Is this the best Xmas present for a wine buff? Better than socks or perfume, possibly…

Reviewed 12 wines on offer by Underground Wines, Wine Directions, Wine Exchange Asia.


For the wine buff who has everything (even a cellar full of wine) have a look at the end of this blog for a Xmas present with a difference.


A dozen wines reviewed, only 6 recommended but what recommendations some of them are. There’s some serious quality here at very attractive prices. And two New Zealand reds – what’s the world coming to?

2009 / Tulloch / Hunter Valley / Semillon / S$34 at Wine Directions – Like most Semillon, no need to rush into this wine, in fact I wouldn’t start drinking it until around 2014, and then it’ll go through to about 2024.  Good Semillon is a serious keeper. Tulloch is one of the reliable producers and this wine gets 94 points from James Halliday. 11% alcohol, quite solid for this grape. It retails for around A$26 so price here is solid value too. It’s also the best white here today. Er, it’s the only white here today. Some would say that’s how it should be.

2008 / Soho / Revolver / Waiheke Island / Red / S$42.50 by the case at Underground Wines – The red in this case is predominantly a Merlot/Malbec blend. Michael Cooper gave it 4 stars (“excellent”) and said it had “good concentration and complexity”. RRP is NZ$38 so pricing here is great value.

2007 / Unison / Hawke’s Bay / Syrah / S$52.50 by the case at Underground Wines – I heard someone describe syrah as shiraz with a lisp. No comment. What I can say is that this is another Michael Cooper 4 star wine (“excellent”) and with a RRP the same as the Soho, the value is good too. The only question mark I would have is on its further cellaring so I’d be tempted to drink this now.

2005 / Fox Creek / Reserve / McLaren Vale / Shiraz / S$49 from Wine Exchange Asia – I’ve blogged this wine before and then it was selling for $55. It’s now $49. Why? – you’ll have to share a glass of wine with me to get the answer to that. Just enjoy the wine at the price you’re getting it. Rated Halliday 94 at time of release, and should still be drinking well for a few more years.

2006 / Pikes / The EWP Reserve / Clare Valley / Shiraz / S$65 at Wine Directions – Wow, I’m blown away by this wine and by this deal. How does Halliday 97 points sound? Halliday called it “a bargain” at A$65. What does that make it at S$65! Just don’t be in a hurry – it’s purportedly drinking out to 2036. One to buy now and put away. Drag it out in years to come and amaze your friends. I’d get some.

It’s an easy choice for Bastard Box today. Get some Fox Creek to drink now, and some Pikes EWP to put away. Then e-mail your Aussie friends and gloat – a lot.


WINESPEAK 101 – Waffle with the best of them. Today’s word “PEAR”

“Taut, focused and distinctive, with a strong minerality weaving through the slightly salty pear and lime flavours.”

“Silky, round and deftly balanced to play its pear, apricot, grapefruit and nutmeg flavours against a refined structure.” 

Both comments are for Chardonnay, so you know what to say at that next social gathering….


THE WAY WE WERE – We drank Claret then. 1983



Did you see the results of the 2011 Royal Hobart Wine Show?

Our friends at Pressing Matters won “Most Successful Tasmanian Exhibitor”, Trophy Winner for “Best Sweet Dessert Wine Unfortified” and Gold for their 2010 Pressing Matters R139 Riesling, Gold for the 2010 Pressing Matters Block C Pinot Noir, Gold for the 2010 Pressing Matters R69 Riesling, and Gold for the 2011 Pressing Matters R9 Riesling.

We have the 2007 Pressing Matters R9 Riesling in stock now at S$47. A bargain!

Have a look at



If you travel the world a lot like Bastard Box does, then you’ll wish you had a decent wine glass to drink from wherever you are. A decent glass can make mediocre wine taste, well mediocre – but a bad glass can spoil even the best wine.  You’ll struggle to get a better wine glass than Riedel, but how do you take a Riedel with you everywhere you go? The Riedel O series looked the answer and much experimentation took place by yours truly to develop a secure travel container for the “O”. Think of those tiny milk crates that kids used at kindergarten and you’ll get the idea.

Then Riedel brought out their “O to Go” and it seemed the problem was solved. A Riedel O glass in a nice cardboard cylinder.  But alas, after a while, the cardboard cylinder succumbed to determined efforts of baggage handlers to crush both the container and your spirit. And the lid fell off. And the packing fell out.

So, Bastard Box has come up with the BB Buddy. It’s been tested over many air miles, many train miles, and many overland 4WD miles and it’s passed with flying colours. OK, even a BB Buddy might succumb to someone else’s 40kg Samsonite being dropped onto it from 10 metres but I’ve dropped the BB Buddy with glass from about 2 metres onto a marble floor and the glass survived intact. The lid seals on nice and tight, there’s no packing and it’s very light but oh-so strong.

The price is $31 each, which gives you a Riedel cabernet merlot “O” glass and a travel container. That’s about what you’d pay for the glass on its own retail.

And here’s a hint: pull out your BB Buddy and you’ll instantly be considered a wine expert. Amongst other things.

Send an e-mail to to order, delivery after 5th December but in plenty of time for Xmas.


“[Henry] Watson next went on to talk, as have many winegrowers in Australia before and since, of the need to drink ‘a light French wine’ rather than ‘the fiery brandied compound that is fabricated for the special use of John Bull, in his land of snows and fogs” – Foresight in 1840, as quoted by Valmai Hankel in ‘Early Days of Winegrowing in South Australia’, Winestate October 2007



0 Responses to “Is this the best Xmas present for a wine buff? Better than socks or perfume, possibly…”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 74 other followers

Wine quotations

"A good bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world" - Louis Pasteur

“The unexacting palates of the masses…are content to ask no question [on origin] so long as a florin or half-a-crown will purchase a roomy flagon of strong , full-bodied, fruity wine” – CE Hawker writing in 1907