New South Wales Grog files

NSW flag

New South Wales, AU

Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Bondi beach and an Opera house – New South Wales is pretty much what all of us think of when we hear the word “Australia.”

Between driving the coast, bumming around Sydney and working in the ski resorts, we spent a good amount of time here and got to taste our way around.  We even got a chance to check out their most famous wine region: The Hunter Valley.

New South Wales was also the first time we found a grog that 2 sailors would choose to pour out instead of drink.  So, from our highest rating to inventing a new low there was quite a spread for New South Wales:

Yellow Tail

Type: Wine

Rating: 2 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.discoveryellowtail.com/

Notes:

OK, you’ve probably  tasted it, you have your opinions.  It’s a table wine, whatever. The reason we bring up this particular wine up is because, perhaps, you just don’t quite believe us when we say that drinks are beyond stupid expensive over here.  Yellowtail, an international wine produced in Australia provides an excellent opportunity to highlight this factor.

Please take note that in the below video final prices are shown; so the price of Yellowtail in the United States is inclusive of the cost of shipping the bottles over the largest body of water on the planet along with any applicable import taxes.  Also note that at the time these videos were made the Australian dollar and US dollar were at parity, meaning basically equivalent values:

Yeah.

 

Gossip’s Sweet Lips

Gossips sweet lips

Type: Wine

Rating: 3 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.warburnestate.com.au/index.php?Doo=PageView&id=111

Notes:

For a moscato it was a very light wine.  Very fruity sweet vice sugar sweet because it was not overbearing on sugar…or alcohol both of which are easy extremes in the dessert wine world.  It also had a slight bubbly aspect which added to the overall “lightness” of the wine.  We enjoyed it on it’s own and also often paired it with mild Indian curries.  Especially for the price, one of our favorite go to “night in” wines in Australia.

 

Toohey’s

Toohey's

 They have 2 beers and they deserve to be rated separately.

Toohey’s New 

Type: Beer

Rating: 2.5 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.tooheysnew.com.au

Notes:

Ok – outside Australia, we’d drink it if you’re buying, and that’s about it.  But, as we previously mentioned, when trapped by blizzards in the middle of nowhere for 3 months and the pub only has Aussie beers…well, this is the one we bought.  Therefore qualifying for our new 2.5 rating – invented especially for this country’s beers.

 

Toohey’s Old

Type: Beer

Rating: 0 – bilge water

Contact: http://www.tooheysnew.com.au

Notes:

Amber in color with overtures of burnt meat.  This beer was simply not drinkable.  We threw out the one bottle we bought to taste this horrid concoction.

Blue Tongue

blue toungeType: Beer

Rating: 2 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.bluetongue.com.au/Age-Check.aspx?page=/Home

Notes:

Meh.  Decent.  Not going to go out of our way and for Australian beer, it’s a decent drink. 

 

Catherine’s Vale

Catherine Vale

Type: Wine

Rating: 2 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.catherinevale.com.au/

Notes:

Late harvest semillon was good and we did buy that one.  We were informed that the hunter valley region is known for it’ unblended semillons, so yeah you’re not gonna go wrong with this one.  Overall a decent selection & decent prices (for Australia) but with a few exceptions, nothing we got insanely excited about.

 

Morgan

MorganType: Winery

Rating: 3 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.margan.com.au/

Notes:

Good reds: shiraz (we bought some), cab sav & merlot were good.  Nice smooth flavor and low on the tannin / bitterness, which is our preference.  OK sweet wine, not great though.  Not great prices but not horrid either

 

Nightingale Wines

Nightengale winesType: Winery

Rating: 2 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.nightingalewines.com.au/

Notes:

Overall – overpriced.  Their dessert wines were good and expensive for the area so you could find equally good stuff for less.  Their more moderately priced reds were OK but not really good.

 

Tyrrell’s

Tyrrell’sType: Winery

Rating: 2 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.tyrrells.com.au/

Notes:

A large, well-known Aussie wine.  Overall decent, quite a few very overpriced but they are large enough that they also had a good amount of very well priced wines (for Australia).  Some good dessert wines and as for the reds – nice upfront and too much bite in the end – they would probably benefit from some cellar time.

 

McGuigan Wines

McGuiganType: Winery

Rating: 2 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://mcguiganwines.com.au/

Notes:

They’ve won some awards and are on the wine trail, so they have benefited from that and become a larger winery for the area.  We focused on the reds – overall OK.  They had a fruity sweet red called “noon harvest” which we liked except for the stronger tannin at the end.  Greg really liked the desert wines but reports they hit his sweet tooth – so it should be noted that Greg likes sticky, syrupy sweet dessert wines, which these very much were.  Interesting note, all the wines are designed to be cellared which is pretty uncommon in a dessert wine and made for an educational experience.

 

Brokenwood Wines

BrokenwoodType: Winery

Rating: 3 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.brokenwood.com.au/

Notes:

Good dessert wine and really nice staff.  Smooth reds, pinot had a lot of fruit, the finish was unfortunately blah.  Shiraz was where these guys deliver – very smooth, very drinkable with hints of chocolate and different fruits.  Whites were not memorable but this is pretty much our standard experience with whites in the Hunter Valley.

 

Raleigh Wines

Raleigh wineryType: Winery

Rating: 4 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://raleighwines.com/

Notes:

While learning to surf and picking fruit we stumbled across this little tropical winery and were very impressed with what we found!

As we’ve mentioned, we have a bias for tropical wines and these guys didn’t disappoint: both the reds and the whites were very light, very sweet and reminded us of the winery’s of Tiffany’s home state of Florida.

They also made their own version of Bailey’s, which we thought surpassed the original.

 

Snowy River Winery

20110926A - Snowy River WineryType: Winery

Rating: 2 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.snowywine.com/

Notes:

Like we just said, we’re tropical wine drinkers – so dropping by the coldest vineyard in Australia was going to be a challenge.  Overall, we thought it was decent wines.  Nothing great though.

 

Wild Brumby Schnapps

20110926A - Wild Brumby schnaapsType: Winery

Rating: 4 sheets to the wind

Contact: http://www.wildbrumby.com/

Notes:

To date all you have to say to Chris, Tiffany or Greg is “pizza and schnapps” to get a grin on their face and tales of extraordinary culinary experience found in the least likely of places.  A distillery in the snowy mountains that makes schnapps for every taste – from sweet butterscotch to hot pepper flavor wild brumby has you covered.

The upshot: For the first two weeks of our great Australian overland excursion we had hot coco and butterscotch schnapps every…freaking…night.

 

And all was right with the world.

 

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