Do you Have Moxie? I didn't - but thanks to Dowie Doole, I do now!

On 4th July 2020 I took part in a Zoom online wine tasting. "Nothing new there" you might think, especially in the era of coronavirus - but this one was a bit special. Firstly, because I had been invited to participate by a well-respected colleague in the wine industry, which is gratifying as a measure of recognition of how far I have progressed since starting my wine education journey - and secondly, because the event was organised by Brett Jones, well known on social media as Aussie Wine Tasting and by his catchphrase #drinkthegoodstuff.

Brett has a personal mission to introduce the UK to the joys of Australian Wine, most recently via his Meet the Winemaker UK series in which selected UK wine communicators are invited to meet independent Australian Winemakers, taste their wines and generally have a yarn - as they say in Oz. Some yarn: we started at 12.00 UK daytime - 9pm Down Under - and the chat was still going strong almost two and a half hours later. I suspect we could have continued for a lot longer.

Meet the Winemaker participants anti-clockwise from top left: Brett Jones, host; Chris Thomas - Dowie Doole CEO and Chief Winemaker; James Hubbard; Tim Milford; Serena Gasparini, Oliver Farquarson, Roger Aburrow, Me and (centre) Katy Petrillo

The Dowie Doole Story

Dowie Doole Estate Vineyards are located in McLaren Vale on the sandy soils of Blewitt Springs and the ancient rocks of Tatachilla. Founders Drew Dowie and Norm Doole used biodynamic techniques and sustainably nurtured their unique terroirs to develop wines that express a true sense of place.

After 20 years, Chief Winemaker Chris Thomas, joined by a group of enthusiasts, purchased Dowie Doole from its founders in 2015, although Norm Doole remains as Chairman. Dowie Doole's commitment to sustainabilaity is evidenced by its on-site tasting room and cellar door, created from four re-purposed shipping containers and opened in 2019.

Moxie Sparkling Shiraz NV

The first wine in our session is Moxie, a non-vintage sparkling Shiraz blended from various vintages including a Shiraz base containing vintages from as far back as 1996. Aussie Sparkling Shiraz has long been one of my favourite wines but the Moxie is simply a class above the many others I have encountered. Although it has the characteristic slight sweetness of a typical Aussie Shiraz the depth and richness are like no other and the sweetness is offset by vibrant fruit and acidity. It is truly an amazing wine.

MOXIE: vigour; verve; pep; self confidence; force of character; determination or nerve.

When is a G&T not a G&T?

When it's Dowie Doole's delectable homage to Spain in the form of a Grenache/Tempranillo blend... "the kind of wine you would normally drink at the fashionable wine and tapas bars" This delightful combination was well received by my fellow tasters and I'm left kicking myself for not having ordered. It's now high up on my wish list (hint, hint).

In conclusion...

I am honoured to be counted as one of Brett's "bunch of legends" and look forward to participating in many more of these tastings. I'm not the only one either. James Hubbard later Tweeted:

"Terrific afternoon hosted by @AustWineTasting chatting with @DowieDooleWines CEO & chief winemaker Chris Thomas. These McLaren Vale wines really are top-notch - available via @Armit_Wines*Great to chat with @timmilford@OllieOZwineUK@Carrie_cot too! #wine  #drinkthegoodstuff"

*The Dowie Doole "Moxie" is also available from