12 Apostles: A heavenly chardonnay

three-fourths fullWe spotted this Aussie wine while shopping for Easter Sunday dinner fixin’s. It might have been the carefee surfer dudes on the label, or maybe the season just had us in a New Testament frame of mind, but the appearance of this $2.99 bottle of 2009 South Eastern Australia Chardonnay seemed like a sign from above. After all, Jesus saves, too.

Original oil painting by Grandma B. Happy Easter. RIP.

It turns out, the 12 Apostles don’t have anything to do with Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. There’s no reference on the label to Jesus turning water into wine. (Pretty sure he was more of a red-wine guy anyway.) But if you’ve ever met a devout surfer, you know that they liken a ride on the perfect wave to a religious experience, so maybe the biblical tie-in isn’t as tenuous as it first appears. The 12 Apostles are actually some tall rocks off the southeast coast of Australia. And, to tell the truth, there aren’t even 12. As of 2005, there were exactly eight of these distinctive limestone stacks jutting from the water in Port Campbell National Park. But who’s counting? It’s still a hot tourist attraction; one wonders if they ought to serve this refreshing vintage to some of those weary travelers.

Speaking of weary travelers, the original Apostles probably could have benefited from a glass or two after shuffling along the dusty Middle Eastern roads. This wine is full of crisp, refreshing flavor and is worthy of any table, whether it’s your first supper or your last. The sweet, floral aroma hints at a lush, fruity flavor led by crisp, tart apple followed by a citrus and melon finish. The maritime climate that makes Australia a popular wine-growing region isn’t all that different from what those original Apostles experienced while schlepping around the east coast of the Mediterranean back in the day. The connections are truly endless.

For just three bucks, this lightly effervescent, not-to-sweet wine is great to have on hand for when friends drop by. The screw-top makes it perfect for warm-weather outings or to keep in the fridge for a quick splash while whipping up dinner. We served ours with an Easter meal of roast chicken Holy cow! We mean "chicken"with rosemary-orange butter and maple-dill carrots. And instant mashed potatoes. (What? You expected hand-mashed after all that work on the bird and two glasses of wine?)

And lest you think this wine isn’t versatile, we finished the bottle with some Easter chocolate. So put on your best sandals and hoof it down to your local Grocery Outlet for a bottle — or three — of this bargain vintage. Put on a comfy robe (white, of course) and enjoy this with a bit of ice and a good book — or maybe THE good book. It’s good enough to make even the most doubting Thomas a true believer.

Aromatique: Fruity and sweet but not intense.

SipQuips: Not overly sweet, but definitely not dry. Tart apple with citrus undertones. Crisp, with a clean finish.

Kitchen couplings: Great with fish or poultry dishes, or with cheese and crackers.

5 Responses to “12 Apostles: A heavenly chardonnay”

  1. Nick M says:

    Loved it! Two thumbs up from me.

  2. […] were very high on AU Vineyards after enjoying their 12 Apostles chardonnay, so when we spotted the Buckley’s Cove 2009 Shiraz/Cab blend at Grocery Outlet for $3, we […]

  3. […] Whatever, yo! We say “bottoms up!” (You say “woop woop” – but maybe toast with a glass of a nice 12 Apostles Chardonnay.) […]

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