This month we continue our study of wines from the Southern Hemisphere looking at two amazing selections from Australia. The first pick is the new vintage of a prior selection, and favorite, the 2021 Thistledown Grenache. This winery has not been around that long and each successive vintage seems to find another gear of complexity and dimension. We are also delighted to have a couple of six packs of their highly rated, tiny production, single vineyard bottlings and we will be making a NWR exclusive offering next week so watch your inbox.
Of course we cannot present red wines from Australia without a Shiraz representation, this month our pick is from Tait Cellars and their newest release “The Wild Ride.” Originally Bruno Tait intended to produce a GSM, or Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre bottling but being a Shiraz winemaker through and through could not find the correct blend. Maybe because the Thistledown guys buy all the best Grenache? The tale of how this wine ultimately became a Shiraz blend explains the name, and JP does a great job telling the story.
For the recipe I pull one from the Varan family archives, an example of what my dad called “lamb on the rod.” When I was growing up in Western PA in the 1970’s the nearby town of New Castle had a significant population of Syrian immigrants. On Friday nights some of these families would sell shish-kabobs in their front yards, a precursor to today’s food trucks and pop-ups! For a couple of dollars you got 2 rods of lamb, or beef if you preferred and a loaf of pita bread served on paper plates and our car hood served as our picnic table. Other families did the same creating an amazing cross-culture experience and great community. Eventually the city started enforcing zoning and health codes ending the impromptu street parties, but several of these families opened restaurants that exist even today. My recipe for this month harkens back to those days and works incredibly well with both wines.Download Full Club Write-up