An Austrian field blend. 12.5%. Screwcap.

I'm not crossing off varietals from a wish list, but if I were this is bottle would be gold. A field blend of potentially 13 different grapes most with curious names. Grüner, gewürz and chardonnay I know, weissburgunder is pinot gris but zierfandler, rotgripler and neuberger are till now unknown unknowns. The last three are siblings sharing parents and phenotype - they make wines which are spicy and spiked with stone fruit - peach and apricot in particular.

The first uninformed word I scribble is nectar, followed by apricot. It's floral and Rhone like in scent - honey suckle, peach and almond meal. I wonder - will it be fat or sweet in the mouth? It's neither, though there is flesh and a whisper of sugar.

Similar to the previous pair (1,2) but more complete and convincing. Dark cherry and spice, fir tree and forest floor. The stems have a pepper accent. Swift and shell like in the mouth, sour, slightly hard and sappy. The tail is longer and there's more weight and poise. A better shape, though perhaps too much sinew.

I see them infrequently, on the steps of the Seine, on bottles (1,2,3) and books but till now never in my garden. I've collected the seeds (1,2) but they never germinate. Out of despair I purchased a dandelion plant / weed from a plant nursery that caters for the foolish. . . So far it's rewarded me with one wishing clock and several leaves for a beetroot hummus and barley salad.

How? Prepare one portion of hummus.

A confrontational pinot noir, abrupt and bold, worked and confected. . . Dark and deep in colour and scent, cola and cream. . . with a little bit of everything in the mouth - flesh and grip, spice and acids, sweetness and a large frame. There's even some leather and meat on the finish. Gap free but overbearing. If there was such a thing as a brutalist pinot noir, this would be it.

An improvised recipe for a 30cm paella.

Collect and prepare the following: 350g of rice (Calasparra). 3 small fillets of fish (I used blue bone groper - cut into chunks.), 4 - 5 small squid tubes (cleaned and sliced), 2 medium chorizo (sliced). 1 large pinch of saffron, 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (roughly ground). 1 medium onion (diced), 3 cloves of garlic (smashed and sliced). 3 medium tomatoes (grated, skin discarded), 2-3 piquillo peppers (from a jar, finely chopped).

The site is about 5km further east of the Yarra Junction vines, same altitude and similar aspect, but older plants with cabernet roots. A smaller number of bottles - only 598, mine was sealed with cork and not Ardea as stated.

Spice and sap, the nose is more smudged and eucalypt in scent. It feels fleshier and more diffuse, as if there's not enough mass to hold all the components in orbit. . .

Once again wonderful information dense back labels. Yarra Junction is supposedly the coolest of the Mac Forbes sites, the grapes were picked three days later than Wesburn and 11 days after the Coldstream site. 30 year old vines, indigenous roots and yeast, and the work horse MV6 clone. 12% alcohol, 2300 bottles. . .

An Eden Valley riesling with an orange accent. Gone are the usual markers, there's very little lime and no bath salts and the acid cut is restrained and altered. It's less glue and cheese and more hop and toffee apple, baking spices and ginger. . . It feels held back, a bruised and bronzed apple. Pips and skins - pleasantly adhesive and astringent, pert, salty and savoury.

I still think of them as eucalypts, but the Marri and striking Ghost gum along with a multitude of others are more correctly classified into their own genus - Corymbia. The defining attribute is how the flowers are held - they form a corymb, which superficially resembles an umbel.

The label is terrific - part flower, all information.

My first Swiss pinot. . . fast and for a moment angular and anxious. A farmyard nose - smoked ham and leather; mushrooms and stems. It's not pure or pretty, but it has my attention. . . The acids too are notable - hard and awkward; skeletal - though I found the overall form still pleasing. It reminds more than a little of the Vini Viti Vinci trio I tried a few months ago.