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Ask an Expert: Shopping for Australian Wines

Big and bold, with lots of personality, Australia stands alone as a winemaking paradise. Renowned for producing food-friendly wines at excellent price points, Australia first made its mark with fruit-forward Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, and creamy Chardonnay. Today more than 100 spectacular varietals come from down under, and you don’t have to get on a plane to taste them.

The LCBO has an enticing assortment of wines and spirits from the four corners of the earth — including one of the largest selections of Aussie wines outside of Oz, at the 65 Wicksteed Avenue store in Toronto. We asked Alex, Product Consultant, LCBO, for his expert advice on choosing the best Australia has to offer.

“Australian wines are all about the fruit,” says Alex, who educates customers on the large selection of Australian bottles at the Wicksteed Avenue location in Toronto. “There’s a versatility to these wines, which makes them crowd favourites no matter the occasion.”

 

KEY VARIETALS

Thanks to an enormous growing area and a mix of climates, Australia produces a wide range of wine varieties, from full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon to rich Chardonnay and crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

When it comes to reds, of course, Shiraz, is king. “When you hear the word, you automatically think Australia,” says Alex. These beloved reds range from the big, full-bodied wines of the Barossa Valley to the spicier dark-fruit wines from McLaren Vale.

With whites, Chardonnay is the top varietal. Australian Chardonnay is crisp and citrusy, with lots of tropical fruit. “You get a nice, juicy flavour and a complexity that makes it very food-friendly,” says Alex. Another signature Australian white: richly luscious Semillon. 

Other signature Aussie varietals to try include Pinot Noir, Grenache and Riesling.

 

PAIR IT WITH

Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon go best with roast lamb and grilled meats. For barbecue season, Alex also highly recommends Chardonnay. “Its citrusy flavour and creamy texture are perfect with seafood, especially barbecued prawns.”

 

 

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