Easy Drinking with Nick Stock

Shaw + Smith, Balhannah
Discover the joys of refreshing wine with FIFTY+SA Wine Writer, Nick Stock - one of Australia's most well-known wine critics.

Nick Stock is one of Australia’s most well-known and highly-regarded wine critics. He opened McLaren Vale’s hottest new beachfront bar and restaurant the Silver Sands Beach Club late last year. Read more of Nick Stock’s work over at nickstock.com.au.

Great wine, no matter what the style, can always carry an edge of refreshment, in fact it is often the thing that makes a wine stand out from the rest. No matter if it is a white, a red or a rosé, I always look for a refreshing edge and even more so at the business end of summer time.

Refreshment is not something you can just add in the winery, it has to come from the grapes themselves. All grape varieties have their comfort zone or place where they grow best and this is where they shine brightest and deliver their best flavours, freshest aromas and most balanced, drinkable delicousness.

The best wines the world over are always expressions of the right grape variety grown in the right place and South Australia’s regions are really honing in on their innate strengths to deliver the best quality. You probably already gravitate towards these wines naturally as our best winemakers have built their reputations and honed their range around award-winning regional styles.

One wine that really demonstrates this so well is the irrepressibly crisp and juicy sauvignon blanc from Shaw + Smith in the Adelaide Hills. It is a wine that just does not miss the mark and it has this ability to encapsulate deliciousness that is based on the fact that sauvignon blanc grown in the Adelaide Hills just excels in delivering intense fruit flavours.

“The best wines the world over are always expressions of the right grape variety grown in the right place and South Australia’s regions are really honing in on their innate strengths to deliver the best quality”

I often describe wines I really like as juicy and this is a combination of intense flavour and mouth-filling fleshy texture that is sparked by an edge of refreshment. It’s the lively, pleasing sensation that you see in young, fresh wines, the same sensation you get when you bite into a perfectly ripe, fresh-picked piece of fruit.

Winemakers are really tuned into this idea of juiciness and are seeking to deliver it right around the world, wherever great wines are made. The rising popularity of pale, dry rosé really centres around this quality and the shelves of wine stores have never been so full of delicious, bright, light pink bottles. The inspiration came from the pink wines in the south of France and you can find these modern, dry rosé wines being made close to home with great success in McLaren Vale and the Barossa.

More and more red wines are also being styled for juiciness and refreshment. Sometimes these can be delivered with a red grape that naturally makes a fresh, juicy wine like the gamay grape which is infamous for making French Beaujolais. Other times winemakers take the initiative and craft a clever juicy red by blending and bending varieties to hit the juicy mark like the Brash Higgins red blend called Ripple. It’s a playful take on a bright juicy red based on real ingenuity. As clever as it is delicious.

See you at the beach!

Have a glass of…

Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2022

Year on year this is a wine that hits the sweet spot of refreshment and juicy, intense flavour. It offers all the passion fruit, mango, white peach, lime and grassy fresh-picked herb characters that this variety is so well-known for and wraps it all up in a lip-smackingly juicy package. Just stunning.

First Drop Pinot Grigio Endless Summer 2022

The Adelaide Hills is a region that delivers such freshness and purity of fruit, it elevates this very approachable style to a higher level of refreshment. Sweet pear and apple fruit aromas as well as lemon blossom and white flowers on the nose. The floors follow in those same tones, it is like biting into fresh, ripe fruit.

Turkey Flat Rosé 2022

A seasonal favourite in the bright, fresh and drier style of rosé, this has it all. Aromas of strawberry and wild raspberry take centre stage here. Super fresh and gently tangy in the mouth, this has plenty of succulent red berry fruit flavours and leaves a mouth-watering sensation with every sip.

Koomilya Mataro Rosé 2022

I love the fact we are now seeing more high-end rosé wines being released in Australia because these wines are really something special when done right. Here we see a patch of old vine mataro grapes made into a floral, fleshy rendition of strawberry, watermelon and peach fruit flavours and aromas. Refreshing, classy rosé!

Brash Higgins Ripple 2022

A light, fleshy red blend that is all about juicy, soft and smooth drinking, it is a clever blend of nero d’avola and cabernet sauvignon. Alluring aromas of bright red and blue berry fruits are dressed in sweet florals. The palate has smoothly rounded mid-section flesh, black currant flavour and that all-important mouth-watering finish.

Worlds Apart Gamay Blue Eyes 2022

This is a young red but give it a splash in a decanter to open it up, you’ll be amazed at just how it unfurls. There’s a wild raspberry edge that is really striking on the nose with blue fruits and violet-like flowers. So pure and so elegant, it has a fine-grained, powdery texture, neat acid crunch and plenty of blueberry and cherry fruit flavours.


We would like to acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of the lands and waters of the Adelaide region.

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