There are exceptions to the rule (D’Arenburg Dead Arm for example) but I’m usually underwhelmed by Aussie Shiraz. Nothing tops Northern Rhone, but I like Greek Syrahs with their black olive notes. Hawkes Bay Syrah is good as well.
Syrah not Shiraz is the bottom line stylistically for me (and importantly for my other half).
I would have agreed about Aussie Shiraz’s in the past but much easier to find quality in Australia now. Admittedly that isn’t at the £10 a bottle price point, more like £15-20. But there are some much more mellow wines especially after a good decant. The WS does a Plantagenet which is lovely and the Dead Arm is a nice wine too. They’ve certainly turned a corner for me but you can still get the over jammy “hand me a spoon” stuff too!!
I would have to say “hate” wines are Beaujolais. Just never enjoyed it other than a £50 bottle which is hardly a realistic way of getting me onto it. Beyond that there are wines I’d generally avoid like overly acidic NZ Sav B, Prosecco or Rose. On the Rose front, I went to Whispering Angel when in Provence and their top end stuff is lovely but not what I would generally class as Rose. I think it’s the Zinfandel or Grenache blush stuff that makes me shudder rather than the Pinot driven ones.
I’m thinking that we should set up a table at the next Generation Wine event with a selection of these poor, unfortunate, unloved wines … and see if we can’t change a few people’s perceptions.
We could list these categories, then select the “wine that will change your mind” version of it to taste. We would select one for each of these:
Fino / Manzanilla Sherry
Cava (& by popular acclaim, Prosecco)
Qvevri White (or Oak aged white, e.g. Rioja)
German Riesling (Spätlese?)
NZ Sauvignon Blanc
Red from an ‘unknown’ country (Lebanon, Israel, Uruguay, …?)
I can totally see the problem with rose, though in my case the expectation always outweighs the reality. There is some good stuff out there, but it’s so expensive.
My personal bete noire is prosecco, Can’t believe noone has mentioned it - total marketing hype. I have never tasted a decent one. If I’m drinking cheap fizz cava beats it every time. I’ve done blind tastings which bear this out (though the lack of colour is also off-putting). I’ve resolved not to drink it again!
Brilliant idea @robert_mcintosh - I can think of some examples already that would do the “change your mind” job on some of those categories. You’d want an upper price limit on them all though, say £20.
I’ve been mulling this over for a while (literally YEARS … in fact I once had this tasting half lined-up, to be called “It Is Not What You Think”, to combine the wine tasting with philosophical presentation on prejudices and stereotypes, and how it can lead to bad decisions … but it foundered on a lack of venue at the time …).
I have always assumed that Cava was the much more maligned and misunderstood of the sparkling wine population (with fabulous producers like Juve y Camps and Recaredo amongst others being lumped together with cheap supermarket stuff) … so please accept the “Cava” listing to represent the broader “misunderstood and under-appreciated sparkling wine” category that now, surprisingly, includes Prosecco
It’s something we do occasionally (at our London Wine Fair in the spring, for example) and we do have entire ‘You’d Swear Blind’ tastings series from time to time. Will try and find out when & where the next lot are on.
Just wanted to post an update, seeing as the ‘what would it take to get you to try it?’ side of this question has now been fulfilled for me!
As you and @martin_brown suggested, there are some better-quality examples out there of NZ sauvignon that I had until now missed - and on holiday I was handed a glass of Dog Point SB and it was MARVELLOUS! So understated, so complex, so deliciously fresh and drinkable. I’ll definitely try some of the others you both mentioned now…