Pinot and fondue a perfect match for Hot 100 Wines winner Shaw + Smith

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By Melissa Keogh

A wine style that’s charming wine lovers the world over will be at the centre of a discovery session presented by an international cheese judge and Adelaide Hills winery later this month.

Pinot noir, renowned for its delicacy and greater simplicity compared to bolder reds, will be on the lips of wine lovers exploring the Hot 100 Winter Harvest’s Pinot and Fondue Discovery Session.

International cheese judge and Smelly Cheese Shop founder Valerie Henbest will host the session alongside Shaw + Smith’s Dan Coward.

The Winter Harvest event on June 29–30 is the final hurrah for last year’s Hot 100 Wines South Australia awards, in which Shaw + Smith’s 2016 Pinot Noir took the crown for being the most drinkable.

The winning 2016 Pinot Noir.

In celebration of the end of the financial year, the Winter Harvest event is bringing back the Hot 100 Wines to be sampled by visitors and tasted in a number of degustation lunches, dinners and discovery sessions.

Shaw + Smith’s 2016 Pinot Noir was named the most drinkable wine out of almost 1400 drops blind-tasted by judges from across the country.

From fog-shrouded vineyards at Balhannah, Shaw + Smith’s Dan Coward sat down with Brand SA News this week to chat all things pinot and why it’s the perfect match for cheese fondue.

“The 2016 vintage was a lovely, easy vintage that produced an aromatic wine with lots of flavour,” he says.

“It’s light and delicate and with that comes drinkability as a young wine, it’s not a wine that you’d wait five to 10 years for. It can be enjoyed in its youth.”

Cheese and Fondue Discovery Session participants will be tasting French Alpine cheeses with three of Shaw + Smith’s pinot noirs, including a 2017 drop, one from its Tasmanian vineyard, and another from a back vintage.

The winning 2016 pinot (which is almost sold out) will be on offer at one of the degustation dinners, and also among the Hot 100 Wines South Australia stands.

Dan says the cheeses will be tasted at room temperature and as cheese fondue.

“Valerie tells brilliant stories about the cheese, I tell people as much about the history of pinot and why it works with the cheese,” he says.

“Our other vineyard (at Lenswood) is 500m above sea-level and we think that’s the perfect altitude, coolness and conditions for a really exciting pinot.

“Classically, you match foods with wines that are from a similar area … we’re not quite like the Alps here but a higher altitude variety like pinot goes with higher altitude cheeses.

“There tends to be higher acidity in higher altitude wines.

“The acidity will clean up your palate and cut through the fat in the cheese.”

Shaw + Smith’s winery and cellar door at Balhannah. Photo by Sia Duff.

Last year wasn’t Shaw + Smith’s first shot at Hot 100 success.

Its sister label, The Other Wine Co, won in 2015/16 with the 2015 Grenache.

Wineries making an appearance at this year’s Hot 100 Winter Harvest include Tomich Wines, Temple Bruer, Mitolo Wines, Howard Vineyard, Golding Wines, d’Arenberg, and 919 Wines.

General admission to the event is $49 and includes a Riedel wine glass.

To celebrate the Hot 100 Winter Harvest, Brand South Australia is giving away two double passes to the event.

Click here to enter before Thursday, June 21, at 5pm (AEST).

For more information on the separate degustation dinners and discovery sessions click here.

The Pinot and Fondue Discovery Session ($40) is on June 29, 7–8pm.

Header photo is Shaw + Smith’s global sales and marketing manager David Lemire, left, owner Martin Shaw and senior winemaker Adam Wadewitz. Photo by Sia Duff.

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