Australian Wine – What You Need to Know

Wine, served by the glass and drank, often, by the bottle, is a drink loved by millions across the globe.

When we think of wine, our minds often go directly to France or California, and why not, it’s what they’re known for. But what about Australia?

You may not know this, but Australian wine is now the most popular in the UK and the second in the USA.

Because of this, let’s take a little look at Aussie wine, where it came from, where to experience it and how to experience it, below.

A little history

Aussie wine has come a long way in a short space of time. While wine has been made here since the 19th century, Australian drinking culture never involved the tipple, and focused on fortified wine until the 1970s.

In fact, 86% of Australian grapes were used for fortified wine in 1950, and this didn’t change until the mid-90s when 94% were used for table wine. This was mostly aided by the 1980s boom, where Australian wine became 18th for table wine exports – but the 1990s it was 6th.

This was a far cry from the mid-60s when Australian wine exports were eight million litres per year. Which sounds good, until you find out it was a fiftieth of the imports coming out of France.

By the late 2000s, over 800 million litres of wine were being exported from down under annually. And as you read above, the popularity has continued.

Best places

So, with this new-found popularity, where should you go down under to taste these delicious wines?

Well, if you need a little checklist for the next time you’re visiting, the regions you need to head to are:

  • The Barossa Valley, South Australia
  • The Hunter Valley, New South Wales
  • The Margaret River Region, Western Australia
  • The Adelaide Hills, South Australia
  • The Yarra Valley, Victoria
  • The Tamar Valley, Tasmania

Testing your wine

Now that you know a little about the history of Australian wine, and you know where you need to go to find it. You’ll need to know how to test it properly.

And by test, obviously, we mean taste.

To taste the wine, use follow steps:

  • Look – Inspect the wine under neutral light, most of the clues to a good wine can be found here, as you’ll be able to judge it based on colour, opacity and viscosity
  • Smell – Take a big sniff of the wine and identify the aromas. From primary smells like fruitsto secondary like stale beer and tertiary like nuts, spices and even tobacco, you’ll be able to identify if it’s for you
  • Taste – finally, your tongue will be able to identify if its sour, sweet etc alongside the texture of it, is it a thick wine? You’ll soon find out

This will help you to identify wines that you like, so you’ll be able to pick one up with ease next time. If you really love wine and want to take it a step further, you can always invest in a refractometer from RS Components and discover the ins and outs of the wine.

So, if you’re in Australia, or just want a good bottle of wine, take a look at the label and opt for one from down under.


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