Liquid sunshine for the soul!!

Now is the season when many of the wine lovers among us turn to their attention to Port and Sticky wines.

Ok so you can’t drink these wines all day everyday (without some serious blood sugar issues) but it’s like delicately savoring your favorite ever desert, which lasts for an entire bottle.

After all, is there any better time for a petite little glass of something sticky and sweet than at the end of a hearty winter meal?

There are many different variations – sweet and smooth, light and fruity, heavy and Christmassy or just plain sticky… and they’re all worth a whirl.

Here are our 8 favorites – for which The Wine Pig gives a warm congratulations to the wines and their makers.

For the Fortified and Desert wine lovers in all of us.

Josef Chromy, Tasmania – Ruby Pinot NV (Fortified)

If you’re looking to enjoy your cool evenings with a more traditional style of port, then Josef Chromy’s Ruby Pinot is a great place to head to. It screams rich fruit cake with ripe and juicy dark cherry and plums. It’s silky, it’s vibrant and it’s delicious. Make sure to pour yourself a generous portion!

Tempus Two, Hunter Valley - Botrytis Semillon

Powerful, sweet and complex, Tempus Two’s Botrytis Semillon is packed with fruity marmalade and dried apricots with a hint of honey and a smidge of zesty citrus. A wonderfully elegant and excellently rich way to end a meal. 

Patina Wines, Orange – Old Tawny Liqueur

Patina Wines’ amazing Old Tawny Liqueur is to die for. It’s had many years of aging in small oak barrels and the outcome is fantastic. A wonderfully fruity and complex post-winter dinner wine which is offset by luscious nutty and sweet toffee notes. There is no way you’ll get away with having just one little sip!

Mudgee Wines, Mudgee – 2011 late harvest Golden Triangle Semillon

Mudgee Wines’ 2011 late harvest Golden Triangle Semillion has a golden honey colour while being packed full of sweet and juicy tropical mango and pineapple notes, offset with a hint of oakiness. Incredibly smooth and incredibly wonderful. Hello winter deliciousness!!!! 

Petersons, Mudgee – Cellar Port NV

If something a little heavier is more to your taste, Petersons of Mudgee make a spectacular Tawny Port which can really truly be described as Christmas in a glass. Ok, so we’re still half a year out from the silly season, but Christmas in July is just around the corner. You wouldn’t find The Wine Pig’s dinner table without a bottle, and healthy glass, of this one. Heaven in a bottle.

Pieter Van Gent, Mudgee – White Port

The original white port made in NSW’s Mudgee region, by the wonderful Pieter Van Gent, is smooth, silky and luscious with tinges of nectar notes. It is a fantastic accompaniment to your hearty winter feast, or simply on the side of a hot desert. It’s not too sticky, it’s not too sweet, it’s just right.

McWilliams, Hanwood – Show Reserve Limited Release Tawny Port

This port screams dark chocolate and Christmas pudding like all the very best Tawny Port’s do…but its rich and full flavoured palette combined with a silky smooth finish set it apart from the rest. This bottle didn’t stick around for long in The Wine Pig household!!!

Tim Adams, Clare Valley – 2011 Botrytis Riesling

If sweet and luscious is what you’re after then look no further than Tim Adam’s Botrytis Riesling. Its sugary characters are perfectly balanced with the floral and citrus notes traditionally found in a Clare Valley Riesling, and the outcome is exceptional. Stock up on the cheese and crack open a bottle of this beauty – it would be a crime not to!

Time to dig out your thermals, winter is here and temperatures across Australia are plummeting. 

While the cool weather and short days may hinder your ability to soak up that much needed vitamin D while refreshing yourself with truckloads of your favorite crisp white wine, or delicious Aussie sparkling, these winter months have something even more exciting in store for you and your love for wine-drinking.

To help you on your way, The Wine Pig has put together a list of wines which we think you should be drinking this winter.

Mayfield Vineyard, Orange – 2009 Pinot Noir Chardonnay sparkling

There is no season, time or occasion that a glass of fantastic bubbles is anything other than entirely appropriate. And this one is up there with the best! Mayfield Vineyard’s 2009 Pinot Noir Chardonnay is delicate and light with tiny bubbles and soft berry notes which give it a slight pink-orange tinge. This is one not to miss.

Petersons, Hunter Valley – 2004 Sparkling Durif Zinfandel

While Aussie sparkling wine has a place in every winter wine collection, so too does a brilliant sparkling red. This sparkling Durif Zinfandel is a perfect compromise on a light sparkling and a big heavy red. It’s inky black with fine little bubbles and lashings of full and rich dark berries with hints of savory spice and chocolate. As Petersons say themselves... "life is flat without bubbles"! 

Lou Miranda Estate, Barossa Valley – 2015 Leone Pinot Grigio

For those among us who are looking for something fresh and zesty, even though its already fresh enough outside, Lou Miranda’s 2015 Pinot Grigio is an excellent example of fresh and vibrant white wine with plenty of green apple acidity and a slight floral note. Refreshing enough to knock back curled up on the sofa but not so acidic that it’s impossible to drink if the sun isn’t beaming!

Mount Pleasant, Hunter Valley – 2007 Elizabeth Semillon

Semillon is an excellent winter wine for those who aren’t quite ready to move into a wintery red. Mount Pleasant’s golden version is packed full of fresh citrus and finished with a little bit of pineapple sweetness. It’s lively with a fine acidity but also rich enough to complement those big hearty meals on chilly nights.

Kaesler, Barossa Valley – 2012 ‘The Bogan’ Shiraz

One of our absolute favorites, it’ll be difficult for everyone not to fall in love with this Shiraz! It’s full and ripe with a deep red colour from the plum and cherry notes and hints for savory spice. But it’s so unbelievable smooth and velvety that it’s like drinking the wine world’s equivalent of silk. If you haven’t already had the pleasure, find ‘The Bogan’ and drink it now! And the best bit, how on earth could you ever forget that hilariously quirky name?! It’ll stay with you for a lifetime, for more reason that one.

Robert Stein, Mudgee – 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

No winter meal is complete without a juicy Cabernet Sauvignon to wet your whistle. Robert Stein’s version is a classic example of excellent Mudgee wines can be. Its hints of savory French oak is perfectly complemented by spicy berry and cassis making it into a fantastically rich and elegantly full bodied wine which is hard to put down.

Pieter van Gent, Mudgee – 2010 Durif

There is no better time that these chilly winter months to kick back with a hearty stew great big goblet of a big juicy Durif! It’s intense, it’s rich and with a colour to match. Pieter van Gent’s version is big and full bodied giving a huge round mouthful of cherry and blackberry. It’s like being slapped round the face with a wet shoe, and loving it. A Durif wine demands respect and its hard not to comply.

Patina Wines, Orange – Old Tawny Liqueur

Patina Wines’ amazing Old Tawny Liqueur is to die for. It’s had many years of aging in small oak barrels and the outcome is fantastic. A wonderfully fruity and complex post-winter dinner wine which is offset by luscious nutty and sweet toffee notes. There is no way you’ll get away with having just one little sip!

Who doesn’t love an amazing glass of Aussie Cabernet Sauvignon?!

Often considered one of the finest red grapes, Australian-made Cabernet Sauvignon is incredibly diverse given the extreme differences in climates across the vast country, which is just a massive win for all of us that call this wonderful country ‘home’.

We’ve got  the medium to cool regions like Margaret River and Coonawarra where, the wines are usually powerfully flavored with lashings of dark berries. Down in the cool climate Yarra Valley this wine resembles a more elegant and refined version while over in the drier McLaren Vale and Orange wine regions. the Cabernet Sauvignon has a dark, deep berry flavor complemented by chocolate.

In short, there are so many varieties of this wine, from so many different areas that any wine lover could spend years solely dedicated to exploring and comparing them all.

But here are our top five favorites – for which The Wine Pig offers the wines and their producers a big hearty congratulations.

For the Cabernet Sauvignon lover in all of us.

Patina, Orange – 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a fine example of how fantastic a great Cabernet Sauvignon can be. It’s rich and deliciously smooth with elegant ripe blackberry and blackcurrant notes finely balanced with hints of chocolate and tobacco thanks to the complexities from barrel ageing.

Eagles Rest, Margaret River – 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Yet another desperately delicious wine, Eagles Rest’s Cabernet Sauvignon is extremely difficult not to fall in love with. Packed full with red berries, leafy tobacco notes and a hint of floral aromatics, this wine is powerful and intense while still maintaining its dignified elegance. And it demands respect.

Ross Hill, Orange – 2013 Tom + Harry Cabernet Sauvignon

The grapes for Ross Hill’s version of this wonderful varietal grow at a 750 metre altitude and benefit from time spent in French oak barrels to bring out their woody cedar notes. It has a fantastic balance between fruitiness and spiciness with plenty of bright berries and hints of spice. Utterly delicious.

Train Trak/Zonzo Estate, Yarra Valley – 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

A standout from the recently halted Train Trak range. The medium-bodied wine is very deep crimson in colour and is packed full to the brim with deep juicy berry flavours which are balanced on an elegant and silky finish with fine grained tannins. It is exceptional and we’re excited to see, and taste, how Zonzo Estate’s new offerings compare.

Talavera Grove, Orange – 2011 Carillion Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon

Located on the slopes of Mt Canobolas in Orange, these Cabernet Sauvignon grapes benefit hugely from the volcanic soil, giving it a subtle smoky oak flavour complemented by plenty of juicy blackcurrant which makes it smooth and so amazingly wonderful to sip on glass, after glass, after glass…. after glass…

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