Semillon, Garden Gnomes and Jellied Eels

Just as there are fashions in food, clothes, shoes and hairstyles, so there are fashions in wine as well.  Some in the wine industry view Semillon as having all the curious appeal of ‘a garden gnome, or…jellied eels’ and others praise it’s versatility and ability to pair with foods we love, like seafood.  Who to trust? Is Semillon really the ugly ducking some would have us believe?

If the name seems familiar, its probably because you’ve seen Semillon used to blend with Sauvignon Blanc in bright and cheery easy drinking wines readily available in most Australian bottle-o’s.  More than just a curiousity, others see Hunter Valley Semillon as ‘Australia’s gift to the world’. Why so divisive?  And ultimately, is it safe to punt your own money on a bottle or two?

This month’s SwirlSniffSpit tasting brings together a dozen expressions of Semillon, demonstrating its versatility and showing why it should be in your fridge this summer.  Join us at Era on Tuesday 18 November and RSVP by replying on Twitter

Bracket 1 – Sparkling

Bimbadgen Estate NV Sparkling, Hunter Valley @bimbadgen

St Agouant 1999 Brut Blanc de Blanc, Bordeaux @TheTruffleManOz

Bracket 2 – Young Semillon

Scarborough Wine Green Label Semillon 2011, Hunter Valley @ScarboroughWine

Murray Street Vineyards Semillon 2010, Barossa Valley @MSVWine

Bracket 3 – South Burnet, Queensland

Clovely Estate Left Field Semillon 2010 @ClovelyWine

Barambah Estate Semillon 2008 @BarambahWines

Bracket 4 – Aged Semillon

Meerea Park 2005 Alexander Munro Semillon, Hunter Valley @MeereaPark

Peter Lehmann Wines Margaret Semillon 2005, Barossa Valley @PLWines

Bracket 5 – Off-Dry & Barrel Fermented

Thomas Wines 6 Degrees Semillon 2010, Hunter Valley @ThomasWines

Juniper Estate Semillon 2009, Margaret River

Bracket 6 – Dessert Wines

De Bortoli Wines Black Noble @DeBortoliWines

Punt Road Botrytis Semillon 2010, Yarra Valley @PuntRdWines

SwirlSniffSpit is a free, guided and informal tasting held at Era Bistro on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.  For more information visit

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