Raising the bar

There’s a wine marketing theory that goes: If you want your wine to be respected, put a big price on it. It’s a strategy that taps into the “if it’s expensive it must be good” part of consumer logic. West Cape Howe obviously pays no head to this sort of trickery. When you taste a West Cape Howe wine and look at the price you do a double take. Did someone make a mistake? Nope, value is a core principle of this brand. Long recognised by savvy wine buyers, last year James Halliday awarded West Cape Howe Best Value Winery of the Year in his annual accolades. Handily situated in the centre of the massive Great Southern wine region, the winery utilises the region’s ability to produce excellent examples of most varietals. The Cape to Cape Cabernet Merlot 2014 is a bargain, the West Cape Howe Mount Barker Riesling 2015 shows of Mount Barker’s reputation with Riesling, the Old School Chardonnay 2015 is not as old school as the label suggests, and the Book Ends Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 could easily wear a much higher price tag.

XXXX Gold Australian Pale Ale
XXXX Gold Lager put mid-strength beers to the fore in the warmer parts of our great country and this Pale Ale is an excellent follow up. It has much more character and personality than every other main stream mid-strength brew.

Zonte’s Footstep Scarlet Ladybird Fleurieu Peninsula Rose 2015
Named after the little ladybirds that eat aphids in vineyards that don’t use pesticides, this rose has a bit more cut and thrust than the standard pink drink. That means it behaves much better at the table with barbecues and tangy Asian food.

Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2014
A French Sauv Blanc from the home of the variety for a measly $8 at Aldi! Mon Dieu! It must be terrible. It’s not! This humble white could happily sit alongside savvies three times its price. It is more than a quaffer, there’s a bit of European style to the acidity and it goes well with chèvre.

Food matching
Innocent Bystander Syrah 2014
Syrah or Shiraz it’s the same grape but this Yarra Syrah is a very different beast to a Barossa Shiraz. There’s a savoury edge to the wine with white pepper and sour cherries rather than blackberries and plums. The finish is long and taut. It shines with a rib roast.

Did you know?
Why is wine made from grapes? Wine can be made from everything from chillies to watermelons, but not without the addition of sugar. Grapes are the only fruit that has the perfect balance of sugar, tannin and acid so that nothing else needs to be added.

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