While I personally love a little bit of “wine-jargon”, most Aussies find wine described as ‘leathery’, ‘secondary aromas’ or ‘firm tannins’ a bit ridiculous. That’s why Dan Murphy’s decided to launch its own wine awards, minus the daunting terminology. My Plus One and I were lucky enough to attend the very fancy gala ceremony to try some of the winning drops for ourselves.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by a glass of wine (all the bottles were hidden so we could guess which drop we were tasting) and the sweet sounds of a live quartet playing pop songs. Paired with the fine wines were some delicious canapés including blue cheese covered grapes, and leek and filo tarts.
Over 1,000 wines were tasted by an expert panel over three days, and the traditional wine jargon was scrapped when describing the winning wines (hence the name ‘Decoded’). We particularly loved that each wine category was broken down into bottles under and over $20. One of the judges told us that the majority of Dan Murphy wine drinkers choose a bottle under the $20 mark more often than not, so this categorisation made complete sense to us.
“We have judged the wines just like we would in any award show – completely blind. We looked at and considered things like primary, secondary and tertiary aromas, acidity, tannin structure, intensity, finish and overall balance. However, the everyday wine lover doesn’t want to hear that jargon; they just want to know why it’s a good wine and what to enjoy it with, which is why we have explained the winner simply,” explained Andrew Shedden, awards judge and Head of Fine Wine at Dan Murphy’s.
After the awards were handed out for some truly excellent wine, the huge dessert table was revealed, and we could meander past each wine station to have a sample of the winning bottles. The Decoded Awards are a welcome addition, and will make it easier for everyday wine drinkers to find a bottle in their price range and preferred style that they will love. So next time you need a bottle of sparkling to celebrate at a party, or a nice red for a Tuesday night on the couch with Netflix, have a look at the award winners in store to make your life that little bit easier.