Recoltant Manipulant …or Farmer Fizz

The Champagne barometer of fun and bubbles has seen COVID19 wash away the flagging 2019 sales of Champagne in Australia, to experience a fizzy buoyancy of consumption. Statistically it all started to turn around on Mother’s Day 2020, a day that marked the first celebration period following COVID lockdown. But that is here in the land down under – not the rest of the world where celebratory social events have been locked down to an abstemious trickle. Bubbling along within this effervescent celebration is the rising trend of the obscure on wine lists. And in the Champagne stakes that can mean “Grower Champagnes” or “récoltant manipulant” (RM) Champagnes.


Increasingly restaurant wine lists are showing more inclusions of natural wines with their minimal and non-intervention philosophy. Within these include organic and biodynamic wines and the subsets of low sulphur wines and the rise and rise of orange/amber wines – including amphora and wine egg fermented wines. Low sulphur and no preservative added wines are as … Continue reading

(Drone) Pie In The Sky

Whether it is pizzas from heaven or burrito bombers there is a very clear and present likelihood of takeaway food deliveries taking to suburban air space by drones before you can say: ‘Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun’.

Honey BeeWare

  It’s very trendy to dine at the latest finger-on-the pulse chow house and be served their own roof top honey. And it is all well and good that folk are helping keep the busy European bee busy and at the same time keeping them safe from harms way. But the spectre of the anticipated … Continue reading


When  ‘Balls: the all-round cook book‘ by Aussie food divas Lyndey Milan and Loukie Werle was first published, some people thought it was a pretty provocative title for a recipe book. Move over girls. ‘The Testicle Cookbook: Cooking With Balls’ has a tad more bounce and certainly more testosterone. And so it should.  This has … Continue reading

Fat Land Wine

When you’ve twice won the Jimmy Watson Trophy, the most prestigious and sought after wine award in Australia as well as a fistful of coveted international awards, striving for the ultimate…the best vintage results … is a very real goal for Katnook Estate’s winemaker Wayne Stehbens. Katnook celebrates 30 years of its Cabernet Sauvignon this … Continue reading

Water is the driving force of all nature…but …

Leonardo da Vinci described water as ‘the driving force of all nature’. William Claude Dukenfield (aka WC Fields) had other views on water.  He is famously quoted as never drinking water because ‘fish fuck in it’ and also said it was the stuff that rusted pipes and that he was ‘afraid it will become habit-forming.’ … Continue reading

Always Follow The Plumbing Line

‘Où sont les toilettes?’ Not an earth-shattering statement in the scheme of things. But pretty damned useful and important when you’re on the prowl for the amenities after a post-sale lunch in the 7th floor Terrace Restaurant of Paris’s Galeries Lafayette. The back end of this level of the department store is a maze of corridors … Continue reading

Cellar Beware

Disappearing into my cellar is a subterranean kind of bloke’s shed thing.  It is cosy and womb-like in an igloo sort  of way and not dissimilar, I’d imagine, to some Inuit holiday homes. Sandstone and concrete aided by air conditioning keeps it suitably chilly for its glass- imprisoned occupants. I used to be like a … Continue reading

Food Trends …Retro Style

There are some interesting similarities between food and fashion. Fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris (and we have just come out of the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week) define the trend that will dominate next season’s wardrobe. Food industry organisations and critics try to do the same with next season’s table. The National … Continue reading