Wine Tasting:

20 October 2018

Thanks for coming along this tasting! If you liked any of the wines or wanted to purchase any as a gift for the next few months, you can view each wine at Dan Murphy’s via the links below.

For every online purchase made via the links below, Wine Wisdom Made Easy receives a commission. However, the price you see when clicking through these links is the same as it would be from a Google search or any other regular source. The commission is taken from the retailer's profit margin and not passed on to you as purchaser. Wine Wisdom, in turn, passes a portion of profit from commissions to a charity called Sightsavers, as part of the 'Vino for Vision' giving program which aims to help prevent blindness in developing countries.

The wines below are mostly $25 and above because our tasting was about trying some really special wines with distinctive characteristics. However if you prefer wines that are still great value but not as expensive, have a look at my recommendations for the $15-$25 price range.

Why Dan Murphy’s?

  1. They have a commission program which means this website and Sightsavers can be supported financially

  2. They have an extensive range and distribution network which means they are rarely out of stock of the specific wines recommended

  3. They are one of the cheapest of the major online retailers

  4. They deliver any number of bottles to you door, not just a minimum of 6 or 12

If you prefer to purchase from other wine retailers, please do. You can still use the recommendations on this site to guide your purchases.

You can also download a free guide to choosing wine at the bottom of this page.


Bracket 1: Sparkling Wine

This bracket was all about the difference between vintage and non-vintage sparkling wine.

Left side

Brown Brothers Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Meunier (Non Vintage), King Valley

A great example of the non-vintage style. See the full write up here.

Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($18)

Right side

Kreglinger Vintage Brut 2010, Tasmania

Better length although less ‘lifted’ aroma.

Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($38)


Bracket 2: Sauvignon Blanc

This bracket was initially about the effect of decanting - it made the wine more aromatic but the taste was less appealing (because Sauvignon Blanc is not made to be decanted).

Then we compared the ‘benchmark’ examples of Sauvignon Blanc from Australia and New Zealand.

Left side

Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Adelaide Hills

A mix of passionfruit and grassy, herbal characters.

Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($28)

right side

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Marlborough NZ
More aromatic and ‘loud’; more tropical fruit characters.

Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($32)


Bracket 3: Chardonnay

This bracket was all about comparing trendier, ‘sparse’ and ‘lean’, citrusy Chardonnay against big-flavoured ‘old school’ Chardonnay.

left side

Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2016, Adelaide Hills

Trendier - Less aromatic, leaner but still great length and structure, more subtlety, detail and complexity.

Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($42)

right side

Brian Croser BC Chardonnay 2016, Adelaide Hills

Old School - More oak character, bigger flavour, more aromatic

Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($29 - they currently have a deal for $20 for member card holders)


Bracket 4: Merlot Vs Cabernet Sauvignon

This bracket highlighted the different attributes that Merlot and Cabernet bring to a classic Cab-Merlot blend (‘Bordeaux blend’)


left side

Katnook Estate Merlot 2015, Coonawarra

Aromatic, (blackberry) not very ‘long’ in terms of persistence of flavour. Not too much tannin. Some bitterness in the tannins at the end.

Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($34)

right side

Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Coonawarra

More ‘lifted’ or aromatic, (chocolate, mint, capsicum, blueberry, burnt toffee). Smoother, more persistent flavour, more tannin. A little ‘angular’.

Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($34)



Bracket 5: The Effect of Age on Cabernet

Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, Coonawarra

We finished with my favourite wine of the night which was identical to the Cabernet above, except that it was five years older.

It was smoother, more integrated, had great structure and length of flavour, plus ‘secondary’ characters (a little ‘leathery’!) which added to the ‘primary’ fruit characters.

Click here to view the wine in Dan Murphy’s ($48 normally or $35 for Dan Murphy’s Members)