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

Dietary Kill Joys

Ordinarily I’m pretty OK with the National Heart Foundation of Australia (NHFA). Sure the dietary, whining, do-gooders got in a knot when the NHFA gave McDonalds a tick for SOME of its menu items. But that spleen should have been vented at the subsequent abuse by the Golden Arches when it slapped the Heat Foundation … Continue reading

Bourne again wine accolade

Seeing a continual mountain of empty wine bottles neatly stacked outside a gentleman’s pad does not always signify the digs of a dipsomaniac. These mounds were the constant adornment of the grass median strip outside the house of Peter Bourne – aka ‘The Wine Man’ – when he lived opposite my mother’s home a decade … Continue reading

Christmas wine and food matching

The traditional hot Christmas has been eroded somewhat over the years in favour of the seafood extravaganza. It is doubtful that the fish symbol representing Jesus and Christianity has much to do with it. It’s more to do with a hot climate and perhaps a desire to be close to the water, if only vicariously … Continue reading

The science of wine and food matching

Once upon a time it was one of the simple, accepted dining mores that red wine should be matched with red meat and white wine with fish. Even those whose lips move when they read the menu could grasp that concept. MAD Magazine even produced its version of the Heimlich Manoeuvre as posters for restaurants … Continue reading

Short cut for Aussie wines

With an ever expanding range of grape varieties being grown in this wide brown land, the Australian drinking vernacular is poised for a rethink. Australians abbreviate everything from the common ‘G’day’ salutation to the expletive, ‘Ken Oath’. Then there’s the perennial formula of substituting an ‘R’ with a ‘Z’, chop the word off and add … Continue reading

The business of hangovers

I have a number of Chinese female friends whose cheeks quite clearly colour when they have a glass of wine. This has always fascinated me. Certainly other people’s faces flush too but there seems to be a Sino- predisposition for this condition. It’s all down to a lack of the body’s dehydrogenase enzyme that breaks … Continue reading

Pulling the cork on sparkling wine

When I recently learned that wine company Evan & Tate had produced its Zamphire sparkling wine with a plastic re-sealable closure I instantly thought of my father. I remembered his apoplectic outburst when I told him that I had discovered a champagne bottle re-sealing device. I jubilantly explained that you could reseal a bottle of … Continue reading

Fully Worked in a bottle

In motoring, rev-head parlance, the term ‘fully worked’ could mean anything from having the cylinder heads shaved in your vehicle to the engine management chip being tweaked or going the whole white knuckled gamut and committing to fully worked, rubber-burning, race-ready capability. But in the sedate and elegant world of quality Australian winemaking there has … Continue reading