As a lover of all things extravagant and stylish, I of course took an instant liking to Cargo Road Wines. With their delightfully artistic labels, their full-bodied reds and light, crisp whites, I knew I’d hit the jackpot when I recently discovered the Australian grown and bottled range.
With vineyards situated west of Orange and Blue Mountains local artist Tanya Loviz responsible for the eclectic label artwork which pays homage to years gone by, what is not to love?!
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with James Sweetapple, chief wine maker at Cargo Road Wines, who has imparted his wealth of knowledge with regards to the questions on everyone’s lips this Summer – how do I select the perfect wine to serve or take to my next garden function.
Which wine should I serve to accompany a casual garden BBQ?
If you are like me and love your wine (and do not have to drive after the BBQ!) I would have a cold glass of Riesling while I am cooking the BBQ and would be nibbling on some dip and vegies. A Cabernet Merlot is just perfect with a scrumptious chargrilled piece of meat – the tannin and acid balance in the wine works very well in balancing the light char character and the little bit of fat in the meat. I would also have a rocket salad with a good dose of Parmesan and pear in it. All of this works wonderfully together.
Which wines are ideal to accompany a Christmas Seafood lunch?
This is an easy one! I would be starting with the Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc; fresh, fruity and a lovely balance just like a Prosecco. Then I would have some Riesling if you are serving oysters, marinated anchovies, baked Ocean trout or any other white fish. A nice idea would be to switch to a Gewurztraminer with the amazing lifted nose of Turkish delight, with a hint of ginger on the pallet. Then to top it off, have your guests sit down with a good chunk of Christmas pudding and brandy sauce and a bottle of Zinfandel – you will not know where the pudding starts and the wine stops! They share so many flavours together, just perfect! Be warned though, you may need to schedule in some time for a little nap after lunch!
A great wine to share with friends on New Years’ Eve?
Everyone likes bubbles when it comes to a special occasion, so a Sparkling Sav Blanc will be a real winner before the clock strikes twelve. Then later in the night when you are sitting down lamenting the year that was, a block of parmesan a slicer and a glass of Zinfandel should do the trick – you will not need anything else, this is simple perfection.
What’s your top tip for avoiding ‘Wine Overwhelm’ when it’s your turn to ‘bring a bottle’?
I LOVE supporting the Australian wine industry, and there are many, many small and medium producers out there. I would get a bottle that I have had and liked previously, reducing the risk of turning up with an unpleasant surprise. Stick to trying new wines for when you are feeling adventurous at home.
I personally like aromatic whites and full bodied reds so I would avoid Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, as well as Pinot Noir, but that is my particular palate preference. I usually stick with a Gewürztraminer, a Riesling, and some of the new Austrian or Italian whites are always interesting.
When it comes to Red wines, there are so many to choose from, I’d suggest to keep it simple and select your bottle based on your favourite flavours as well as your price bracket.
Try not to be fooled by a gold sticker on the label, or by the bottle shapes and amazing labels – it is ALL about the content! Yes, the label may attract you, but when you pick up the bottle, make sure you read the label and investigate a little more about what flavours are hiding inside!
To take advantage of James’ expert knowledge and wine-making skills, he’s kindly offering all Mountain Whispers clientele 10% off any case of wine purchased online at www.cargoroadwines.com, and he’ll even throw in FREE delivery! Simply use the code MWVINO. If there is a better excuse to purchase a case of wine, I’m yet to hear it!
If you’d like to organise a private group tasting in the Cargo Road Cellar, you can contact James personally on 02 6365 6100 or email@example.com.