Wine Essentials is here to educate you in everything from vintage wine ratings to which wine to pair with your food. Get started with our Wine Encyclopedia to learn what all of those mystery terms mean and check back here regularly for new videos and wine education articles.

Wine Education

Designed to develop your interest and extend your knowledge of wine.

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FeaturedAustralian vintage 2014: A snapshot

Once again, Western Australia might as well have been in another hemisphere, if not another world. All its many regions had a perfect growing season, the conditions ‘some of the best in living memory’. Yields, too, were generally good. The story through all five eastern states was very different, with two major weather events. The first was a cool, wet and windy spring which impacted on flowering and fruit set, reducing yield dramatically in many regions, less so in others.

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VideoBest value wines under $20

James was recently interviewed by Today Tonight to celebrate with the release of the 2014 Australian Wine Companion. Watch the video to hear James talk about his selection of Wine of the Year and Winery of the Year, plus Best New Winery and Dark Horse Winery. You'll also discover James' selection of best value wines under $20

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Australian wine essentialsWine and food, a seasonal guide

A great wine is only accentuated by the addition of a perfect food pairing. James offers his suggestions for the perfect seasonal wine and food pairings. With spring almost upon us, consider pairing a young Riesling with a cold salad or sashimi or a young Pinot Noir with grilled quail.

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Australian wine essentialsGrape variety plantings

The following charts show the grape variety plantings by tonne and hectares from 1996 to the present day.

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Australian wine essentials20 years of Australian vintage

The charts in the following pages show James Halliday's ratings for every Australian vintage over the last 20 years.

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Special Value

Wines considered to offer special value for money.