barefoot

Single Hop beers….beer’ducation or is it all gobbledegook?

Hops play a crucial role in the creation of good beer. They provide aromas, bitterness and flavour, depending at what time the hops are added, whether they are dry or wet, and pellets or whole cones will all make a difference on the final result.  Usually a range of hops are used, as each hop variety will impart different qualities. For example some hops provide more flavour and little aroma, othe...

Yenda Beer – Why are people so unkind?

Over the last few months I’ve noticed a trend on a few of the social media sites I use and read. Generally the sites are polite, they are all about beer and sharing what’s good and what you can taste against what others taste. Yes I know that sounds all nerdy, but some people look at car or AFL websites, I look at beer and wine. The trend that has me confused is the sledging of the Yenda beer rang...

Gartelmann Rylstone Petit Verdot

The way I look and review a wine is probably a bit different to how you would normally consume a bottle. I get a group of people around to our house every week, and look at a wine as a group, getting feedback on the wines, across a broad and diverse range. Anything that is particularly good, I will hold onto and try again the next evening, and see how its evolved after being opened for a while. Th...

Provenance is overlooked

Its funny how wines can taste when purchased from different bottleshops. It all comes down to how it’s been treated in transport. Factors like whether the pallet sat in the sun whilst it was being unloaded, even whether the pallet was in the middle of the shipping container or against the edge with the sun beaming on it whilst it was being transported up here, all have a bearing on how the wine wi...

Rum Co. of FIJI

These been a lot of chat in the press lately about imports and exports, taxes being added to items coming through, the States not accepting iron from some places, and think I even heard the other day that we won’t be able to import small individual pieces off the US amazon site any longer. The conversation all started as we chatted about the imported range of rums from Rum Co. of Fiji, probably th...

Vale Brewing

There’s been a lot of movement in the beer sector over the last twelve months, the sale of Pirate Life and 4 Pines to CUB’s parent company AB InBev and Feral Brewing to Coca Cola (the brewers of the Yenda and Blue Moon), are probably the deals that got the most attention. However flying under the radar was the sale of Vale Brewing to the Bickford’s Group, becoming part of Bickford’s Vok Beverages ...

Cellarmasters “Red Wine of the Year”

I’ve often mentioned in this column that there’s a few of us that sit around a table and look at the wine samples that turn up on my doorstep, our Chateau Hangover as its sometimes called. It’s a mixed bag of people but it gives me a lot of feedback from people who all look for different things in their wine, we all have such different opinions when it comes to wine. We drop the bottle into a brow...

Pewsey Vale – some of the most reliable Rieslings

Every year I write an annual “Year in review’ column, commenting on what I thought were the best red and white wines of the year, plus the best beer I had tried that year. Two years ago the white wine of the year for me was a toss-up between the ’15 De Illius Semillon and the ’15 Pewsey Vale Riesling. I ended up going with the Pewsey Vale at the time, simply because of its perfect drinking, the fa...

Aussie Chard

Australian Chardonnay is going through a bit of a purple patch at the moment. Some of the best wine writers in the world are comparing our most exciting chards to premier grand cru White Burgundy. During the 80’s chardonnay was all the rage, then suddenly everyone got bored with the same buttery, oaky “sunshine in a bottle” that we were getting. It fell from grace so quickly, entire vineyards were...

Summer Lovin

Crikey it’s been warm the last few weeks, as I sit here writing this its 9.30am in February, and already 38 degrees outside,  and I’ve already got that uncomfortable trail of sweat running down my back, the cicadas are chirping away, and the uniform for the day has been singlets and shorts. As the summer heat hits these highs, I find my tastes change. Not just from avoiding the big hearty stews, r...

Giant Steps

Lots of wineries knock out a second or third tier label. Often those tiers are good value, more often they are good quaffing wines, or your Friday night drinkers, but it’s rare that they are something that you would serve at a dinner party when you’re trying to impress the Father-in-Law to be for example. At the other end there’s the wineries that might stumble onto a good patch of fruit, from the...

I AM GEORGE

It may come as a surprise to many that the first commercial planting of Shiraz in Australia wasn’t in the Barossa. It was near a place called Branxton in the Hunter region of NSW. It was planted out in 1830 by George Wyndham on a property he named “Dalwood”. He was an unconventional and headstrong man and somewhat of a radical. He was born into landed gentry in England, deciding to emigrate to Aus...

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