Zytho Brewing White Stout
Tribe Breweries, Goulburn, NSW, 5.2%
$77 per case
MUCH like Migaloo, finding a white stout on bottle shop shelves can be like spotting an albino humpback in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. For some beer snobs, it's even considered an oxymoron, or a flat out gimmick. Stouts should be dark, right? Zytho Brewing, which is part of the Endeavour Drinks Group, has proven with their re-introduced white stout, that the style is definitely worth seeking out. Unlike its name suggests, it pours a cloudy amber, rather than white or pale. Despite the appearance, the white stout almost tastes like a regular dark stout. There's the same strong malt-driven flavours and thick mouthfeel, but what's especially surprising is the lingering white vanilla chocolate taste. It's almost like the Milky Bar Kid hung up his cowboy and spurs and moved into craft brewing. Zytho Brewing White Stout is available at Dan Murphy's and BWS.
Solera Rye Whiskey
The Gospel, Brunswick, Victoria; 42.5%
It's been observed that, of the dwindling things people agree on, one is the Top Gun sequel. You can crack it open for your spouse, daughter, granddad. Whiskey, too, is doing that for folks more than it used to. The Gospel Solera Rye is a crowd pleaser but not a people pleaser. In the bottle it smoulders quietly, workmanlike. In the glass it lightens to straw that begs to skip the months to summer. You'll find citrus and spice throughout. It's for drinking on a deck beside the chirping marsh, debating whether Don McLean needed "rye" to rhyme with "die", then trailing off as you remember Weird Al's "this here Anakin guy".
The Natural Wine Co 2021 Organic Shiraz
4.5 stars (out of 6)
THE O'Dea family's Windowrie operation was a wine ground-breaker at Canowindra in the NSW Central West, planting its first wine grapes in 1987 and setting up the first winery in 1999. Hawkesbury Agricultural College graduate David O'Dea and his wife, Wizz, settled at Canowindra after buying their property in 1959 and sheep grazing, cropping and farming on it for 28 years before adding wine to the mix. David's contribution to the wine industry and Cowra Region earned him an Order of Australia Medal in 2021 and he died in May that year at the age of 91. David and Wizz's son, Jason, now runs Windowrie and has also joined three partners in organic wine specialist The Natural Wine Co. This juicy red has 13.5% alcohol, deep purple hues, berry pastille aromas and ripe plum front-palate flavour. The middle shows dried cranberry, peppermint and toasty oak and a finish of dusty tannins. At thenaturalwineco.com.au and bottle shops and team with lasagne and cellar four years.
HERE'S another Windowrie spin-off, and it harks back to 1996 when its general manager-viticulturist, Jason O'Dea, and his wife, Rebecca, bought a former Canowindra pig farm. Before setting up home there they started an organic vineyard and had to evict 20 free-range pigs from the house. Although hard, that provided a grabby brand name. This 2021 organic pinot gris is green-tinted straw and has grassy scents and frisky kiwifruit front-palate flavour. The middle palate shows pear, dragonfruit, gunmetal and lime zest and a finish of mineral-edged acid. At piginthehouse.com.au or by appointment at the Billimari vineyard. Drink now with quiche. The wines are made by University of Adelaide wine graduate Anthony D'Onise, and an interesting part of the portfolio is a piquepoul blanc wine. It's a grape native to France's Languedoc and Rhone Valley regions. Piquepoul blanc is the most common, but also exists in the piquepoul noir red and rare piquepoul gris white.
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