Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Did You Know?... About Australian Wine

Australia is more than just a land of Yellow Tail wine, although they're a big reason we even know about Australian wines in this country, thanks to their horribly large production and distribution throughout the United States. Tina fully admits their Pinot Grigio was her go-to wine in her 20s, and their Shiraz her second go-to wine and first introduction to that grape. In the United States, "Australia" and "Shiraz" do seem to be synonymous, although there is so much more to the continent's large wine industry.

Wine growing is focused in the south, in the regions of New South Wales, South Australia, and West Australia. According to recent data, Australia produces about 4% of the world's total wine. Shiraz is by far the most produced grape in the country, but there are significant amounts of other wines produced as well, including standards like Chardonnay, Suavignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The country also produces a wide range of wines from less common grapes, including small amounts of Italian varietals.

The super warm climate means these wines are often "hot", or, high in alcohol content, and almost always very lush and "ripe" tasting thanks to the ability of these grapes to get ripe quickly on the vine. Rare you'll find a "crisp" wine, in other words, coming out of their wine regions.

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