Beth Liston, the winemaker and driving force behind Dark Horse, believes we should all get to enjoy a bottle of quality wine – without it costing the earth. It’s a brave approach, but one that’s taken Dark Horse from a little-known brand to a real player in the wine world.
Beth developed the wine bug as a student working at her local vineyard tasting room – she was fascinated by the combination of art and science that goes into producing great wines. Then after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a minor in Wine and Viticulture, she cut her teeth working at vineyards in her native California as well as the Napa Valley and South Australia.
After racking up more than a decade of harvests, Beth decided to pour her passion and creativity into Dark Horse. The talented winemaker has never been afraid to experiment with different grape varieties or use innovative winemaking techniques and the result is a range of award-winning, flavour-packed wines that have all the characteristics of a premium wine, but without the premium price tag.
There’s a Dark Horse wine to suit all tastes. Here are a couple of great ones to try and some unexpected food pairings to match them with:
Dark Horse Rosé Vintage 2017 California
Perfect for sunny days and garden barbecues, this fruity, Provence-style Rosé is a winning wine if ever there was one. Cleverly blending a variety of red grapes, primarily Grenache and Barbera, this is a dry, bright and crisp wine with complex, rich fruit flavours. Beth believes that it goes with pretty much anything, but recommends to try it with fried chicken sandwiches, spicy Chinese food, cheese or charcuterie and you’ll never look back.
Dark Horse Sauvignon Blanc Vintage 2017 California
New Zealand-style Sauvignon Blancs have become wildly popular for their bright flavours – Beth knew that with a little planning and a lot of know-how, she could achieve that same unmistakable vibrancy with California-sourced grapes. With lively, crisp grapefruit flavours and a refreshing, clean finish, this delightful wine is punchy enough to stand up to most food from around the world. That’s thanks to its early harvest and ageing in stainless steel which manages to strike the perfect balance between fruit and acidity. Beth says it’s especially great when paired with poke bowls, fish tacos or the mighty avocado, effortlessly cutting through the richness and adding a whole new dimension to their flavours.