Australian wine has always been known as some of the best drops in the world. Australia has many popular winemaking regions, from McLaren Vale to the Yarra Valley.
However, a question that normally gets asked is, how do I spot the best wine in Australia? The answer to this question can vary, depending on your palette. However, there are some common ways you can spot a good drop from a not so great one.
Here are some key ways you can identify the best wine in Australia and know the basics of not only how to know what a good wine is, but what wine is the best for you.
Know your price point
Before you ask yourself what the best wine in Australia is, ask yourself what your price point is. Everyone will have a different budget when it comes to their wine of choice. It doesn’t matter how low in budget you go, there will always be a decent drop. It’s just about what you ask for.
Normally price points range from $10 and under, to $10 – $20 and so forth. You might think that you can’t find a good wine for under $10, but if you look for the “cleanskin” variety then you can normally find a decent wine. Cleanskin simply means that it doesn’t have a label. It shows you what type of wine it is and other information such as alcohol content and volume. The actual original brand of cleanskins can vary and therefore there is a good chance you could get a well known drop for a fraction of the cost.
Take a look at online forums
Just like when you do research for the purchase of anything else, have a look online. Go to wine appreciation forums, and check out different conversations and threads on the best wines in Australia. Do an online search of articles and blogs on this topic. There are many articles in both traditional and social media that can give you a good overview on what wines are the most popular.
Whilst you are looking on social media at different wine blogs, place a comment under the article. Either the writer or a fellow reader will most likely answer, giving your question the best chance of getting as many opinions as possible.
Look at what the bars’ stock
If you get the chance, go around to some of the popular bars in the city or inner city suburbs and ask the bar manager what drops are the best. Each bar will have a different opinion, however, you will be able to get a sense for what wines are seen as the most popular and why.
It is then up to you to decide which answers ring most true to you. Do you prefer a wine because of the way it pairs with the cuisine you like to eat? Or do you prefer a wine because you like wines from a certain region? Either way, you will be armed with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision.
Know the difference between types of wine
Before you get to know which wine is the right one for you, you have to know the difference between wines and how that matches up with your palette.
To put it simply, most people will either like full-bodied, dry, light or sweet wines. When it comes to red wines, common full-bodied red wines will include Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Lighter reds will include Shiraz and Pinot Noir.
In terms of white wines, full bodied types will include Chardonnay. Lighter or drier whites include drops such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.
Dessert wines, such as Muscat will be of the sweeter variety.
There are also the sparkling wines to consider. Some of the drier wines include Prosecco, where a sweeter sparkling could be a Riesling.
Once you have the basics down between the different types of wine, you can start drilling down the variety for you. For example, if you like a drier white wine, then start by looking at Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
In order to spot a good wine, remember that it will differ depending on who you are talking to. However, as a rule of thumb, if you know your price point you can then focus on what is good for that budget. Don’t forget to take a look online.
Like with any type of research, starting out by doing a quick online search will give you the starting block that you need. Also, look at what bars currently stock. They are the experts in wine and should know what to look out for. Lastly, know the difference between wines so you know which one will suit your tastes the best.
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world.