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Best of 2018

With the year nearly over its time to look take a good hard look through the bottom of the empty glass at the year that was. There’s been a few noticeable trends this year, some of which have actually lined up with my predictions from the end of last year – that rosé will continue its steady rise and broaden its flavour profile to make wines that men will happily drink during summer, and that beer...

Botham Wines

I’m a bit of a cricket tragic. I’m one of “those” people that can sit there and watch a five day test very happily. I think what I love about the game so much is that it’s one of the few, if not the only game, where everyone will sledge the opposition player, but then applaud that same player loudly for a well-played shot, or when that person rockets a near unplayable ball down the pitch and you h...

Pirate Life Brewing

Just over four years ago, Pirate life Brewing (PLB) burst onto the Australian scene. They took award after award on, not only the local scene, but also the international stage with their Aussie slant on their beers, creating beers that not only excited, but also challenged the palates of beer drinkers globally, whilst still working with the tastebuds back home. The story starts in the bitter cold ...

Serve Sparkling like a Pro this Christmas

The warm weather signals two things …Christmas is just around the corner, and the inevitable Battle of the Bubbles is about to hit its stride. It’s also the time when everyone starts to look at their budgets for the upcoming Christmas, and starts trying to work out how they can afford it after dropping all their cash at the nags during the spring racing season. Sparkling wine has always been...

St Hugo The Unspoken Promise 2014

Last year St. Hugo released the first annual release in their decade long “Legacy Collection”, a collection of super premium wines that will vary from year to year in varieties, blends etc. The Legacy Collection pays homage to the rich and compelling stories of the Gramp family, particularly Hugo Gramp who was killed in the Kyeema air crash in 1938. Not only did the crash take the life of Gramp wh...

Wine Fridge 101

Summer is just around the corner and it gets anyone that has a wine collection, or is thinking of starting a wine collection, or heck, even just wants to be able to save a few bob and buy their wine by the carton, starts thinking about how to store the collection. Not all of us have a wine cellar, in fact what I refer to as my cellar is actually a spot under the stairs that has a three wine fridge...

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 ...

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