Monthly Archives: March 2012

Sweet and Sassy in a Glass: 2011 Frisk Prickly Riesling

With the studying portion of my wine adventures finally done (for now at least), I can get back to the really IMPORTANT part of wine education…THE DRINKING! I can not begin to tell you how happy I am to be back to the glass after a very long sabbatical. I’m feeling refreshed and rowdy…which reminds me very much of my latest find from Australia in my Around the Wine World for Under $20 tour.

I stumbled across the 2011 Frisk Prickly Riesling and was immediately taken by the name. I admit, it’s not necessarily the most orthodox way to pick a wine, but let’s face it, most frisky, prickly things are anything but boring, so I figured it should also apply to wine.

This is a low alcohol Riesling, at 9.8% alcohol, so I figured it was going to be a sweet one. Being that it’s from the cooler growing region of Victoria, Australia, I was hoping it would have enough acid in it to balance it out nicely so it wouldn’t taste like a big glass of sugar water. I was not disappointed…in fact, it came with a few VERY pleasant surprises.

This little darling is intoxicating perfume on the nose. Floral notes, green apple, pear. The scent alone takes you to springtime fields. The absolutely fun surprise for me was the ‘fizz’. As the name ‘Prickly’ implies, it’s slightly frizzante, and the gentle sparkle tickles the tongue before hitting you with a sassy BANG of flavor. Bright lemon and citrus with notes of exotic lychee march out first, delivering a delicate, almost mocato-like sweetness, but then the sweetness gives way to a hint of smoke and lovely structure and balance. It finishes dry, with a crisp acidity and minerality that is wonderfully refreshing.

This little number has something for everyone and is about as versatile as they come. This would pair up perfectly with both sweet and spicy dishes, as well as being insanely good on its own. I’m seeing this one as a MUST HAVE in my ‘summer sippers.’

This is a killer bargain too! Found it for under $11. Don’t walk, run to stock up on this one. You’ll find yourself reaching for it time and time again for nearly every occasion.



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Around the Wine World For Under $20: Australia’s Sweetheart of a Tawny

I admit it, I’ve been in a rather foul mood as of late. Too much studying, packing, working, and cleaning makes your Corked Cowgirl more of a surly She-Devil. Just a few days before I take a big wine exam and I’m stressing. So what do the stressed do to soothe their frazzled nerves and placate their out of control emotions?

They turn to dessert!

And that is EXACTLY what I’ve done this evening with a sweetheart of a dessert wine from down under. I found a HECK of a deal on a rather unorthodox Tawny port-styled wine from Rutherglen in Victoria, which is one of the southernmost areas of Australia. I figured, “Under $17 for a Tawny? I spend more than that when I take the kids to Dairy Queen. Momma needs her sweetness!” So, I picked it up and decided to pour.

Tonight’s value is RL Buller’s Victoria Tawny, a blend of Carina, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Shiraz, made into a fortified wine with a whopping 18% alcohol (yes my friends, I took no chances tonight with my mood…I plan on knocking out the nasties with this one).

In the glass, it’s a bright garnet color with a few orange tints to it. It certainly LOOKS like happiness in the glass to me. But my temperament cannot be placated with mere happy appearances. Nice smell to it as well…cherry, raspberry, and hints of what smells like…Grandma’s gingersnap cookies! Also smells like toffee. Okay, this is starting to get good. I could sniff this one all day. Makes me imagine Gram and Willy Wonka concocting the stuff of my childhood dreams right there in her kitchen.

I know, I know…what does it taste like?

Sweet, delicious goodness! Not what I would expect out of a TRADITIONAL Port, but then again, this isn’t a traditional Port. This has the bright cherry flavors, along with strawberry flavors. It still pulls off some of the tastes you’d expect out of a Tawny…toffee, maybe some fig on the finish. It’s berries and bread pudding all in one. You could pair it up with dark chocolate, chocolate mousse, fresh berries, and mild cheeses…the usual fare. OR…you could be daring and pair it up with pecan pie (which would be incredible together).

Me personally? I went off the deep end and decided to try it with my Kemp’s Blackberry Chocolate Ripple ice cream.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce you to PURE BLISS! It matches PERFECTLY. Forget Calgon bubble bath, let the decadent flavors take you away in the most seductive dance your tongue will ever partake in.

Yes, you CAN buy happiness. It comes in a bottle of RL Buller Victoria Tawny…and you can get it for under $20.

What are you waiting for? Run to your happiness!

…I’m going to saunter off to the freezer to get seconds and pour another glass.



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