Monday, December 12, 2011

Winey Tasting Notes: Getting formal with the Little Penguin Shiraz

I have to admit - I have always thought that penguins were one of the cuter birds out there. Even if they don't fly. They swim. I was a swimmer. And once you get past that fishy smell, honestly, how can you resist a guy who always dresses formally?

"the Little Penguin" wines are named after the real life little penguins, who live along South Eastern Australia's coast. Some of Australia's best vineyards can also be found along that coast. Nice combo.

This is another wine that I am a long time fan of. This review is going to talk about the 2010 Little Penguin Shiraz (13.5%, SE Australia) - but my first taste of the wine came with a 2003 vintage. So "little" does not translate to "insignificant" here's wine worth coming home to (or swimming home to if you happen to be a cute little flightless well dressed bird) time and time again.

The bouquet is, mercifully, not at all fishy, despite its mascot. Nope, with this one, you get warm spices and plums and cinnamon. Its color is a lovely garnet red . The taste is smooth and full of blackberries (maybe with a hint of sweetness - just a little hint though) with a kick to them. More spice and warmth...and closes with a nice long tannic finish. Not too dry (penguins live in the water, for heaven's sake) - just a perfect zingy Shiraz. You don't even need to pair this with a food - I usually don't. It stands very well in its own, just like a stately penguin in the snow. (OK, running out of corny penguin analogies here..) The last time I had some, though, it was with a bowl of penne pasta with a mushroom red sauce.  So good!

Did I mention that this wine retails for around $6.00 a bottle? No. Well consider yourself fully informed. Go put on a tuxedo and buy some.

It's worth noting that a trip to the Little Penguin website is a lot of fun, kind of like watching penguins waddle around in the snow (I promise, I'll try and stop that now). You can take a wine test to find out what your wine personality is (I am a Merlot, and here I always thought I was Irish.) You can find ot everything you always wanted to know about Little Penguins and you can learn some penguin party games. Their wine tasting tips actually made me laugh out loud, so I thought I'd share them with you:

How to get the most out of drinking the Little Penguin wines.
The Basics:
  1. Open a bottle of wine.
  2. Pour it in a glass.
  3. Open your mouth.
  4. Tip wine into your mouth.
  5. Swallow. (preferably before reaching full capacity)
  6. Enjoy. (In moderation, of course.)
This may sound simple to you, but to a penguin this is no small task. (

And here I was totally oblivious at how difficult it is for penguin to sip wine. Shame on me. (NOTE: Be careful if you play the Guide Your Penguin Safely Home's kind of addicting. And hard.)

  A little picture of the Little Penguin Shiraz!

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