Australia is rapidly becoming a go-to source for enjoyable wines at reasonable prices. The flagship, Yellow Tail, has quickly established something of a supermarket empire in the states and is introducing new varietals at a very brisk pace. Simple and straightforward, Yellow Tail's not going to be winning any Paris tastings any time soon, but they do offer drinkable wines at very reasonable prices.
But enough about Yellow Tail.
This weekend marked the introduction of Jindalee wines to my local supermarket, and the winery is obviously pressing hard for market share, offering up a two-bottle special: $9.99
I picked up a chardonnay and a merlot, both 2003.
The Chardonnay is quaffable (quaffable!); I paired it with a slightly sweet mix of scallops and petite peas over a fluffy, three-egg French omelet. The food pairing was perfectly serviceable, but I would have preferred a wine with a bit more acidity and flavor that offered more pop.
The Jinadlee merlot is fruit-forward with aromas of plum and cherry. Deep red in color, the wine brings with it intense flavors of red fruits, including raspberry. There is also an alluring spiciness to the wine and a wonderfully balanced acidity, which made it a wonderful complement to marinated flat-iron steak grilled medium rare and served up with baked potatoes and all the fixin's.
Best-Ever Steak Marinade (from Global Gourmet):
- 2 medium shallots, minced
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients and place in heavy-duty zip-top bag or plastic container with tight fitting lid. Add the steaks and seal the container. Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight. (If using a plastic bag, turn it often to evenly distribute the marinade.)
While I wouldn't leave the house with the express purpose of picking up Jindalee (and wouldn't buy the Chardonnay again) the merlot exactly filled my expectations. It proved itself a solid, value-priced wine that is easy drinking, approachable and paired well with food.