfectly suited to outdoor cooking and eating, in particular two of its most enticing offerings in red and white.

From the ancient red Cambrian soils of Northern Heathcote, De Bortoli Woodfired Shiraz is a perfectly crafted wine to accompany a chargrilled rib-eye. Steve Webber, winemaker at De Bortoli, says the wine came about when they saw a growing trend for dry-aged beef. “We thought we could craft the perfect dense, seasonable red wine to wash this down,” he said, “so we had a little fun with it and we think we have made a cracking wine.”

The Woodfired Shiraz is a bold, mouth-filling red wine that is plump, fruit driven, balanced and delicious.

(De Bortoli Woodfired Shiraz Heathcote: RRP €18, stocked by independent off-licences)

For those who prefer a white wine with their food, another excellent barbecue wine from De Bortoli is The Accomplice Chardonnay. It has the appearance of light straw, with lifted aromas of ripe peach and nectarine, complimented by a lick of vanilla oak. The Accomplice is a medium dry, medium-bodied wine. On the palate it is soft with a creamy texture, balanced by fine acidity to give a clean and very long finish.  Accomplice Chardonnay is also a good accompanist

(De Bortoli The Accomplice Chardonnay: RRP €12.99, stocked by independent off-licences)

Simply the best

Neil McGuigan of McGuigan Wines recently won the ‘Best Winemaker in the World’ award, for an impressive fourth time

According to a recent report, McGuigan Wines continues to outperform the market. The brand is now Australia’s number one wine in the off-trade. The Black Label range comprises of a Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Rosé and the latest addition Malbec, which was launched earlier this year.

This summer in Ireland, the range has strong above-the-line marketing support, with a major emphasis on Neil McGuigan winning the award for “Best Winemaker in the World” at the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC) recently. It is the fourth time he has received the prestigious award.

McGuigan Wines is the only winery in the competition’s history to win the title four times. It is a strong illustration of the brand’s innovation, especially with it having recently introduced McGuigan Frizzante to the market. McGuigan Frizzante is made with the grape variety Glera – the same grape variety used for Prosecco. It is also made in the same way; the difference being that it’s produced in Australia not Italy. In short, if you like Prosecco, you’ll love McGuigan Frizzante! It is now available in a 20cl snipe as well as 70cl.

McGuigan Wines are distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.

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