Tame the summer heat with a fresh sparkling wine from an Australian female winemaker and the ultimate no cook shrimp dish.
This month, the World Wine Travel group takes on the Australian sparkling, fortified, and Tasmanian wines. This event also caps the group's 8 month journey exploring the wines of Australia before we head to the vineyards of New Zealand.
While sparkling Shiraz is my preferred wine from Australia, I couldn't find a bottle that I wanted to write about. I've actually had trouble finding wine from Australia in general, since the selection in the US Is not nearly as vast and wide as it is from other countries.
After speaking to a wine distributor who has been working in the industry for 47 years, he said that Australian wine used to be in demand in the American market. But the rise of Yellowtail in the early 2000's killed it. Now everyone expects and thinks of Australian wine as a "cheap."
This very interesting article from the Branding Journal explains how Yellowtail cleverly positioned themselves in the market so as not to compete with high end wines.
When I found a bottle of "craft" sparkling wine from a small producer in Adelaide, I nabbed it, since finding smaller production wines on my local store shelves is a rarity.
Established in 1999 by Hamish and Kate Laurie, Deviation Road produces cool climate wines in the high altitude hills of Adelaide.
One hundred percent family owned and operated, the winery focuses on sparkling wines that are fermented, bottled, and disgorged on site, by hand.
The name "Deviation Road" comes from the street name of Hamish Laurie's family's vineyard plot of over 40 years. He is a fifth generation vigneron and teamed with his wife Kate, who spent three years honing her winemaking skills in Champagne after deciding she would be a winemaker at the age of 19. In addition, his great-great grandmother was South Australia's first female winemaker!
The winery is located in a former stone dairy with 8 acres of vines. Since they are not on the town's water supply, they use rain and dam water and their own solar receptors to generate some electricity.
They practice sustainable farming techniques, minimize sprays and chemicals wherever possible, and promote organic soil health. The sparkling wines are low in sulfur, additives, and are vegan friendly.
No Cook Shrimp Cocktail
After last week's absolute fiasco, where I decided to make my 80 degree summer hot kitchen 85 degrees by cooking risotto, I decided I'm not cooking this week.
Instead, summer to me means sipping, dipping, and defrosting. Defrosting frozen pre-cooked shrimp, pairing it with a pre-made cocktail sauce, and slicing some lemon wedges.
Deviation Road NV Reserve Brut
60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay; 12% ABV; $35
Sustainably farmed; hand picked and whole bunch pressed into tank for fermentation for 12 days and 15 months on the lees.
Visual: Wild, vivacious tiny bubbles; lots of foam that dissipates quickly. The bubbles almost disappeared after sitting in the glass for 10 minutes or so, so drink it quick!
Aroma: Red currants and a faint toasty, briochey-ness almost like Champagne.
Taste: Soft and muted citrus, sweeter than expected, apple pie, limeade, nutty undertones, doesn't really need food and would do well on its own
Pairing: The very simple boiled shrimp worked well with this understated sparkler. That and some lemon is all I think it needed to make the wine sign a little bit more.
Luckily, the cocktail sauce I used from Primal Kitchen did not have strong acid of horseradish flavors but more tomato paste notes. The sparkling worked with the sauce but I didn't get a third taste. I would try this wine next with oysters and squeeze of lemon and salty potato chips.
Learn more about Australian sparkling, fortified, and Tasmanian wines from the World Wine Travel writers:
Lori is tasting “Tasmanian Sparkling and Egg Rolls” at Exploring the Wine Glass
Camilla is showcasing “Tasmania + Hawaii: Celebrating with an Island Wine and Island Eats” at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Jeff shares how we can “Discover Rutherglen Stickies” at Food Wine Click!
Robin is pairing “Sparkling Wine from Jansz Tasmania and a Tassie-inspired seafood curry pie” at Crushed Grape Chronicles
Kat has a “Surprise! South Australia Pét-Nat is on the Rise” at The Corkscrew Concierge
Susannah is featuring “Tasmanian Chardonnay” at Avvinare
Deanna is popping an “Australian Sparkling Wine from Deviation Road” at Wineivore
Linda is having “Sparkling Aussie Shiraz as summer draws to a close” at My Full Wine Glass
Nicole is pouring “Bubbles from Way Down Under: Jansz Premium Cuvée Brut from Tasmania with Lobster Tartines” at Somm's Table
Nicole Ruiz Hudson says
Shrimp cocktail is a great idea for the summer - I might need to borrow that from your playbook. Great to learn about this wine as well!
Kat Rene says
This sounds like an amazing bubbly. And yes, the Yellowtail influence has been unfortunate. Hope these great producers can rise above it.
Camilla M Mann says
Deanna, what a great post and inspiring winemaker. I can't wait to track down a bottle or two. Thanks for sharing.
Linda Whipple, CSW says
Love the female tradition in this winemaking family and the simple yet elegant and practical (no cooking in the heat!) pairing. Interesting, too, to learn why Australian wine is so difficult to source in the U.S. Thanks for hosting this month!
What a great small producer with an interesting history! I love the women involved, that Kate knew she wanted to be a winemaker at 19 and that Hammish's great-great-grandmother was the first female winemaker in South Australia! How cool is that!
I love that you gave me that great visual of their winery in the former stone dairy and their sustainability efforts. You paint a charming picture of this winery. (BTW, I love the maps!)