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My Cellar: The Wine Enthusiasts

Publish Date: 17 May 2016

Authored by: Sarah Gamboni

Passionate wine enthusiasts and avid collectors reveal their favourite varietals.

Allan Myers, owner, Royal Mail Hotel
“There are plenty of wines in my cellar that were made 20, 25, and certainly 30 years ago, where a shiraz or cabernet might be 12 per cent or even less. But you don’t find them now. And it’s all down to influential American wine critic Robert Parker, who had a palate for highly alcoholic wines. Australian winemakers began changing their style of wines to please him. Most Bordeaux reds are 12.5 per cent, and I think that’s the right sort of wine, with the right sort of flavour. Many Australian shiraz and cabernet wines don’t have the same subtlety. They hold so many unresolved tannins, especially when they’re young, but Australian pinot is around 13 per cent, the sort of traditional recipe for red Burgundy, and I think they’re much more acceptable wines.

Dan Sims, director, Bottle Shop Concepts
“As clichéd as it may sound, I prefer to collect wine ‘moments’ rather than wine ‘trophies’. I’ve been fortunate to drink so many great wines, but my favourite occasions always have more meaning. This may be a $5 bottle of Chianti on a hill in Chianti or a bottle of Barolo overlooking, well, Barolo. Sense of place and occasion are as important as the wine.”

Paul Henry, creative director, Tasting Australia
“For me, I love the counterpoint Barolo offers: it’s a wine that’s tannic and acidic at the same time. It’s perfumed and subtle, yet it’s structured and savoury. Even as a kid I always eschewed sweet things for savoury and so for me I’m really attracted to Barolo’s ability to go from floral perfume right through all of those classic notes: the tar, leather and earth. I could get endlessly lost in Barolo."

For more fascinating wine insights, read about top chefs' favourite food and wine matches, or discover James Halliday's top 10 vintages of Grange.

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