Drink no evil
Funky Monkey zero-alcohol rose; Fourth Wave Wine; 0% ABV; $12.99.
Funky Monkey has been crafted by the team behind the popular full-strength No Evil range, Fourth Wave Wine. I'm a fan of their regular rose and I was keen to see if the alcohol-free offering was similar, in my quest to find zero-alcohol wines that taste like wine and not cordial. This one certainly does that. The berries are still there, with a touch of vanilla, and its dry. Many zero-alcohol wines are way too sweet but this one doesn't leave any residue on the palate. There's also a shiraz, pinot noir and and pinot grigio. It's great to see winemakers taking zero-alcohol wines seriously and this range is a must try. Fourth Wave Wine have launched theconsciousdrop.com.au for those looking to expand their knowledge about zero alcohol, preservative free, vegan, and organic wines. Available from danmurphys.com.au
Sweet relief in the sour
Saison d'Erpe-Mere; Brouwerij De Glazen Toren; Glazentorenweg, Belgium; 6.5%; $12.
There's been a surge of sour tastes washing up on our beer-loving shores in the past few years. It's a taste profile that can swing from pursing, mouth-puckering bewilderment, to lofty and virtuous, to soulful and funky. Saison d'Erpe-Mere may just be the gateway you need to begin to understand the realm of sour beers. This, from Belgium and brewed by De Glazen Toren, is rich with wonderfully complex lemony citrus, tropical fruit aromas, and slightly spiced flavours, captured within a lightly creamy body. It's mostly bitter with a flicker of yeasty-ness and a hint of herbal hop character too. You have an obligation to drink a bottle of Saison d'Erpe-Mere for the sake of public taste. It's good for you, believe me.
Gresford boutique charms
Boydell's 2020 Reserve Chardonnay; $40; 5 stars (out of 6).
Today's two wines come from one of the Hunter Valley's most charming boutique ventures. It's run by Daniel and Jane Maroulis, who in late 2016 bought the 85-hectare former Camyr Allyn cattle grazing and 4.8-hectare vineyard property of John and Judy Evers. Steeped in Hunter wine history, it is in an idyllic location on the banks of the Allyn River at East Gresford. The wines are made under contract by ace Hunter winemaker Liz Silkman and her great skills with chardonnay shine in this pale straw, honeysuckle-scented, white peach front palate-flavoured white. The middle shows ruby grapefruit, nashi pear, flint and buttery oak and slatey acid refreshes at the finish. A perfect match for lobster and saffron risotto and cellar for seven years.
Morpeth bistro drawcard
Boydell's 2020 Reserve Shiraz-Pinot Noir; $35; 4.5 star.s
Gresford was where Dr H.J. Lindeman founded the great Lindeman wine empire and Dan and Jane Maroulis adopted the name of 1826 area pioneer Charles Boydell, who raised sheep, cattle, dairying, wheat, corn and tobacco on his crown grant. Jane's family is from Morpeth and Bourke boy Dan previously worked in farming and grazing at Narromine and Dubbo. Their wines are at boydells.com.au and the cellar door and restaurant in what was a 1850s slab timber blacksmith's shop in Green Street, Morpeth. This zingy, 13.5% alcohol red is ruby hued and has potpourri aromas and ripe cherry front-palate flavour. The middle palate shows Satuma plum, spice, nutmeg and mocha oak and the finish minty tannins. Good with roast pork and cellar six years.