Wines for The Sweet Tooth
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Published by TOP4 Team
Sauvignon blanc has been enjoying its time in the sun in recent years, but will now be sharing the territory with a number of more light and fruity newcomers.
Pinot gris going great
We have spoken about pinot gris before but are now seeing much more of it as the quality from Australia and New Zealand improves markedly. Many people now pour a pinot gris from Marlborough ahead of the sauvignon blanc they have loved recently.
Pinot gris and pinot grigio are the same grape. Gris is French, grigio Italian. In those countries the French often make theirs fuller flavoured and fruity rich, the Italians prefer theirs light and dry. Our winemakers can call it as they see it. The kiwis seem to have settled on gris and are making a few crackers. Many names are familiar to sav blanc drinkers: Stoneleigh, Brancott, Villa Maria, Yealands, Mud House and Giesen.
You are more likely to find a wine called grigio in Australia, but if you are after more fruitiness, look for the gris. There are some beauties here too, with flavours that remind you of apples, pears and a rich tropical feel on the tongue. Innocent Bystander, Taylors, T’Gallant, Eddystone Point, Vavasour, Printhie, Shadowfax and Nepenthe are among our favourites. Generally grigio is refereshing served chilled on its own and gris is terrific with dishes like chicken and pork.
More with muscat
There are many varieties of muscat grape. Almost every wine-producing country grows a couple. They are mostly used in less expensive quaffers, although in north-east Victoria they go into one of the world’s great sweet fortified wines, Rutherglen Liquer Muscat, which is expensively aged for many years. On the opposite end of the spectrum they produce the light, fragrant and fun-filled moscato.
Here you find flower-like aromas and flavours of musk and a grapiness tasting like freshly squeezed juice. The colours can go from clear white to shades of pink and pale orange. Some are quite still, others have a delightful spritz, some with full bubbles under wired corks.
Most brands offer well-made examples, from $5 to $25, and many are lighter in alcohol (6-10%). Share a bottle with friend on a sunny day and you’ll soon decide which appeals. They are best served chilled, as the sweetness can become cloying if warm, and are a great accompaniment to lighter desserts such as fresh fruit or pavlova.