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Wine by the glass, by the bottle … oh, is that a crate?

It’s like an Ark, or a flood of wine

WINE COMES into Eat Drink Sleep Shop Australia like animals into Noah’s Ark, two-by-two. Perhaps it’s not so unusual since one of us likes white and the other prefers something pinker or redder.

But as the bottles trundle in for sampling and enjoyment, their labels and other accoutrements also tell stories, so we’ve prepared a little picture gallery to accompany today’s yarn.

For instance, the iconic and very popular Ten Minutes by Tractor winery and cellar door on the Mornington Peninsular south-east of Melbourne includes a tractor logo on nearly everything, including its metal screw caps. Cap art is not new but it’s normally words: this is the first time I’ve seen an embossed illustration. Let us know if you’ve seen any …

On the back label, TenX (as they seem to abbreviate the brand) has adopted the now-common Quick-Response codes to steer shoppers to their website.

And for a quick review: the 2010 Estate Chardonnay impressed us as our Wine of the Christmas Season (we went back for more) and the Rosé was lovely, lightly fruity but still dry enough for our taste.

THIS MONTH we ventured into the wilds of Carlton North, Melbourne, to Enoteca Sileno and the 60th birthday of what the locals probably regard as an institution: a corner wine shop, a deli and a restaurant in Lygon Street. Their menu offerings captivated the three of us on a Saturday evening but the wine was an even more alluring call. We fell prey to the 2011 Jacot Friulano “Ronco Calaj”, from north-east Italy and which tasted of chardonnay but also of sunshine; and a cheeky little prosecco, Furlan, also from the north-east.

WE don’t normally have to go far for quality drops … down the end of our street to Auburn Wine Cellars, Hawthorn East. So on the way home from work on this Friday I chose a Spanish 2010 Garnacha (visit http://www.docampodeborja.com/en/imperiogarnacha.html) and a delightful 2009 chardonnay from Dixons Creek in the Yarra Valley. The wine tasters at home immediately ordered me to purchase more.

WHY GO OUT when the wine man can come to us? We received a call from Stuart, a roving rep for the Pieroth winery, who lugged his chiller box into Hawthorn for our benefit. There was at least half a dozen varieties hidden in there from Europe, New Zealand and here in Australia but we settled on a Te Atanga New Zealand sauvignon blanc (13% alc/vol) and a 2005 Victorian “Big Mamma” Red Diamond with a delightful 15.5% alcohol kick. Hmmmmm. Been drinking these ever since.

LAST but definitely not least is the journalists’ offerings in the Eat Drink Sleep Shop wine round-up. We stopped in at Get Wines Direct (161 Burnley St  Richmond) and lo and behold, there is a pinot noir called Headlines (from Griffith) and a chardonnay called Bylines (from Margaret River). If you’re a journalist and understand the significance, please comment and let us know you’re there … another one for the wine list.

Keep drinking …

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