• UBC research takes the headache out of red wine with new yeast strain

    Date Posted: 16 Feb 2011

    UBC research takes the headache out of red wine with new yeast strain
    This article is worth reading. I have heard many people complain about the headaches they get when drinking red wine. Of course, as one earnest scientific study declared after exhaustive research into this topic, red wine headache is often dose-related (in other words, the more you drink, the worse will be your headache).
    Nothing like stating the bleedin' obvious but unfortunately some unlucky drinkers get headaches after even small amounts of red wine. It seems this is probably caused by toxic amines found in wines, particularly red wines that undergo malo-lactic fermentation. 

    It is unlikely that this yeast will be approved for use in Australia due to its genetic modification but it could possibly bring relief (and pleasure) to those who love red wine but can't drink it. 


    Date Posted: 14 Feb 2011

    Here at Squitchy Lane, we like going out to restaurants. A lot. We especially like going out to restaurants whose wine lists feature our wines.
    One of these is Bouzy Rouge in Bridge Rd, Richmond. You can check out their website here:

    One of the entrees at Bouzy Rouge

    This is a great restaurant to go to with a few people so you can indulge in their banquet menu. I won't spoil the fun here but look at the website to get an idea of what to expect.
    And while you are there say hello to Jose the owner and enjoy some Squitchy Lane Cabernet Sauvignon with the 12-hour slow cooked whole leg of lamb.
    Bon appetit!


    Date Posted: 24 Jan 2011
    Sydney Rock Oyster, Saccostrea glomerata

    I had occasion over the holiday period to enjoy several dozen oysters. 
    The first opportunity came in Narooma on the NSW south coast where the only variety of oyster you can buy is the Sydney rock. In fact, the local Parks and Wildlife rangers are vigilant in removing and destroying any Pacific oysters that they find growing on local oyster leases or rocks.This Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) is an introduced species and in my opinion it should be destroyed wherever it is found on the eastern seaboard of Australia. 

    Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas

    A taste comparison, as I was able to conduct the other night at Esposito's in Carlton, will show the superiority of the Sydney rock in all aspects except size.Pacific oysters grow very quickly, so oyster farmers may prefer them but any discerning oyster lover is likely to regard them without affection. Like many introduced species, they are aggressively crowding out the native species and our world would be poorer without the Sydney rock to enjoy with our 2010 Squitchy Lane Fume Blanc.
    This wine was made with oysters in mind and it proved very successful with the ones I purchased in the shell at Tuross Lake, opened and consumed that night in Sydney.
    My last oyster-eating occassion was at Catalina in Rose Bay, where a large tray was filled with ice and covered with freshly shucked Sydney Rocks. These were really fresh, very creamy and just about perfect in every way.
    I have sworn never to eat another Pacific oyster in my life.


    Date Posted: 18 Jan 2011

    Comment from me is not necessary. Follow this link, read the article and be amazed.



    Date Posted: 30 Dec 2010

    We released the 2009 Squitchy Lane Chardonnay just before Christmas. The 2008 is just about sold out although we will keep a few cases for museum stock and later tastings.
    Vintage conditions in 2009 were extreme to say the least. We picked the Chardonnay immediately after the record-breaking heat wave even though the  sugar levels were lower then we normally expect. In fact, the wine in the bottle is only 11.0% alcohol but it doesn't lack body or texture. Rather like good Hunter Semillon, if the fruit is properly grown in the right area then low alcohol contributes a freshness and keeps the wine in balance.
    One noticeable feature of the 2009 wines is their immediacy--they are ready for drinking on release and while they will develop with a few years in the cellar, they are probably best consumed in their youth.
    There is a lovely nougat-like nuttiness to this Chardonnay, accompanied by some nice wild ferment yeast characters. I know I shouldn't say it, but it does remind me of a Macon or perhaps a Pouilly-Fuisse. I think the early picking, the natural yeast ferment and the lees contact have all added extra dimensions to the wine.
    It's certainly the most "approachable" Chardonnay we have made. The 2010 is more in line with the 2008 and we hope to give it at least nine months bottle ageing before release. These vintage differences are what makes wine from single vineyards so fascinating.

  • CORK or SCREWCAP continued.....

    Date Posted: 20 Dec 2010

    Here, from another blogger, is an excellent reply to the preposterous cork ad in the previous post...


    And don't get me started on the Iberian lynx nonsense.....

  • CORK or SCREWCAP? If you are dumb enough to believe this ad, the choice is easy.

    Date Posted: 20 Dec 2010

    Normally I wouldn't comment on this sort of thing but after watching this video, I couldn't restrain myself. It seems that the only thing between me and a rampaging sex life is that I prefer my wine sealed with a stelvin or screwcap!
    This must be one of the most insulting and puerile pieces of advertising I have ever seen.
    Fortunately, there are several good ways to answer this, if indeed it needs answering. I will post again soon on this topic.
    Here at Squitchy Lane we use screwcaps exclusively. We believe they are technically superior to cork in every way. It's only tradition that convinces winemakers to continue with cork.

  • Wed, 12/15/2010 - 21:37

    Date Posted: 15 Dec 2010
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    Date Posted: 15 Dec 2010

    Floral descriptors are frequently used by us wine types when we attempt to articulate what we are smelling and tasting in a particular wine. There is good scientific basis for such comparisons since grapes, wine and flowers share many aroma compounds. Riesling is well-known for its floral scents and we often see similar aromas in Gewurtztraminer and Viognier for example.
    But I really just wanted an excuse to post this photo of a magnolia in my garden. I think the species is magnolia grandiflora. It's a beautiful tree and the magnolia has a singular place in the world of flowering trees. Here's an extract from Wikipedia to explain further:
    Magnolia is an ancient genus. Having evolved before bees appeared, the flowers developed to encourage pollination by beetles. As a result, the carpels of Magnolia flowers are tough, to avoid damage by eating and crawling beetles. Fossilised specimens of M. acuminata have been found dating to 20 million years ago, and of plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae dating to 95 million years ago. Another primitive aspect of Magnolias is their lack of distinct sepals or petals.

    I can vouch for the pollination by beetles--these flowers are full of them when you look past the outer layer.  
    Chardonnay seems like the vinous equivalent of magnolia to me, despite its relative lack of floral aromatics. It must be something to do with the voluptuous nature of these flowers.

  • PARIS???

    Date Posted: 12 Dec 2010

    Shaded alleyways, quiet lanes, the sun filtering through a canopy of green leaves, the quiet hum of conversations over coffee and croissants. Such havens do exist in Paris, but they also exist in Mudgee, NSW, where I took this picture last week. For a few brief moments, I thought I was in Europe and then some local winemakers arrived, the conversation turned to rainy weather and disease which brought me back to reality. There seems to be no escape from the wet weather, no matter where you go in Eastern Australia. 
    The next day, in nearby Orange a state of emergency was declared due to rising floodwaters. Dams were overflowing, the rivers couldn't cope and water was everywhere. 2011 will really be a vintage to remember, if we have one at all.