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Australia is the first country to have fallen victim to the one country - one grape association. If I say Australia, you say Shiraz. If I say Shiraz, you say Australia. Is that really all there is? You know it's not since you've probably stumbled across several other Australian options like Cabernet, Chardonnay and the Grenache-based blends. You might have even passed all these by thinking that they must be like all other Australian wines, big and oaky, though not saying that all other Australian wines are big and oaky, of course!

Do you want a superb surprise from Australia? You'll have to look past the prejudices and check out Australia's extraordinary Riesling. Yes, you read that right. One more assumption you need to discard is that Riesling is a sweet wine, because while Australian Rieslings are sweet, they are also super dry. These are clean, refreshing, snappy sapid wines that seem almost designed to destroy stereotype ideas about wine. Enjoy them with seafood, salads, or even on their own as the weather warms!

Photo courtesy Mike the Mountain via Flickr/CC

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  • Snooth User: maffe
    146867 51

    Nice to hear that you recommend exploring Marcillac and Gaillac wines. I'd even go so far as to say that if you're not an expert, stay away from Bordeaux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône. You find better values and better wines for the American palate in Bergerac, Madiran, Faugères, St-Chinian, Fitou, Corbières, or VdP from Côtes de Thongue or the new Pézenas appellation.

    Feb 29, 2012 at 4:23 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,749

    An interesting observation. Thanks for sharing. I love Fer, and do see the wines as being very easy to like, but I think people will continue to gravitate towards Chateauneuf and the like!

    Mar 04, 2012 at 10:31 AM

  • Snooth User: maffe
    146867 51

    Gregory, I'm sure you're right ... most people will keep knowing only the already famous names. But I'm glad every time influential guys like you write about lesser known appellations or regions that are worth discovering. I'm sure a few people will get intrigued and want to learn more.
    The problem with Languedoc and the South-West is of course the immense diversity, which makes these regions difficult to get a grip on, even when living here. Different soils, different grape varieties, different micro-climates, old family wineries and young, hungry, creative winemakers. But that also makes the wine scene very exciting here.

    Mar 04, 2012 at 5:09 PM

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