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2018 Joh Jos Prum Release – Thrilling & Wonderful Wines

2018 Joh Jos Prum Release – Thrilling & Wonderful Wines

There is no escaping the commentary surrounding vintages. Knowing a bit often makes you feel like you know a lot, and enough to draw foregone conclusions. After reading various comments and articles about the 2018’s from Joh Jos Prum, I feel compelled to add to...
Q and A with Will Rikard-Bell from Rikard Wines

Q and A with Will Rikard-Bell from Rikard Wines

Orange has never lived up to expectations. We visited recently, confirming for ourselves its status as a region full of potential, but one yet to truly define itself. Our visit to Rikard Wines was a bit of a light-bulb moment – delighting in the discovery of a...
When is a wine fault not a wine fault?

When is a wine fault not a wine fault?

Wine assessment and tasting is by its nature opaque. Countless factors will affect a wine at any showing, and if you were to re-taste the wine, in another context, your conclusions might be very different. To avoid discrepancy and possible misrepresentation, process...
Jean Foillard 2018 – one of France’s true masters

Jean Foillard 2018 – one of France’s true masters

Atypical vintages and atypical work conditions present challenges and opportunities for the vigneron. Discussion of vintages, their characteristics, merits and downsides are analysed and agonised over by wine lovers. However, it is always what’s in the bottle...
Tokaji – a wine style without imitation

Tokaji – a wine style without imitation

All wine lovers, all humans, love to get their money’s worth. There are producers, regions, vintages, styles and countries with whom value is synonymous. I have long believed that, typically, you are more likely to find good value in whites than reds. Regions...
Julian Haart – rising star of the Mosel

Julian Haart – rising star of the Mosel

I have wanted to taste the wines of Julian Haart for several years. Flicking through a newsletter from Mosel Fine Wines is always an informative experience, but it can be hard to tear yourself away from the familiar and famous names. I now have a rule that I rigidly...
Q and A with Shaun Crinion from Dappled Wines

Q and A with Shaun Crinion from Dappled Wines

Ever since my first taste, I’ve loved the wines of Dappled. The Chardonnays display a greater level of richness, extract, and texture that is becoming harder to find in the Yarra Valley, where picking early is becoming all too fashionable. The Pinot Noirs are...
Bistro in the Burbs – Pavlova and Botrytis Semillon

Bistro in the Burbs – Pavlova and Botrytis Semillon

The recent dining out restrictions meant we had to give more thought to dining at home and Bistro in the Burbs was born! Delicious home cooked meals with fabulous matching wines – what could be better? Sometimes modest, other times grand and not always perfect. But...
Guffens-Heynen 2018 – lapel-grabbing power

Guffens-Heynen 2018 – lapel-grabbing power

I first came across the wines of Verget, working at Oddbins in Colchester. It was the early to mid 2000’s, and I had moved to Colchester to be with my girlfriend. Colchester, once the capital of Roman Britain, is one of the oldest settlements in the UK....
Q and A with Stefan Dewey from Dewey Station Wines

Q and A with Stefan Dewey from Dewey Station Wines

Dewey Station Wines is the work of husband and wife team Stefan and Eleanor Dewey. When we tasted the Dewey Station wines, we were struck by the vivid colours, floral lift and high toned fruit. They did however, still transmit the essence of rich full bodied Barossan...
Bistro in the Burbs – the joy of dining at home

Bistro in the Burbs – the joy of dining at home

Even James Bond, a man partial to fine wine and rich food recognised the debilitating effect of over indulgence. In the fictional town of Royale les Eaux, the backdrop for Casino Royale, Bond surveying the scene is fed up with the “lip-smacking rituals of...
Mallaluka Wines – Style and Substance

Mallaluka Wines – Style and Substance

Avant garde wines are less about tradition and vineyard/varietal definition. Minimal intervention, natural ferments, little or no sulphur additions, early picking,experimental winemaking and a keen eye on the environment are the shared attributes of Australian avant...
Winemaker Q and A with Ben Mullen from Mulline

Winemaker Q and A with Ben Mullen from Mulline

This month I caught up with Ben Mullen – the winemaker half of Mulline Vintners from Geelong. Mulline are making headlines of late with their high scoring Chardonnay, Syrah and Pinot.   Q. There are plenty of good wine regions in Victoria, why did you choose...
Brave New Wines? – you bet they are!

Brave New Wines? – you bet they are!

Whenever I think of being brave, I imagine charging a machine gun nest. Or more realistically, Sir Humphrey Appleby describing a decision as “courageous Minister”, in order to change his mind. I did ponder the name as I’m not sure I wanted to need to...
Understanding Grosses Gewachs or GG

Understanding Grosses Gewachs or GG

“Grosses Gewachs! We are marching again!” Thus spake Ernst Loosen of the grand estate Dr Loosen. Grosses Gewachs, or GG, refers to wines made from Grosse Lage or Grand cru vineyards. Unlike their French counterparts, the term does not exist within any part...
How to choose a wine from a wine list

How to choose a wine from a wine list

Choosing a wine from a wine list can be difficult and I’m not just talking about what to match with what you’re eating. Is there such a thing as good value from a wine list and, if so, how do you get it? Can house wines be trusted? Should I stick to the...
Swinney Wines – Treasures of Western Australia

Swinney Wines – Treasures of Western Australia

“There was no cloud now; the heat was easing, but at every stop the merciless obbligato of the cicadas, rising clamorously as the sunset drew down, made the sudden human voices in that still seem false and unreal…” I am a born and bred Sydney boy...
Egon Muller Pre-Release Offer – 2018 Rieslings

Egon Muller Pre-Release Offer – 2018 Rieslings

Egon Muller – star of the Saar. Don’t miss your chance to secure some of the world’s greatest wines at special pre-release pricing.   Egon Muller Scharzhof Qualitats Riesling 2018 – $80 (RRP $100) Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Riesling...
Sadie Family Wines – South African Renaissance

Sadie Family Wines – South African Renaissance

The Sadie Family Wines are our first South African producer. I am ashamed to say my knowledge of South African history is scant, save for a boyhood interest in the Anglo-Zulu Wars of 1879. I have a first edition of the tragic masterpiece, The Washing of the Spears, by...
A Christmann Riesling – The Power and the Glory

A Christmann Riesling – The Power and the Glory

It is the greatest pleasure of any wine lover to taste a wine, and for it to be better than expected. Perhaps the single greatest crime of a wine taster is to have any expectations at all. To keep an open mind, and to not be influenced by what you have read or heard,...
Desvignes and Trediberri – from England, with love

Desvignes and Trediberri – from England, with love

My wife’s sister Kate and her partner Sarah, have just arrived back from England. Their suitcases contained, as always, a small cache of wine bottles. The trade goes the other way too. From Australia, with love, we sent two bottles of JC’s Own. The...
Christmas Wine and Food Matching

Christmas Wine and Food Matching

It’s that special time of the year when you want everything to be perfect. We’ve put together this handy guide to help you match the perfect wine to your festive feast. Whether you’re having turkey and all the trimmings or a seafood spread, pick one...
What wines go best with seafood?

What wines go best with seafood?

Matching seafood and wine can be problematic. Some seafood flavours are delicate and you need a wine that will complement and not overpower the subtle flavours. Other seafood dishes are more robust, maybe with rich creamy sauces or tomato or spice. These foods need...
What’s the difference between Syrah and Shiraz?

What’s the difference between Syrah and Shiraz?

Shiraz and Syrah are the exact same grape. Some countries, such as Australia and South Africa, have traditionally used the name Shiraz. Other countries, such as New Zealand and the United States call the grape Syrah.   What does Syrah taste like? The Rhone Valley...
All you need to know about decanting wine

All you need to know about decanting wine

Generally, most people with some knowledge about wine would agree that decanting wine has its benefits. But there can still be many questions around the subject – Should I only decant old wine? Does decanting wine improve its taste? Does decanting wine remove...
Ashton Hills – Pinot Noir and much more

Ashton Hills – Pinot Noir and much more

An Australian icon, Ashton Hills is one of this country’s foremost Pinot Noir producers. From the Piccadilly Valley sub region in the Adelaide Hills, this tiny 3ha vineyard was originally planted in 1982. The vineyard sits at an elevation of 570 metres and...
Shy Susan – That’s not what I’ve heard!

Shy Susan – That’s not what I’ve heard!

What’s in a name? I’ve never met a shy Susan before. The Susans I’ve had the pleasure of knowing, including my mother in law, have all been crackers. The name Shy Susan, alas, does not derive from an encounter, amorous or otherwise. Shy Susan is a...

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