Recipe Ideas with Muscat Barrel-Aged Wine Vinegar

Fortified wine Muscat barrel aged vinegar Barossa

Liebich Barrel-Aged Muscat Vinegar

Delicious sweet and sour Muscat vinegar made from Barossa Muscat fortified wine aged in oak barrels. This vinegar is obtained naturally as wine ages in barrels by “acetobacter”, which transforms the wine alcohol into acetic acid.

Use this vinegar to enhance food flavours. Use in place of red wine and balsamic vinegar to add lovely fruit flavours without adding darker colour to food and dressings. Perfect for a salad, glaze or drizzle over fruit.

Vinegar bottles are in limited stock, and only available at Liebichwein Cellar Door.

Make a Glaze

A sweet sherry style glaze is perfect to accentuate chicken or salmon flavours or use as a sweet dessert glaze on berries or ice cream.

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup Muscat wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp water

Mix sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer to form a thick syrup and remove from heat. Add one teaspoon of water to thin the syrup slightly.

Rosemary Marinade for Meat

  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp good quality mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Tangy Fruit Salsa

Finely chop:

  • ½ cup fruit (mango, peach, pineapple)
  • 1 spring onion or ½ red onion
  • 3 tbsp fresh herbs (parsley, coriander, chives)
  • 1 tsp Muscat wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Fresh chiles to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all together and serve with wraps and tacos.

Best Fortified Wine in Barossa Valley

Liebich Barossa Rare Fortified Wine Bottles Heart small

Extremely proud to win Best Fortified in Show at the Barossa Wine Show 2022! Ron has outdone himself picking up a Trophy for Museum Fortified for the third time. Rare Muscat was crowned Best Fortified in Show after patiently sitting for 25 years developing richness and depth of flavour. The ultra-ripe grapes hang on until late in vintage when the berries shrivel and we get the best flavours and natural sweetness.​​​​​​​​

We really appreciate this win and thank the whole show team, Barossa Wine and trophy sponsor Tarac Technologies. We love the feedback from the judging panel ‘Integrated sweetness, lovely luscious flow set the gold apart’.

Previous years have seen Rare Semillon and Rare Tawny get similar honours in the Best Museum Fortified Classes. These are special limited releases that have taken decades to develop richness, complexity and depth of flavour. We think of them as “liquid gold”. Every time we take a sip, we think of the “angels share”, the wine that evaporates to the heavens during the ageing process.​​​​​​​​

All entries from around the Barossa region were of such high calibre, we’re proud to be among the same company. Congratulations to all other medal and trophy winners.

Liebichwein results:

Rare 25 Year Old Muscat won Best Fortified in Show 🏆🥇
Rare 25 Year Old Fronti won SILVER 🥈
Rare 30 Year Old Tawny Grenache won SILVER 🥈
To see all other 2022 Barossa Wine Show results click here.

Fortified Wine – Rare Releases

Barossa Fortified Wine Rare Bottles Trio Liebichwein

Fortified wines have a long history in the Liebich family. We are proud to continue the tradition of carefully ageing different varieties grown on our property. We grow Grenache, Semillon, Muscat, and Red Frontignac grapes especially to produce these styles.

Ron has been patiently curating family museum stocks, which have been maturing in barrel over many decades. There are barrels of all shapes and sizes that evolve and develop over time to reflect the glories of yesteryear. Ron was fortunate to have enough wine from three different varieties to qualify for being called “Rare” meaning an average blend age of 20 years or more. We are aligning our wine names with the fortified classification system as developed by Winemakers of Rutherglen. Australia has a long history of fortified winemaking. Learn more about it in this Wine Australia Fortified Wines

We’re thrilled to share these rare wines with you that have sat patiently for over 25 years. Every time you take a sip, think of the “angels share”, the wine that evaporates to the heavens during the ageing process⁠. These are sensational sipping for a special occasion.

They are available from Liebichwein cellar door and online. All bottles are filled into 200ml bottles that are specially printed with gold ink. They are labelled and sealed with a wax stamp by hand at the winery.  These rare indulgent wines are highly limited stocks.

Rare Muscat aged 25 years

Burnt toffee explodes on the syrupy palate and lingers long.

Rare Frontignac aged 25 years – Gold at Barossa Wine Show 2021

Honey and raisins explode on the syrupy palate and lingers long.

Rare Tawny aged 30 years

An exquisite aged Tawny style port capturing the essence of raisins and spices in a syrupy mouthful.

Purchase wines from the Liebich Wine Shop.

 

Bulk Fortified Wines for Barrel Ageing

Blog post refill fortified wine bulk

Filling fortified wine straight from the barrel at Liebichwein, Barossa Valley

Fortified wines have a long history in the Barossa Valley which is one of the most historic wine producing regions in Australia. Here at Liebichwein we certainly have a soft spot for fortified styles and love the fact that so many customers have home barrels for that extra touch of luxury at home. We pride ourselves on our extensive range of bulk fortified wines suitable for drinking now or further ageing in your own barrel. There are very few Barossa Valley wineries that offer the range we do for fortified wine lovers to taste, buy or refill containers of fortified wines.

There are six fortified wine styles sold by the litre for customers to taste and choose from. Many fortified wine lovers return with their own container and we sell reusable plastic containers (2, 5, 10, 20 litre). The wine you choose will ultimately depend on your taste preference and whether it is used to season a new keg, as a base wine or for topping up a barrel.

Winemaking

Ron Liebich continually makes large batches of bulk blends to keep up with demand by masterfully blending fresher vintage fortified wines with old museum stocks stored in the depths of the barrel shed. All fortified wines are produced from estate grown grapes left to fully ripen naturally in the vineyard. Ron loves the flavours of different grapes growing on the Liebich property so he makes his blends using four different varieties to produce flavour profiles ranging from aromatic, floral and sweet to spicy and nutty. Grenache, Semillon, Muscat, and Red Frontignac are all perfectly suited to fortified wine styles.

Bulk Fortified Wines

  • Ruby Grenache – youthful unwooded Tawny is a light fruity style that is recommended to freshen up old syrupy or over-oaked barrel blends. It’s also pretty tasty on its own, a bit like concentrated berry cordial for adults.
  • Ron’s Blend smooth youthful Tawny style 2-3 years old, ideal for topping up barrels or freshening over-oaked or excessively aged barrel ports.
  • Barrel Blend – rich semi-aged tawny with a balance of fruit and hints of woody notes (2/3 Ron’s + 1/3 Ben’s Blend). Only available at cellar door.
  • Ben’s Blend mature style aged 5 years with woody notes and spiced dried fruit. Ideal for adding to a newly seasoned barrel or adding complexity to a youthful base blend where more developed characters are preferred.
  • Semillon – luscious white fortified with raisin and toffee flavours. Light youthful style for drinking now or adding to a barrel blend for sweetness and depth.
  • Muscat – luscious white fortified with floral and citrus flavours. Light youthful style for drinking now or adding to a barrel blend for sweetness and depth (Muscat Gordo grapes)
  • Frontignac – luscious fruity wine with aromatic, tropical and musk flavours to add sweetness and depth to a barrel (Red Frontignac grapes).

We invite you to visit cellar door to taste these wines in addition to a wide range of premium bottled fortified wines ranging in age from one to thirty years old. You can sit down and enjoy a fortified tasting experience to compare flavours, impact of barrel ageing and even taste rare museum fortifieds straight from the barrel. These unctuous, syrupy wines are certainly memorable and a sweet treat indeed!

FAQ’s Home Barrel Seasoning, Blending and Ageing

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FAQ’s Home Barrel Seasoning, Blending & Ageing

 

What is Tawny style Port wine?

Tawny style wine actually starts out like a Ruby or unwooded fortified, but then spends an extended period in oak barrels to soften and round out its character. As wooden staves allow oxygen to enter, this allows some of the wine to evaporate which concentrates flavours in the remaining wine. The slight gap of air at the top of the barrel increases the surface area exposed so the wine is basically slowly oxidising inside the barrel. The wine deepens in colour changing slowly from red-purple eventually to a dark amber or reddish-brown. The longer time in wood, the more complex the wine flavour profile and the smoother the wine becomes.

What do I fill a new barrel with?

Firstly, you need to know if the new keg is made from older red wine barrels or old fortified wood. Both keg types need initial warm to hot water treatment to lessen wood tannin impact on the new wine. The red wine oak barrel should have younger wine such as Ruby Grenache or Ron’s Blend to start with to help soak up the greater wood tannins, known as ‘seasoning’. An oak barrel previously used for fortified wine is best started with Ron’s Blend,as the barrel usually retains some wood tannins which will complement the fruit-foward wine.If wine remains a little woody, keep topping up with youthful Tawny, until the wine seems balanced with fruit and wood characters.

How often should I top up my barrel?

Top barrel according to usage; for infrequent use, it’s best to top with younger wine and if wine is poured frequently, a more mature Tawny such as Keg Blend is recommended. The barrel should not be emptied below 1/3 total volume. ?Note that a new barrel will absorb quite a bit of wine in the beginning.

How often should I taste my barrel wine?

Taste often, especially when using a new barrel as oak flavour can build up quickly in a wine. This will of course vary according to barrel size and cellar conditions (temperature and humidity) and whether the barrel wood was used for red wine or fortified wine. A smaller barrel will need more frequent tasting than a large barrel.

What is the typical lifespan of a barrel?

Well it depends on the purpose of the barrel. If you are looking to impart both flavours from the wood and structure in the form of tannins, a new oak barrel will continue to enhance wine for 4-5 years. After this the barrel becomes neutral and its main purpose becomes a storage vessel. The wine quality can still develop and improve as flavours will concentrate due to evaporation of some water content of the wine and also through exposure to oxygen. Generally, any barrel can last a lifetime and even generations if it never runs dry of good quality wine and is kept away from extreme heat, high humidity and sunlight.

How do I restore an old barrel?

A barrel that has been dry for some time and is loose is best taken to a Cooper to “knock up”, otherwise a handy person can use a hammer and blunt metal object to tighten the rings Then do a water treatment. A?second hand barrel with unknown history, it is wise to empty the barrel and start over again. Rinse out the barrel with hot water (1/10 volume of the barrel) at least twice so the top and bottom interior surfaces are covered and soaked for at least 30 minutes. Then fill with cold water and allow swelling for up to 3 days to check for any slow leaks. If barrel still leaks after 3 days then drain and refill. If any off-odours are present (e.g. vinegar, medicinal) the barrel can be rejuvenated by fermenting sugar and water in it, followed by a hot water rinse before filling with fortified wine. Check with a cooper or keg supplier if in doubt.

I’m moving house. How do I transport my barrel?

A barrel that will be empty for more than a few days needs some preparation to be stored correctly. Empty the wine into well-sealed containers (glass or plastic is fine). A little wine can remain in the bottom to keep the barrel from drying out. Wine barrels can be left empty for a week or so, even in warm temperatures, before drying out completely. To transport, the bung should be securely taped on.

How do I store an empty barrel for long periods?

Empty the wine into well-sealed containers (glass or plastic is fine). Rinse the barrel with hot water then drain it, and allow it to dry completely. To prevent any contamination, a dose of sulfur dioxide (SO2) is needed to protect the barrel. Firstly fill the barrel 2/3 with cold water. A storage solution can be made by adding 1 gram of citric acid and 2 grams of SO2 for very litre of barrel volume. Mix this solution in a separate container with a small quantity of hot water so that everything becomes completely dissolved into the liquid. Add the solution to the barrel, roll the barrel to mix, and top it up the rest of the way and insert the bung. You will need to top up the barrel with more of the holding solution every 4 – 6 weeks, but the barrel can be stored like this indefinitely.

An important safety consideration is that SO2 is fairly safe to handle but you should wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area to avoid breathing its fumes when handling it. Note that SO2 can be purchased from any brew shop as Sodium or Potassium Metabisulphite.

My wine has a medicinal off-flavour. How can I fix it?

Commonly medicinal flavour can occur as a combination of wood character and fruit flavours from the wine. It can be blended out by keeping the barrel topped with younger fault-free wine and having a little patience.

My wine has a vinegar-like off-flavour. How can I fix it?

The wine is probably infected with acetobacter (vinegar bacteria) or wild yeasts. The vinegary off-flavours can be blended out by keeping the barrel topped with younger fault-free wine and having a little patience.

My wine has a mouldy/musty off-flavour. How can I fix it?

If a barrel or its contents has or develops a mouldy, mushroom-like taste or odour, then this is quite difficult to fix. It’s best to empty the barrel, sterilize and start again with fresh wine refill. A fermentation of sugar water is a good solution to rejuvenate a barrel with off-flavours.

My wine is thick and syrupy. How can I make it more drinkable?

If wine is thick, viscous and syrupy it is a sign of old age. It will need topping up with fresh young wine such as Ruby Grenache or Ron’s Blend to dilute aged oak flavours. There is no need to wait as adding younger wine will make it more drinkable straight away.

What does turn barrel mean?

This is done when treating a new barrel to season it. By using a few litres of wine you can season more surface area of the barrel. Every few days, turn the barrel a little on its cradle. This can be done over a period of two weeks. Check how the port tastes before deciding to empty the initial wine or keeping it with some woody flavours and topping up with fresh wine. Now for a little patience before having a nip.

Can you blend sweet/dry sherry in a port keg?

Yes, you would add dry sherry to make a drier wine blend. By adding a sweet sherry style (Apera), Semillon,Frontignac or Muscat you would end up with a sweeter blend. Blend according to your preferred taste.

Can you blend fortified wines of different ages in a port keg?

Yes, in fact we recommend it to build complexity of the wine. To help give a keg a dramatic lead on the road to complexity we sell very old wines we call ‘rancio’ premium aged fortifieds. Sold in 100mL wax-sealed bottles in four different varieties; Muscat, Frontignac, Semillon and Tawny (Grenache).

To order bulk or rare old fortified wines, head to our wine shop.