Matthew's World of Wine and Drink

About Matthew's World of Wine and Drink.

This blog began as a record of taking the WSET Diploma, during which I studied and explored wines and spirits made all around the world. Having passed the Diploma and become a WSET Certified Educator, the blog has become much more: a continual outlet for my passion for the culture of wine, spirits, and beer.

I aim to educate in an informal, enlightening, and engaging manner. As well as maintaining this blog to track my latest enthusiasms, I provide educational tastings for restaurants and for private groups. Details can be found on the website, and collaborations are welcome.

Wine is my primary interest and area of expertise and this blog aims to immerse the reader in the history of wine, to understand why wine tastes like it does, and to explore all the latest news. At the same time, beer and spirits will never be ignored. 

For the drinker, whether casual or professional, today is a good time to be alive.

Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2015

Shaw + Smith M3 Chardonnay 2015

Australia is a warm country which developed a reputation for rich, fruity Chardonnays lacking finesse. All that has changed in the last ten years or so, as producers have sought cooler locations to make more food-friendly, elegant wines from Chardonnay. There are some world-class wines now being made, particularly in Margaret River, Tasmania, and Adelaide Hills.

The latter region is to the east of Adelaide, rising away from the city and the sea. Altitude is 450-550m, which cools the climate considerably. The sea also has a cooling influence, particularly to the south of the region. It's still warm - this is Australia after all - but the acidity is still high enough in these wines to make them refreshing and balanced.

Shaw + Smith are a fantastic producer focusing solely on Adelaide Hills, making Shiraz (at lower elevation), Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Michael Smith and Martin Shaw are two cousins, Smith being Australia's first ever MW. The Chardonnay is planted between 450 and 500m elevation, where the cool, wet conditions result in refreshing, structured wines. I love this wine: it's rich with stone and tropical fruit aromas, oaky, but vibrant and light. This is the type of Chardonnay Australia is capable of producing and which ought to make drinkers rethink their perception of the country.

Price: $30

Vintage: 2015

Grape Variety: Chardonnay

Region: Adelaide Hills

Alcohol: 13.2%

Ageing: 30% new French oak for 9 months on the lees

Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪

Drink: now-2025

Food pairing: white fish

Maeli Fior d'Arancio Colli Euganei DOCG 2015

Maeli Fior d'Arancio Colli Euganei DOCG 2015

Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado

Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado