Professor Drinks, aka Cara Devine, is back with a grab of Victorian wines you can carry into a dinner party with confidence.

“I’m going to a dinner party, and I want to impress my hosts with something local. Help me, Professor Drinks!” – Superclaret99

Victoria is so well known for its wine, and with lots of wineries are exploring different styles and varieties, why not try surprising your friends with something they mightn’t have tried? Italian varieties work really well with our climate here, and are a nice departure from the usual favourites. 

Fighting Gully Road verdicchio
Fighting Gully is a Beechworth winery with a great reputation. They’ve been experimenting with alternative varieties, especially Italian ones, for quite a while. Verdicchio is a wonderfully textural white wine that tastes like stone fruits and has great acidity. This works well as an aperitif or with lighter foods like salads and fish; try it instead of a sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio.

Little Reddie Colbinabbin nebbiolo refosco
The grapes for this wine come from Heathcote, and I think Little Reddie put it best themselves when they called it a ‘Swiss army knife light red’. It has enough bright red fruits and herbal notes to substitute for your favourite pinot noir, but with some tannins and spice that allows it to stand up to heavier foods like steak. Juicy and fresh, it’s a great example of a new generation of fun Victorian wines.

Pennyweight Reserve Ruby fortified
As a self-confessed fortified wine nerd, I was so excited to find out about Pennyweight in Beechworth. I’ve visited the winery and it’s a true family enterprise, and while they make delicious table wines, their port and sherry-style wines (known as apera here in Australia) are something special. The Reserve Ruby showcased here is a fortified wine aged for an average of five years in the port style, and tastes like juicy red fruits and spices. Pair it with cheese after dinner, but also check out their dry sherry-style wines: the Constance fino is a great match for oysters.

By Cara Devine