Aussie wines in the UK

Just travelled through England, Scotland and Ireland. Aussie wines are around but unless a specialised wine merchant, the range is really basic. Often the brand is a generic such as Koala Ridge Shiraz etc. There are more wines from Chile, South Africa and Spain than Australia in common pubs and restaurants. The only NZ wine …

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Minor Italian varieties

The well known Italian varieties Sangiovese and Nebbiolo are grown and produced well in other countries than Italy. A recent trend is the interest in less well known Italian varieties. Australia has a craze for Barbera, Montepulciano, Vermentino, Fiano and others. Just check out a wine list in a trendy Melbourne bistro!

Champagne Tastes

Australians are keen on Champagne and famous houses are readily available – Moet&Chandon $55 (soft, a little sweet), Pol Roger $72 (citrus lemon chalky texture), Veuve Clicquot, $55 (honey creamy), Mumm Cordon Rouge, $40 (fresh floral aromas), Roederer $57 (flowers and red berry aromas, dry, full bodied), Bollinger $57 (distinctive sweet salad dressing/aldehyde aroma and …

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A Sommelier (Somm) is the French term for a specialised wine waiter. They exist in Australia and mostly they are pretty good – they really do want to see a customer enjoy a wine. They can be overly enthusiastic. Plenty of customers are scared of them because they fear that their intermittent wine knowledge will …

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How long to Cellar Wine?

Three major trends have developed that cause the traditional wine cellaring approach to need change. Three major trends have developed that cause the traditional wine cellaring approach to need change. Under the influence of critics such as the American Robert Parker whose favourable review allows a huge increase in the price charged by the wine …

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Natural Wines

“Natural Wine” is a term bandied around. There really isnt a precise definition although one hardened group insists it means wine with no added acid (adding tartaric acid, the same acid as found naturally in grapes, is common in Australian wine making). Not only does natural wine indicate lesser additives and a healthier product, it …

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Italian Wines

Italian wines are trendy. The grape varieties in Italy are different from the French grapes that traditionally are grown in Australia. Whereas the French varieties have higher alcohol and harmonise well with oak barrels, Italian varieties are lighter, drier and if a red, more tannic. However as a drink that is easy or with modern …

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Times for Eating

People get into their routines and a different meal time can be quite upsetting. European adults notoriously eat much later in the evenings than the English, Americans, Australians and others. Older retired people tend to eat earlier. If travelling with older people, the latter often want food around dusk – yet in Europe few restaurants …

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Food and Wine Bores

This is a classic problem – especially the conversation dominating type. You have to do your best to skirt around the inevitable long winded noise. Wait for a briefest of lulls and introduce a new topic; talk to another person.

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