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Guest Selector: Matt Sharp

My name is Matt Sharp and I’m the coffee director & wine buyer at Lava. We operate as a specialty coffee shop and run casual wine nights during the warmer months.

I’ve thrown together a short selection of drinks that I hold in high regard. They’re all super special to me and I hope you enjoy them too!

Ribolla made by Radikon

Radikon is the household name of any natural wine fan. The late Stanko Radikon was a pioneer of the modern “orange wine” style, well before it was trendy.

This is his Ribolla, a variety native to this area in Italy, and the benchmark of this style. I really love the texture of these wines, but the flavor is really something special. It’s a unique profile of tropical and dried fruits, ginger, flowers, and spices! Definitely a very special wine. RIP Stanko.

Rainbow Juice made by Gentle Folk

Gentle Folk is an amazing winery based on Peramangk Country in the Adelaide Hills. Non-pretentious and well-made, their wines are never lacking character and soul.

Rainbow Juice is a wine I’ve probably had every vintage since discovering it ~5 years ago. Never the same wine, but always crunchy and bright! The 2020 packs a huge handful of different varieties and is built for springtime. Perfect picnic wine.

Brutal Rouge made by Matassa

Tom Lubbe is another unstoppable force in the natural wine world. Born in New Zealand and grown up in South Africa, he now operates in the south of France making interesting, captivating wines, throwing out the rule book on the way. His wines are always on my radar. The “Brutal” rouge is mostly Syrah, with a generous 30% muscat petit grains. A non-traditional blend that just works. The fruit and spice character from the Syrah is complemented by Muscat’s floral perfume. One to chill down a bit and drink outdoors in good company.

Quiet XPA made by Heaps Normal

Not much to say about these. Delicious beers, without all the alcohol. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need. Maybe you’re doing a dry month, or maybe you’re just taking it easy at the party. Most importantly, these taste great and deserve a shout-out – love ya work.