Jot of joy within Delta
De Bortoli 2020 Blue Pinot Gris, $ 19.95.
Dictionaries say delta is a low, flat land area where a river divides into several smaller streams flowing into the sea. These days, however, it has sinister meaning as the most contagious of COVID-19 strains. It is having terrible impacts on daily life, but today I have a little cheer with a Canberra red and this refreshing King Valley pinot gris. Why is it labelled Blue? The De Bortoli PR declares because Blue evokes feelings of calmness, trust and confidence and hope, change and freedom. The wine is pale straw and has grassy aromas and crisp pear front-palate flavour. The middle shows passionfruit, apple peel and mineral characters and a finish of flinty acid. Drink now with quiche and buy at shop.debortoli.com.au and bottle shops.
Canberra red blend cheer
Shaw Wines 2019 Winemakers Selection Cabernet-Merlot, $ 20.
Here’s another enjoyable, affordable tipple this time from Graeme and Ann Shaw’s vineyard near the NSW village of Murrumbateman, in the Canberra wine region. It is a 57% cabernet sauvignon-43% merlot blend from what Graeme rates “a very good year”. Registering 14% alcohol, the wine shines bright garnet in the glass and has berry pastille aromas and juicy blackberry flavour on the front palate. The middle palate introduces mulberry, Morello cherry, herb and cedary oak characters and chalky tannins come through at the finish. Good with Chinese barbecued pork and fried rice and cellar four years. Get it at shawvineyards.com.au, wine shops and post-lockdown at the Isabel Drive, Murrumbateman, cellar door and the Olleyville at Shaw Restaurant.
What the world needs
Dungog IPA, Tin Shed Brewery, Dungog, NSW, ALC/VOL: 5.7%, $ 8.
Strong Towns, a book by Charles Marohn, outlines why cities and towns of all sizes continue to struggle to meet their basic municipal needs by adopting short-sighted, financially motivated, top-down policies that favour infinite, yet unsustainable growth. Marohn advocates for entrepreneurial solutions that strengthen the community financially, and improve quality of life. This is exactly what Jimmy and Haley Cox have been doing in Dungog the past four years; helping to build a strong town by brewing good beer, like the Dungog IPA: Golden amber and obviously hoppy; think, spicy florals and peppered orange citrus. Bitterness abounds, but it’s balanced by a moreish maltiness of toast and toffee. Your fridge needs more Dungog IPA’s, while the world needs more Jimmy’s and Haley’s.
Just in time for summer
Bombay Sapphire Sunset Special Ediition Gin, Bacardi-Martini, Laverstoke Mill, England, 43%, 700ml, $ 65.
Gin with a kick. Bombay Sapphire’s slight of hand with the Sunset Special Edition adds a twist of warmth to the taste, with golden turmeric and Indian white cardamom added to the recipe (along with Spanish mandarin peel). It’s 3% higher in alcohol – sipped straight, it’s noticeable. We are coming into gin and tonic, gin and negroni, gin and whatever-you-like season, so it’s great to have (yet) another option to offer from the spirits shelf. What’s the pitch? A little stronger, a little darker in spirit, a little deeper in taste. You don’t really need an excuse to be adventurous.