“Go bring to me a pint o wine,
And fill it in a silver tassie;”
The Silver Tassie by Robert Burns
The Australians have a bit of a fetish for Robert Burns. The truth is that many immigrants to Australia were Scottish and Bobbie Burns was a way of connecting this heritage.
There are at least 7 statues memorializing the poet, including one in Camperdown, Australia which is thought to be the oldest existing statue of the poet anywhere in the world.
(The statue in the photo is located in Ballarat, a famous Victoria gold mining town. This is said to be the earliest commissioned statue of the poet in Australia. It was unveiled on April 21, 1887, before a crowd of 15,000. It was not actually turned over to the town council for 10 years while the donors decided on the “quotes” to be put on the base of the statue.)
I’ll admit to coming late to the Burns party other than annually singing Auld Lang Syne. I had seen a friend in London posting a video of the “Burns Night” party that she attended, resplendent with wine, whisky, and haggis, with dramatic readings of the poet’s works including the Address to the Haggis!
So, where am I going with this? Well, this month the #WorldWineTravel writers are focusing on Red wines from Victoria, Australia and in my search, I came across a wine called Bobbie Burns.
The #WorldWineTravel writers are indeed focusing on Red wines from Victoria this month. Our fearless leader this month is Jeff Burrows of FoodWineClick. You can find his invitation post here.
We will be gathering on Twitter on Saturday, April 23rd at 8 am PT to discuss the red wines of this region. You can join the conversation by following and using the hashtag #WorldWineTravel!
Scroll to the bottom to learn about the wines my fellow writers found!
Back to Victoria…
Victoria sits at the southern end of Australia on the Western side. You will find more wineries in this region than in any other region in the country. The region is diverse in its climates and it contains 21 smaller regions, so the range of wines you find is extensive.
We are focusing on Rutherglen. This is Victoria’s High Country. The region in Northeast Victoria has a Continental Climate. Warm days and cool nights with air coming from the Victorian Alps, and long dry harvests are great for big bold reds and the fortified “stickys” that the region is known for.
Wine has a long history here, coming to the region with the gold rush in the 1850s. Many of the wineries are into multiple generations.
For more on Rutherglen, visit the Winemakers of Rutherglen Site.
John Campbell left Scotland in 1857 to sail for Australia. Here he dug for gold on the Bobbie Burns lead, in Rutherglen. They note some famous advice John was given on their label “Dig Gentlemen, dig, but not deeper than six inches for there is more gold in the first six inches than there is lower down.” He left the goldfields and bought 79 acres next to the lead and planted vines, naming his vineyard Bobbie Burns.
Campbells is now into the 5th generation of their family-run winery which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2020.
Jules Campbell is now the winemaker and she, like her father before her, is looking for the best expression of fruit from this property.
2015 Bobbie Burns from Campbells
Each block of Bobbie Burns is picked and handled separately then spends 7-10 days on the skins. They stir twice daily to extract the flavors.
Then the wine is put into either oak or tank. The best parcels go straight into large new French Oak Puncheons. The rest of the wine goes into tank to settle before going into Neutral French and American Puncheons.
They sit there for a year. Then comes the tasting and blending.
Colin, Jules (Jane), and Ian sit and taste the wine to be sure it is up to snuff. Then it is filtered and bottled.
The Bobbie Burns is deep in color, the glass brims with cranberry, cocoa, coffee, and black cherry with spice notes in the back.
On the website they say this wine is
“Like a hug from an old friend”
I have to say, I agree.
14.5% – $27.99 (Wine.com)
Find the details on this wine here.
What to pair?
Sorry to disappoint you but it won’t be haggis! We did however look to Scottish dishes for a pairing here. We settled on a “Stovie”.
The name “Stovie” comes from cooking with stewed bits from the stove. This is the dish made on Monday with the leftovers from Sunday’s big dinner. I’ll admit, I didn’t have the leftovers of a Sunday roast to play with here, but I found a simple recipe for a Stovie to toss together with rustic bread for our pairing.
I had some marble potatoes and a russet on hand. I peeled the russet and diced it, and cut the marble potatoes in half, leaving the skin on. These cooked in a cup of milk for about 25 minutes until they were soft.
I chopped ½ a red onion and sautéed it in butter then added that to the potatoes as well as a can of corned beef. This cooks for another 10 minutes or so. Season it with pepper, I guarantee it won’t need salt, the corned beef is salty enough. Add a torn chunk of rustic brown bread and a bit of salad to brighten up the meal and you are good to go.
Our salad was purple cabbage, diced cucumbers, and sweet corn relish, which brought brightness, crunch, and sweetness to the plating.
The wine tempered the saltiness of the dish and it was an altogether satisfying “stick to your ribs” kind of dinner.
Now let’s see what the rest of the #WorldWineTravel writers found!
- Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm writes “An Australian Farm to Table Dinner”
- Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla writes “Turmeric-Kissed Salmon, Coconut Rice, and a Pinot Noir from Victoria”
- Susannah at Avvinare shares “Finding Value in Victoria, Australia”
- Linda at My Full Wine Glass writes “Can Low-Priced Shiraz Really be a Good Value?”
- Terri at A Good Life shares “Bone-in Grilled Pork Chops Paired with The Butterfly Effect Shiraz”
- Lynn at Savor the Harvest writes “Going Woodfired with De Bortoli Australian Shiraz“
- Jeff at Food Wine Click! writes “You Say Shiraz and I Say Syrah…”
More on Australian Wines from Crushed Grape Chronicles
- Jim Barry Wines – 3 generations making Clare Valley Riesling
- South Australia – Cabernet from Coonawarra & Fortified Shiraz from McClaren Vale
- Walsh & Sons – Next-Generation Wines from Margaret River in Western Australia
- Lowe Wine – Drought, Biodynamics and Soil
- Swift – Delicious Traditional Method Sparkling Wines from Printhie and the High Altitude Vineyards in Orange Australia
- 2 days in Orange? Too little time for this beautiful Australian wine region!
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.