Greg has a long-standing belief that tropical climates produce some of the best wine. His logic comes from visiting wineries in Florida.
Yes, Florida has wineries. We’ll get to that later.
The short of it is that the environment does not lend itself well to heavy wines. The climate of the tropics in general inspires beverages that are a little lighter, a little sweeter with fruit flavors often at the forefront and best served well-chilled.
So the tropics pretty much inspire the exact kinds of wine we enjoy and the single winery we found up here did not disappoint.
It should be noted that you are reading the grog files of a pair of people who actually enjoyed wine created from bananas.
So take that into account as you reference our opinions.
Queensland is also the home of Bundaberg – Where Australia creates some of its most famous alcoholic and non-alcoholic libations.
Murdering Point Winery
Rating: 4 sheets to the wind
Like we said, this is another one of those weird wineries that don’t actually use grapes so much…or at all. This is either really fun and novel, or pure heresy, depending on your adherence to the “rules” about wine.
But this would not be the first occasion we’ve flirted with ideas that might be considered heresy in our home country so we weren’t fazed.
They have dry wines – yeah we didn’t taste that.
Their fruity sweet wines were awesome! – Lots of good light sweet wine ideal for drinking with friends on a hot tropical day – Mango wine, mulberry wine, passion fruit wine, lychee wine, and some Brazilian fruit we don’t remember but was really good!
Ports – Pineapple port (Greg’s fav) and choco-mulberry (which should have been Greg’s fav but the pineapple port was that good) among others.
Cream – Slightly different take on after dinner drink and similar idea to a port: Mocha Cream (we bought some – it didn’t last long) and mint chocolate chip cream (Chris’ fav).
Simply put – for the novelty of the ingredients it’s worth pulling off the motorway and checking it out. For the quality of the taste it’s worth buying something.
Rating: 2 sheets to the wind
Notes: We’re not huge rum fans and that’s what Bundaberg is best known for around the world. We didn’t particularly like or dislike the stuff but that’s an accurate description of rum in general (One notable exception to that, reference below.)
We did, however, vastly prefer their non-alcoholic drinks.
Sarsaparilla is something that Greg thought existed only in old spaghetti western movies but apparently it does in fact exist. Bundaberg does a good job with theirs. (on its own this rates a 3)
The Ginger beer isn’t much to talk about except when used to make one of Tiffany’s favorite sailor’s drinks – the dark and stormy. Combined with Captain Morgan’s Spiced rum, the Bundaberg ginger beer does quite well.
Rating: 2.5 Sheets to the wind (what the heck does 2.5 even mean?)
Notes: Pronounced “4-X” this is the regional beer of Queensland and one of the major beers in Australia. For an Australian beer, it’s decent (Note the qualifier) however that could also be due to the fact that XXXX was how we were introduced to the idea of the “shandy.” Yes ladies and gents this beer was our introduction to the concept of adding sprite to your beer to make it taste better. Some use “a splash” others use up to 25% of the glass for the sprite but no matter how you cut it, soda and beer should not mix. That being said it was one of the better beers you could actually get in Australia.
The XXXX Bitter is a stronger beer that is, well, really bitter.
The Summer larger is probably the best of the group and by that we mean it taste borders on “good” without the addition of any cola product.
Great Northern Brewing Company
Rating: 2 Sheets to the wind
Website: http://www.fostersgroup.com/ (Yes, it’s owned by the people who make fosters and no Australians willingly drink Fosters…so that’s not a great sign.)
Notes: Meh. XXXX is better.