Two thousand five hundred kilometres and every bit Australiana – Sam Kekovich may have campaigned for almost two decades to have lamb as our national icon however as a non-lamb eater this push is polarising. And Sam, if you are reading this, it isn’t for the lack of trying – the dialogue between Aunt Voula and Ian from My Big Fat Greek Wedding has been involuntarily quoted in my family. “What do you mean [she] don’t eat no meat? Oh, that’s okay. I make lamb”.
I digress, Riverlife by Oxford Landing reiterates that our country is so much more than lamb lolly pops – it is “basking in the sun, balmy evenings, wide open skies and peaceful sounds”. And there is no place more reflective of such than the Mighty Murray River. Summers spent on house boats hugged by red gum eucalyptus, water skiing against the orange glow of its famous limestone rockface, and mosquito coil scented late night conversations – personally, the river has such affinity. It is the lifeblood of the community – and for Oxford landing the heart of everything they do. So what happens when a driving force faces a natural disaster? One that is likely to be one of the most, if not the most, significant in South Australia’s history.
Having recently spent time up the river to assist in sandbagging a friend’s river shack, I attest there is nothing more unsettling than helplessly watching fond memories submerge. However, what rises to the surface is camaraderie – ‘the Australian way’ – and despite blistering heat and unrelenting flies, one could not help but notice the silver linings: a CWA standard morning tea, Labradors capitalising on rising flood levels and pelicans mistaken for speedboats riding the downstream current. Riverlife is that humbling reminder of what matters – for Oxford Landing, it is their latest range focusing on regenerative efforts, restoring, and encouraging native flora and fauna.
Riverlife Wake Making Moscato
For me Moscato is what Mocha is to the coffee industry, an introduction to recruit new consumers. And just as a good Mocha should comprise high-quality milk, coffee beans and drinking chocolate – a Moscato should display a balance of acidity, sweetness and in my opinion soft bubble (you wouldn’t have a hot chocolate without foam!). Aromas of musk lollies, rose scented soap and candied pineapple give the impression of a sweet encounter. However, thanks to its fresh acidity and appealing fizz the wine never enters the cloying territory that is so often associated with the style. Once the bubbles fade you are left with this combination of green table grapes, elderflower cordial and lychee sorbet – pretty fancy for $14.99.
Riverlife Sun Chasing Pinot Grigio
The only thing pale about this ‘Sun Chaser’ is its colour, the fruit is ripe – bartlett pears when they are yellow and the skin splits on your touch, spiced apple pie, and white nectarine. The flavours mirror with nougat making an appearance to create a slinky, almost decadent, mouthfeel. Treat this like the custard pairing to your pie and serve on the over-chilled side.
Riverlife Star Gazing Juicy Red
Juicy could not be a more fitting adjective – that stage of peak ripeness where paper towel is needed within reach. Raspberries, strawberries, and those plump cherries you overindulge in over Christmas. If Moscato is the training wheels to wine, this is its counterpart into the world of red. Reminiscent of the Alicante in Mum’s glass growing up, a lustrous shade of cerise. Spherical in body thanks to discreet tannins and a lil’ residual sugar – there is nothing intimidating about this wine. It wants you to like it and after some time in the fridge, it’s hard not to.