Celebrating the Gourmet Traveller Wine Winemaker of the Year awards in Adelaide

David Bicknell receiving the Winemaker of the Year Award 2017

Twenty years ago, Clare Valley Riesling genius Jeffrey Grosset was the first recipient of the Gourmet Traveller Wine Winemaker of the Year award. That was back in 1998. And on Friday night at at glitzy gala dinner in the National Wine Centre in Adelaide, the [...]

Visiting Wirra Wirra, McLaren Vale

Wirra Wirra is one of those wineries that we sometimes take for granted. They’ve been there for (seemingly) ever, making good wines in reasonable quantities, but don’t often get the headlines. But the great thing about wineries like this is that they connect with lots of people, and you can find the wines pretty much [...]

D'Arenberg, with Chester and his Cube

On Wednesday I visited D’Arenberg, an important producer in Australia’s McLaren Vale region. I remember when I was first getting into wine in the mid-1990s and being seduced by the D’Arenberg reds, with their beautifully detailed back labels and distinctive red sash design. I remember buying and selling the famous Dead Arm Shiraz, which is [...]

Koomilya, the 'new Wendouree'

The Koomilya vineyard in McLaren Vale

Komilya is the exciting new vineyard-based project from one of the McLaren Vale’s stars, SC Pannell. I don’t like to hype wines, but this is one of the most exciting discoveries I’ve made in Australia. This is the McLaren Vale’s Wendouree, in terms of style, intention and potential longevity.

Stephen Pannell [...]

A day in Adelaide: Big Table, Lady Burra, Shobosho, Pink Moon

It’s nice to be back in Adelaide. I spent a few days here last July, and it’s a very liveable place, a little scruffy around the edges, but a great place to eat, drink and wander around.

I had a day in the city yesterday. I began by wandering through the Central Market, where there are [...]

Niagara Riesling: some treats from Cave Spring, Flat Rock and Vineland

On my mini-trip to Niagara last week I got to try a few very nice Rieslings that served to remind me just how well this grape variety does in Niagara. I tasted some Cave Spring Rieslings at dinner with Angelo Pavan (pictured above), then squeezed in a quick tasting of some older Rieslings with Ed [...]

What's the role of emotion in the perception of wine?

One of the aspects I didn’t cover much in my discussions of perception in I Taste Red, is how emotion affects the perception of the world around us.

When we are consciously aware of things around us, we create a model of the world that is a seamless, unified representation that includes input from all the [...]

Champagne Piper-Heidiseck's new Cuvée Essentiel Extra Brut, and a review of their Vintage 2008

Last night I drank (with help, of course) two Champagnes. One was the impressive new Cuvée Essentiel, and the other the 2008 vintage, from Piper-Heidsieck. It’s a house I associate with forward, generously toasty wines, so it’s nice to see the Essentiel, which is a bit more serious and well defined.

Champagne Piper-Heidiseck Essentiel Cuvée Réserve [...]

Gamay 33, Metrat Fleurie La Roilette Cuvée Vieilles Vignes 2015

Metrat is underrated as a Beaujolais producer. I visited him last year, and really loved the wines. This is one of his best, a Fleurie that comes from a special Lieu Dit, La Roilette. The crus of Beaujolais have a fair bit of soil variation, and there are some especially privileged sites, and now growers [...]

For food and drink at the airport, forget the lounge, and let's rethink the flight experience

I had a good experience in Toronto airport this evening. Arriving quite early, I got through security, and then wandered around Terminal 3. Because I was flying WestJet (saving my client money!), there was no lounge access. This forced me to check out the various food and drink options in the terminal, and I found [...]