If we were to apply The March of Progress to drinking – that famous illustration intended to demonstrate evolution over millions of years showing primates morphing into humans – the first image would probably be an ill-gotten goon bag crumpled at the start of the timeline.
Or maybe it’s inflated and being used for some classic goon bag footy? Point is, from cheap boxed wine we progress to ‘lolly water’ – brightly coloured, sugary sweet, fruity pre-mixed drinks, like Vodka Cruisers.
A subsequent move to wine is still often on the sweet side at first, Moscato, for instance, before we branch out into the sophisticated wide world of the fermented grape.
“No one starts drinking really fine wine, do they?” says Meg, one of the winemakers from Stuck In The 90s. “They experiment and then they start to evolve with what grabs their interest.”
For those that have evolved to wanting wine but can do without all the pretentious bullshit that usually comes with it, then you need to know all about the brand new Stuck In The 90s drops that have, yep, just dropped.
For fun, relaxed wines for fun, relaxed times, let us (that’s Beat, Meg, Ben and the whole team from Stuck In The 90s) introduce you (evolving wine connoisseur) to the brand new Skinsy Gris…
Check out Stuck In The 90s’ whole range of almost deliberately imperfect (but bloody fantastic) wines right here.
THE SKINSY GRIS
What’s with this being Stuck in the 90s?
Firstly, the 90s were an epic decade. Let’s just be clear there. Secondly, during that time local winemaker Rob Dolan was fast making a name for himself in the Yarra Valley and beyond with his new style of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and now ranks as one of the region’s most iconic brands.
More recently, when a group of young winemakers working at Rob Dolan Wines suggested they tackle some fresh, experimental wines, he looked at these passionate up-and-comers and said “I just don’t understand why. Maybe I’m just stuck in the 90s….”
After the knowing laughter stopped, the name stuck, and Meg, Ben and the team got busy making a new range of stripped back, small batch and lo-fi wines, which include the Skinsy Gris and a Crunchy Red, which – to prove how non-traditional these wine styles are – you drink chilled.
Who are these young winemakers?
“We have a young, fun team who wanted to have a go at some on-trend wine styles,” explains Ben of the team who come from a mixed booze background. Some got their start working in hospitality, others have brewing backgrounds, but they all know what’s landing on tables in the coolest inner-city bars and pubs.
“Ours is a modern take on a fun style of wine making, which we’ve aimed at the non-traditional, younger wine drinkers,” says winemaker Raph. Adds Adrian, “as a group, we’re pushing the boundaries of these different styles.”
So what’s a Skinsy Gris then?
The Stuck in the 90s Skinsy Gris is made using pinot gris grapes and the colour – “a beautiful sort of bright pink blush” – comes from the skin of the grape, so it looks a lot like a rosé.
How’s it made?
“Normally, when we make white wine, we just ferment the juice, no skins, but when we make red wine we ferment the juice with the skins to get the colour and tannin out,” explains Meg. With the Skinsy Gris, they fermented the juice with the skins to get the colour but the process “also gives a little grit to the wine. So I like to use the analogy of it’s like a little PacMan going around inside your mouth biting at the sides of your mouth, which really refreshes your palate but also is perfect with food, especially fried food,” she says.
What does the Skinsy Gris taste like – real talk?
“Just drink, don’t think!” says Meg. “We spend a lot of time talking and thinking about wine but the general public want something delicious to drink and this is it.” Lukas agrees, “it’s fun, easy drinking”.
And in wine talk?
“Superfresh”, says Ben. “More rosewater and guava characteristics coming through.” For winemaker Lukas, these “funky weird flavours” are not what you’d usually expect to find in a gris.
What’s lo-fi about it?
It has “buggar all” sulphites in it. “This one is made with a green tea tannin as the preservative, so it has no added sulphites,” says Ben.
Is it vegan?
Sure is. The Stuck in the 90s team are full of animal lovers and plant eaters, so they’ve made the type of wine they want to drink.
View this post on Instagram
Absolutely. With sustainability “just part of their DNA” the Stuck in The 90s wines are all produced in a sustainable way, from sourcing nearby grapes to support local growers to having them in light weight glass bottles (to reduce energy and raw material consumption) through to the labels, which are designed by artist Luna Tunes, being on recycled paper.
When can you drink it?
Right now! “Drink it early,” advises Meg, as the Skinsy Gris is intended to be consumed within the first year – so pop it in the fridge rather than your cellar.
How and where do you drink it?
This is a “picnic style” wine, says Ben, ideal for the warm weather coming up. “Drink it ice cold and enjoy in the sun!”
What do you pair it with?
“Fish and chips on the beach”, says Meg.
So how small is ‘small batch’?
There are only a thousand litres of this vintage. In winemaking terms, this is considered tiny. For comparison, a mainstream sauvignon blanc would be pumping out around five million litres, so get this when and where you can!
Where can you get it?
The all-important question. The Stuck In The 90s range is available at The Rose, Fitzroy; The Retreat, Brunswick and The Brandon, Carlton North. It is also available at independent wine shops and online at https://www.robdolanwines.com.au/stuck-in-the-90s/.
Can I come see where it was made?
Rob Dolan Wines is located a 25-30 minute drive from Melbourne, on a hundred picturesque acres in Warrandyte South. They’re a part of the Yarra Valley’s brand new Pulp festival, a ten-day celebration of all things vino.
On Saturday 19 November, Stuck In The 90s will be officially launching their Stuck in the 90s wines, down the back of the winery-proper, in what they call their “little nursery baby winery” so you can enjoy tastings of not only the Skinsy Gris but their Crunch Red and Pet Nat as well in the very place they were made.
View this post on Instagram
This article was made in partnership with Stuck In The 90s Wine.