It’s my birthday and I’ll drink if I want to – even at 30,000 feet out of a tiny, plastic bottle.
Right away, I’m suspicious – the cute little red fox pictured on the Barbie-sized packaging, the eponymous ‘Southeastern Australia’ for area of origin, the absence of any vineyard or regional description. Ah well, I decide to stow my fears and ‘give it a go’.
The Foxgrove is clear with a medium black cherry core moving to an indistinct light rim and it has no legs to speak of.
On the nose, it’s clean with a medium minus intensity and youthful with some plum and Byng cherry notes. It’s challenging to swirl in the plastic, wide-rimmed airplane glass I’m dealing with.
The palate is dry with medium acidity, medium tannin, and medium alcohol. Medium intensity flavours of more Damson plum, stewed or cooked black fruit, blackberry, black currant. Perhaps it took too long in the tanker truck coming across the Aussie outback or the ocean to be bottled in North America? This may be the reason the colour is so oddly dark. I’m trying hard to find those hallmarks of Aussie cabs and shirazes I adore – mint, eucalyptus – but no. There are none. The finish is, you guessed it – average.
This is Airplane Wine (in WSET terms, it’s just acceptable). It’s an average, high yield, low cost, processed and ever-so-slightly cooked table wine.
Drink now (if you must) and do not hold onto this. Nothing will happen to it to make it any better – there is little fruit, structure or tannin to help it get anywhere. That said, it’s not atrocious or offensive. There is simply nothing exciting about it.
I should have had the Bloody Mary.