• 2023.05.31
  • Trending Wines
Australia is famous for its great-tasting wines.
The wines I particularly like are Shiraz from the Barossa Valley near Adelaide, Tasmanian pinot noir, and Sauvignon blanc, a white wine from neighboring New Zealand. There are plenty of other nice wines, but in this article, I’d like to tell you about the wines I have been particularly interested in lately.
There is a wine called “orange wine” and natural wines that fall under the category “lo-fi,” like “pet nat,” which might be becoming popular in Japan too.
“Lo-fi” is originally a term to do with music recording conditions. The opposite, “hi-fi,” means high-quality sound, so lo-fi refers to sound that’s deliberately recorded with noise and so on in it, making it more analog, or live, perhaps. I think that is where the term is taken from, so the wines categorized as lo-fi are not filtered clean, they are made by fermenting them using techniques that are as close to nature as possible. Lo-fi music and wine are really trending at the moment.
The term “orange wine” might conjure up images of wine made from oranges, but it’s only called orange wine because the color is orange, it’s made from grapes the same as other wines. But they use the winemaking method for making red wine out of white grapes, so although most white wines are transparent because the skins and seeds are removed, orange wine is made in the same way as red wine, it is fermented without removing the skins and seeds, and that’s how it gets its faint orange color. Some of them have a buildup of sediment in the bottom of the bottle.
A particular feature of orange wine is that they can make it without using as much preservative (or even none) compared to regular white wine, so it is popular with people who don’t like preservatives in their wine. Plus, you usually drink it cold, so it’s perfect for hot summer days. I especially like how surprisingly well it goes with anything, including both meat and seafood dishes. It contains more tannin than white wine, so it has more polyphenols and a slight astringency, and it’s probably preferred more by people who like red wine.
The preservatives in wine have long been a concern of mine. I sometimes wonder whether it’s because of the preservatives that after I drink wine I get more headaches, which I don’t get after drinking beer, shochu, or sake.
Although they do have preservative-free red wines in Australia, it seems to be difficult to make white wine without adding preservatives, because of the way it’s made, so it’s hardly ever available. Even if it were available, it also tastes kind of iffy.
Then there’s “pet nat,” a delicately sparkling wine made with natural fermentation methods. It’s a wine made as naturally as possible, so they even leave the sediment in, including the yeast.
I went to a Dan Murphy’s store, the largest liquor chain in Australia, to check what varieties were available.
The liquor stores that sell orange wines sometimes have Japanese ones, so it could be that orange wine attracted people’s interest in Japan before Australia.
Even for a pretty big store, the lo-fi wine section was quite small. There were only a few on the shelves and way fewer varieties compared to the enormous numbers of red, white, and sparkling wines.
Here is a wine section under the category “Lo-Fi.”

The lo-fi wines stood out for mostly having very unusual, stylish, and hipster-like labels.

There was quite a range of prices, the cheapest ones were between $10 and $20 while the expensive ones were about $45, but most of them were in the $25 to $35 range, which is slightly more expensive than regular wines.
I’d like to try these different wines but they have little or no preservatives, so you have to drink them up as quickly as possible once you open them or the flavor will deteriorate, which actually means I just never seem to get the chance to try them because I can’t drink a whole bottle by myself (although I could if I put my mind to it, LOL).
Some of the bottle caps were serrated crown seals like beer bottle caps, as if to say, “Please drink me all up.”
I got a shop staff member to tell me all about lo-fi wines, including orange wines, and he even offered me a taste of one if I wanted, which I couldn’t refuse, LOL.

This is the pet nat wine I got to taste.
It was generous of him to open a bottle with a crown seal for me.

Being a fermented carbonated wine, I thought it might be just slightly bubbly like “makgeolli” (Korean raw rice wine) but the fizziness was quite strong. It had some tannin astringency with virtually no sweetness, a flavor that in all honesty people might either love or hate. I looked online for reviews and even found one person who wrote a pretty harsh review: “There is no worse-tasting wine than this. You might be able to drink it if you’ve lost your sense of taste from COVID.”
You might not like it at first if you’re used to drinking normal sparkling wine, but I thought it was a flavor that you might come to like the more you drank it.
The times have changed. It used to be more important to make delicious wines that people liked by adding preservatives, but nowadays it is hip to make wines as naturally as possible, even if they have a slightly peculiar flavor, wines that long ago people didn’t even buy because they just tasted bad but might now be attracting attention.
There is a lot of depth to wine, isn’t there.
I’d like to try some different lo-fi wines and tell you about some recommended brands next time.


  • Chieko Suganuma (maiden name : Nagura)
  • JobCompany employee

She moved to Australia in 2000. She worked for a Japanese-affiliated travel agency, and then started her current position at a construction company in 2014.On her days off, she enjoys making soy candles that is a hobby of mine and walking on the beach.She hope to share rare lifestyle information from the local area with you.

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