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Beyond Shiraz in South Australia with Dagwood Dogs, Rissoles, and a Limestone Coast Cabernet Sauvignon #WorldWineTravel

This month the #WorldWineTravel group is headed to the South Australia wine region with an eye on the red wines of the area. Gwendolyn of Wine Predator is leading the discussion and you can read her invitation. here.

If you are reading this early enough, feel free to jump in to our Twitter chat on Saturday, February 26th at 8am Pacific time. We will be live and you can follow along with the hashtag #WorldWineTravel. And be sure to add that to anything you tweet so we can see it. Here's the line-up of articles on the subject...

South Australia

South Australia is one of the most productive wine producing regions in Australia and accounts for nearly half of wine made there and houses some of the oldest vines in the country. Within the region that straddles the center of the country you will find sub-regions of Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains, Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra, and more! And among those, you will find a broad spectrum of climates and wine styles.

But the predominant grape of South Australia is Shiraz - or Syrah - which clocks in at nearly forty percent of the wine made.

Limestone Coast

After an experience of smelling dirt at a wine tasting event years ago, I have always been intrigued to read about the soils of a vineyard. So, I was immediately drawn to a wine from the Limestone Coast which lies in the southeast corner of the state, bordering Victoria on the east. Additionally, the wine I found wasn't a Shiraz. I was doubly excited.

Further research taught me about the nutrient and drainage qualities of limestone, both of which attribute to positive growing environments for the vines and are crucial to the grapes during the dry ripening season. While Shiraz rules supreme throughout most of South Australia, it is Cabernet Sauvignon that rises to the top on the Limestone Coast in this cooler maritime climate.

The bottle I found was a Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra in South Australia from the Limestone Coast: Berton Vineyards Metal Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. Bob Berton has nearly three decades of vintages to his name though he didn't start Berton Vineyards until the mid 1990s when he acquired a plot of land in High Eden, a subregion of Barossa Valley. Throughout the subsequent years, Berton jumped on opportunities to purchase more land. Now he has estates within the Limestone Coast, Barossa Valley, High Eden, and elsewhere in South Australia. He crushes and ferments grapes from each vineyard separately, then grades and blends to create his wines.

The Metal Label is one of three tiers of wine, however none of them price out at more than thirty dollars a bottle. This one was less than fifteen on A big, rich Cabernet, this wine poured an inky violet color. On the nose I jotted down fruit, fruit, and more fruit. But it was really layers of currant and blackberry with hints of vanilla, oak, and even some pine. Those latter notes kept the wine from being just a big jam ball! And moderate tannins lingered on the palate.

Dagwood Dogs

Along with the #WorldWineTravel's dive into the wines of Australia, I wanted to explore some of the Aussie cuisines. Last month I shared Aussie Burgers with the Lot when we focused on Western Australia. This month, though not specific to South Australia, I read about Dagwood Dogs and Rissoles. That's really corndogs and meatballs for us non-Aussies. 

Years ago, my kids discovered a love of corndogs so much so that as a hot lunch option at school, R picked a corndog for his first time at not bringing a lunch from home in kindergarten. He sang a little ditty everyday for a week: "five days to corndog day...three days to corndog day..." all the way to "today is corndog day!" Corndog day was a disaster as he didn't understand the ticket system or getting in line to get his food. It was awful, but it didn't do much to dampen his enthusiasm for these cornbread-dipped dogs.

So, I figured out how to make them myself.

Ingredients serves 4

Dagwood Dogs

  • 8 hot dogs
  • 8 sticks
  • Peanut oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil for frying
  • Ketchup and mustard to serve


  • 1-1/2 cups yellow corn meal, fine
  • 1-1/4 cups  flour
  • 1 Tablespoon organic granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup


Pour 2 to 3 inches of oil into a large pot or Dutch oven. Heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit over medium heat. Pat the hot dogs dry with paper towels and insert sticks into them.

Whisk dry ingredients together, then combine wet ingredients separately. Then combine all of that to form a thick batter. 

Pro tip: pour the batter into a jar or glass that is tall enough to dip the entire hot dog into it. Lower the corndog straight down into batter and give it a little twirl as you pull it out to fully coat the hot dogs. Let excess drip off.

Hold corn dog at an angle in the hot oil for 5-7 seconds to let it seal before dropping it into oil. This keep the batter adhered to the dog and from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Fry 3 minutes, turning at the midway point, or until golden brown. Fry up 2 to 3 at a time. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with ketchup and mustard!


Australian rissoles are meat patties or meatballs. They can be grilled - I baked mine - and are served with ketchup.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon dried herbs (I used and Italian seasoning)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Also needed: baking sheet, parchment paper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all the ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Shape into balls and elongate slightly. Rissoles should be about 2 inches long for a main dish or smaller as appetizers. Place rissoles on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the rissoles are first to the touch. Serve with ketchup.

That's a wrap for my South Australian post for the #WorldWineTravel group. Stay tuned for our March event when we discuss South Australian white wines with Lynn of Savor the Harvest leading the discussion. Stay tuned...


  1. So much to love in this article...such terrific value with this wine and a homemade recipe for corn dogs?! I'm going to be very popular this weekend if I make them ;)

  2. The wine sounds delicious...I am a sucker for a wine grown in limestone. I also can't believe that you have me craving corndogs! I love the photos of R! It's fun to see him as a little one! I am so enjoying this romp around Australia!

  3. These two Aussie dishes sound delish with a big bold Cab! I also love the corn dogs story. Is that R. enjoying the corndogs you made for this post?

    1. Actually the little kid is D, but, yes, the grown up kid is R.

  4. I actually have corn dogs on the menu for our upcoming food on a stick. I have never had corn dogs in my life....I think I'm going to use your recipe.

  5. I've always loved corndogs and it's possibly my kid's favorite thing but I've never made them! We did have an AUS shiraz with beef hot dogs tonight and I bet that would be better than a brioche bun!


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