Do it differently this Autumn

There will be a time when we get back to the good old Hunter classics but for now, let’s venture into the world of wines that defy tradition, embrace the unconventional, and are perhaps overlooked. Shall we? 

Think ‘Hunter wine’ and what comes to mind are ethereal young Semillons and their curiously matured versions, delightfully fragrant Shirazes, charming Pinots and quaint Chardonnays. We know where the reliable classics fit and very comfortably. But what else is there? The alternatives quietly win many of my daily wine choices. Take one step to the left and discover great value fizz, textural roses, off-dry whites and climate-adaptable reds.

First off, a bubbly that offers the lightness and fruitiness of Prosecco- styled wines and the gentle complexities of a traditionally made sparkler. The one here is a Chardonnay but you can find a fizzy Semillon too. Just look for it.

The underappreciated stickies are made year in, year out. The Hunter grows some of the oldest Verdelho vines, once notoriously made into sweet styles mimicking the great fortifieds of Madeira. These days may be gone but off-dry Semillons are very present. Grab one.

Rose with a depth of flavour, colour, savouriness and a wild edge is a food- matching winner. The trick is to seek the unfined, unfiltered version, often made with extended skin contact. Give it a go.

Ditch the internationally recognised French grapes and get into the unusual and the unexpected. Not so emerging anymore, yet still not mainstream, Italian and Iberian grapes are exciting alternatives to Shiraz. Just do it!

Discover our top picks in the Autumn Edition of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.

Column by Kasia Sobiesiak.