Discover new wines + food + travel for February 2014, and an important read for wine lovers and makers


Happy New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai! Here's hoping you enjoyed some quality time over the summer break with friends and family, and some lovely wines, delicious foods and more. School's back, we're nearly half way through February already, and 2014 is getting into full swing. Bring it on!

Welcome to our new fresh clean look newsletter. We hear you! It's time for a new look, shorter and punchier, so you can dip in and taste what you like, quickly and easily. Let us know what you think by email, or send us your feedback on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We'd love to hear from you!

Discover exciting new wines! Every month we'll be bringing you some great new wine finds from around Australia – wines that made us sit up and take notice, that city-dwellers would have to pay an arm and a leg for IF you could get them in your local bottlestore! We're marketing them direct from the winemakers to you, so it's a win for our wonderful producers, and a win for you too. Scroll down and check out our first new finds below.

Valentine's Day is nearly here and for those in the mood for love, we have some treats too. Why not spoil your beloved with a trip to wine country, or a bottle (or case!) of special wine? We have some delicious selections from around the country below and on our website.

On a more serious note, most of you are interested in Australian wines, and want to see the current high quality and diversity maintained. Well, there are some scary moves afoot, and winemakers should read this article too, as it highlights what can happen if your brand name happens to be similar to that of a supermarket wine. The respected consumer magazine Choice sends a clear warning to the Australian wine industry »

Enjoy the rest of February and happy Valentine's Day from Robyn, Kerry, Andrew, Charlie and the VV team.

Latest articles and reviews on our homepage here »

Discover exciting new boutique wines in our wine shop.

Each month, we'll be bringing you our latest wine discoveries –  assured quality, great value wines made by some of our passionate smaller winemakers, that you won't find on the supermarket shelves.  Check them out and get in before they become known – at least 3 of these wines could sell for double these prices once they are! »

For pinot noir lovers we introduce Nintingbool from the little-known cool climate region Ballarat: the sophisticated, sexy 2010 to the multilayered, food friendly 2007, in 1/2 or full dozens »

Love the style of Victorian shiraz? We have two, the dark, dense, drinkable and organic Rocky Passes Estate Syrah 2010 and the food-friendly, great value Trellis Syrah 2010 from Heathcote, by the 1/2 or full dozen »

Looking for a quality white? Trellis also make a lovely, clean chardonnay from the Yarra Valley, not overoaked or buttery, great on its own or with a variety of dishes »

If you think pinot gris is a waste of a good drinking opportunity, think again. Grown in Tasmania's cool climate this variety comes into its own, thanks to the early sea breezes on Cape Bernier Estate, Tasmania's Vineyard of the Year in 2010. A crisp, fresh, succulent wine for both casual entertaining or a special occasion »

Everyone who buys wines automatically enters our draw to win one of these lovely gifts as a thank you.

Visit our new online shop here »

Every month brings you fabulous giveaways from wine and food regions around Australia. From holidays to wine, cider, boutique brews and hampers, though to tempting dinners, weekends away and even the odd honeymoon, stay tuned for some exciting gifts for you.

This month we join The Apple Shed opening celebrations in Tasmania's Huon Valley with some delicious cider from Willie Smith's. This refreshing Organic Cider has been taste tested by the VisitVineyards team and is certainly on Kerry's faves list! We have two cases at the top of the prize list »

Whether it's toasting your someone special on a picnic, raising a glass to winner at the country races or sharing good times with friends poolside, the Govino shatterproof glassware adds its own touch of style to outdoor entertaining. We have a Govino Ultimate Party Pack to be won this month. Environmentally friendly, too.

Enjoy armchair travel? Salivate over the stunning hard-cover editions of Produce to Platter Victoria's High Country and Mornington Peninsula, which will have you wanting to pack your bags and head to Victoria's wine and food country VERY soon »

Love to cook? Choose your country: we have Antonio Carluccio's Italia and Turkish Meze to put some European flair into your cuisine »

Love wine? Every time you  buy wine on you'll also go in the special draw to win one of these lovely gifts »

Read more and enter here »

Get in some good reading over the holidays? We did and we'll have more reviews for you next month! Here's a couple to start the new year or for a Valentine's Day gift for a foodie:

Explore Morocco, its culture and food in Colours of Maroc. Excellent photography and extensive variety of recipes. A must if planning to travel »

Laura says the energy from authors, Ben Milgate and Elvis Abahanowicz exudes from the pages of Recipes for a Good Time. This book captures their Sydney style and comes highly recommended »

In the news
In the heart of Tasmanian apple country, Willie Smith's has opened the Apple Shed, including museum, cider tasting bar and providore »

For more on wine »
And more on food »

Loking for a Valentine's gift that lasts? Thinking of taking your beloved away? First we look at Victoria's High Country for some fine wine and food:

A stunning new book showcasing the region's gems – Produce to Platter: Victoria's High Country »

Hedonistic Hiking share their love of the stunning scenery of North East Victoria on their various gourmet walks including Mt Buffalo and the Alps »

Or venture down to Tasmania's north and keep an eye out for these champions of tourism, quiet achievers who share their love of the region with all who visit »

The world's inspiring and travel films are on show at the Adventure Travel Film Festival in Bright this month »

More travel inspiration here »

Wine and food festivals galore! Here's a tiny selection to give you a taste!

SA: Adelaide Cellar Door Festival this weekend 14-16 Feb »
ACT: Canberra Summerside Festival 1-28 Feb »
WA: Taste Great Southern 22 Feb - 30 Mar » 
NSW: Sydney Royal Wine Experience 1 Mar »
Qld: Stanthorpe Apple & Grape Festival 7-9 Mar »
Vic: Tastes of Rutherglen 8-9 Mar »
Tas: Support bushfire recovery and have fun at the Bream Creek Show – we'll be there too! –  15 Mar »
NZ: Wairarapa Wines Festival 15 Mar »

And of course, the largest celebration of its kind in the world, the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 28 Feb to 16 Mar »  

Find  lots more events and festivals here »

We love sharing the great wine and food experiences we find with you and it's even more fun when we can offer you that something extra as well!

Special offers on books, food, guides and more, just for you as subscriber »

Carry a lovely lime green Membership card? Discover all your benefits here »

Members of all AAA Auto Clubs* around the country and international visitors can save at wineries and more around the wine regions in

* eg NRMA, RAWA, RAA, AAA etc

Our featured recipes this month are selected for summer:

The Agrarian Kitchen is a highly successful hands-on cooking school and sustainable farm in Southern Tasmania's Derwent Valley. After many requests, owner Rodney Dunn has produced a beautiful cookbook to share their philosophy, vast knowledge and recipes. This is his summery lemon and elderflower sorbet for you to enjoy at home »

On a hot summer's night this smoked trout salad will channel all five taste sensations and put a zing into your evening! Smoked Yarra Valley trout with green mango, chilli and lime – delish! »

And for a refreshing cocktail try this Southern Sunrise Tea Cocktail »

More recipes and food ideas? »

Each month we bring you wine, beer and cider tasting notes from around the country. In February we're off to Western Australia for a sip of wine and then back to Victoria for some amber refreshments:
Aravina Estate in the beautiful Margaret River region, was established in 2010 on the former Amberley Estate property and now mixes a world-class restaurant with exceptional wine »

The Mornington Peninsula Brewery proves that not all Grand Final great ideas dim in the cool light of next day! It's now a beer-lover's destination as well as a brewer of fine craft beer »  

Create your own collection of tasting notes (print or digital) with our editable tasting notes template here »

Lots more wine info »

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