Summer really is when all of the good stuff is poured. Coffee is a year round necessity and hot chocolate is pretty good on a winter’s day; but the smorgasbord of summer bevvies is unmatched by any other season. Below is a roundup of some of the Margaret River region’s top seasonal hits to try this year: there’s plenty of ice-cold options as pretty as a picture. After all, you want something that looks as good as it tastes when there’s an Insta-worthy beach sunset in the background.
And the biggest summertime bonus? Longer sunlight hours means more time to sip, swirl and slurp.
Pop the cork
There is one name that comes up ahead of the bunch when it comes to seeking out sparkling wine in Margaret River: Howard Park.
This summer it’s all about the effervescent Jeté Rosé: it’s so pretty in the champagne flute you almost don’t want to spoil the sight by drinking it. Almost. Howard Park produce their Jeté using the Methodé Traditionelle; meaning you’ll be sipping on the finest grapes from Western Australia treated in exactly the same way that Champagne is produced in France. It’s a lengthy process that is just like the ballet move that the wine is named after, both requiring time, patience and dedication.
The result is a creamy and nutty sparkling Rosé, bursting with tart strawberry characters. While no excuse is needed to pop the cork, it’s ideal on its own before dinner or paired with summery dishes such as freshly shucked oysters or a chic prawn cocktail.
Ask any regular bar hopper where their go-to spot is for a quality cocktail in stylish surrounds and their answer is guaranteed to be Morries. A stalwart on the main street for many years now, if you’ve been out for a night on the town in Margaret River at some point, you will have likely popped in here for a classic with a twist.
Not sure what to order? Start with one of their summer favourites. Step sideways from a margarita and try a Goblin co. You’ll be sipping chilli infused blanco tequila shaken with lime, coriander and a touch of agave nectar. More of a sweet tooth? Then slurp on a Strawberry basil smash: an icy concoction filled with the Westwind’s gin, strawberry shrub, fresh basil, lime and egg white.
Take a tip from a pro
Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes, especially when it comes to choosing the perfect drop. Every year you’ve got new vintages, new blends, new wine producers and newly planted grape varieties to decipher. It’s time to call in a pro, and with more than 20 years touring the region under his belt, Tony at Margaret River Vintage Wine Tours is the man for the job.
Tony is a full bottle on Margaret River wine, and he says you can’t go past an oaked Chardonnay; some of his favourites include Leeuwin Estate, Voyager Estate and Thompson Estate. If you want to learn more, just jump on a tour with him!
It’s pretty unlikely that you’ll have tried anything quite like the creamy Nougaretto on offer at Bettenay Wines. Also home to the Margaret River Nougat Company, this unctuous and very easy drinking liqueur is essential an alcoholic, liquid version of the honey and almond based sweet.
On its own, poured over ice or drizzled over vanilla ice-cream; the only limit to where to decant this lip smacking stuff is by your imagination. Pick from honey and almond or coffee and almond flavours or grab both in a nifty triple pack, along with their fortified chilli rosé known as Lost The Plot. A visit to Bettenay’s will allow tastings of the whole offering, as well as access to take-home supplies. It’s the perfect present to head home with, though it’s pretty hard to stop at one glass so you won’t be the first who has returned back to top up supplies!
Nothing says Sunday brunch like a Bloody Mary. Margaret River Distilling Co. are offering their own epic version of this cocktail classic every Sunday throughout the warmer months. Take your pick from not one, but three signature Bloody Marys made with Giniversity gin, MRDC Vodka or Limeburners Whisky.
Why not rack up a few visits and try them all, alongside three cracking menu options? Veggie fiends will salivate over a chickpea savoury pancake with slow roasted balsamic romas, wilted baby spinach, field mushrooms, grilled halloumi, sriracha hollandaise and poached egg. There’s also a spring onion rosti with eggs and bacon for meat lovers and Bircher muesli will fill up tummies on a health kick.
Shake it up
On a hot afternoon after a day at the beach it’s time to turn to an old favourite for young and old: it’s milkshake time. Head down to Margaret River’s main street and you can’t miss the bright white and blue façade of Millers Milk Bar.
However, these are no ordinary milkshakes. With fresh milk direct from the Miller’s farm, the ice-cream is also handmade by this third generation family of dairy farmers. Over 60 ice-cream flavours are on rotation, so the combo options are endless. Take a tip from those in the know and navigate towards their pina colada shake with toasted coconut. It’s got a surprise festive twist you’ll just have to taste for yourself.
There is no such thing as too much pink when it comes to summer enjoyment. Rosy sunsets, magenta-hued berries and a healthy glow after a brisk beachside stroll. You can also add Black Brewing Co and Dune Distilling – to that list, with a couple of pink treats in store for summer drinkers.
Dune Distilling have a special limited edition craft gin. Yallingup Pink Gin is carefully crafted from native and important botanicals locally sourced South West and Australian botanicals including coriander seed, salt bush and lemon myrtle. Beer lovers might prefer to froth over Black Brewing Co’s newly released Summer Sour. Perfect for the end of a hot day, the addition of raspberry and rhubarb give this looker a pink-peach hue when poured into a glass. But it’s pretty easy to just sink one straight from the can at the end of a long day in the sun!
Raise a glass to Rosé
Warm summer evenings, salty beach hair and fresh seafood all scream of summer, so it’s only fitting that what is poured into that glass is on par. Snake + Herring’s 2018 ‘Tainted Love’ Tempranillo Rosé ticks all the boxes when it comes to choosing a refreshing drop for your wine glass,.
It’ll get your tastebuds jumping about as much as the Depeche Mode namesake, thanks to plenty of savoury tannins for texture. With a crisp acid to match the creamy weight of the tannins, it’s ideal to hold up to the fuller flavours of a hot and spicy dish. If you’re simmering at the stove top, try a Lamb Korma; or a few sausages with a touch of heat on the BBQ. Thanks to beautiful Margaret River fruit and 5 months on lees, you’ll pick up hints of sour cherry, subtle white flowers, gingernuts and fresh sea kelp.
Thirsty? Talk to one of our local experts about your visit now.
Howard Park & MadFish WinesMonday - Sunday: 10:00am until 5:00pmGreat For: Cellar Sales,Child Friendly,Disabled Access,Dog Friendly,Fireplace,Indoor Play Area,Open for Business,Seated Tastings
543 Miamup Road, COWARAMUP
MorriesMonday to Friday 5pm - 9pm for takeaway only (Temporary arrangement)Great For: Dine In,Open for Business,WiFi
2/149 Bussell highway, Margaret River
Margaret River Vintage Wine ToursOpen 24 HoursGreat For: Open for Business
PO Box 2045, MARGARET RIVER
Bettenay WinesMonday - Sunday: 9:30am until 5:00pmGreat For: Cellar Sales,Disabled Access,Open for Business,Seated Tastings
248 Tom Cullity Drive, Metricup WA 6284, Australia
Margaret River Distilling CompanyWednesday to Sunday, 11am - 5pm. Bookings only.Great For: Dine In,Open for Business,Workshops & Classes
Maxwell St off Carters Road, Margaret River, WA 6285
Millers Ice CreameryMonday: Closed
Saturday: 1:00am until 2:00am
Sunday: ClosedGreat For: Sunny Day,Temporarily Closed
314 Wirring Rd, Cowaramup WA 6284, Australia
Black Brewing CoThursday to Sunday 12pm - 5pmGreat For: Cellar Sales,Child Friendly,Disabled Access,Dog Friendly,Fireplace,Indoor Play Area,Open for Business,Outdoor Playground,Rainy Day,Seated Tastings,Sunny Day,Vegan Beer
3517 Caves Rd, Wilyabrup WA 6280, Australia
Snake + HerringOpen Thursday through to Monday, 11-4pmGreat For: Cellar Sales,Open for Business,Seated Tastings
3763 Caves Road Wilyabrup WA 6284