We were saying it when we were over in London and now we’re back in Australia (but stuck in locky d) so we’ll say it again: we miss wine tours. Just when we thought we were coming back to live in the land of sunshine, beaches and wine tours, everything’s been shut and we’ve been stuck sitting on the couch drinking yellow ticket items from the local bottle shop. If you, like us, can’t get out there and explore the best of what Australian wine regions have to offer but still want to try new wines, let us introduce you to Naked Wines.
More than just an online wine store, Naked Wines are helping to boost our incredible wine industry by backing local Aussie and Kiwi winemakers to help them continue doing what they do best – making delicious juice. They then connect them directly to customers through their online platform, helping them get their creations out into a busy market. This benefits us, the wine drinkers, too. Not only do we get introduced to fantastic new wines created by boutique winemakers, by cutting out the middleman, Naked Wines can sell wines at great prices that are fair to both the drinker and the maker. The prices are actually based on customer reviews (all of which you can read on their site), and if you don’t like a wine, you get a full refund. Sounds like a win-win to us.
We’ve been lucky enough to receive a mixed box of Australian wines to try, so we did what we do best: we drank. Here are two of our absolute faves so far, as well as the bottle we’re most keen to crack open next.
Cellar Works Riesling 2021, Clare Valley
The winemaker behind this devilishly delicious riesling is Adam Barton, and Naked Wines tote him as being someone who likes to experiment and push the boundaries of wine with his creations. We absolutely couldn’t agree more, as from the first sip of this wine we knew we’d be ordering more. Cellar Works Riesling is crisp, modern and bursting with the fragrance and flavours of lime, grapefruit, apple and pear, everything you could want in a refreshing summer wine. We’re imagining ourselves drinking this on warm, sunny days on Kristen’s rooftop, washing down the recommended food pairing: prawns.
Left Hook Second Round Shiraz Grenache 2019, Margaret River
Rory Clifton-Parks, the winemaker behind this juicy bottle, has been in the business for fifteen years but is now focusing on crafting his own high-quality wines that showcase Margaret River at its finest. This sweet but earthy blend has sold out with every release, and has actually sold out for the sixth time too (the Left Hook First Round Margaret River Shiraz comes highly recommended if you want to get some of this WA winery’s goodness into you). It’s a super smashable red that’s beautifully balanced and pairs perfectly with rosemary and peppercorn lamb chops. We went a bit left-wing and drank it with a lamb rogan josh, black dahl and palak paneer, and can confirm it still went down an absolute treat.
Army of Grapes Prosecco 2021 – Denmark
We know what you’re thinking – Denmark? If you, like us, didn’t know there was a wine region in Western Australia called Denmark, you’ll make us feel a lot better for sleeping on this one. According to Naked Wines, Denmark is actually one of Australia’s premier prosecco regions, and as avid prosecco drinkers, we’re mad we’re only finding this out now. The Army of Grapes Prosecco is made by one Paul Nelson, a winemaker whose first year saw his winery listed as a James Halliday Top 10 Best New Winery and Dark Horse Winery – no easy feat. This is next on our to-drink-list, and with warm weather coming up in Sydney, you’d best believe this bottle isn’t going to stay closed for much longer. Described as ‘a fiesta in your glass’, it’s supposed to be packed with summery flavours like apple, lemon zest, grapefruit and pistachio, which certainly sounds like a mouth party to us. It’s recommended to be paired with savoury cheeses and cured meats, so we’ll be assembling a little antipasto spread when we pop the top on this one.
If you’re stuck in lockdown like us or just want to try some new, delicious local wines, Naked Wines has is offering $100 off your first purchase of twelve or more wines when you follow this link. If you want to get super creative, you can do what we did over the weekend and set up a little wine tour in your house. Dedicate a different room for each different wine and winery, get all dressed up and make a night of it!