• 2003 Ashbrook Chardonnay (Margaret River, Western Australia, $22): Big, oaky and buttery. Perfect for lobster in butter or corn dishes. Score: 88/100
• 2004 Deakin Estate Shiraz (Victoria, Australia, $12): A round, ripe dark berry. Plum flavours with a little spice and warm oak. Full-bodied. Drink with lamb, sausage or barbecue fare. Score: 85/100.
• 2002 Palandri Merlot (West Australia, $19): Supple, simple and full-bodied red with aromas of black fruit and plums. Aged in oak for 12 months. Score: 86/100.
• 2004 The Little Penguin Merlot (South East Australia, $13): A juicy, innocuous wine with sweet, plummy fruit. The wine equivalent of the sitcom Friends: everybody’s happy, no major issues probed. Drink with hamburgers and steak. Score: 84/100.
Natalie MacLean was recently named the Worldâs Best Drink Writer for the articles in her free wine newsletter, available at nataliemaclean.com. Look for her column in every issue of Chatelaine!