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Tasting Tips

White Wines

• Sauvignon Blanc- crisp and dry Click here to view wine glossary
• Chardonnay- dry, full bodied and weighty and often oaked Click here to view wine glossary
• Semillon- fullbodied and often blended with Sauvignon Blanc
• Reisling- perfumed, sometimes sweet and ages well

The difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine

Champagne is a sparkling white wine generally made from the Chardonnay grape. It is made in the Champagne region of France and, under international agreement, is the only sparkling wine in the world that can use the name Champagne. Other countries can make sparkling wines from identical varieties and identical methodology, but must call them sparkling wines. Needless to say, the most famous brand names are French champagnes and are commonly regarded as the best in the world.

Because of their reputation and time consuming manufacture, brand name champagnes are expensive so for a cheaper version of sparkling wines, you can look for a good brand name from the New World manufacturers, which will quite often be better quality and more enjoyable than the cheaper French champagnes.

Red Wines

• Cabernet Sauvignon- medium to full bodied, well rounded and high in tannins Click here to view wine glossary
• Syrah or Shiraz- intense and complex, sweet and fruit flavoured Click here to view wine glossary
• Merlot- medium bodied and softer style to Shiraz and Cabernet, high in alcohol Click here to view wine glossary
• Pinot Noir- pale and light with very fruity nose. Used in Burgundies
• Grenache- sweet, spicy and alcoholic, often used in blending


Labels come in many different designs, with as many variations in what information they contain.

There are some mandatory items on labels and these are governed by the country where the wine is produced and also the country where the wine is sold.

Generally speaking the label contains some of the following ;
• Brand name eg Boomerang Corner
• Region eg Margaret River
• Grape type eg Cabernet Sauvignon
• Vintage eg 2002
• Name of Producer eg The Down South Wine Company
• Alcohol content eg 13.5%
• Net contents eg 750ml
• Added Preservative eg Sulfites or 220
• Name and address of the producer
• Tasting notes
• EU quality level eg a registered place name “ Appellation Controlee”


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