I’m a sucker for good Australian wine – it’s the wine country that made me remember that actually, warm climate white wine is really bloody lovely when it’s done right. Hunter Valley is a famous wine region in Australia: hot and humid, growing black and white grapes that are happy ripening in the warmth like Chardonnay, Shiraz and Semillon. This Chardonnay had the characteristic peachiness of a hot-climate white, but all on the nose and not much on the palate. Still worth a punt though: it’s a lovely ‘cosy evening drinking alone to soap operas’ wine… I really didn’t mean for that to sound so depressing.
Name: Hunt Valley Chardonnay
Price: £8.80 (on offer)
Shop: Marks and Spencer
Colour / Intensity: Pale gold
Nose: Perfumed, with tropical notes – passionfruit, pineapple and banana. I got notes of peach melba icecream, whereas the OH got lemon cheesecake. Either way there’s a soft, buttery fruity element to it,
Taste: Dry, with medium alcohol and medium acid. Peachiness and banana notes come through more strongly, but the flavours aren’t as powerful as the aroma suggests. Oddly, it also has an alcoholic burn and taste that doesn’t fit with the ABV (11.5%) – the lack of acid throws off the balance a wee bit.
Good for: Very easy drinking, despite that alcoholic burn. Anything flavoursome that you pair it with will probably overpower it (the tasting notes recommend grilled fish or chicken – where the joy of eating goes to die), so I’d skip the meal pairing and just go for something pappy like crisps and an episode of The OC. Nobody’s judging you.