Winter isn’t coming, it has arrived. We’ve asked Joel Amos from DRNKS – an online store that specialises in organic, bio-diverse drops, ciders, and sakes – for five of his favourite winter wines under $30. Invite some friends over and settle into the chilly season with a smashable red or a sweet Grenache.
2013 Casa De Si Pablito garnacha – $25
This grenache is aged in old oak in the Spanish mountains of Calatayud, a region known for producing bold, robust flavours. The Casa De Si is no exception, a slightly higher-ABV (alcohol by volume) drop balanced with a fresh and juicy sweetness. Amos recommends opening a bottle with a hearty winter stew, although it’s “definitely drinkable by itself”.
2015 Chapter Wines malbec – $28
“This one I really like,” says Amos. This lighter-styled malbec is almost the opposite of the standard super-rich and heavy South American style, although it still carries a characteristic smoothness. Jarad Curwood makes this one in Heathcote. In summer, Amos serves it slightly chilled, but in winter, it becomes a “super-smashable” drink best served at room temperature. “It’s one that really warms you up,” he says.
2014 Jeff Carrel Bistrologie – $29
“This is just fun wine – that’s the only way to describe it,” says Amos. Bistrologie is a 100 per cent carignan (a red Spanish/French wine grape) wine with a dusty spice, grown in Southern France’s Languedoc. Try a bottle at Restaurant Hubert with charcuterie, or crack out a cheese board at home.
2015 Si Vintners Red – $28
Technically, Amos included these winemakers twice. Australian couple Sarah Morris and Iwo Jackimowicz, who bought the original Margaret River vineyard after their success in Spain under their Casa De Si label, owns Si Vintners. This lighter Margaret River blend of cabernet sauvignon, malbec and petit verdot strips back the region’s full-bodied focus for a more casual and crisp drink. Scents of lavender might momentarily trick your nose into thinking it’s spring.
2015 Domaine Lucci Vino Rosso – $25
Amos calls winemaker Anton Von Klopper, “Australia’s original natural wine spiritual guru”. He’s been in the game for 14 years. The Vino Rosso is a dirty blend of red and white – Klopper won’t share the specifics – from the Adelaide Hills. Amos says it combines traditionally off notes such as spiced plum with a little bit of acidity from the white, keeping it all in check for a bottle best enjoyed by itself.
Amos recently launched a monthly wine delivery service, Club DRNKS, featuring his top picks of the month. Each bottle works out to be under $30.