Heathcote De Bortoli Woodfired Shiraz

G’day guys. Grape Fermentations Greg here, still going strong. I blame myself for bringing up wartime-curfews last week in comparison to the current world events, now we have rationing. I jest, I blame all those hoarding grocery supplies for it. The only good thing to come about as a result of these events are butchers, fruit and veg stalls and farmers are cashing in on all of those who think the apocalypse is imminent and are stocking up like people did back in two-thousand-and-twelve, when they fought the world was going to end. And presumably in the year two thousand during the Y2K paranoia, and every other similar event leading up to it (I originally wrote this is on Saturday, before the stage three lockdown, if only I knew then). The only contagion I fear catching from others is paranoia.

Going back a week or two ago now, before all this started when you could take a good look around a shop and not need to don a hazmat suit, write your last will in testament, climb into your Mad Max assault vehicle and dash into town straight to the shop and back, I saw a bottle of wine that caught my eye. I’m always on the look out for something unique, something unusual, something left-of-center. And this piqued my interest immediately. It was a bottle of Shiraz, bearing the label “Wood-Fired”. So I bought it. I was very curious. Wine, has little if anything to do with cooking. The closest it would ever comes long before or after it’s production; One of many methods the vineyards use to fertilize the soil and rid it of any other plants competing for it is to burn the earth bare (I know I had heard this, but I wanted verifiable facts. But no matter how hard I looked I couldn’t find them, thanks to the bushfires earlier this year cluttering up my search results). And we all love a nice glass of wine with our dinner. Wine requires no cooking or drying method, unlike whisky. Everyone knows, the grapes are pressed, fermented, racked and bottled. There’s only one wine that adopts a cooking method – Brandy. But I still wanted to know how they managed to incorporate this into their brew. So when I got home, I looked on the bottle…”The climate and deep red soil produces the perfect red wine to accompany a chargrilled ribeye or woodfire pizza”. So, that concludes my small lecture on marketing wine and how to grab people’s attention. It may not have been intentional, but they sure were selective with their choice of words. But I suppose Butchers Friend was taken.

So, this wine is targeted at the barbecue crowd. Hence it’s title, asking specifically to accompany a woodfire pizza. I myself always go more for an American whiskey when I barbecue, a brash and spicy bourbon or a George A. Dickel when I’m smoking a steak or pork. Something that will pair well with a charcoal barbecue or smoked flavor. So for this wine to compete for it’s spot, I’d expect it have some kick to it. Some hairs on it’s chest. I did a little digging and discovered De Bortoli’s Woodfired wine to be an entire range. But of the few wines that fall into that category, one would have to be a Shiraz. Were I to pick another, my best bets would be a Tempranillo or a Zinfandel, though the only three variants in the Woodfired range are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sparkling Shiraz. So let’s move forward. I haven’t done wine on the blog in a while so I’m keen for a glass. The bottle is adorned with award stickers. It is awarded the Most Popular Premium Red of the 2019 Riverina Open Wine Show, and the Gold Medal of class ten. Whatever class ten may be. The nose upon the first breath of fresh air is sickly sweet and sour. With fresh, bready yeast. Poured into a glass and given a swirl, the nose is fresh, dry and fruity. But predominantly, it smells like freshly made bread. The taste; dry, but not enduringly so. Not acidic at all. Fruity, but a bright vibrant overpowering taste, a dark, roasted flavor. One that easily would pair with red meat, and ideally with barbecued. An ideal balance of fruity and acidic character, the personality of the shiraz grape has been fine tuned put to good use for this campaign. An albeit, specifically purpose made wine, but wine that would easily find buyers. But alas, I fear this label won’t get the attention it deserves right now. Today people don’t carefully select anything. People are so panicky, they’ll basically grab anything that’s loosely what they’re shopping for. But for those who took the time to read this, add this to your shopping list. We may not be able to have barbecues anymore, but you know what happens when a nice bottle of wine is given time.

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