Bush Wine of the Week
OK, just because one is in the middle of nowhere is no reason not to be able to enjoy a good glass of wine. Or, in this case, a plastic cup!
Thankfully the wine industry is packaging more and more of it's offerings in so-called "eco-friendly" boxes, tetrapacks, aluminum containers and plastic bottles that make a sojourn in the "bush" more palatable. So I picked up a few to try out...
I'll rate them simply on a 0-10 scale, as I didn't take detailed tasting notes and, to tell you the truth, wine simply tastes better in the bush, so I don't want to mislead anyone who is used to my normal ratings.
OK, lets start with the crap. The Bistro Mundo series is a mundane string of mostly non-vintage, non-varietal labelled wines shipped in large containers to Quebec and then "bottled" here in tetra-paks. The Argentine effort is marginally better than the Spanish and gets a 4/10. The Spanish gets 3/10. Stay away from this series of wines, far away. There's much better ways to spend your $10 than this plonk. By the way, that's "Bens" DEET in the other container on the barrel lid...its for repelling mosquitoes and blackflies...don't even think of drinking that!!
Right, still on the crap side of the scale is the cutely named and "organic" Ciao, Sangiovese, Italy, no vintage. Tolerable, it gets a 5/10. Disappointing considering that for the same price, Farnese and Citra, amongst others, bottles much better Sangiovese. $12.70 for a litre.
Now its getting interesting. The purple packaged Three Thieves, Bandit, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 is generically from California. It has a silver "most wanted" logo stamped onto it's label. Well, its definitely not most wanted, but it is drinkable. Actually tasted suprisingly OK. 6/10. $10.95.
Not much seperates the next two wines. The Turning Leaf, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 is from the California Gallo line of wines. This is actually good wine, 7/10. The bargain of the week at only $9.95, again for a litre (all these eco-packages seem to be a litre - they say that the ligher overall package (wine and box/plastic bottle) weighs so much less than the glass bottle full of wine that the money they save on transport is passed on to us as 250 cc more wine...yada yada yada...
Now this stuff marks the transition - this is "proper" wine but in the new packaging. The Banrock Station, Shiraz, 2007 from Australia is good. A pleasure in the wilderness. 8/10. $13.75.
And now, the winner, by a landslide....BUSHWINE OF THE WEEK!!! Silver Leaf, Shiraz, 2007 from SE Australia. Full bodied, plush, oaky - a blunt instrument maybe, but reminds me of civilization. Boy, I could almost be back at home sitting in an easy chair sippin' this stuff. 9/10. $14.