Vinosocial by The Real Review: Anything But Chardonnay

Another fantastic night was had for our second Vinosocial 2021. This time the theme was Anything But Chardonnay.

There is no doubt that sauvignon blanc took the world by storm at the time that chardonnay was falling from favour.

In the late 80s into early 1990s chardonnay was all the rage and people couldn’t get enough of those big rich and oaky wines. But eventually, there was a backlash and we had a revolution as such, the ABC movement was born. This opened the door to a whole new world of wines, semillon, riesling, sauvignon blanc and pinot gris all getting a chance to shine as people explored these lighter and brighter styles.

As always with these evenings, we don’t take it too seriously and are always trying to make sure the Vino department and Social department are both equally celebrated. As it was May the 4th there was even some Star Wars themes in discussion and a costume change or two as well.

Wines being poured for Vinosocial. The Real Review

We started with a triple flight of light whites;

Before the chardonnay juggernaut took off, sweet rieslings were definitely in fashion. However, these wines were anything but sweet and all three really showed a lovely balance for citrus fruit matched to a bright acidity that made them super refreshing.

The kitchen matched these wines to some delicious and plump Sydney Rock Oysters from Pambula on the New South Wales south coast. The salty brine really meshed well with the citrus notes in the wines.

The next bracket was a lovely flight of sauvignon blancs matched to the kitchen’s fragrant crispy eggplant.

There is no doubt that sauvignon blanc took the world by storm at the time that chardonnay was falling from favour. The classic tropical fruit and cut grass notes from Marlborough, New Zealand, made waves across the wine-drinking world. Over time its popularity has also waned, but these wines really showed that it is far from out of the picture.

Food really lifted both pinot gris’ and the Slow Wine Co. Gewürztraminer was a revelation.

The Catalina Sounds was built in that classical style but has an elegance that showed winemaking restraint. The Giesen was a favourite of the crowd, with distinct barrel maturation characters it showed a very different side to the variety. The Passel Estate come home strong as well, showing the room that New Zealand doesn’t have a monopoly on great sauvignon blanc. A more minerally style that lifted with the eggplant dish.

Our third bracket was a flight of more textural wines that the kitchen matched to Stracciatella (a soft white cheese curd) served with grilled bread and red peppers.

Host Stuart Knox resplendent in his Star Wars jacket. The Real Review

These days I’d have to say that pinot gris and grigio have taken up the crown of most popular white of choice. They can be quite light and bright or more like these two and a more textural approach. Food really lifted both pinot gris’ and the Slow Wine Co. Gewürztraminer was a revelation. So fragrant with curry leaf and exotic spices it really took the whole course to another level.

We finished on a solo flight with a native spiced risotto. The Mountadam Eden Valley Five Fifty Rosé 2020.

If there’s ever a wine that could see an equivalent backlash to chardonnay, then it is rosé. It is a juggernaut that shows no sign of slowing down, I can’t quite see a No Way Rosé thing happening but only time will tell. The Mountadam is a fantastic wine, based on pinot noir that was picked specifically for this wine, it shows classic red cherry notes and a subtle hint of forest floor savoury underneath. That savoury note, combined with the bush tomato spices in the risotto made for a magical combination.

A fantastic event with a brilliant crowd and awesome wines. We can’t wait to do it all again.


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