Blackbilly's McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2009 was declared the standout winner at the Restaurant and Bar Hong Kong House Wine Awards last week, where it's paired with contemporary Italian fare at The Drawing Room.
Surprisingly, instead of choosing an Italian wine as its house red, The Drawing Room chose a medium bodied red from the southern coast of Australia, that is 65 percent Grenache for fruitiness, 20 percent Shiraz for richness and depth, and 15 percent Mourvedre for spice.
According to contest organizers, the secret to selecting a good house wine is to look for universal appeal, value for the money and relative obscurity - which doesn't necessarily mean it's hard to find, but simply that it has a "cool" factor, they said.
"When you pull these three criteria together, your guests will be amazed and intrigued."
Grown in the mediterranean climate of Australia's Adelaide Hills, the McLaren Vale Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre has been described as an intensely perfumed bouquet of dark berry preserves, potpourri and smoky Indian spices by Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, a prolific writer who also served as wine columnist for Food & Wine magazine.
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