Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch – wine dinner at the Ludlow Bar & Restaurant, Melbourne 8th August 2012
Call me a prude but shooting makes me nervous. Unless of course, you’re referring to the lensed variety, in which case give me some good lighting and I’m ready to smile for anyone.
But with its Art Deco label depicting a woman confidently striding through a field, mutt by her side and gun over her shoulder, it’s hard not to be immediately struck by the Ladies who Shoot their Lunch wine.
Launched in 2006, Ladies who Shoot their Lunch – a label created by Fowles Wine of the Strathbogie Ranges in Victoria – have been created specifically to match with wild food or “game”, that fancy culinary word for things you can go and kill yourself before devouring them. (Think pigeon, duck, venison and rabbit.)
However, it’s what’s inside the bottles that had already impressed, so I was tickled pink (or maybe that should be blood red? Oops…too much?) to be asked to be a guest at the Are you Game? dinner hosted by Ladies who Shoot their Lunch at Melbourne’s Ludlow Bar & Restaurant, where the Ladies’ best drops were elegantly matched to an incredible six course menu of game foods.
The dinner encouraged a dress code of traditional hunting attire and apparently that’s a hallmark of all Ladies Who Shoot’s popular events. And while there was lots of talk of hunting, somehow the event was able to retain a classy, friendly, and inclusive energy, drawing a mixed crowd.
The brainchild of the Ladies‘ label is actually a bloke. A really blokey, bloke. Fowles Wine CEO, the ruggedly handsome Matt Fowles. He’s an avid hunter and a passionate foodie who wanted to create a wine that matched the distinctive qualities of one of his favourite foods – wild game meat. His wife, Lou Fowles, shoots too. And so does their marketing manager Charley May – she’s the shootiest shooter of them all. And the whole concept is so wonderfully quaint that I just couldn’t help but love it.
Maybe it’s the Downton Abbey fan in me, but by the end of the evening I was ready to give up my dream of being a rich heir spending her days at needlepoint by the fireside, and instead head out to the hills in my best tweed to give it to the first rabbit that dared cross my path.
Of course, the idea of creating a label like this was a little risky given the negative connotations that can surround hunting. But Charley May assures me it’s one that has paid off, if the wine’s success and the brand’s popularity are anything to go by.
And Ladies who Shoot their Lunch have done very well with those award, trophy things that wine types strive for. They even scooped the prize for ‘Australia’s Best Shiraz’ at the 2010 VISY Great Australian Shiraz Challenge; making Fowles Wine the first Victorian winery in the history of the competition to win the award.
But just how do you create a wine specifically to match with game?
Game animals that come from the wild forage on natural herbs and grasses, spend their days avoiding predators and have lower energy diets compared to their domestic counterparts. As a result wild game is naturally very lean, full flavoured and can be texturally challenging to the palate requiring a bespoke wine to match this specific meat… enter Ladies who Shoot their Lunch.
Ladies who Shoot their Lunch wines are crafted to be aromatic, yet with a fine structure. They successfully walk the fine line between complementing the qualities of game meat and not overwhelming them. This is achieved with careful fruit selection from their coolest sites; a confluence of new world and old world winemaking techniques; maturation in large format, new and old oak (including 140 year old English casks!) and by blending small components of different varieties to help build aroma.
That’s all very amazing and everything. But how do they taste? Well, all four wines from the label are some of the best wine I’ve tried all year. Seriously. I really don’t care if they can shoot or not. They can certainly make delectably good wine that ladies handling all forms of weaponry – or none – should drink.
For more information, or to order, visit: www.fowleswine.com
Or call (03) 5796 2150
And how good is this? By purchasing online or by calling the Cellar Door, when you mention The Fabulous Ladies’ Wine Society you will receive a 10 per cent discount, get wines delivered direct to your door anywhere in Australia and receive no freight charges on orders that are 12 bottles or more.
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Wild Ferment Chardonnay – $34.95
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Riesling – $34.95
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Merlot, Lagrein, Tempranillo – $34.95
Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Shiraz – $34.95