Emma Shaw’s top 5 local wines to enjoy this winter

Sophia Brady 30 June 2020 1
Emma Shaw

Emma Shaw says now’s a great time to discover our region’s world-class wines. Photos: Joanne Gittoes.

As we settle into winter, flannel sheets and heavy doonas have replaced the lightweight manchester of summer. Air conditioning has been switched from cooling to heating. On our plates, BBQ meats and salads have been replaced by warming slow-cooked soups, stews and roasts.

But how about your wine glass? What has replaced the light, bright drinks of the warmer months?

We spoke to local wine educator Emma Shaw about her top 5 local drops that she enjoys in our cold season. A big supporter of the Canberra wine region, she says now’s a great time to discover our world-class wines.


Try this winter warmer. It is smooth and elegant.

Sholto Wines Syrah 2018

It is smooth, elegant and while I find it a little on the richer side for a cool climate shiraz, it is recognisably Canberra. Beautiful drinking now, it will be amazing in the future. Jake Carter, Sholto’s winemaker, really plays around with his wines and I just love that experimentation.

McKellar Ridge Shiraz Viognier 2018

It is a classic Canberra shiraz viognier mix and it is just done so well. Floral, spicy, beautiful fruit and grip in your mouth – a wine that is lovely to sip on its own but also goes so well with food.

Mount Majura Vineyard TSG 2017

One of the wines Mount Majura is well known for, this is their blend of tempranillo, shiraz and Graciano (with a little bit of Touriga). For me, this wine simply bursts with flavour and makes me want to take another sip.

Clonakilla Viognier 2019

If you are a white wine drinker but want something for winter, try this. It is still fresh and fragrant but has a beautiful weight and silky texture in your mouth.

Yarrh Wines Mr Natural Sauvignon Blanc

Another winter white, this one has beautiful acidity and layers of flavour. It is made very simply and with the least amount of intervention as possible, so you will notice it’s a little cloudy. It’s less usual for a white wine to be made with skin contact, but the skin contact gives the wine a really nice grip in your mouth, so it’s a white wine that will stand up to some of your heartier winter dishes.

Emma's wine class

To get better acquainted with the wines of the region, Emma holds monthly classes at The Canberra Wine House.

Emma works in the local wine industry and started her company Pique Nique after she saw a gap in the market.

“I started Pique Nique as a way to help people get comfortable with wine appreciation and to introduce them to the Canberra wine region, which is a lot bigger than most people realise!” Emma told Region Media.

“In my day job, working at Collector Wines, I’d do tastings and would get into chats with people who were curious about wine but didn’t feel confident beyond saying what they liked and what they didn’t like. I am a firm believer that wine should be fun, not intimidating, and I really wanted to encourage people to explore wine in a relaxed environment, so I designed an introductory wine appreciation course, the kind of thing that I wanted when I started to learn and explore the world of wine. It takes you through the fundamentals of wine, wine appreciation, food and wine pairing, and throughout the class, I use Canberra wines as examples so it provides an introduction to the region and our wine styles too.”

To get better acquainted with the wines of the region, Emma holds monthly classes at The Canberra Wine House. Head to the Facebook page to sign up and get more recommendations.

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One Response to Emma Shaw’s top 5 local wines to enjoy this winter
Keith Lewis Keith Lewis 8:45 am 02 Jul 20

My favourite local winery, speaking as an ex-restaurateur, is Tallagandra Hill. Their Viognier is one of the best I have ever tasted, and their Cab Franc Rosè superb.

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