Longview 2019 Jupiter Barbera; $35; 4.5 stars (out of 6).
There are more than 100 commercial wine grape varieties planted in Australia, with shiraz, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, grenache and semillon dominant. Market forces and the onset of climate change, however, has seen a growth in the less familiar "alternate varieties" over the past decade. Today's focus is on the trail-blazing Adelaide Hills Longview and Orange Angullong brands. This 13.5%-alcohol, bright garnet-hued red from the Italian-origin barbera variety has rosemary scents and sweet raspberry front-palate flavour. The middle palate shows cherry, briar, mint and cedary oak and a finish of chalky tannins. At longviewvineyard.com.au, bottle shops and the Macclesfield winery. Great with lasagna and cellar seven years.
Chianti to Orange gem
Angullong 2019 Fossil Hill Sangiovese; $28; 4 stars (out of six).
The Crossing family's Angullong vineyard on Orange's Mount Canobolas foothills has a captivating 15 hectares of tempranillo, vermentino, sagrantino, barbera sangiovese and montepulciano alternate varieties within its 217-hectare plantings. Here we have a frisky red from what is the principal grape of Italy's Chianti Region. With 14.5% alcohol, it shines ruby red in the glass and shows gum leaf litter aromas and spicy cherry front-palate flavour. The middle palate introduces blackberry, truffle, peppermint and savoury oak and ferric tannins play at the finish. It's at angullong.com.au, wine stores and lockdowns-permitting the Millthorpe village cellar door, on the outskirts of Orange. Good with chicken cacciatore and cellar for five years.
Slow and spiky
Botany Weisse Pineapple; Slow Lane Brewing; Botany, NSW; 3.5%; $8.50.
The tyranny of time scarcity is a very real dilemma to solve. Rushed, as we are, from pillar to post, to get things done for our family, our employer, ourselves, we forget that time is inevitable, inexorable, and irreversible. So we often settle for the path of least resistance, putting prominence on the destination, rather than the journey. The outcome is often more simulation than authentic. Who would spend seven months brewing a sweetly fruited sour beer, at a mere 3.5%? Slow Lane Brewing, of course. Fresh, height-of-summer pineapple abounds throughout this delicious Botany Weisse. Super juicy, bright and fine; intensely, endlessly, gloriously refreshing. Well worth the time it took to look tyranny in the eye and say, come and take it.
Tequila with punch
Cazcabel Reposado; 38%; 700ml; $69.99.
Cazcabel Reposado is a tequila aged for at least nine months in American oak barrels. This maturation is immediately recognisable in the smoother flavour - compared with, say, a blanco tequila - as well as the punchy cinnamon notes that are counterbalanced by flavours of caramel and dried fruit. It finishes with a slight jalapeno tingle - but it's not as pronounced as other tequilas. It's just a hint. In terms of how you would drink this tequila, it is worth trying neat or served with a squeeze of lemon. It would also work well in a bitter-type cocktail - such as Mexican negroni - or a Mexican mule, which would also showcase the tequila's flavours. Available at Dan Murphy's.
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