Vacherin Mont d’Or cheese from Jura Mountains, France As we approach Christmas, one of my favourite cheeses comes in to production, Vacherin Mont d'Or - a exquisite washed-rind cow's milk cheese from the Jura Mountains, France. Only made in the winter months and perfectly timed for Christmas table after the turkey, it is presented in a spruce-wood box that keeps the cheese from oozing all over the place. ... read more >
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Riecine Rose 2008 Chianti, Tuscany With onset of the southern hemisphere summer the mood in this half of the world is swinging towards fresh, crisp whites and rose. The surge in popularity of rose is underpinned by the increasing number of genuine wines made in a drier style moreover, from dedicated vineyards and undergoing brief skin contact to achieve their colour, as opposed to just ... read more >
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The Idyllic Villa Picelle, Azienda Agricole Fontodi A hankering for the flavors of Chianti has Curtis Marsh planning a trip. In the meantime, he makes do in Wellington Street. The best laid plans. Everything was set for the archetypal autumn holiday in Italy, two weeks in the heart of Tuscany luxuriating in the 18th-century Villa Pecille, in an idyllic vineyard panorama on the Chianti Azienda (estate) Fontodi, ... read more >
Weingut Nigl vineyards, Austria Curiosity gets the better of Curtis Marsh who lines up for a sauvignon blanc tasting, with surprising results. How would you like to try no less than 50 sauvignon blanc's before lunch? It was a daunting prospect, even for a hardened wine professional. Personally, I am not endeared to sauvignon blanc, although I do enjoy the occasional racy, flinty sancerre ... read more >
Arlewood Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Australia Best Bordeaux Recipe, Barrel-Fermented Semillon Sauvignon Blanc of Year Winery Profile With a bevy of praiseworthy wineries, contention over the pecking order of Margaret River labels is constant and subjective. However, a small producer called Arlewood is materializing as the sleeper of the region and making infinitely more complex and refined white wines in the Graves style. ... read more >
Schloss Johannisberger, Germany The recent revival of the most noble of white grapes brings back memories of sticky situations. Cast your mind back 30 years or more, if you are old enough, when it was de rigueur to order a glass of Hock in a pub or wine bar in England. Ostensibly riesling, the trend subsequently permeated around the globe. It was Queen ... read more >
Flaw in Wine Ratings The wine rating system is flawed, because it doesn't take into account the human factor. The growing cast of wine consumers obsessed with scores - seemingly an inherent process for choosing super-premium wines these days - troubles me. It is not just the credulous trust in scores that is a concern, but the dependence of wine merchants and marketers on ... read more >
Caroline Frey, oenologist and winemaker at Chateau La Lagune The 2005 vintage is being hailed as among best of the past century but there is always plenty of spin involved. Wine merchants throughout the world are ubiquitously fixated with en premeur sales of 2005 Bordeaux, blamelessly riding the wave of a frenzied market chasing a dream vintage. The Bordelaise propensity to embellish necessitates some recalibration after the vintage has ... read more >
Mitchell Watervale Riesling, Australia Establishing the criteria for the best-value white wine producer of the year, encompassing both the new and old worlds, is not about identifying the best cheapest white wine on the market. Rather, it is about price-quality rapport, consistency of quality, distinctiveness, synergy in the Asian market and how it compares on the world wine stage. Mitchell Watervale Riesling over-delivers in ... read more >
Winebar With the very nature of wine appreciably less intimidating nowadays and a growing familiarity amongst the populace, a glass of wine is increasingly becoming a part of everyday life around the world. Today’s more self-assured, open-minded wine consumer has a considerably larger vinous world to explore with a myriad of regions, varieties and styles. As any wine marketer will acknowledge, ... read more >
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