Australia tasting

Wine Australia decided to hold a tasting in Cork as well as in Dublin this year, and we went along to see what was new and meet some winemakers and generally get a taste of the competition's wines. John McDonnell, who is Wine Australia's representative here, is a charming host and there's no doubt an enormous amount of work went into putting the show on at a second Irish venue. Tempranillos, Sangioveses and Barberas rubbed shoulders with the more familiar 'Australian' grape varieties, while many of the winemakers using the traditional grapes seemed keen to emphasize the specific regional characteristics of their wines. It hasn't all been plain sailing for Australian wine lately, and there was plenty of evidence of suppliers facing up squarely to the challenges of too much competition and climatic upheavals.