Monday, February 22, 2010

Nothin' but Praise for Philip Laffer and Jacob's Creek

Jancis Robinson, world class wino and connoisseur, has nothing to say but good things about Phillip Laffer & Jacob's Creek... and why wouldn't she? Jancis has the same opportunity I had a couple months ago: being wowed by Jacob's Creek Chief Winemaker, Philip Laffer, as she was taken through varying varietals, vintages and lines of the Jacob's Creek portfolio. She was impressed by the incredible aging potential of all three lines and found the Classic line to be above others in its category. As Jancis noted, the Shiraz and Cabernet also showed that despite the big name of Jacob's Creek, the implemented wine making techniques are just as meticulous as boutique winery collections.

Soon after that, Jancis encountered a blind tasting of 20 Chardonnays ranging in price and region. The Jacob's Creek Chardonnay, both Classic and Reserve, ranked amongst her favorites. As she said, "The distinguishing mark of the Jacob’s Creek Chardonnays is that Laffer has steered their stylistic evolution in parallel with the dramatic change in the style of the average Australian Chardonnay much higher up the ranks."

To read her first-hand account, visit the UK Financial Times website.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Eco-friendly Jacob's Creek Winery

When Johann Gramp planted the first wines along the banks of Jacob's Creek in 1847, he understood that it was important to respect the environment in order to maintain the rich, fertile soil. Today, the Jacob's Creek winemakers have the same philosophy: be good to the Earth and it will be good to you.

This is precisely why Jacob's Creek has dedicated a holistic approach to ever aspect of the winemaking process. Although there have been encouraging results from the changes already underway, Jacob's Creek continuously strives to decrease the footprint it leaves on the Earth by always treading lightly.

Jacob's Creek has made it a priority to remove and replace invasive weeds with native plants to the are to retain the biodiversity of the Jacob's Creek River system. Two of Jacob's Creek properties, Centenary Hill and Menge's Island, are planned to be rehabilitated for the wild and removed from production in the coming years in an effort to restore much of the pre-European wildlife found in Australia that is dwindling today.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Something Different from Downunder

When you think of Australian wine varietals the usual Shiraz, Riesling and Semilion immediately come to mind. But what you might not expect are grapes that are indigenous to distinct European countries such as Grenache, Graciano, Tannat, Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Lagrein Dolcetto blends.

For the past seven years, winemaker Nick Bruer has been crafting these artisan wines. Some are produced and distributed throughout Australia, some are avaliable only at the Jacob's Creek winery in the Barossa Valley.

This past fall, the winery hosted a series of side-by-side comparison lunches in November that paired these wines and native European wines with traditional European fare and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

As the traditional Australian wine palate matures and the ever-changing climatic conditions of our grape growing regions challenge us to adapt, innovate and experiment, Australian grape growers and winemakers are frequently turning to alternative grape varieties from the drier countries of the Mediterranean,” said Nick.

As noted, these wines are not, unfortunately, avaliable in the United States but they'd definitely be worth a trip to Australia to try!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Chance to Chat with Phillip Laffer

Don't miss your chance to talk with Phillip Laffer at 10am on Thursday, February 4th at 10am EST time (3pm GMT)

"Internationally renowned winemaker Philip Laffer has been at the forefront of Australian winemaking for over 40 years. He heads up a 20 strong winemaking team, and oversees the process from vineyard to bottle, capturing the essence of Australia in every varietal produced. He is a true ambassador for fine wine the world over"

Phillip will be joining live and will be avaliable to answer all of your wine questions about wine making to the delicious food and wine pairings!

Don't miss this chance!

For more information visit

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mohegan Sun Winefest & Pernod-Ricard Wines

January 30th & 31st mark the weekend of the Mohegan Sun Winefest, 2010. According to the website, there will be a healthy mix of wines and even ales avaliable for consumers and trade to sip on, analyze and experience next to several restaurants.

In the mix, Pernod-Ricard Wines will be pouring some excellent examples of their portfolio, including the even so popular, Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz.

Be sure to look for:

Brancott Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2007
: light straw in colour with green highlights. Aromas of ripe capsicum, gooseberry, and grapefruit dominate with tropical fruit notes apparent. This wine displays full fruit intensity. The ripe capsicum fl avours meld well with gooseberry and supporting mango and passion fruit fl avours. A well-balanced wine showing the lively, crisp acidity associated with this style.

Campo Viejo Reserva 2004: Intense maroon ruby red with woven edges. It combines the aroma of mature fruit with vanilla. Round and tasty wine.

Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec 2005: deep, dark red with complex aromas of mature black fruit and delicate black pepper notes. Well integrated tannins, round velvety body. Persistent and long finish, slightly toasted.

Graffigna Centenario Reserve Pinot Grigio 2008
: Jasmine notes embraced by peach and apricot aromas. The wine is a bright, clear gold with a subtle and refined finish.

Jacob's Creek Reserve Shiraz 2006: Intense dark berry fruit flavours, with layers olive and spice. The 2005 Jacob’s Creek Reserve Shiraz is full bodied with velvety tannins which provide the perfect backbone for expression of concentrated, spicy Shiraz flavours. The generous approachable fruit flavours ensure this wine can be enjoyed now; however the balance and structure of this wine will, if carefully cellared, evolve gracefully for the next 10 years.

Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto NV: Intense ruby red color, brilliant and clean. Rich red fruit aromas with a touch of age create an elegant reflection of powerful flavors, the fruit and fire characteristic of young classic Porto balanced with the finesse.

So there you have it. According the online program, Pernod-Ricard wines will be pouring at table 316 at the Mohegan Sun Winefest this weekend. If you're going, make sure you stop by to sample some of their award winning selections.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Celebrate Australia Day!

Celebrate Australia Day!

Tuesday, January 26th marks Australia Day 2010! This is the largest, most widely celebrated holiday across the Australian continent and the best part is: there is no wrong way to celebrate!

Jacob’s Creek has been nestled in the heart of Australia’s Barossa Valley since 1847 and has sustained their high standard of winemaking enacted by Jacob’s Creek founder, Johann Gramp. Jacob’s Creek became Australia’s first commercial vineyard and Johann’s original cellar is still standing at Jacob’s Creek, Australia today. Their philosophy? To create a wine that goes with any occasion… so what better way to celebrate Australia’s most celebrated day than with a glass of your favorite Aussie wine? The holiday is technically in memory of the First Fleet of Convicts to land in Botany Bay in 1978, but was not nationally celebrated until 1944. A “proper” way to celebrate Australia Day has never been established and instead is generally accepted as a day Australians take to do what they want to do, while simultaneously showing their patriotism.

Try this traditional Australian desert: Pavlova

Like all cultures, Australia has traditional meals, desserts & other foods that identify them as a culture. Here is a traditional recipe for an Australian desert, Pavlova.


  • 4 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 cup of Castor sugar, also known as "Berry sugar"
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cups of whipping cream
  • Fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, passion fruit, bananas, blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 275F (140C) and place the rack in middle of the oven. Line a baking tray with foil and draw a 7 inch circle on the foil with the blunt edge of a knife (don't tear the foil). Set aside.
  2. In a clean, medium-sized metal bowl, beat the egg whites with a clean electric mixer on medium speed. Beat until the whites form soft peaks.
  3. Gently sprinkle the sugar into the egg whites, one teaspoon at a time. Don't just lump the sugar in the bowl and never stop beating the eggs until you finish the sugar. Your egg whites should now be glossy stiff peaks.
  4. Sprinkle the cornstarch and vinegar on the meringue and fold in gently with a plastic spatula. Add the vanilla and gently fold the mixture again.
  5. Now gently spread the meringue in the circle on the foil to make a circular base. Make sure the edges of the meringue are slightly higher then the center so you have a very slight well in the middle.
  6. Bake the meringue for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until it goes a very pale, pinkish egg shell color.
  7. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar to let the meringue cool completely. As the meringue cools, it will crack slightly.
  8. Just before serving, take the meringue out of the oven and remove it gently from the foil and place on a plate.
  9. Whip the cream with the vanilla extract until it forms peaks. Prepare the fruit by washing and slicing.
  10. Gently spread the cream to the top of the meringue with a spatula and arrange the fruit on top.

Australia Day Activities

Here are some great things you can do to celebrate Australia day.

  • Have a party and serve Australian Cuisine & wine such as Jacob’s Creek (and blog about it!)
  • Attend a local event. Check out: for events near you!
  • Spend some time relaxing
  • Spend some time learning about Australian history
  • Wear an Australian flag or the colors of the flag (red, white & blue!)
  • Fly and Australian flag
  • Play the Didgeridoo
  • Play/watch Australian sports
  • Or just have a great time doing something else you love!

Celebrate Australia Day with Jacob's Creek! We can't wait to hear about your holiday!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sparkling Moscato wins 2010 ‘Australia Day’ Wine of the Year

At the 2010 Sydney International Wine Competition, Jacob's Creek Sparkling Moscato has been names the best Australian sparkling wine, aperitif style, by the National Australia Day Council. "The Jacob's Creek Sparkling Moscato is low in alcohol, low in price, but not low in flavour,” said the competition's director, Warren Mason.

This is the first time a Moscato has won the competition in the 17 years it has been running and won against wines from Champagne, Australia and New Zealand, which included mainly straight Chardonnays (Blanc de Blancs) and Chardonnay/Pinot Noir/and or Pinot Meunier blends.

The wine was paired against Smoked Salmon Timbales, accenting it's light, fruity flavors and agreeable nature.

Although the Jacob's Creek Moscato is not yet avaliable in the United States, there are hopes the product will be brought in soon. Otherwise, we'll all just have to hop a plane to Australia (which I DO plan to do on April 24th...) and sip some there!

Don't forget to celebrate Australia Day tomorrow!