McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Moscato (NV) – (South Eastern Australia)

  • My Rating: [A-]

McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Moscato (Non-Vintage), 6.0% ABV, 750ml., (South Eastern Australia)

on the back label:

“With floral aromas, this wine has a delightful bouquet. Its lively palate displays peach, citrus and honey with a full bodied sweetness balanced by a refreshing mouth feel.”

  • Style: (Frizzante – Moscato) White wine
  • Taste: Inviting fruity bright sweet peach pear elderflower tangy
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $15 – 750ml., sometime in 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: sure
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: just for fun, not to impress

Visual: Twist cap top. Pours with bubbles settled at the bottom of the glass, clear light yellow, no activity.

Nose: bright fruity floral notes of peachy pear and touch of elderflower. (lvl-6)-pungency

Attack: bright welcoming fruitiness

Mid-palate: (lvl-7-sweetness), peach, pear, elderflower, tangy lemon-lime acidity,

Finish: light tart, trace amounts of cloying sugar, onset of heartburn

Summary: Super playfully fruity controlled sweet and hardly expensive. Recommended for parties, with a meal, or as a palate cleanser, this one is extremely easy to drink. Might cause heartburn for some.

Jacob’s Creek Moscato (Australia)


  • My Rating: [C+]

Jacob’s Creek Moscato 2011 – Orlando Wines, 8.0% ABV, 750ml., (Rowland Flat, South Australia)

on the back label:

“Jacob’s Creek Moscato is a deliciously refreshing ‘frizzante’ style wine delicately spritzed with vibrant sherbet flavours balanced with a lively and soft fruit sweetness.”

  • Style: (Frizzante – Moscato) White wine
  • Taste: Bright dense sweet puckery sour muscat grape partially cloying
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: ~$13 – 750ml., sometime in 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to white wine aficionados: unbalanced

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). Twist cap top. Pours barely fizzy with lots of small bubbles hugging the side of the glass, light sunshine yellow colour.

Nose: bright apple-lime acidity, stonefruit minerality. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: puckery acidic-tart

Mid-palate: dense (lvl-6-sweetness), continued med-aggressive sour, alcoholic tang, muscat grape, lime

Finish: tart acidity, thickened saliva, prickly-tangy tongue, sticky gums, apple-white grape exhale.

Summary: Lots of bright grapey-apple fruitiness characteristic of moscatos, although somewhat cloying and sticky in the finish. Drinks like an inexpensive and straightforward muscat wine for the masses.

The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #6 – Fat Man Red Suit Big Sack (IPA) (Australia)


The Craft BeerAdvent Calendar 2014 Day #6

Fat Man Red Suit Big Sack (IPA) – Bridge Road Brewers, 7.5% ABV – 330ml., (Beechworth, Australia)

on the front-right label:

“Fat Man, Red Suit, Big Sack is an India Red Ale that showcases some of our countries great hop varieties, Galaxy, Topaz and Enigma.”

  • Style: India Pale Ale (IPA)
  • Taste: Creamy caramel honey malt soft bitter hops
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes

Visual: Pours dark brownish-red with a huge super foamy lasting head, a thick layer of retention, several steady singular st reams along the perimeter.

Nose: Toffee/caramel honeyed brown malts, half citrus hops. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: very crisp bite, creamy

Mid-palate: (lvl-5)-sweetness, (MAIN) caramel malts, grassy, honey

Finish: soft-biting bitter hops, malty sweet finish.

Summary: Brown ale meets extra hops; caramel + hoppy bitterness, pretty good, especially when chilled.

The Stump Jump Sticky (Late Harvest) – d’Arenberg Winery (McLaren Vale, Australia)


  • My Rating: B+

The Stump Jump Sticky Chardonnay-Riesling-Semillon-Pinot Gris 2010 – d’Arenberg Winery,11.5% ABV – 375ml, (McLaren Vale, Australia)

On the back label:

“The grapes for the Stump Jump Sticky are sourced from selected Botrytis infected vineyards in McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills. Botrytis is a vine disease that if carefully managed removes moisture from the grapes leaving behind sugar, fruit acids and minerals resulting in a luscious sweet wine with intense concentrated fruit flavours.”

    • The winery was established in 1912, now over 100 years of winemaking experience and history. Check out the youtube vid:
  • Style: (Late Harvest-Botrytis) Dessert Wine
  • Taste: fruity red apple -> passion fruit/lemon zest/alcohol -> warm/clean fruity finish.
  • Where I got it : Liberty Wines
  • How much: $18 (but $15 on the label, overcharged?) – 375ml., September 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: yes

Visual: They state the label was inspired by an optometrist’s eye chart; interesting but the effect isn’t really there since the font on the bottom row is not much smaller than the top row, imo. Screw-cap top with high quality labeling everywhere. Pours golden apple juice yellow with minute suspended sedimentation.

Nose: Super bright & clean red apple, honey, mild floralness. (8)-aromatic strength

Attack: med-dense fruity sugars, immediate red apple

Mid-palate: (8)-sweetness, (MAIN) red apple, passion fruit, lemon zest, mild alcohol detection (hint) papaya, yellow peach.

Finish: (3)-alcohol warmth, clean dense-fruity finish

Summary: An extremely approachable and sippable wine with manageable sweetness and excellent balance. Great price point for a high quality wine that reminds me of the depth you get from Icewines. (Note: all numbers above are on a 10-point scale, with 1 being weak and 10 being the strongest)

Pink Moscato NV – Emeri de Bortoli (Australia)


  • My Rating: C+

Pink Moscato NV – Emeri de Bortoli, 8.0% ABV – 750ml, (Australia)

  • Style: (Sweet) Sparkling Wine
  • Taste Profile: sweet fizziness -> strawberry/peach/iced  tea -> cloying sweet finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $17, Summer 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to sparkling wine aficionados: only if you’re curious

Tasting notes: Foil-sealed and corked. Pours a brilliant pink blush hue with lots of activity, large bubbles, quick dissipating head, lots of activity. Sugary sweet strawberries on the nose.

Attack: sticky 6/10-sweetness

Mid-palate: fizzy mouthfeel, strawberries, peach, hints of iced tea

Finish: dense cloying mouthfeel, finishes cloying sweet with thick saliva.

Decents flavours and above average drinkability on this one, though not something I would want to try again.

Dutschke Ivy Blondina 2004 White Muscat (Australia)


Ivy Blondina 2004 White Muscat (discontinued) – Dutschke Winery, 15% ABV – 375ml, (Lyndoch, South Australia)

On the back label:

“Ivy Blondina Semmler, Oscar’s wife, Ken’s mother and my grandmother, was a wonderfully generous woman who gave us all tremendous support and inspiration. We though it quite fitting that we dedicate this refreshing fruity wine to ‘Ivy Blondina’.

White Muscat grapes from our family vineyard at Lyndoch were used to produce this wine. With generous citrus and tropical fruit characters, it is best appreciated as a young wine and served chilled. Enjoy this wine as we have enjoyed producing it.”

  • Style: (fortified) Dessert Wine
  • My Rating: B-
  • Taste Profile: Deep fruit/sour/sweetness/alcohol -> peach/red apple/pineapple ->alcohol/warmth/clean finish.
  • Where I got it: Bin 104 (Edmonton, AB)
  • How much: ~$25, Sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to dessert wine aficionados: no

Tasting notes: pours clear golden light yellow. Strong fruity peach/apricot/lychee aroma on the nose. Hits you with a deep fruit, 5/10-sour, tangy acidity up front, 8/10-sweetness mixed with alcohol, fading into peach, red apple, pineapple, ending with more alcohol, mild warming/tongue tingly, mildly sticky, clean finish. Medium complexity, med depth, good transitions, decent carry, quite sippable. Clean and more elegant compared to crappier/basic dessert wines I’ve tried.

Sparkling Riesling NV – Skillogalee (Australia)

Sparkling Riesling NV – Skillogalee, 13.0% ABV – 750ml, (Clare Valley,South Australia)

On the back label:

“Skillogalee’s sparkling wine is made from 100% Clare Valley Riesling fruit, which gives a light, refreshing wine with plenty of flavour. We use the traditional method with bottle fermentation followed by about 18 months on lees before disgorging. The nose is yeasty with plenty of fruit, and the palate is full, soft and flavoursome with a crisp, dry finish.”

  • Style: (semi-sweet) Sparkling Riesling
  • My Rating: C
  • Taste Profile: Dense heavy sugars -> alcohol/tart green apple -> sour puckery finish.
  • Where I got it: Firefly
  • How much: $34 (after 10%), May 2012
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to friends: no

Tasting notes: pours light golden yellow with nice clustered effervescent CO2, quickly dissipating head. The typical inviting orchard-fruity Riesling grape on the nose. Drinks with incredible denseness up front, heavy sugars, partially numbing alcohol in the background, transitioning into heavy-tart green apples, puckeriness, hints of lime, ending off-dry and aggressively sour. Low-medium complexity, low-medium depth, okay transitions, average carry. Not that interesting nor refreshing/quenching.

Stamp of Australia Riesling Gewurztraminer 2011 (Australia)

Riesling Gewurztraminer 2011 Stamp of Australia – Hardys, 11% ABV – 750ml, (Reynella, Australia)

On the back label:

“This wine is a fresh medium dry style with lively citrus fruit characters. It is ideally suited to Asian cuisine, white meats and antipasto.”

  • Style: White Wine
  • My Rating: $priceless$
  • Where I got it: BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $priceless$, 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: n/a
  • Would I recommend this to wine aficionados: 50/50

Tasting notes: pours clear light yellow. Red apple juice and incoming acidity on the nose. Rated “01” on the sweetness scale, I find perceived sweetness is more like a 4. Flavours of red apple, white grape, green apple, and lime dominate the palate, aggressive tartness and sour acidity flood midpalate to finish. Ends tart, tangy, and slightly sticky cloying. Medium complexity, medium depth, okay transitions, good carry, decent drinkability.