1. Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque Champagne
One of the most charming bottles in the world of Champagne, the Belle Époque was first designed for the prestigious Champagne house Perrier-Jouët in 1902. French artist Émile Gallé, pioneer of the art nouveau movement, based the iconic bottle art on Japanese white anemone flowers. My go-to Champagne for all occasions, this wine remains ethereal in both design, bouquet and palate. Enjoy liberally!
2. Dom Perignon Champagne
A renowned Champagne, with its universally recognised shield label and textured black foil, Dom Perignon has worked tirelessly to remain synonymous with the bourgeoisie lifestyle. Recent collaborations with artists such as Lenny Kravitz and Lady Gaga for their inspirations range, has pushed their wine into the realm of interactive art, bringing sight and sound into the fold to create a complete tasting experience.
I’m a sucker for a great label, and whimsical art of Sean Whelan for Dormilona Wines never fails to capture my sense of wonder. Featuring a lazy skeleton, an homage to Josephine Perry’s nickname from her time in Spain, the labels capture a world of dreamy landscapes, other worldly botanicals and tongue-in-cheek illustrations. Have the Malbec, all generous fruits, violet and light spice, it won’t disappoint.
Perhaps more of a bonus entry to the list as Jo Perry’s second label, but Yokel wines has earned it’s spot none the less. Featuring 1920s inspired illustrations of the endangered Western Swamp Tortoise knowing that a portion of sales from every bottle goes to their conservation really gets you in the feels. Not only that, but the wine is fun, a little natty (natural winemaking) and absolutely delicious. Pick up a bottle of the Grenache and with it’s crunchy red berry fruits and light structure it even lends itself to being chilled.
Please forgive me when I say this project is no longer, but I couldn’t not include this amazing design on this list. The brains behind the project teamed up with three female artists to create three distinct mini art barrells filled with Mitchelton Wine. Designed to have a life beyond their initial purpose of a wine vessel I’m still wistfully regretting my opportunity to snap one up. This is my ode to the universe to “bring back Pord”.
6. L.A.S. VINO
From Aussie winemaking royalty, Nic Peterkin, Luck.Art.Science ‘Albino PNO’ will turn your head. This cheeky little Pinot Noir Chardonnay blend is so much more than just another rosé, it’s sleek curves, clear bottle and pale rosebud colour will pique your interest before you even get it in the glass. If you love a more serious textured style rosé with hints of rockmelon, strawberries with a splash of cream you’ll love this wine. Enjoy with a roast peach salad or angel hair crab pasta.
7. Tonic Wines
“Our wine will do nothing for your health, but plenty for your soul.” When met with an affirmation like that we’re already off to a good start, combine that with the pirate style port bottle it’s served in you’ve got me hook-line-and-sinker. Making tiny quantities of minimal intervention Shiraz, Grenache and Chardonnay you’re likely to only come across Tonic Wines on a restaurant wine list but they’re a delight to experience, and a conversation starter for sure.
8. Leeuwin Estate Art Series
An icon of Australian wine, Leeuwin Estate have been commissioning fine art for their labels since the first painting, ‘Caves Road’ by Robert Juniper, was featured on the 1980 Art Series Chardonnay. Still purveyors of the arts, their collection now comprises of over 150 artworks, almost all of which are on show at their on-site art gallery. If Margaret River is a little too far a journey you can always enjoy the art of their current Art Series wines, ranging from Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.
9. Unico Zelo
Winemaking power-couple Laura and Brendan Carter have been putting juice in bottles under their label Unico Zelo since 2013. Their brand has since expanded and their label has seen a few renditions with wines currently sporting colour pops, amusing iconography and whimsical mosaics. Their Fiano’s are fresh and thirst-quenching but their Nero d’Avola’s really take the cake, match them with good times around the BBQ with friends.
10. Shiny Wines
This delightful little label of James (Shiny) Scott’s hails from the Tamar Valley, making it not only onto this list as a little homage to my Island home of Tasmania but due to the striking photography of Hillary Younger that features on the label. Producing only a handful of wines each vintage the wines focus on minimal intervention techniques and all the wines are handmade, bottled and labelled by Shiny and friends.
11. Ravensworth ‘Ancestral’ Riesling
If you’ve jumped on the natural wine movement that’s taken Australia by storm since the min 2010s chances are you’ve had a pet-nat or two. Ravensworth ‘Ancestral’ ticks every box I look for in a natural sparkling, it’s balanced with crisp acidity and a touch of fruit ripeness. Think tart pineapple flavours with great texture, palate weight, and most important ‘smash-ability’!
12. A Glass Of
A new player on the scene for sustainability and quality juice, A Glass Of has teamed up with some sensational Aussie winemakers to, in my own words, “Make Goon Great Again”. Mac Forbes, Frederick Stevenson and Eminence are just some of the wineries involved, and let me tell you these wine pouches really spark some joy in my life. Perfect for festivals, the outdoors and cheeky glasses on the run, A Glass Of really is leading the pack in premium wine x eco packaging.
13. NON Wine
For the non-drinkers amongst us NON has achieved not only a non-alcoholic ‘wine’ to tempt even the most discernible palates but with a design that is both sleek and stylish. Their minimalist packaging, with a less is more concept is a welcomed departure from traditional non-alcoholic offerings that sought to replicate their alcoholic counterparts. It doesn’t hurt that the whole range is lip-smackable, perfect for picnics in the sun.
14. Crafter’s Union
Okay, okay! So not technically 100% wine but these adorable canned spritzers from Crafters Union is a Summer Day’s best friend. I’m quite partial to the Sparkling Rose with Blood Orange and these cans are equally delicious and practical; light-weight, easily chilled and recyclable. Summer, here we come
For anyone fond of the great outdoors and who doesn’t want to miss out on a much-deserved glass of wine after an action packed day, Banrock Station has you covered. Flat pack design, and 100% recycled plastic bottles, functionality and environmental consciousness has not detracted one bit from the juice inside. My favourite Pinot Noir for a weekend camp.