What makes good wine? Geddes has you covered

Australian Wine Vintages 33rd Edition, by Rob Geddes, published by Geddes a Drink Publications, RRP $34.95.
Australian Wine Vintages 33rd Edition, by Rob Geddes, published by Geddes a Drink Publications, RRP $34.95. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

THE Gold Book is a wine lover's best friend.

The pocket-sized hardcover by wine industry veteran Rob Geddes showcases the top 10% of Australian wine vintages, proven to be consistent for drinking, cellaring and investing in.

The 33rd edition of Australian Wine Vintages (the official title) features tasting notes, vintage quality and indicative prices for more than 6000 wines, including Geddes's top 100 drops, as well as 40 new wineries, certified organic and biodynamic wineries.

So what makes a good wine and how do you choose a stellar bottle?

Geddes has the answers right here.


Q: How many wines did you sample in the making of your latest Australian Wine Vintages book?

A: I don't record every wine I taste, but I do write in excess of 3000 tasting notes for the book each year.


Q: What do you look for when scoring the wines?

A: Value, balance, length, intensity, complexity and length of flavour. The x factor is intensity of flavour without heaviness.


Q: What's your favourite wine from the 2016 Gold Book and why?

A: Bass Philip 2013 Gippsland Pinot Noir. Drink it and weep for the beauty in the aromas and flavours, silken texture and fragrant after taste.


Q: When you're not working on the next edition what wines do you like to enjoy and why?

A: I like all wines. At the moment a fad for Coopers green label. I do tend to drink with the seasons and with summer coming, it is time to skip the reds and move to semillon, riesling and semillon sauvignon blanc blends.


Q: Do you have any favourite wines from Queensland and Northern New South Wales?

A: New England Toppers Mountain - you must try everything from this winery. Merilba for its reds and the lovely cellar door. The Granite Belt's Witches Falls' whites and Symphony Hill: you must try everything from this winery too.


Q: What are your tips for choosing a good bottle of wine?

A: First, find a variety you like and then over time you will find regions you like and it is easy. Don't try too hard. Buy what you like, regardless of what people think, and buy direct from the winery where you can taste before you buy. Cultivate regionality. Find a region whose wines you like and choose from within.

Rob Geddes holds a Master of Wine and is the author of the annual Gold book Australian Wine Vintages:



Botrytis: A fungal infection of ripe grapes contributing positive tropical aroma and very sweet grape juices.

Geosmin: Describes the earthy smell of freshly dug up beets, or rain on warm asphalt.

Palate: The front palate is where most tasters first experience flavour and body; it's closely linked to the amount of alcohol or sweetness in the wine. The middle palate is the part of the tongue (the tip to near the point of gag reflex) where fruit is mostly felt and tasted. The back palate is where the finish of the wine becomes apparent - the longer it lingers the better.

Rhythm: A wine that is said to have good rhythm has all its components in balance. It can also be said to have the energy in its fruit, acid or tannins to enable it to last in the mouth.

Topics:  alcohol wine

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