Monday, July 21, 2008


Sat 19 July 2008

Over at At First Glass there's been a bit of discussion about chilling reds. It's fortunate that, at pretty much the same time Nancy was writing her post, I was cracking open a lightly chilled bottle of Brown Brothers Tarrango.

I'm not going to launch into a lecture on the temperature at which different wines should be served, but let's establish that, when I talk about chilling a bottle of Tarrango (or Beaujolais), I don't mean leaving it in the freezer for so long ice crystals start to form. You don't want it so cold that your glass ends up dripping with condensation. You just want it ... cool. 15-20 minutes in the fridge should do the trick nicely.

Brown Brothers Tarrango is, at present, on sale at Somerfield for the princely sum of £3.99 a bottle (normally retails for £5.99). This is an 'offer' which is repeated often, so you probably will never need to pay the full price for it. This is a light, very fruit forward wine: plenty of red fruit, low in tannin, and when chilled, a very refreshing drink. It's also very food friendly. Something different to go with the melon and parma ham salad? Pair it with cold roast pork. Or even a hot roast chicken with a rich sauce.

But what is really interesting is the grape: Tarrango. Despite its Italian sounding name, it's a grape which came out of a laboratory. A hybrid of Portugal's Touriga Nacional (a black grape) and the mighty Sultana (a white grape, in dried format a staple of school lunch boxes across the Sunburnt Country), Tarrango was developed by the CSIRO in Merbein, Victoria, Australia in the 1960s. The CSIRO does a lot of work around viticulture, and developing grapes* to suit Australian conditions is a large part of this. Unsurprisingly, this means that Tarrango requires very warm conditions and takes a long time to ripen. Perfect for long, hot Australian summers.

So, although we're not exactly enjoying a long hot summer here in the UK, you can beat both the credit crunch and the dire weather by popping a bottle of Tarrango in the fridge. At the next BBQ, as you shelter from rain and wind, you can wow your mates with a little bit of vinous trivia!

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*Brown Brothers also produce wine from another CSIRO baby, Cienna, but I've yet to see this in the UK.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, Tarango's on the shopping list - will let you know how much it is in downtown Adelaide.

10:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So good you had to drink it all before you managed to photograph the bottle!

10:11 am  
Blogger Alex said...

Well, Alastair - that's called quality control ... I like to make sure I've formed as full an opinion as possible ... ;)

10:36 am  

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