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“My neighbour and I spend quite a number of hours throughout the year drinking – mainly red wine. We have decided to experiment with some of the tenets of wine drinking”


My neighbour and I spend quite a number of hours throughout the year drinking – mainly red wine. We have decided to experiment with some of the tenets of wine drinking. Agreement and fierce debate abounds on some aspects of how you should treat your wines. One where I believe there is agreement is wine temperature. One where there is debate is the merits of allowing a wine to breathe through de-canting. The views range from absolutely necessity to it makes no difference to the taste of a wine. Over the next few months we will explore from a common’s man’s (untrained pallet) point of view whether some of these “truths” make any discernable difference. This evening we decided to drink the wine at different temperatures.

The well priced (under $15) 2009 Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon by Wynns “the Siding” was the wine we chose to conduct the experiment. We read some very well informed tasting notes to compare our experience against. Mr James Halliday has described the wine as “Bright Colour and pure fruited with cassis, a light seasoning of oak, a small dollop of Eucalypt, and ample and fleshy fruit on the palate, fine fragrant, polished and poised……..94 points.” The wine makers’ state “…..cabernet fruit (dark red cherries) melds with subtle creamy oak. Length of flavour on the palate is long and rewarding, with typical chalky Coonawarra tannins”.

We opened the wine immediately after retrieval from the cellar. The wine’s temperature in the glass was 16 degrees. The wine had very little of the fruit described (and only on the front palate) but the chalky tannins were dominating. One hour after decanting and at room temperature of 21 degrees the tannins had integrated into the wine and the red fruits emerged. The wine became fragrant and the length of the wine improved. The wine revealed the true nature of “the Siding”. We never found the creamy oak but I am sure it was there. There may be other factors at work but we concluded that temperature had a profound impact on the characteristics of the wine.

Our suggested accompaniment with the wine is medium rare King Island or Southern Highland Black Angus scotch fillet marinated with Worcestershire (Holbrook’s of course) sauce, roasted garlic and fruity olive oil overnight. The beef should be served with steamed baby carrots and roasted Kifler potatoes infused with rosemary and sea salt.

By The Common Man