Tag Archives: archive

Matching wines to food on Christmas Day

Roast turkey If it has feathers, it probably goes well with pinot noir. Chicken, turkey, duck, pheasant, goose, pigeon, quail, spatchcock, etc. There’s not a huge difference between chicken and turkey when it comes to wine matching, although there is certainly a step up in

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The world cup of wine

There are many competitions which allow New Zealand wines to compete against those from other countries. Because much of our wine is exported it’s useful to see how they stack up against the competition.

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Australian Syrah

At least 25 Australian wine regions regularly produce excellent shiraz. They vary in latitude from the Granite Belt in southern Queensland to Tasmania’s Tamar Valley. Top-line shiraz is also produced from the eastern to the western extremities: from the Hunter Valley to Western Australia’s Swan Valley. There is no other country that offers such a range of shiraz produced in such a variety of terroirs. Yet people still generalize about Australian shiraz as a blockbuster wine: unsubtle, superripe, high-alcohol and jammy. This is a mistake.

St Agnes luxury brandy has golden touch

24-carat gold might not be so rare in jewellery, but on a bottle of Australian brandy, it’s a first. The stoppers and trims on two newly-released luxury St Agnes brandies make lavish use of gold. They are South Australian winemaker and distiller Angove’s tilt at the luxury spirits market, a market that has exploded in recent years.

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In a country like Australia, synonymous with very full-bodied, high-octane, hairy-chested shiraz, Clonakilla stands in stark contrast. Its most famous wine, Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier, is light to medium bodied, fine-boned and aromatic. Spicily fragrant to sniff and endowed with soft, gentle tannins, it appeals to lovers of northern Rhone-style shiraz. It has more parallels with pinot noir than benchmark Aussie shiraz.

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Kumeu River Chardonnay beats top burgundies

When Stephen Browett, owner of the prestigious UK wine merchant Farr Vintners, served four vintages of Kumeu River Chardonnay in a head-to-head blind tasting against 17 top French white burgundies (Chardonnay) he could hardly have expected such a seismic result. The wines were tasted in four flights divided into four different vintages. There was one Kumeu River Chardonnay in each flight.

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The idea of fine wine

What is fine wine? And does anyone still care? And how should Australia go about promoting its fine wines to the world? We all know Australia makes many outstanding wines but we don’t seem to get much credit for them around the globe, where we seem better known for cheap, discounted, industrial wine.

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Bryan Martin profile

At the International Riesling Challenge in Canberra in 2012, Ravensworth’s 2012 Riesling hit the jackpot, beating all comers to win top wine of show, an amazing achievement for a small-production local wine in international company. If nothing else, it signaled to the wider world that Ravensworth had arrived, something we scribes already knew as we’d been enjoying Bryan Martin’s wines for years.

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Hit the wine trail

Spring is in the air – well it’s on the way with any luck. It’s time to liven up your weekend with a carefully planned vineyard visit. Here’s my list of do’s and don’ts to help make your visit a positive experience.