jan. 19, 2012: call it a home run, a gift that really hit the spot, whatever. but this birthday present from greg's parents was really ideal with the chorizo and green pepper bratwurst we got from newburgh's rivertown butcher shop, which is really *the* place for homemade brats in this area. i thought this australian was smooth and creamy, with lots of red berry flavor. it had an intense feel, and the sweet flavors in the wine were an especially fantastic contrast with the chorizo's spicy heat. when i first tasted this, minus the brats (since they were still on the grill at that point) i thought it reminded me somewhat of a red zinfandel from california (if i may be permitted to make that general statement), but there wasn't enough pure blackberry flavor for me to leave it at that. this 2009 definitely had a concentrated flavor and texture. greg said it had a bit of tobacco nose, with undertones of black cherries. that said, it was smooth, sweet and straightforward. 14.9 percent alcohol. this was a gift, but greg's mom got it at big red liquors in bloomington.
this column runs as "bottle by bottle" in the evansville courier and press twice or so a month. the focus is on wines, food and how they intersect. if i receive gifts, i'll tell you. photo credits are noted. i buy most of my wines from winetree, varsity liquors, schnucks, the fresh market, kwik liquor and winestyles (in evansville, ind.); big red liquors and sahara mart (in bloomington, ind.); vecchio's italian market (in newburgh, ind.); whole foods (in st. louis); and binny's (in chicago.) also, i do try a number of wines that i don't necessarily mention in the column, through travels to france and other markets (germany, hungary, italy, etc.) that don't sell wines i can find here. those experiences factor into my tasting descriptions, even if i don't mention them in the column, so keep all that in mind. i write the column to tell my readers in the evansville, ind., area what i consider to be flavorful, balanced and good-value wines for sale in this area.