Yarra Valley cellar doors – what’s changed?

Image designed by Freepik As restrictions ease in Victoria, cellar doors have been given the green light to open albeit under slightly different circumstances. With that in mind, I headed to the Yarra Valley to see how different things are, if at all. First stop was Giant Steps winery in the new pop-up cellar door […]

Gourmet Traveller WINE: New Zealand Pinot Noir and Syrah

Gourmet Traveller WINE cover image: David Reist I’m very excited to have two articles in the latest edition of Gourmet Traveller WINE covering one of my favourite topics – New Zealand! Pinot Central takes a look at the latest news from Central Otago, while Syrah Sweet Spot focusses on just how good New Zealand Syrah […]

Mornington Peninsula: Paradigm Hill

Winemaking on the Mornington Peninsula dates back to the late nineteenth century, however today’s cellar doors are populated by members of the modern chapter in this region’s history. The early 1970s saw a revival in interest around viticulture and winemaking due in part to the potential offered by the maritime climate for producing quality wines. […]

Wine for Normal People: North Canterbury

Lunch at Black Estate, Waipara, North Canterbury. For this episode of Wine For Normal People, Elizabeth and I talk about my recent trip to North Canterbury. A short drive north of Christchurch, North Canterbury has something for everyone – fabulous wine, delicious local food including truffles, olives and honey, craft beer, bike trails, hiking trails, […]

Mornington Peninsula: Main Ridge Estate

The view from the Main Ridge Estate cellar door verandah. Drive down the dusty, winding William Road of Red Hill and you will be faced with a dilemma – turn left for Red Hill Cheese or right for one of Mornington Peninsula’s icons, Main Ridge Estate. It’s a tough one, particularly in our household as […]

Wine for Normal People: Central Otago

Rippon Vineyard in Autumn. Image credit: Thirst Press. In this episode of Wine for Normal People I catch up with Elizabeth to chat about Central Otago – an area my family has spent many years in. Although Central Otago accounted for only 2% of total production in New Zealand for 2016, the wine from this region […]

Spirito di Vino: Giant Steps, Yarra Valley

Written for Spirito di Vino Asia Issue #24. Image: Redfish Bluefish Photographic. Driving into Healesville, the town around which Australia’s Yarra Valley is centred, I am due for an early morning meeting with Steve Flamsteed, before his day starts to fill up with the duties of Head Winemaker and now part owner of Giant Steps. […]

Mammoths – who doesn’t love them?

Image credit: Mahana Estates “I want drinkers and winemakers to be shaken up, there are so many pathways that are undiscovered”. Michael Glover is taking us through a tasting of his latest releases from Mahana Estates and Mammoth Wines in Nelson, New Zealand. Here is a man who after years in the business is still clearly […]

My inner geek and the Champagne Bureau of Australia

Image credit: Michel Guillard – Collection CIVC Since completing my WSET Diploma last year, it is not often I find myself in a room geeking out about structure, blind tasting and blending components. But a few weeks back that is just where I found myself and it was perfect! The Vin de Champagne is a […]

Credit: Seifried Estate

New Zealand Pinot Noir – a regional focus

(Image Credit: Seifried Estate) As part of the Watson’s Wine Grand Tasting Week a masterclass with seven key Pinot Noir producers was held at The Mira in Hong Kong. On offer was a selection of 12 wines covering the main Pinot Noir producing regions spanning from Central Otago in the South Island through to Martinborough […]

Bubbles in Wan Chai – Champagne Thiénot at Berry Bros. & Rudd

A relative newcomer to the world of sparkling wine, Champagne Thiénot was established in 1985 by Alain Thiénot. Given that many of the great names in Champagne can trace their history back centuries it speaks volumes that a comparative youngster has gained such a foothold in the minds of Champagne drinkers. Last night Berry Bros. […]

Wine descriptor: velvet hug

Wines Tasted Cono Sur, Colchagua Valley, Chile, Pinot Noir, 2013 Cono Sur, Limarí Valley, Chile, Syrah, 2011 After a week of studying Chile for my WSET Diploma it was time to taste. A recent Drinks Business article reviewing the current trends in the Chilean market was fresh in my mind as I walked into my local Watson’s Wine. I […]

Burgundian or Oregondian?

Wines Tasted Domaine Serene, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay 2011 Domaine Serene, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Evenstad Reserve Chardonnay 2012 Domaine Serene, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Yamhill Cuvée Pinot Noir 2010 Domaine Serene, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir 2011 A pinot noir being described as Burgundian is always a bit of a double-edged sword when the wine […]

Pinot Noir – East Coast Representing!

Wines Tasted Bishops Head, Waipara, Pinot Gris, 2011 Bishops Head, Waipara, Pinot Noir, 2011 Escarpment Vineyards, Martinborough, Pinot Noir 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 Escarpment Vineyards, Martinborough, Te Rehua, Pinot Noir, 2011 Summer holidays are nearing an end here in Hong Kong and things are getting busy again for the wine industry. Recently I […]